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Importance of Handheld Computers or Personal Digital Assistant

By Brat Ezilon.com articles Published 10/20/2008 | Computer

When utilization of computers increases in day to day life, one needs to create the flexibility of usage and better accessibility of these devices. When PC evolved, more and more people started using computers, then, to increase mobility Laptop or computer notebooks arrived in market. Still, they are not that easy to carry or use at all places; handheld computers are those devices which are small enough and can be held in hands and provide all the functionality of a computer. Handheld computers are popularly known as Personal Digital Assistant (PDA).


PDA is an extremely useful device as per functionality and very convenient to carry. However it cannot replace computer notebooks because of its small keyboard and screen. Currently, efforts are going on to resolve these issues by providing touch screen and by replacing keyboard with stylus which can act as a writing pen.

Handheld computers are used by business executives for various functions, like Blackberry provides access to their mail system while they are still away from office. These devices can be used to access internet, receive and send mails, transferring and carrying files, internet fax, and storing data and so on. All Hand held computers come with memory card slots which can store multiple Gigabits of data and provide the functionality of a hard disk. It is utilized as mobile phones so people can be connected with each other.
The various functions of PDA include smart computer, mobile telephony, media recorder, media player, communication and personal navigation. When the first hand held computer was designed, it was mainly used as Personal Information Manager which functions as calendar, address book, calculator and so on. However later it was integrated with mobile telephony and Operating system like Windows also created specifically for this. Internet websites are designed to be displayed on these devices and currently it is used even for cash transactions.
Most of original PDAs like Apple Newton and Palm Pilot used touch screen for user interaction and have only few buttons. Touch screen Handheld Computer uses a detachable device called stylus for the working with screen. Stylus is used to touch the screen to activate buttons and menus as per user requirement. User input can be done via different ways, such as virtual keyboard can be accessed by tapping on the screen with stylus, external keyboard which is attached through USB port letter or stroke recognition, which can be programmed for individuals.
Memory cards are used as storage devices. These are used as nonvolatile permanent memory. Initially available in few MB however now available in multiple GB; this is in addition to the permanent flash memory which is inbuilt.
Wired connectivity is used with USB port to personal computer for accessing information in PDA or PCs. This connectivity is used to transfer data and updating information. Wireless connectivity is used with infra-red or Bluetooth technologies. Speed of wired connectivity is more than limited speed of wireless connectivity.
Special software is used to configure and manage data inside PDA, which can be synchronized once connected to personal computer or laptop. Typically this is used to synchronize calendar, contacts and mails. So today, PDAs have become fully equipped personal computers which were started as personal organizers.