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(Personal Digital Assistants)
         Laura Larsson
            Health Services
        University of Washington
      revised December 19, 2012
      Learning Objectives
• introduce you to PDAs
• show you how they can be used by
  managers and others who need to
  organize themselves to a schedule
• discuss what types of PDAs are
• discuss pluses and minuses of owning
  a PDA
A PDA? A What?
• Personal Digital Assistants are
  electronic memory enhancing devices
• PDAs can really enhance your
  productivity by keeping you on time and
  on target
• combines the portability of the
  traditional day planner
  with the connectivity of a PIM
• PDAs run PIMs
   Introduction, continued...
• you can use them for anything you don’t
  want to remember
• Use to share information and data
           Types of PDAs
•   Windows CE Products
•   REX 3
•   PalmPilot
•   specialty vendors
•   Others
      Windows CE Products
•   Casio Cassiopeia
•   Compaq PC Companion
•   NEC MobilePro
•   Philips Velo 1
               REX 3
• built on a PCMCIA card with an LCD
• looks like a PCMCIA and about the size
  of a credit card
• cannot input data directly
• download information from a laptop or
  PC using the docking station
• costs $179 (includes docking station)
       Specialty Vendors
• Apple Newton MessagePad 2000
• Sharp Zaurus ZR-3000 and ZR-3500X
• Sharp SE-500 Mobile Organizer (like
  the Palm Pilot)
• U.S. Robotics PalmPilot
• Psion Series 3c
• HP 200
    Specifications - Avigo 10
• Memory: 1MB Flash memory (approx.
  680KB user available)
• Expansion: Additional 1MB module
  available separately
• Display: 160 x 240 pixels, with Backlight
• Power: 2 - AAA, 1 - CR 2025 batteries
• Size: 0.75 x 3.25 x 5.50 in. (organizer)
         Who Uses PDAs?
•   physicians
•   academics
•   lawyers
•   salesmen and women
•   managers
•   librarians
        Why Should I Spend
•   connectivity
•   communications
•   input
•   applications
•   memory
•   peripherals
•   portability
• file-synchronization program to
  automatically update files between
  handheld and desktop systems
  – Infrared (e.g., Sharp Zaurus 3500X)
  – serial cable (e.g., PalmPilot)
•   send, receive and write e-mail
•   fax-modem via a PCMCIA card
•   communicate with your printer
•   connect to, and view the Web
• Screen size - large
• Backlit Display**
• both touch screen and keyboard user
  interfaces for input and navigation
• keyboard vs touch screen
• penciled in notes is often important
• core applications and features
• third-party applications written
  specifically for the different kinds of
• folks will write for popular PDAs
  (Newton, Pilot)
        Core Applications
• Open book diary w/reminder alarms
• Planner and calendar
• to do list, an address book database,
  and some form of note taker
• communications package--including a
  Web browser, email, and a fax applet
• word processors or spreadsheets
• Calculator (10 keys + memory)
    Core Applications, continued
•   Graphical user interface (GUI)
•   Password protection
•   Spellchecker & Thesaurus
•   On-line "HELP"
              Core Features
•   Data exchange across applications
•   IrDA Interface (infrared connectability)
•   Parallel printer support
•   Handwriting Recognition
    – some of the PDAs recognize handwriting
      such as: Pilot, OmniGo 120, Sharp SE-500
• Voice recording and play back (Psion
          Third-party Apps
• Psion used to have the most software
  written for it, PalmPilot taking the lead
• available software
  – mapping software
  – thesaurus and glossary
  – pager access
  – books and games
  – specific applications for retail and business
  Peripherals and Protective
• usually cost extra
• things like an AC adapter, battery, (hard
  and soft) screen covers (to prevent
• handheld PC wallets
• hip wallets (carrying cases) available
• weight is between 6.5 -13 oz
• clamshell versions probably too heavy
  to fit in a blouse breast pocket/suit
  jacket; purse - yes; briefcase - yes
• PalmPilot can fit in blouse or hip pocket
        Why did I Purchase a
         Zaurus?: Practical
•   price - $469 + $50.00 rebate
•   built in modem - 14400/9600bps
•   size - 6.3" X 3.5" X 1"
•   screen size - 4.0" X 2.6" (landscape)
•   weight - 12 oz
•   serial port -15 pin
        Practical Features
• RAM - 2MB+
• battery life - 20 hours
• infrared - yes
      Why Buy a Zaurus?:
• Activity Manager - Calendar,
  Appointments, To Do, Birthdays, and
• Contact Manager - with linking feature
  for instant viewing and jumping to
  related records
     Why Acquire a Zaurus.
• Data Files - flexible database
  containing 16 fields per record
• Ink (Pen) Notetaking - Ink notes allow
  you to write on the screen to jot down
  quick notes, with Zoom and keyboard
  lockout feature.
        Why, continued...
• Word processor - with spell
  checker, graphics, and MS WordR
  compatibility (via ".RTF").
• Pen Spreadsheet with Zoom,
  charting, Drag & Drop, Borders, etc.
  and MS ExcelR compatible
        Why, continued...
