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A Reversal Of Fortune In PCs

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Hardware

Three computer makers that were considered has-beens not too long ago are getting a second wind.

Apple Computer has found new life, thanks to its booming iPod digital music player business.

Hewlett-Packard is enjoying a resurgence under new Chief Executive Mark Hurd.

And thin-client computer maker Neoware Systems is seeing heightened interest in its systems because of their security and cost-saving benefits.

Meanwhile, long-time leader Dell has been in the doghouse on Wall Street. Its stock has taken a tumble since the direct seller of computer gear missed sales expectations in the August quarter.

The shake-up might seem like a Bizzaro World twist, but Apple, HP and Neoware have earned their place atop the stock rankings, analysts say. The firms have succeeded by finding profitable niches, honing operations and staying fresh.

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