Computer hardware South Africa - PDA / Pocket PC

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PDA / Pocket PC


PDA / Pocket PC sales South Africa

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The PDA / Pocket PC

The concept of the Personal Digital Assistant (PDAs) first took shape in the early 1990's, and these devices, which began as simple phone books and day planners, has evolved into handheld computers capable of audio/video playback, Internet browsing and wireless connectivity. People who like to travel light can now replace multiple devices with a single PDA, and they won't miss a beat.

So what do you look for in a Pocket PC? What features can you expect?

Connectivity is an important consideration - you will need to transfer your data between a computer and the PDA device, synchronise address books and email accounts. Look for Infra red, bluetooth, wireless network enabled, desktop cradles or a cable.

Video and sound - most Pocket PCs have a screen size of no larger than 240x320 pixels, although they are improving. Compared to the standard 1024x768 pixel resolution of a monitor, it makes it much smaller and more difficult to read. Most PDA's allows you to play sound through built-in speakers or through an attached headset. PDA's may also include a microphone that allows you to record dictated notes.

You can also watch cut down version of video clips on a PDA, and most PDA's will allow you to connect directly to a network video streaming service (such as youtube).

Global positioning
Some Pocket PCs come with the option for GPS.

Games - There are many games available for Pocket PCs.

Palm or Pocket PC?
The question is what software will you run on your Palm or Pocket PC? Both of these versions offer a good range of quality applications for their products, and Palm OS 5.1 currently holds the sales lead worldwide. The windows version of the Pocket PC has fewer compatibility issues, but as it is more resource hungry, the Pocket PC seems to run more sluggish than the Palm version, although it has many more applications and games on offer.

How to store information.
Pocket PCs store information on solid state memory devices, or ROM and RAM modules.

The ROM is Read only and contains the basic system and operating instructions for the Pocket PC to work. These instructions are "built-in" and have been put there by the factory. A certain amount of the ROM (as Flash RAM or NAND ROM) is dedicated to storing your files, in case the battery goes flat. ROM is "permanent" memory and stores data, even when the battery is flat.

The RAM is read and write, and this memory gets wiped clean when your battery is removed or goes flat, depending if there is some other form of power backup on the Pocket PC. The more RAM on a Pocket PC, the more applications and files can be stored on that Pocket PC.

Pocket PCs also come with SD, CF or Sony memory stick memory slots for your own removable flash memory drives, and can even be used to retrieve pictures from your digital camera.

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