When Pets Go Bad

Think of Minor Demons' PortaPets, distributed by Eruptor (310/305-9966, www.eruptor.com ), as virtual pets that have developed bad habits and antisocial tendencies. These creatures, which inhabit your Palm OS, are ill-behaved monkeys, homicidal kitties, radioactive fish, and other critters unfit to appear in polite society. If you don't take care of your PortaPets (which cost $5; PortaMonkey is available for free), watch out. They don't simply wither away--they become prone to Ebola infections and bouts of clinical depression. The faint of heart may want to stick to caring for real pets instead of adopting virtual ones; they induce much less stress.

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