My PDA, Myself

Written by Donna Schwartz Mills

I used to be one of those people who kept everything in their head. I prided myself on my ability to memorize phone numbers and birthdays, and knew my schedule without writing anything in a calendar.

Then I became a mom.

I am now one ofrepparttar most forgetful people onrepparttar 133575 planet. I don't know if it's due torepparttar 133576 fact that I am no longer responsible for just myself (keeping track of my schedule, my daughter's schedule,repparttar 133577 school's schedule,repparttar 133578 play dates,repparttar 133579 after school lessons and more)... or if I lost brain cells during pregnancy ... but my short term memory has turned to mush. These days, I need to write everything down... more than ever, now that I have a business of my own.

I made but one resolution last year: To do a better job of tracking my family's schedule and recording my business expenses. I started out great - I bought a spanking new organizer with custom pages and pouches for receipts, stamps and business cards. I kept a schedule for me and my family, wrote down all my mileage (a must for tax purposes!) and tracked my biz expenses...

...for about two months. The book was too big to fit in my bag, it was heavy to carry - and I began leaving it at home more often than not, which kind of defeatedrepparttar 133580 purpose of having an organizer at all. Then, I lost it and allrepparttar 133581 information it contained.

So I bought another one. This time, I decided to gorepparttar 133582 deluxe route. I headed to my local Franklin Covey store and purchased a beautiful butternut leather book and pretty organizer pages, which included Stephen Covey's system on becoming more effective. The whole package cost me about $100 - I figured if I invested this much into it, I would be less apt to lose it.

I started writing down goals and tracking all of my business tasks, and was feeling quite on top of things...

...for about two months. Once again,repparttar 133583 biggest obstacle to usingrepparttar 133584 system was that it was too bulky and heavy to carry with me everywhere. I looked with envy at friends who had invested in electronic PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) organizers - small, light-weight devices that sync up with your computer and fit easily into a purse. That, I thought, would be a solution - if only they were not so expensive.

Well, PDA's are not so expensive any longer. Withrepparttar 133585 entry-level Palm model retailing at just $99, and Handspring Visors available at similar cost, almost everyone can afford to carry one now.

What to Look for in a PDA

There is a dizzying array of PDA models with various features, so deciding which one you buy can be a confusing process. Since a PDA is really just a small, hand-held computer, your buying decision should be based on some ofrepparttar 133586 same considerations you make when purchasing a desktop system:

1. RAM 2. Speed 3. Expandability 4. Price

There are two major competing operating systems inrepparttar 133587 PDA world. The most popular usesrepparttar 133588 system developed by Palm - these includerepparttar 133589 Handspring Visor,repparttar 133590 Sony Clie and of course,repparttar 133591 Palm Pilot. The other major OS is called PocketPC - this is a Windows-based environment developed by Microsoft to compete with Palm. It is somewhat easier to exchange information between PocketPC handhelds and Windows based software - but at a price. PocketPC requires more system resources -repparttar 133592 popular Compaq iPaq H3650 features a minimum of 32 MB of RAM, which makes these devices slightly heavier and more expensive thanrepparttar 133593 ones that runrepparttar 133594 Palm OS.

Honey, I Shrunk the Chip!

Written by Mike Banks Valentine

Let's get small, real small, and then we can go anywhere! No, I'm not advocating we shrink ourselves, but rather discussing dramatic changes coming now that computers can be tiny and inexpensive. Recent movement in conservative, and previously very scarce venture capital investments (in two notable areas) suggests a brave new world of inexpensive, ubiquitous computing could be approaching.

What's ubiquitous computing and who cares about nanotech? These arerepparttar areas gaining that precious VC funding now. When I tried to discuss them with my wife she was NOT interested, so naturally I assumed that most folks would feelrepparttar 133574 same. But I'm fascinated, I gotta discuss this with someone! Hang on and let's go for a tiny ride.

Imagine a tube so small that it's 100,000 times smaller round than a human hair, so small that atoms must pass through them in single file! These tiny tubes arerepparttar 133575 new building blocks of miniature computing. I won't attempt a description here as I'm still a little foggy onrepparttar 133576 idea myself. Suffice it to say that smart folks are working on building extremely powerful computers that can also be cheap, efficient and everywhere using carbon nanotubes.

Current chips are called embedded microprocessors. They come in your watch, your TV remote, kitchen appliances and your garage door opener. It has been estimated thatrepparttar 133577 average American home boasts 50 microprocessors. Your PC has about ten more! The mouse,repparttar 133578 keyboard, speakers, USB interface, etc. each have additional microprocessors. If you are lucky enough to drive a new Mercedes, you have 65 microprocessors parked right there in your driveway!

About this time, my wife is muttering, "So What!?"

O.K., I did propose a short and tiny ride, so let's take a left turn now look at what it means if commercially viable (cheap) nanocomputers become available soon.

First and foremost, small and cheap mean computers'll be inside everything you buy. They'll put them everywhere they're currently found, such as your cell phone and PDA. But where it gets really interesting is when it becomes cheap enough to embedrepparttar 133579 little critters in items that don't currently need computing power. Why? Because they can! If you wantrepparttar 133580 low-down on these tiny 'puters, go torepparttar 133581 following link for a microscopic trip through this miniature world.,3428,a%253D21424,00.asp

Venture Capital investments are being made not only by VC groups who recognizerepparttar 133582 dramatic potential of tiny technology, but a VC firm called Ardesta has been formed to act as a nanotech "accelerator". Ardesta has built a cheerleading squad around what they prefer to call "Small Tech", an industry growing smaller by focusing their microscope on MEMS, or microelectro- mechanical systems.

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