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PDA is a acronym for Personal Digital Assistant. Basically, a PDA is a "computerized helper".
The "ideal" PDA would be:

  • Useful - Otherwise, why bother? (See below for more)...
  • Customizable - Accomodate different people and multiple uses...
  • Small & Light - "Pocketable", to accompany you everywhere...
  • Inexpensive - No more than a few hundred dollars (US$)...
  • Efficient - Run weeks, not hours, on a single charge...
Most PDAs offer the following core applications: (1) Datebook/Calendar, (2) Contact/Address Book, (3) To Do List, and (4) Memo Pad.

Moving beyond the basics, some PDAs offer: (5) Email, (6) Financial Apps and Calculators, (7) Idea Outliners, (8) Etc.

Ultimately, your PDA should do whatever you need to do...

Choosing a PDA in practice amounts to choosing the desired operating system and form-factor. It's also a good idea to keep the popularity of a PDA in mind, so you don't end up with an unsupported product down the road.

Here is a short list of the major PDA players (check the links section to get more model and vendor information):

  • PalmOS (by Palm Computing/3Com)

    Palm-based PDAs are (not surprisingly) all palm-sized. Example models are the Palm V and Palm III. Most research firms show Palm holding a large lead in PDA marketshare.

  • PocketPC (formerly Windows CE) (by Microsoft)

    Windows CE-based PDAs range in size from palm-sized to handheld to sub-notebooks. Many vendors, including HP, Compaq, Phillips, and most of the usual "WIntel" manufacturers offer many different models with a variety of features. Windows CE is currently running a strong second place in the PDA market.

  • EPOC OS (by Psion)

    Psion PDAs are palm-sized to handheld-sized and usually support a small but nice keyboard. They seem to be more popular in Europe than in North America.

  • Others

    The PDA market is sprinkled with many "also-rans" or "has-beens". In these cases, either the PDA was deemed to fall short in some important way, the vendor didn't market the device appropriately, or time just passed the PDA by. PDA examples in this category include Apple's Newton and HP's 200LX.

PDA-Pro Sales Pitch:
(CAUTION: Blatant sales pitch follows...)
Why Bother?
Why bother? So you can work or live better, cheaper, or faster!

The right PDA can make an enormous difference in your personal and professional effectiveness.
  • Benefit #1 - A Single Point of Information

    Much of the power of a PDA (or even just a paper organizer) comes just from having all of your critical information in one place, and always having that info with you. That means that you can capture, review, or act on information as opportunities arise. You'll always be in control and ready to act...

  • Benefit #2 - A Powerful Information Device

    A PDA can make your information easy to access, find and use. The best PDAs allow you to work with existing sources of data, to search easily, and to synchronize to backup your critical information.

  • Benefit #3 - The Right Stuff Helps You Takeoff!

    Selecting the right set of applications for your PDA to match what you need to do and how you need to do it can really help you be more productive.

  • Benefit #4 - Custom Applications

    The maximum benefit can be yours when you acquire your own custom application. Whether you are a siding contractor, chimney sweep, real estate agent, lawyer, insurance broker, sales professional, or parent, you can benefit from doing things better, cheaper, or faster...
Next Step Contact PDA-Pro to help you start...

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