If you often find yourself computing in less than hospitable locales, there's plenty of rough and tumble notebooks out there; but the inherent expansion limitations of laptops leaves a void that could only be filled by a rig like the Contemporary MicroSystems MPC-9000. The fully featured PC is encased an all aluminum shell seemingly inspired by a lunch box, replete with padded handle. Housed inside is your choice of a 15.4-inch or 17-inch LCD screen, fold-down keyboard, four drive expansion bays, a 400-watt power supply, 1GB of RAM, an AMD or Intel dual-core processor, and all the other amenities commonly found on micro-ATX boards, such as PCI-express slots. The MPC-9000 just begs for abuse with its shock-absorbing HD mounts and expansion card clamps, and allows you to wheel it off-road in the caster-clad case. While this rugged PC shows promise, one mustn't forget what kind of energy is required to operate a "portable" PC with six exhaust fans; you'll likely need a tag-along generator when headed into the rough with an, ahem, Contemporary MicroSystems box.