Glossary of Terms

We often forget that many of techno-speak that is used on this site is very difficult to understand. To help, we have included a glossary. If there are any other terms that need clarification, please let the webmaster know.

 

Archive Files - Copies of deleted or purged handheld data that exist on the desktop computer and can be used to restore some deleted or purged data.

Beam - describes the use of infrared to transfer data from one handheld to another. With appropriate software, beaming can also be used to send a document from the handheld to an infrared-capable printer.

Cradle - the stand that a handheld computer sits in to sync to a desktop computer. Used with some models as a battery charger.

eBook - an electronically formatted book, designed to be read from a computer, which may be a desktop computer, a handheld computer, or a specialized electronic book reading device.

Expansion Modules - items that are added on to a handheld device; these can be memory cards with software, such as large dictionaries or eBooks, or hardware items, such as digital cameras, GPSs, MP3 players, or science data probes.

GPS or Global Positioning System - a device that uses a network of satellites to determine precise positioning data; GPSs are used for navigation, mapping, surveying, and other applications where precise positioning information is needed.

Graffiti - handwriting recognition software program that is the primary means of data input for the Palm OS.

Handheld Computer or Handheld - small computerized devices that fit into the palm of the hand and are designed for mobile computing.

MMC or Multimedia Card - a type of expansion card supported by the latest Palm handheld devices; these cards are very small, about the size of a postage stamp; see also "Secure Digital."

MP3 - a format to facilitate the storage, management, promotion, and delivery of digital music.

OS or Operating System - software that is designed to manage hardware devices in order to enable applications and users to access it easily; examples of operating systems used for handheld computers include Windows CE and the Palm OS.

Palm Desktop - software that runs on a desktop computer and can be used to enter, edit, or view data from a Palm OS handheld; data is updated and exchanged between the desktop and the handheld through the HotSync process.

Palm OS - the operating system developed by Palm, Inc. for handheld devices; handheld devices produced by Palm, Handspring, IBM, Sony, and other use this operating system.

PAN - Personal Area Network

PDA or Personal Data Assistant - a specific type of handheld device that serves the purpose of organizing personal information; these may include calendars, address books, notepads, calculators, and other useful tools.

PDB - a common Palm OS file extension that represents data or a database.

PIM or Personal Information Manager - a specific type of handheld device that serves the purpose of organizing personal information; these may include calendars, address books, notepads, calculators, and other useful tools.

Pocket PC - a generic term for a handheld computer running the Windows CE operating system; see "Windows CE" for more information.

PRC - a common Palm OS file extension that represents an application.

SD or Secure Digital - a type of expansion card supported by the latest Palm handheld devices; these cards use Flash technology and are writeable.

Sync - short for synchronization

Synchronization - the process by which the desktop computer and the handheld exchange and update information.

Ubiquitous Computing - computing that is omnipresent and is, or appears to be, everywhere all the time; may involve many different computing devices that are embedded in various devices or appliances and operate in the background.

USB or Universal Serial Bus - a type of connection to a desktop computer, which can be used to HotSync data; generally much faster than a standard serial connection.

Wi-Fi (802.11b) - a wireless technology with a range of approximately 150 - 300 meters in radius and supports up to 11 megabit data rates, which makes it appropriate for wireless Internet access; this is the technology used by Apple AirPorts and Xircom's Wireless Ethernet modules.

Windows CE OS - the operating system developed by the Microsoft Corporation for embedded systems and handheld devices; handheld devices produced by Compaq, Hewlett Packard, and others use this operating system.

Wireless - generally used to describe a device having intranet or Internet connectivity without wires; this can be achieved through wireless modem technology similar to a cellular phone or through wireless Ethernet cards using 802.11b (Wi-Fi) technology.

 

*Definitions provided courtesy of K12 Handhelds: www.k12handhelds.com

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