• Outline Processor allows Hierarchical
  data management
• Filer allows you to organize data and
  files by topic
• everything is integrated
• communicate with my computer through
  a serial port or infrared
Why Did I give up my Zaurus?
• no handwriting recognition
• small keyboard and keys (Psion has the
  – didn’t like the keyboard
  – hunt and peck
• no hard disk, so everything happens in
• just wasn’t easy to use
What Did I Replace my
   Zaurus With?
      About the PalmPilot
• price - $279. (I paid $379)
• built in modem - 14.4Kbps, purchase
• size - 0.7 x 3 x 5 inches (HWD)
• screen size - 160x160-pixels +
  0.75x1.5-inch (HW) writing section
• weight - 5.7 ounces
         About PalmPilot
• serial port - yes
• RAM - 1MB of RAM
• battery life - 8 to 12 weeks on two AAA
• infrared - PalmPilot 4.0, yes
• cost - PalmPilot Personal, $179;
  PalmPilot Professional, $279; PalmPilot
  3, $379
• handwriting recognition with on-screen
  – you do have to practice your penmanship!
• easily synchronize between your
  desktop PIM and PalmPilot
• many software programs written for the
  PalmPilot by third party vendors and
• if you enter data in your PalmPilot and
  other data in your computer agenda,
  the next time you synchronise the data,
  both sides will be accurate, up to date
  and totally in sync
  So, What Can I do with My
• communicate and collaborate
• medical uses
• read documents
  – books, poems, procedures manuals
• other uses
Communicate and Collaborate
• sync between various desktop PIMs
  and your PalmPilot
• Calendar, contact, task list, memos,
• write notes to yourself which are
  translated into typewritten text
• download email into your desktop and
  then into the PalmPilot, or directly
  Medical Uses of PalmPilots
• types of medical information you can
  – Diagnosis and Coding: e.g., ICD-9 and
    CPT codes for billing
  – anatomy, lab tests, record tracking
  – pharmacology, physical exam, procedures
  – treatment, miscellaneous
  Medical Uses, continued...
• record patient information of various
  – create a patient database
  – store non-relevant patient records on
  – backup into spreadsheets, patient records
         Read Documents
• download AportisDoc to your hard drive
• install it into your desktop subdirectory
• HotSync the program into your
• download and unzip a document and
  HotSync it into your PalmPilot
• read the document by selecting
  AportisDoc button and double-tapping
  the document you want to read
Read Documents, continued...
• the AportisDoc Professional version lets
  you create Pilot-readable documents
  from Word documents, and text and
  HTML documents
• price is $39.95
• the number of documents you can
  download into your PalmPilot is in the
  hundreds - and you can create your
  own documents
     Email, Faxing and Web
• use software packages like PilotMail
  and Ricochet
• you can filter messages, exclude
  attachments, and truncate text to adjust
  for limited bandwidth
• can send faxes, but can’t receive faxes
• not easy to receive Web pages
  because of the 2” square viewing area
• modem speed is slow (14.4)
               What Else?
• many other applications are being
  – scientific calculators
• these apps are available for
  downloading on several Websites
          Key Programs
• AportisDoc - use to read books and
  other text documents
• AportisBrainForest - advanced version
  of AportisDoc
• Image Viewer - view four-level gray-
  scale images, pictures, maps or
• JFile - tabular-based database program
• Pendragon Forms - form-based
     Programs, continued…
• Explorer - file manager
• PalmPlanner - monthly planner
• LaunchPad - application launchcher
• ListMaker - make lists of things to do,
  shopping lists, etc
• MobileDB - read only version for
  reading reference databases
             PalmPilot 3
• became available in March 1998
• same weight and additional memory,
  rounder edges, and an infrared
  transceiver as the previous PalmPilot
• has a removable flip-down cover for
  glare and scratch protection
   PalmPilot 3, continued...
• twice as much memory
  – 2MB flash RAM which enormously adds to
    the number of email messages, contacts
    and date items you can have
  – e.g., stores about 200 e-mail
    messages,1500 to do items, more than
    6,000 contacts, 5 years of appointments
    (approximately 3000), and 1500 memos
  – how many books and other documents???
    Next Generation PalmPilots
•   code named “Razor”
•   color monitor?
•   more memory?
•   better software?
•   half the thickness?
       IBM WorkPad PDA
• looks almost identical to the PalmPilot
• has almost the same configuration
  (RAM, HotSync capability, backlighting)
  as the PalmPilot 2
• is supposed to be upgradeable and
• cost - $299
      The Future of PDAs
• increased memory and storage capacity
• increased compatibility with Windows
• increased ease of synchronizing data
  between multiple PIMs
   ZDNet’s Handhelds Web
      PalmPilot References
• ZDNet’s Easy Guide to Downloading
  and Installing on Your Palm Pilot -
• 3Com/USR [Manufacturers of the
  PalmPilot connected organizer] -
• Eric Grevstad. The New PalmPilot:
  Brighter And Better Connected.
Pda.ppt 12/19/2012

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