From the October 1999 issue of Startups

Meet the Porsche of mice: The Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer comes in smooth, ergonomic silver with (oh yeah) a glowing red underside and taillight. Taillight? Well, it looks cool. Even better, the IntelliMouse Explorer has no mouse ball, relying instead on IntelliEye optical-tracking technology. An optical sensor on the underbelly follows its movements so it can be used on just about any surface: desktop, blue jeans, cat. A built-in scrolling and zooming wheel and two new forward and back buttons for surfing the Net make the IntelliMouse Explorer even more handy.

IntelliMouse Explorer

Microsoft

(800) 426-9400

http://www.microsoft.com

Street Price: $75

On Ramp

Your business is growing. You want to be online and you want to be networked. But it has to be pain-free and consultant-fee-free. The WebRamp 200i is the latest solution aimed at you from Ramp Networks. AN analog router for connecting multiple users to the Internet, the 200i features an internal 56 Kbps modem with a built-in 4-port hub and a 15-minute installation guarantee. If you require a faster connection, the 200i supports an external ISDN modem. Or software helps your 56 Kbps modem achieve near-ISDN download speeds by optimizing a single connection. Designed for two to 40 users, the WebRamp 200i can keep you connected to the Net as your computers multiply.

Webramp 200i

Ramp Networks

(888) 726-7638

http://www.webramp.com

Street Price: $369

Message In A Pocket

Is that an answering machine in your pocket, or are you just happy to be reading this? OK, it's an answering machine--the Motorola-manufactured CONXUS Pocketalk voice mail/pager, to be exact. Just like your run-of-the-mill answering machine, it can play, reverse, forward, pause, lock and delete voice mail messages, which are sent to your pager in the caller's own voice. Unlike your run-of-the-mill machine, the Pocketalk goes anywhere with you and can even receive messages forwarded from your home or office. The new Pocketalk incarnation is 40 percent smaller than the original model, so it can fit in a 40 percent smaller pocket. An LCD screen keeps you up to date on your message history, and the whole shebang is powered by one AA battery. The Pocketalk requires a monthly service plan that starts at $13.95.

Pocketalk

CONXUS/Motorola

(888) 226-6987

http://www.conxus.com

Street Price: $49

No-Wire Act

You've heard all about the Palm VII's wireless Net access. That's great, but what if you couldn't wait and already bought a Palm III or IIIx? There is hope. The Minstrel III is a 19.2 Kbps wireless modem designed to trick your Palm III or IIIx into thinking it's a Palm VII (well, almost). Simply slip the Palm into the Minstrel III and it's ready to download sans wires from wherever you are, just like the latest Palm. The Minstrel III adds 5.4 ounces to the Palm's weight and comes with an AC adaptor and NiMH rechargeable battery pack. As with the Palm VII, a monthly service fee for wireless Net access is required and starts at just under $10.

Minstrel III

GoAmerica Communications

(888) 462-4600

http://www.goamerica.net

Street Price: $199

Mice And Easy

High tech doesn't get much simpler than this. The latest weapon in the battle for comfort and convenience against long hours at the computer is the MegaMouse LaunchPad. The best thing since duct tape: Velcro lets you attach the MegaMouse LaunchPad to the arm of a chair to put your mouse in easy reach in a natural position. Just Velcro? Well, the weight of your arm helps keep it all in place. Add your favorite mouse pad and mouse, and you're ready to surf, scroll and click from a distance.

MegaMouse LaunchPad

Knack Technologies

(800) 859-6552

http://www.megamouse.com

Street Price: $19.95

Port-A-Printer

More and more printers are getting smaller and smaller. Now Brother has joined the portable fray with the MP-21C Color Mobile Printer, which just happens to be a color mobile printer. (You road warriors are pricking up your ears.) A nice 720 x 720 dpi means photo-quality graphics while on the go. The MP-21C uses a direct PCMCIA connection to your laptop, so make sure you have a port to spare. This feature also means no AC adaptor or battery pack is needed for operation; it gets its power through the PCMCIA slot. At only 2.2 pounds and with no external wires to fuss with, it will probably fit in your laptop case without causing shoulder pain.

MP-21C Color Mobile Printer

Brother

(800) 521-2846

http://www.brother.com

Street Price: $299