Electronic assistant in pocket

Д. Усенков, “Электронный помощник в кармане”, public translation into English from Russian More about this translation.

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Despite the variety of constructions, computers and the whole complex and often contradictory course of their evolution, even the most cursory look at the short history of computers is enough to see the main trends of development of computer technology: productivity growth, size reduction and personalization. These trends are interrelated.

The miniaturization of the element base allowed us to make a computer, which is placed on a desk, so that is available to a single user. But to become a truly personal computer, it must not just formally "belong" to one person, but to be as much as possible adapted to its owner, to match owner`s personal habits, to be set to perform the tasks connected with processing large amounts of data in real time (for example, those three-dimensional computer games). This requires quite complex and advanced software that demands high computing speed, information capacity of data (say, a movie on DVD by volume exceeds computer hard drives, which were recently installed into computer).

Today, user wants to work on the computer with the maximum comfort, not only at the table, but also in any place and at any time. And for this we need not only low weight and dimensions of the device, but also independence from external power sources (power supply) and desirably, the possibility of wireless Internet connection.

First "mobile swallows" were called "laptops" (literally knee pads) and laptops. As their computing power (processing power) is almost like desktop, they are quite portable and are allowed to work anywhere users can sit; equipped with batteries for a few hours of continuous usage, and modern models are even equipped with built-in WI-FI and WiMAX.
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However, you can`t turn on the laptop, as the say "on the go - in transport, in line at the store etc. The next step was the creation of "super mobile" computing devices. In the homeland, in the United Kingdom (where the first "Newton" appeared), this class of devices was aptly called the Personal Digital Assistant, which means "personal digital assistant". In Russia, they are known as Pocket PC. Perhaps, English version of the name better captures the essence - yet Pocket PC is not that computer.

In the Pocket PC family there are several types of handheld devices, that are greatly similar to each other, but differ in concept, features and of course in price.

"Palmtops" are the most simple and therefore cheap devices. They are rather electronic notebooks - organizers, supplemented with some computer features. /Usually/, their software is specific to a particular model and consists of /predetermined/ set of applications. However, this set can be /expanded/ by setting programs, purchased or downloaded from the Internet.

Pocket PCs are /already/ full handheld computers, which usually have specialized version of the Windows operating system: Windows CE, Windows PocketPC, Windows Mobile. Accordingly, Pocket PC has wider set of standart applications, as possibilities for its extention. The user interface and data formats are close to desktop computers and laptops that are familiar to users.

Original (Russian): Электронный помощник в кармане

Translation: © kostyantyn2015 .

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