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Southern California Job Market : Challenges Of The Working Life : On The Job : Desk In A Suitcase

September 18, 1988

Perhaps the ultimate portable office is the 21-pound system offered by Secure Technologies in Herndon, Va. Gary Flaherty, company president, has jammed a Zenith laptop computer, a Motorola portable cellular phone and a printer into a suitcase that looks like a prop out of "Get Smart."

The tab: $7,195. (For another $700, a customer can add a circuit board to the computer so it doubles as a portable fax machine.)

The key here, Flaherty said, is true mobile communication. A typical laptop computer is essentially a dumb terminal--you can work on it while traveling but you can't transmit information or receive electronic messages without being hooked up to a phone. By connecting his laptop computer to a battery-powered portable cellular phone, Flaherty has solved that problem; his customers can stay in touch whether in a hotel lobby or on a train.

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