My last post made mention of my plans to feature some links about personal digital assistants (PDA’s) and, while visiting family in Florida, I thought I’d take a moment to post a few things. Walter Mossberg is a Wall Street Journal technology columnist who has written a general article about how PDAs Can Organize Your Life for Less Than $300. It’s a little dated in terms of the current round of devices being offered by manufacturers but still contains good information about PDA features and functionality. I prefer the Palm operating system rather than Pocket PC or other devices on the market. The Palm operating system is the most popular due to marketing and developer support but is often criticized for not offering as much in the way of multimedia functionality as the competition. A new Palm operating system and processors are due out this fall and they promise to offer more functions with the same efficiency that has garnered Palm so much favor among its fans. The Palm operating system can be found on devices manufactured by Palm, Handspring, and Sony. Other manufacturers have also licensed the Palm operating system on their organizers and cell phones but the three listed above are the most popular and Sony has by far been the most innovative of these three. I currently use a Sony device–a Clie T615c. Palm Info Center offers a comprehensive listing of reviews of the most popular Palm operating system devices. For general information about PDA’s including a historical perspective and overview visit PCtechguide at this link. I don’t want to be accused of being one to only offer one side of the equation, so here’s some information about PDA’s from a PocketPC perspective. PocketPC is the Microsoft operating system that competes against Palm. PocketPC integrates more closely with Microsoft applications where Palm has used third party applications that use translators to perform a similarly effective integration. PocketPC devices tend to have more memory than Palm devices but use programming code that requires additional space and faster processors. PocketPC devices include greater multimedia functionality with the ability to play movies, and MP3’s right out of the box where most Palm devices (with the exception of some of the Sony devices) require additional software and memory or processor requirements. The new Palm operating system holds promise that Palm will become more multimedia capable across all its licensed manufacturers. Hewlett Packard offers this PDA brochure which talks generally about PDA’s but has a PocketPC bias. Debates about Palm versus PocketPC abound on the web but I found this article fairly decent even though it’s biased toward Palm. I’ll post my own PDA history on the Iceman Baldy website in the technology section once I return home after the Labor Day holiday.


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