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Hand held computer: A versatile real-time computing appliance

August 01, 2012  by: Mohamadi Quadri  Points: 20   Category: Others    Views: 959

The article focuses few basics about good old handheld device and its impact on our social life.

         

Introduction

Radical research and drastic developments in the scientific world over the course of the millennia pioneered the powerful devices that we call computers. Computers have come to our assistance in our every walk of life. Although we consider the computers to be technological marvels, the desktop computer could do many things for us, but if we want computer like assistance as a mobile device, we need a compact hand held computer with processing power, keypad, display and a mini built-in printer. There was drastic achievement of computer technology in 90‘s. Development of hand held computer and their real time application was a remarkable land mark in the decade.



Hand held computer (HHC) is an electro-mechanical device with limited memory required for the specific function therefore it is quite cheaper than the PDA, Palmtop and laptop. Its affordable price makes it easy to users to have it for its versatile usage. HHC are more rugged and are designed to present the user with a simple one-question one-answer environment rather than the normal windows office automation screens. The application software is so simple that any non-technical common person can use it.
Hawkins and his team developed the GriDPad in 1998, the first successful hand held. It was large and awkward, but it worked. The churning ideas for employing this technology in very small, portable, general purpose computers led to development of latest palmtops.

Necessity


Despite of rapid growth and development in every aspect the companies or government sector’s in 1980’s, delivery-confirmation and billing systems have historically relied upon manual systems for collecting and managing data. Sorting, loading and issuing bills were systematic, but required manual data entry at several stages. The personnel at the site carry large volumes of books, files and receipts that contain all the details. The whole process was very much time consuming and confusing also for the new workers. They have to work hard to understand all those details. The cumbersome process was eliminated with the advent of hand held machine. Thus in order to decrease man power and eliminate manual blunders and save time, hand held computer with processing power, keypad, display and a mini built-in printer was excellent solution.

Impact on education system


Hand held computer has made lot of impact on society especially in underdeveloped and developing countries in Asia and Africa. The Digital Education Enhancement Project (DEEP) which was started in South Africa is a research and development project, focusing upon transforming the pedagogic knowledge and practice of teachers to the communities in which they live and work was incorporated with the use of hand held device.
The first phase of the DEEP project was implemented in primary schools in Egypt and South Africa, with 48 teachers (two per school) and over 2000 pupils between January 2002 and March 2003 participating teachers carried out and evaluated a sequence of curriculum focused, school based professional development activities using a range of new technologies, including hand held computers . The majority of participants were new to the use of hand held computers.

General advantages of Hand held computer


Hand held computer (HHC) is a portable compact-computing device. It has user interface to interact with user, it has 16-bit processor and a printer built-in. This can be carried to any field application site. This device works by downloading the application from a desktop computer and carried to the fields to use it. It loads master data from desktop, collects the data, prints the bills at customer site and uploads the data collected from customer onto the desktop computer from hand held computer. As shown in figure1. It is integrated with 36 keys keypad for input, 4X20 LCD matrix screen for display and 24-column dot matrix printer for printing. With all these features and flexible down loadable applications the embedded device HHC can be used in many applications like, on spot bill issue for electricity billings at the consumer site, stock verification in grocery, ticket issue for buses or railways etc.
Few general advantages are listed down.
• It is portable.
• It is scalable.
• It provides mobile data collection.
• It saves time.
• It provides spot billings.
• Elimination of manual blunders.
• Decreases man power.
• Easy and simple to operate.
• Secure.
• Customizable.
• Maintainable.


Concluding note
The results of technology will be fruitful only when it reaches common man. Hand held computer (HHC) is such a device that any non technical person can easily handle it. With limited memory required for the specific function it is quite cheaper. Its affordable price makes it easy to users to have it for its versatile usage. HHC are more rugged and are designed to present the user with a simple one-question one-answer environment rather than the normal windows office automation screens. The application software is so simple that any common person could use it. Though it lacks many advance features like internet connectivity but its simplicity compliments it to become a versatile real time data collecting machine.
I would like to acknowledge that, the basic resource for this article was taken from a scientific manuscript by Quadri et al published in Journal of Electron Devices, Vol. 9, 2011, pages. 371-377.




Comment(s)
Author: SandeepSunnyJasrotia        
Posted Date: 08/13/2012    Points:2    

I like this bt I need big screen..I am comfortable with that bt its portable that is good.I like the things which is portable coz I can take it anywhere and the things will always remains with me like my mobile,laptop....Now the IT makes it possible..Thanks for the useful info..Its Interesting..

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