Personal Digital Assistants

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Personal Digital Assistants

By: Rudolph Thomas

A PDA is a digital organizer, or personal digital assistant that can be comfortable held in your hand (it is also called a handheld computer). It is designed to fit in a pocket, run on batteries and be used while you're holding it (Computer Concepts, pg. 7). It can function as a cell phone, send faxes, read email and be used as a personal organizer. It uses among other things. PDA's use a stylus, or pen, rather than a keyboard. It's size, portability, applications and amazing range of features is what makes it so appealing.

The first PDA's were inexpensive pocket sized devices designed to store addresses and appointments. The first attempt at creating a commercially viable hand-held dates back to the early 1980s. The cost for such a device ranges anywhere from $80 to $500.

Today's usage of handheld computers or PDA's has become widespread around the world. The technology has been constantly improving and the applications have been expanding. Nowadays, a PDA can keep track of your appointments, access the Internet, play music, take digital pictures, and the list goes on.

Just like with desktop or laptop computers, there are several different brands of PDA's that give consumers a choice. Also like the bigger computers, PDA's use an operating system such as (Palm OS or Windows CE). Some PDA's have the following features:

•To-do list
•Phone/address book
•Drawing application
•Finance software
•World time
•File manager
•Voice recorder
•Data synchronization
•Printer connection.
•Web browser
•Word processor
•Spell checker
•Custom dictionary

All of these are nice, but one of the best features in my opinion is the ability to synchronize the PDA with your desktop or laptop computer (sometimes referred to as "hot sync"). The...
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