Biology teacher Ed Chapman says a science maxim aptly describes the first year of an ambitious program in Henrico County, Va., to equip the district's high school students with laptop computers: "The more complex something is, the more likely it is that a small thing will upset it."

As the 2002-2003 school year was getting under way, Henrico school officials were confident last year's problems have been solved and the groundbreaking technology initiative will run more smoothly, even as it is expanded to the county's middle schools.

In one of

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