The images that came to her as she slept didn't seem related - a cow sitting on a pillow, a window and a faucet, her hiding eggs behind picture frames.

What did it all mean?The computer would tell her. Using a program designed by Idaho State University psychology professor Nick Heyneman, Georgette King punched her dreams into the computer and it told her they meant about the same thing - she was in a rut. She needed a new challenge.

Heyneman spent about three years designing DreamScape and then joined forces with his sister in California to form a company, Persistence of Memory, to market the program two years ago. It's now available nationwide, in many new- age bookstores, computer shops and by special order.

"It fills a niche we've never seen before," Heyneman said.

Unlike books that list interpretations of symbols in dreams, Dream-Scape is interactive, asking you personal questions, then combining that information with your description of the dream to arrive at a detailed, personalized interpretation. It doesn't suggest specific changes be made in your life based on the interpretation. That's up to you.

"It asks you gentle questions to make you think a little deeper, introspectively, about what might be going on in your life," said King, who lives in Agora, Calif. "If you're aware of what's bothering you, what's going on, you can do something about it."

When the computer indicated King was in a rut, she and her husband took a new approach to running their retail store, with success.

"We employed different marketing techniques," she said. "That made all the difference in the world."

Often, people who try DreamScape are surprised at how its interpretations seem to reveal something about them, of which they were only dimly aware, Heyneman said.

"Most people who go into this somewhat skeptical are taken aback by how close DreamScape touches them," he said. "It's more of this sense of, `how did it know that about me? Nobody knows that about me.' "

Because of that intimate, personal aspect, Heyneman said, he discovered to his surprise that the program might not be fun at parties and is better geared to private use.

DreamScape combines interpretations of more than 10,000 dream symbols from several psychological traditions, as well as new age interpretations and even Native American and Eastern and Middle Eastern philosophies.

King found the diversity useful.

She had used books to interpret her dreams before but found since they were skewed to one person's perspective, she would have to look up the same symbol in several books before she could arrive at a conclusion.

Heyneman sought to make the program as easy to use as possible and user-friendly. It addresses you by first name.

Dreams were one of Heyneman's main areas of interest and expertise before he sat down to create the program.

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Psychologists vary in the stock they put in dreams. Some believe they're simply random electrical impulses, others view them as prophetic but most, like Heyneman, fall somewhere in the middle, believing dreams have some meaning, he said.

"In our society we don't value dreams a lot," he said. "That's unfortunate because dreams give us a lot of information about ourselves that we can't get otherwise."

Dreams shed light on true feelings about things, Heyneman believes. In waking thoughts, feelings about things tend to be fuzzy, watered down and obscured by other considerations like the perceptions of other people. Dreams ignore that, providing "the honest, unvarnished truth," he said.

After noticing a conspicuous absence of computer dream analysis programs, Heyneman started designing DreamScape in his spare time "just to see if it could be done." Along the way, he called his sister Kathy Messano, who holds a marketing degree. She happened to be looking for a new adventure and immediately signed on to create a company to market the program. They shared the start-up costs.

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