DIGITAL HEALING

When singer-songwriter David Crosby, 53, headed to the hospital last November for a complicated and dangerous liver transplant [PEOPLE 12/5/94], his trusty computer went with him. An online aficionado thanks to bandmate Graham Nash's enthusiasm, Crosby sat down with Cyber chat to tell us about his e-mail experiences:

Cyber: Did you get a lot of e-mail in the hospital?

Crosby: More than 20 messages a day. I wish I could tell you how much that meant to me without sounding completely cornball. It would be three o'clock in the morning, lonelier than s-t. In lots of pain. And I'd log on to this beautiful brand-new Mac that Nash loaned me. And all of a sudden there would be all these other sparks out there in the darkness.

Cyber: What kind of messages did you get?

Crosby: People saying "Croz, pull through! Don't die! We need the music! And if you do die, I'll come and pee on your grave." Jokes, laughter. Encouragement.

Cyber: What do you like most about the Net?

Crosby: You can range all over the world. I just got involved in a discussion about Martin guitars in Japan.

Cyber: Do you e-mail other celebrities?

Crosby: Oh, a few, but I don't love it for that. I love it because I wind up talking to that 18-year-old kid who lives in a town where they roll up the sidewalks at eight o'clock, and he has nobody of equal mental capacity in his family and is just frantic to talk to you. And full of ideas.

HOW DILBERT GETS HIS BYTE
Are computer geeks hot stuff? Believe it, says Scott Adams, 37, the first nationally syndicated cartoonist to go digital. (He and his creations hit America Online in '93.) E-mail from readers has made Dilbert, Adams's electrical engineer alter ego who skewers the foibles of the American workplace, a nerd to reckon with. The syndicated strip, which Adams began in 1987, appears in some 400 papers daily. When Cyberchat dropped in to the Dublin, Calif., resident's e-mailbox, the cartoonist had this to say: "Most of the ideas I use are from e-mail. It's like tapping into this great collective consciousness. The office and technology themes were the most popular. I shifted the emphasis [from home life], and the strip's popularity zoomed." Among the 100-plus messages on his computer each day, says Adams, "Women write to say they're married to a Dilbert and couldn't be happier. Their men are smart, financially secure, and they stay home. Engineers are the new sex symbols!"

SAVING A LIFE
Did ABC think it could just cancel low-rated but highly praised My So-Called Life after 19 episodes? Maybe, until San Francisco writer Steve Joyner, 27, began an e-mail drive to save the show. So far he has forwarded thousands of messages to ABC. Bess Armstrong, 41, Golden Globe winner Claire Danes's MSCL mother, says, "If we stay on, it will be in large part due to this campaign." ABC will decide whether to renew the show in May.