ITI unveils space-saving PC

Initiative Technology Inc., which specializes in building custom computers, last week gave FOSE visitors a look at its latest product: a full-featured PC designed to take up as much space as a keyboard with a wrist rest.

ITI built the Leprechaun PC-in-a-keyboard system as a custom order for a government agency, which the company declined to name, but it now offers the system to other PC users who need to work in a tight space.

"Everything in this is a standard size," said Phillip Fenton, president and chief executive officer of ITI. "The case is all we had to design. We looked at old typewriters and said, 'Well, people used to be able to type on typewrites this size.' "

The basic Leprechaun Model 2000 includes a 400 MHz K6-2 processor from Advanced Micro Devices Inc., 64M of SDRAM, a 10G hard drive, a 40X CD-ROM drive, dual Universal Serial Bus ports and a single PCI slot for expansion.

The Leprechaun can upgrade to a 450 MHz AMD K6-2 chip as well as 400 MHz and 450 MHz AMD K6-III chips. And for users who need even more power and performance, ITI can cram 768M of RAM, an 18G hard drive and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT software into the machine.

ITI also offers custom options for the Leprechaun. A dual-socket PC Card reader can be installed into the side of the machine as well as an LS-120 disk drive and an Iomega Corp. Zip drive. A 10/100 network interface card and a 56 kilobits/sec modem also are optional. Finally, a bar code reader for logging on and off the system can be installed. Fenton said there is some customer interest for a thumb-scanning biometric device to be installed in the future.

Leprechaun pricing ranges from $700 to $1,300 without a monitor. ITI has worked with the U.S. Postal Service and other federal entities. For more information, call (800) 544-4700 or visit ITI's World Wide Web site at www.initiative-tech.com.

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