A Handheld Computer That's Combat Hardened

When Mark S. Knighton began designing a handheld computer for Chicago's futures exchanges, he failed to account for a common trading hazard--the 200-pound stomp. Traders using his device in the frantic pits were dropping the pen-like electronic stylus, then squashing it flat underfoot. "It was excruciating to watch," moans Knighton, who heads the Santa Monica (Calif.) design firm Synerdyne Corp. His solution? Encase the pen in steel tubing, and let the traders stomp away.

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