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ORANGE COUNTY NEWSWATCH

A Special Report: Computers

November 07, 1994|By Ross Kerber

TECH MECCA: If you're anyone who's anyone in the personal computer biz, you'll be at Comdex, the huge trade show Nov. 14-18 in Las Vegas. No surprise, then, that Orange County's major computer firms will be there. . . . Among them will be Touchstone Software Corp. of Huntington Beach, which will try to make ripples with its Superhuman Samurai Computer Safety Fun Kit. The $30 software package is based on a children's TV series. . . . The major selling point, according to C. Shannon Jenkins, Touchstone's president and CEO: Kids can learn about computer security and still have fun.

TELECOM: Seal Beach-based Rockwell International will be announcing advances in computer communication chips at Comdex. . . . One will help portable computers communicate via cellular phones and radio signals. Another will make speakerphones behave more like conventional telephones. "It will be more practical," says Tony Zuccarino, a Rockwell marketing manager. "People will be able to interrupt each other," which is not possible with most speakerphones.

EASY WRITER? A new ergonomic keyboard made by Genovation Inc. in Irvine is hinged in the center so it bends, allowing a custom fit for each hand and reducing wrist strain. "We think we've found the method that means you don't have to have your hands at any angle other than what's comfortable," says Leonard Genest, Genovation's president, above. . . . The Ergo Master keyboard has a suggested retail price of $395.

MEGAMAP: Thomas Bros. Maps of Irvine, publishers of the familiar road atlases, will be first-timers at Comdex to show off their electronic atlas, Geofinder for Windows. . . . The program will display every page of their regular guidebooks, plus lay out the fastest route to an address. . . . With additional hardware and a subscription fee, the program can be linked to Caltrans for reports on current road conditions. Glen Jansma, Thomas Bros. vice president of business development, says this would be especially valuable for those with portable computers and car telephones.

WEATHER: Sunny with patches of low clouds. Highs in the mid-60s; lows in the lower 50s. (B8)

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