Pussyfoot prevention

As anyone who lives with both a feline and a PC knows, the two should never attempt to interact - but they do. And the consequences of those interactions can be unpredictable and dangerous. Writers find incomprehensible typos or deleted paragraphs, programmers find inexplicable bugs inserted into their code. It is actually possible, through a series of random keystrokes and mouse clicks, to delete files, change system settings and in so many other ways make life unpleasant for a PC owner. And meanwhile, the cat sleeps peacefully on the keyboard.

Not anymore. Bitboost Systems, in Tucson, Arizona, has developed a software product called PawSense, that detects the very same kind of random combinations of keystrokes that a cat might enter by walking across the keyboard. As soon as such a combination is entered (such as "]\return"), the computer locks up, preventing any further feline input. Then it issues a harmonica-like noise designed to "shoo" the cat away from the keyboard.

PawSense can be purchased over the Web from www.bitboost.com; however, the company doesn't say whether it will remove cat hair and dead mice stuck between your keys.

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