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Bits & Bytes
LOOK, MA, NO MOUSE
IF YOU'VE EVER WATCHED a two-year-old try to maneuver a computer mouse, you know the reasoning behind the ComfyKeyboard. Like many of their parents, toddlers have trouble getting the hang of moving and clicking the mouse correctly. So Comfy Interactive Movies, a Tel Aviv-based developer of children's software, came up with a kid-compatible keyboard with 18 large buttons and knobs that work with the company's educational games. Buttons for "sun," "moon," and "clouds" can change the weather in the on-screen story, for example. The keyboard, which plugs into any IBM-compatible personal computer, also includes a make-believe telephone handset so that characters in the program can "call" the child with directions on which button to push to make something happen in the program.
The ComfyKeyboard, designed for ages 2 to 6, is priced at $99 and comes with one program, Feely's Birthday Party. Other available programs include The Great Concert, which lists for $35.95, and A Christmas Present, for $19.95. The products can be purchased at CompUSA, F.A.O. Schwarz, and other outlets.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG