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What Is In A Word? A Glossary of PDA Terms

So often words are spoken that we have heard but really do not understand their meaning. For many these words just become part of our vocabulary without finding their true meaning. In the PDA world this can be especially difficult. Just this past weekend I was asked about the meanings of memory and wireless. Below are some of the most popular words associated with the PDA and their meaning.

3G
3G is an industry term used to describe the next generation of wireless applications beyond personal communications services. It represents a move from circuit-switched communications (where a device user dials into a network) to broadband, high-speed, packet-based wireless networks. 3G networks are able to transmit wireless data at 144 Kbps at mobile user speeds, 384 Kbps at pedestrian user speeds and 2 Mbps in fixed locations.

802.11
The IEEE standard for Wireless Local Area Networks (WLAN). It uses three different physical layers, 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g.

BANDWIDTH
Bandwidth is the network "pipe" or channel for communications in wired networks. For wireless networks, bandwidth is the range of available frequencies that can carry a signal. The range of frequencies from the lowest to the highest used is called the bandwidth. Simply put, good bandwidth is required for the speed a wireless connection can maintain while transferring data.

MEMORY
Every computer comes with a certain amount of physical memory, usually referred to as RAM. A computer that has 1 megabyte of memory, therefore, can hold about 1 million bytes (or characters) of information. There are several different types of memory ~ RAM, ROM, PROM, EPROM, EEPROM.

MMS
Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) allows for non-real-time transmission of various kinds of multimedia contents, such as images, audio, and video clip.

PDA
Short for personal digital assistant, a handheld device that combines computing, telephone/fax, and networking features. A typical PDA can function as a cellular phone, fax sender, and personal organizer. Unlike portable computers, most PDAs began as pen-based, using a stylus rather than a keyboard for input.

PEN COMPUTER
A computer that utilizes an electronic pen (called a stylus) rather than a keyboard for input. Pen computers generally require special operating systems that support handwriting recognition so that users can write on the screen or on a tablet instead of typing on a keyboard. Most pen computers are hand-held devices, which are too small for a full-size keyboard.

POCKET PCTM
Latest handheld operating system developed by Microsoft®, which runs on third party devices.

RAM
Random-Access Memory ~ This is the same as main memory. When used by itself, the term RAM refers to read and write memory; that is, you can both write data into RAM and read data from RAM. Most RAM is volatile, which means that it requires a steady flow of electricity to maintain its contents. As soon as the power is turned off, whatever data was in RAM is lost. See Memory

RFID
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a wireless system consisting of three components:
An antenna or coil
A transceiver (with decoder)
A transponder (RF tag) electronically programmed with unique information
The antenna emits radio signals to activate the tag and read and write data to it. Antennas are the conduits between the tag and the transceiver, which controls the system's data acquisition and communication.

ROM
Read-only Memory ~ Computers almost always contain a small amount of read-only memory that holds instructions for starting up the computer. Unlike RAM, ROM cannot be written to.

SMS
Short Message Service: An integrated paging service which allows GSM users to send and receive text messages on their phones.

STREAMING
Data streaming, also termed as audio streaming or video streaming, is when data moves from one computer or computing device to another and does not need to be completely downloaded for the receiving computer to do something with it.

SYNCHRONIZATION
To copy files from one device to another so that the files (such as a calendar or address book) update each other with any new information entered into either device. Is also the term used for keeping devices "in synch" with each other.

TABLET PC
A type of notebook computer that has an LCD screen on which the user can write using a stylus. The handwriting is digitized and can be converted to standard text through handwriting recognition or it can remain as handwritten text. Tablet PCs typically have a keyboard and/or a mouse for input. Tablet PC is also the name of Microsoft Windows operating system for tablet PCs.

UMTS
Short for Universal Mobile Telecommunications System. UMTS is a broadband wireless multi-media system that is predicted to allow users of mobile devices to undertake global roaming.

WI-FI
Wi-Fi, short for "wireless fidelity", is denoted as 802.11b from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and is part of a series of wireless specifications together with 802.11, 802.11a, and 802.11g.

WLAN
Wireless LAN (WLAN) uses radio frequency technology to transmit network messages through the air for relatively short distances, for example, across an office building or university campus. A wireless LAN can serve as a replacement for or extension to a wired LAN.

Hope this list gives you a small glimpse into PDA words and their meanings!

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