GADGETS AND GEAR FOR THE WELL-WIRED HOME

By EW Staff
Updated October 02, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Freedom! The PC-game-enhancing, motion-sensing SideWinder FreeStyle Pro from Microsoft ($74.95) lets you turn, spin, or pop wheelies simply by tipping the device left, right, up, or down. The feeling? A giant step toward virtual reality.

Forget Barney and Arthur. Tiger’s singing, giggling, burping Furby ($30) could be this fall’s animatronic toy superstar. With microprocessor-controlled smarts, Furby plays games and interacts by saying nearly 200 cooing, squawking Furby-isms. It’s as if Gizmo from Gremlins had mated with a Tamagotchi (and, no, it’s not from hell).

Rewritable CD-ROM drives have finally dropped below $300, and the Hewlett-Packard CD-Writer Plus 7200i rules with easy-to-use software and decent 2X record and 6X read speeds. Now you can put all that music you’ve downloaded from the Net (legally, right? Sure!) on $2-15 discs.

Wires? We don’t need no stinkin’ wires! The month’s e-commerce bargain is a Wireless Keyboard by Mitsumi ($39.99, only at www. mitsumidirect.com). Move, groove, and surf from 20 feet away. Binoculars not included.

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