Bits & Bytes
WHAT'S LIGHT, COLORFUL, AND PACKS A WALLOP?
Notebook-computer makers Dell Computer Corp. and AST Research Inc. got lots of attention last month when they announced color notebook computers. But they won't ship their machines until next year. That means tiny Tadpole Technology PLC, a British computer company with a U. S. subsidiary in Austin, Tex., could be the first to market with a color, battery-powered notebook: It plans to ship its computer in December. And Tadpole goes a step further than the others, because its notebook packs the power of a Sun workstation.
For $6,990, Tadpole's SPARCBook 1 comes with an 85-megabyte hard-disk drive, 8 megabytes of memory, and a color screen. The 6.8-pound computer runs on a SPARC microprocessor made by Sun Microsystems Inc. -- the same chip that's used to power big workstations. What's more, the notebook can also run software made to work with IBM PCs. That makes it a natural choice for traveling Wall Street number-crunchers, since many of them use Sun workstations in the office and PCs at home.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG