LARGEST technology trade show to restrict portable computers for security

Tuesday, November 6th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ High-tech gadgets may be the focal point of Comdex, the nation's largest technology trade show, but laptop computers are strongly discouraged this year because of tightened security.

Citing the Sept. 11 attacks, the Comdex Web site tells people planning to attend next week's event in Las Vegas to ``please leave bags, briefcases, backpacks, laptops, etc. at home or in your hotel room.''

Organizers also say there will be metal detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs, and participants will have to carry photo identification at all times.

``Yes, it's going to be a zoo. It will be inconvenient, and it will cause some lines. But we've been advised that that's what we should do for this event,'' said Kim Myhre, president of Comdex Worldwide.

Bags _ including laptop cases and briefcases _ will be banned on the trade show floor and at all keynote speeches. Exceptions will be made for exhibitors and members of the media.

If attendees absolutely must take their laptops, the equipment may be allowed on a case-by-case basis _ but not with their cases.

Purses and fanny packs will be allowed, but will be subject to security checks.

Exhibitors will distribute plastic bags on the exhibit floor to carry giveaways and product literature _ but once the bags are taken outside the convention center they won't be allowed back in.

Organizers expect up to 150,000 people to attend, 50,000 fewer than last year.