Selecting a Personal Digital AssistantWritten by Deryck Richards
by Deryck Richards
desktronix.com A Computer in Your Hand
Carrying around an address book and planner is becoming a thing of past. With new PDA developments, you can manage your contacts and schedule, use e-mail, and even listen to music. Personal Digital Assistants, originally called "Palm Pilots," previously were used just for retrieving basic information. Today, using some of more advanced models could possibly replace need to carry a laptop computer. Modern PDAs can play music, games, videos, write documents, and connect to networks and databases -- nothing short of a desktop computer.
Although newer PDAs have processing power of a computer, they still have some limitations. Inputting information is done by handwriting recognition or by a miniature keyboard. Skilled users can input 20 - 30 words per minute, less than half speed of a good typist on a full-size keyboard. PDAs with a color screen tend to run through battery life faster. Finally, because small screen size number of prograqm options that can be displayed, programs available arenít as advanced because user doesnít have as much control over program.
Despite these limitations, market for PDAs is continuing to expand. Students, doctors, and business professionals are increasingly relying on PDAs for computing on go. Common PDA applications include spreadsheet, word processing, database, financial management, and games. PDAs synchronize files with your computer so that you can take your important information with you and update it when needed. What to Look For
Setting up a Network -- Wired or Wireless?Written by Deryck Richards
To Wire or Not to Wire
Wireless networks are en vogue, but your installation wonít be successful unless you chose right type of network and set it up properly. Wired networks require that each computer be connected via a wire to a central location, called a switch or hub. This often involves installing cables through walls and ceilings and can present a challenge for anyone.
If computers in your home or office are all within 500 feet of each other, a wireless network might be for you. A wireless network has no cables. It can connect computers on different floors of a building or even across street. Aside from obvious benefit of not having wires, wireless networks are more convenient since setup, configuration, and reconfiguration can often be done within minutes, without extensive planning.
Wireless networks, however, are not as fast as wired networks. If you play computer games or want to view streaming video or other high-speed multimedia, a wireless network might not have enough capacity. But, if you just want to check e-mail and view web pages, a wireless network is a good choice. To install a wireless network, you need a Wireless Access Point and a wireless network card for each computer. You will need to buy a wireless network card for each desktop computer, although most newer laptops come equipped with one.
Security is not a large concern in a wired network, since someone would have to physically connect to a wired network to break in. In wireless networks, a car parked outside with a laptop could easily connect to your network if you donít have proper security in place. To prevent this from happening, encrypt your wireless network connections, or set a password to access network, or do both.