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INSIDE & OUT : User Friendly


Is your home office in the doldrums? Bringing it to life can be almost as simple as hitting the return key on your personal computer. Consider the following:


Computer Mouse Art

Ever wanted to own a Van Gogh? A Monet? The Mona Lisa?

You can turn your mouse pad into a masterpiece with Gallery MousePads by Manticore Products of Chicago. Using soy ink, reproductions of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and signature pieces such as "Irises" by Vincent Van Gogh and "Water Lilies" by Claude Monet are embossed on the pads, which are 8 by 9 1/2 inches.

Other designs include a cup of steamin' joe and an antique-looking map.

Manticore Products, which also has a line of wrist rests, was founded by Vincent Cobb, a former painter, computer salesman and software developer. The company is at work on some new designs, including one with a golf motif.

The pads (about $19 each) are available at Nordstrom stores in Orange County.


Rest Easy at the Terminal

You can pull up to your home computer in a stylish as well as ergonomically designed chair.

The Catalina chair, distributed in Orange County by Adair Office Furniture in Santa Ana, is not only comfortable, but it also is available in many fabrics--including paisley, stripes and florals. The material is stain-resistant, a boon for families with young children or those who are always spilling their favorite snack or beverage.

Among the chair's features are fully adjustable arms, back and seat pan, with easy-to-maneuver levers. The seat pan, which is made of a reinforced plastic that is stronger than the usual plywood ones, is connected to a gas cylinder that works as a shock absorber to help relieve spine problems.

The chairs, priced from $200 to $300, were introduced to the market about six months ago. For more information, call Adair at (714) 557-5726.


Framing the screen

Sometimes all you need to do is change your frame of reference.

Screenies gives you more than 50 ways to do just that.

Made of a sturdy cardboard, Screenies computer screen frames (about $8) are attached with Velcro to monitors. They fit all standard monitor sizes, up to 21 inches.

In addition to a tiger, the Sonoma-based company features zebra and graffiti patterns, flowers, farm animals, fish, astronauts and a television that looks like it is straight out of the 1950s.

Of course, if you're a chocolate aficionado, only something sweet will do.

Consider resting your wrists on foam pads (about $4) that sport wrappers that look like Reese's peanut butter cups and Hershey bars.

Screenies and the candy wrapper wrist rests are available throughout Orange County, including Computer City stores.

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