Bits & Bytes
G.I.s MAY BE GOING ON-LINE
Fresh from showing off its high-tech weaponry in the Persian Gulf, the U. S. Army is now looking into a pocket-size battlefield computer for soldiers. As currently envisioned by the Army's Communications-Electronics Command (Cecom) at Fort Monmouth, N. J., the one-pound device would help troops determine their location, talk to field headquarters and other soldiers, aim weapons around corners, diagnose and fix broken vehicles, and dispense advice on emergency medical procedures.
While the computer sounds like something out of science fiction, Cecom is hoping to make it a reality by the year 2000. Texas Microsystems Inc., a maker of ruggedized computer systems for various industries, was granted $50,000 to study the gizmo's feasibility. Later, if all goes well, the company says, work may start on a three-pound prototype to be based on Intel's 80386 microprocessor. It could be available by 1994.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG