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PDA Glossary


Wireless networking standard available in 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g.

802.11a: Offers data transfer rates up to 54Mbps in the 5GHz band. Geared toward businesses.
802.11b: Offers data transfer rates up to 11Mbps in the 2.4GHz band also used by cordless phones and similar electronic devices. Used in Wi-Fi hotspots and a lot of home networks.
802.11g: Offers data transfer rates around 20Mbps in the 2.4GHz band also used by cordless phones and similar electronic devices. Gaining popularity with home users for high speeds and backward compatibility with 802.11b.

A product's ability to work with earlier versions of the same product.
Bit rate

Also called data transfer rate, bit rate describes the number of bits of data transferred between devices in a specific amount of time.

Type of short-distance wireless networking that works up to 30 feet. The technology is available in desktops, laptops, cell phones, and PDAs.
CompactFlash Card

Type of memory card invented by SanDisk and used by digital cameras, MP3 players, PDAs, digital voice recorders, and photo printers.
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Shrink file size using a format not usually employed by a specific file type.

Apple's name for the IEEE 1394 high speed external bus standard offering data transfer rates up to 400Mbps.
GB: Gigabyte

Data storage measurement. One gigabyte equals 1,024 megabytes.
GPS: Global Positioning System

Technology that pinpoints a device's exact location in longitude and latitude using information from three satellites orbiting Earth.

Generic name for PDAs originally used by Microsoft to describe Pocket PCs.
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Location with an access point providing access to a public wireless network.
ID3 tags

Embedded MP3 track information including a song's title, album, and artist. Most audio players with a display can show this info so you can sort and manage music tracks.
IEEE 1394

High speed external bus standard with data transfer rates up to 400Mbps
LCD: Liquid Crystal Display

Type of digital monitor used for PDA and MP3 player displays.
MB: Megabyte

Data storage measurement where one megabyte equals 1,048,576 bytes.
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Memory Card

Removable storage media used in some digital cameras, MP3 players, PDAs, digital video cameras, cell phones, and photo printers.

Short for MPEG-1, audio layer 3, this audio compression format removes irrelevant information in a song, shrinking original CD sound data with a bit rate of 1411.2 kilobits per second stereo.
MultiMediaCard (MMC)

Type of memory card used in digital cameras, MP3 players, and PDAs.

Open-source audio compression format for WAV files.
OS:Operating System

Program that allows you to run all other programs on a computer or PDA.
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Operating system for PDAs and devices that use it distributed by palmOne
PDA: Personal Digital Assistant

Handheld devices that can be used for email, Internet browsing, organizing contacts, and calendaring. They can run the Palm or Windows Mobile operating system. Some include an MP3 player, cell phone, or Wi-Fi.
PIM: Personal Information Manager

Software used on personal computers and PDAs that allows users to organize text notes, reminders, calendar information, and contacts.

Short for picture element, one pixel is a single point in an image. You see a complete image when multiple pixels are put together.
Pocket PC

Handheld computer that runs the Windows CE/Windows Mobile operating system and compatible software. Devices usually have a colour screen and allow you to browse the Web, use email, play music, and more.
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Part of a computer that processes data by receiving and interpreting data, and executing instructions.
RAM: Random Access Memory

Virtual memory that temporarily stores information in PDAs and other computers for quick access.

Screen image quality and clarity measured in pixels. Higher resolution offers a clearer picture.
SecureDigital (SD) Card

Popular type of memory card that work in MP3 players, digital cameras, digital video cameras, cell phones, PDAs and electronic books

Pen-like device that allows you to input information onto a touch-sensitive screen.
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Method of synchronizing data between digital devices.

A small version of a photo. Image browsers commonly display thumbnails of photos several or even dozens at a time.
USB: Universal Serial Bus

Standard protocol for transferring data to and from digital devices. USB 1.1 offers a data transfer rate of 12 Mbps. USB 2.0 offers theoretical data transfer rates up to 480Mbps. Real-world performance is usually slower than FireWire.
VGA: Video Graphics Array

Display system that provides 720x400 resolution in text mode and 640x480 resolution with 16 colours or 320x200 resolution with 256 colours in graphics mode.
Wi-Fi: Wireless Fidelity

Term used to generically describe 802.11 wireless networking.
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Windows CE

An older version of the Windows Mobile operating system designed for Pocket PC PDAs.
Windows Mobile

Microsoft's operating system used by Pocket PC PDAs. It can run Pocket PC versions of Microsoft applications such as Outlook, Word, Excel, and includes Windows Media Player.
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