personal digital assistant

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personal digital assistant

(PDA), lightweight, hand-held computercomputer,
device capable of performing a series of arithmetic or logical operations. A computer is distinguished from a calculating machine, such as an electronic calculator, by being able to store a computer program (so that it can repeat its operations and make logical
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 designed for use as a personal organizer with communications capabilities; also called a handheld. A typical PDA has no keyboard, relying instead on special hardware and pen-based computerpen-based computer,
computer that uses software to enable it to accept handwriting or drawing as a form of input. A stylus, which may contain special electronic circuitry, may be used to write on the computer display or on a separate tablet.
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 software to enable the recognition of handwritten input, which is entered on the surface of a liquid crystalliquid crystal,
liquid whose component particles, atoms or molecules, tend to arrange themselves with a degree of order far exceeding that found in ordinary liquids and approaching that of solid crystals.
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 display screen. In addition to including such applications as a word processor, spreadsheet, calendar, and address book, PDAs are used as notepads, appointment schedulers, and wireless communicators for sending and receiving data, faxes, and electronic-mail messages. Introduced in 1993, PDAs achieved only modest acceptance during the remainder of the decade due to their relatively high price and limited applications, but improved software and lower prices subsequently led to more widespread use. In the early 21st cent., however, smartphones (see cellular telephonecellular telephone
or cellular radio,
telecommunications system in which a portable or mobile radio transmitter and receiver, or "cellphone," is linked via microwave radio frequencies to base transmitter and receiver stations that connect the user to a conventional
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) equipped with a wide range of applications supplanted PDAs. See also palmtoppalmtop
or hand-held personal computer,
lightweight, small, battery-powered, general-purpose programmable computer. It typically had a miniaturized full-function, typewriterlike keyboard for input and a small, full color, liquid-crystal display for output.
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personal digital assistant

[‚pərs·ən·əl ‚dij·əd·əl ə′sis·tənt]
(computer science)

Personal Digital Assistant

(PDA) A small hand-held computer typically providing calendar, contacts, and note-taking applications but may include other applications, for example a web browser and media player. Small keyboards and pen-based input systems are most commonly used for user input.

The Apple Newton was a fairly early example.

References in periodicals archive ?
The modern student is bringing in-class cheating into the 21st century with the likes of programmable calculators, personal data assistants, cellular phones and two-way pagers.
PSNet is currently developing a wireless two-way video personal data assistant called the PLANet Navigator.
The patent, "Computer system and method for modifying and enhancing the built-in programs of a computer," discloses methods for reducing the number of keystrokes required to enter text on a mobile device, such as a personal data assistant (PDA) or cell phone, and it discusses techniques for adding functionality to the built-in applications of a mobile device.
The Reveal AccuScan System consists of a lateral flow test reader combined with a personal data assistant (PDA), and intuitive data management computer software.
With this interface, real estate professionals will now be able to receive Paragon MLS data from any browser-enabled device, such as a Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)-enabled mobile phone or Personal Data Assistant (PDA).
Concrete-Traker can also accept onsite data directly from a personal data assistant (PDA), barcode scanner or other portable data collection equipment.
The Motorola MPx replaces the multi-device syndrome by ingeniously blending the best of a mobile phone, personal data assistant (PDA) and email messenger in one easy-to-use compact device.

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