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SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY : MSI Data's Portable Terminals Show Just How 'Ruggedized' They've Become

November 03, 1987|David Olmos, Times Staff Writer

MSI Data's portable data terminals may be able to store and retrieve lots of information, but the big question is: Can they swim?

At a recent meeting with customers at The Newporter Resort hotel in Newport Beach, MSI President Charles S. Strauch demonstrated a new "ruggedized" version of the company's hand-held terminals. The devices are used by truck delivery drivers, utility meter readers and others who need to record information electronically instead of by paper.

To show that the terminals would survive a six-foot drop onto a hard surface, a company representative dropped the unit onto an outdoor patio and then held it up to show that its displays were still lit. As Strauch watched anxiously, the representative then plopped the terminal in a tank of water for about 15 seconds, retrieving it to show that it was still operating.

Strauch smiled broadly as MSI's customers applauded.

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