Low-tech fix adds laptop mouse space for cozy computing...


January 29, 2001

Low-tech fix adds laptop mouse space for cozy computing

I take my laptop just about everywhere, including airplanes where there rarely is any room for a mouse much less a laptop. Tray tables, notoriously small, never accommodate a full-size mouse.

Using a laptop's integral mouse, whether it's a touch pad or mouse-stick, couldn't be more awkward with the buttons inconveniently placed.

Enter MouseAbout ($30) from Productive Products Worldwide, a low-tech solution to the problem of finding space to use an external mouse. The MouseAbout is a simple hard piece of plastic that attaches to the bottom of your laptop computer. Inside the heavy plastic is a slide-out mouse pad.

The base attaches to the bottom of your laptop via Velcro strips that come with the device. I had to reposition mine after misaligning the base, but that was my fault. You will have to make sure you don't have the Velcro fasteners on the seam of an access panel or the battery. Once I got it on correctly, I found the slide-out pad to be more than sturdy enough to hold up to heavy mousing.

MouseAbout shows that a high-tech solution isn't the best answer to the simplest problems.

Information: 321-453-5018 or www.mouseabout.net.

Kevin Washington

Vox.Link provides a home for wandering cell phones

The purpose of the Vox.Link is to establish a nesting spot for your mobile phone when you're home. Dock your wireless handset in a base station when you come in the door, and you can place or receive calls through any extension using your cell phone number.

Why bother? Some folks lose track of their cell phones when they're home, so they can miss calls, says the manufacturer, Vox2 Inc. And certainly, it's true that many people don't use all the included monthly minutes in their wireless phone plans. They could benefit from a more convenient way to use their mobile handsets in the house. The cell phone effectively works as a second line with this product.

But the Vox.Link is difficult to set up, despite lengthy directions. It's also expensive, with a list price of $179.95. These two factors raise the question of whether the Vox.Link is a viable solution to any significant problems. Missed calls to mobile phones can be returned easily - Caller ID and voice mail come with most packages.

As for the issue of unused minutes, the Vox.Link isn't the only fix. One answer is simply to use the wireless phone on its own. It can be toted around the house as easily as anywhere else. The Vox.Link works with many models of Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola cell phones.

Information: 508-351-9080 or www.vox2.com.

Alan Goldstein/KRT

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