What are the advantages and limitations of mobile computing?
Mobile computing allows you to communicate with others, remain productive, and have access to your personal information and schedules, Internet-based information, and important software no matter where you are. However, because mobile devices have been miniaturized, they are more expensive and less rugged than desktop equipment. In addition, battery life limits the usefulness of mobile devices, the screen area is small on most devices, the speed of Internet connection is currently very low, and wireless Internet coverage is limited.
What are the various mobile computing devices?
There is a range of mobile computing devices on the market today, including paging devices (pagers), cellular phones, MP3 players, personal digital assistants (PDAs), tablet PCs, and laptop (notebook) computers.
What can pagers do and who uses them?
A pager is a small wireless device that allows you to receive numeric (and sometimes text) messages on a small display screen. Two-way pagers support both receiving and sending messages. Pagers have long battery lives, are very compact, and are the most inexpensive mobile computing device. People who need to be reachable but want an inexpensive and lightweight device are the primary market for pagers.
How do cell phone components resemble a traditional computer and how do cell phones work?
Just like a computer system, cell phones include a processor (CPU), memory, input and output devices, software, and an operating system. When you speak into a cell phone, the sound enters as a sound wave. Analog sound waves need to be digitized, so an analog-to-digital converter chip converts these sound waves into digital signals. The digital information is then compressed (by a digital signal processor) so that it transmits more quickly to another phone. Finally, the digital information is transmitted as a radio wave through the cellular network to the destination phone.
What can I carry in an MP3 player and how does it store data?
An MP3 player is a device that enables you to carry MP3 files around with you. MP3 players store mainly digital music files, but some players also allow you to carry contact databases, images, and video and image files. The most inexpensive players use only memory chips to store data, whereas more expensive models use a built-in hard drive, which provides more storage. Some MP3 players allow you to add removable memory called flash memory.
What can I use a PDA for and what internal components and features does it have?
PDAs are powerful devices that can carry calendars, contact lists, personal productivity software programs, songs, photos, games, and more. Like any computer, a PDA includes a processor, operating system software, input and output devices, and ports. All PDAs feature touch-sensitive screens that allow you to enter data with a stylus. You can use either handwritten text or special notation systems to enter data into a PDA. In terms of output devices, PDAs come with LCD screens in a variety of resolutions. The two main PDA operating systems are the Palm OS and the Pocket PC system. PDAs do not come with built-in hard drives, but for memory needs beyond their built-in RAM and ROM, PDAs use removable flash memory.
How can I synchronize my PDA with my desktop computer?
The process of updating your data so the files on your mobile device and desktop computer are the same is called synchronizing. To synchronize your desktop and PDA, you place the PDA in a cradle and touch a “hot sync” button. This begins the process of information transfer (or synchronization) that updates both sets of files to the most current version. Other options for synchronizing or transferring files include using IrDA ports and the newer Bluetooth wireless connectivity option.
What is a tablet PC and why would I want to use one?
A tablet PC is a portable computer that includes advanced handwriting and speech recognition. Tablet PCs are named such because the display monitor can be used either in a traditional laptop mode or in tablet mode. The most innovative input technology on the tablet PC is digital ink. Supporting digital ink, the tablet’s screen is pressure-sensitive and reacts to a digital pen. A tablet PC can be the ideal solution when you require a lightweight, portable computer with full desktop processing power.
How powerful are laptops and how do they compare to desktop computers?
The most powerful mobile computing solution is a laptop (or notebook) computer. Laptops offer large displays and can be equipped with DVD/CD-RW drives, hard drives, and up to 1 GB of RAM. Many models feature hot-swappable bays and a full set of ports. Still, desktop systems are more reliable and cost-effective than laptops. In addition, it is easier to upgrade and add new ports and devices to a desktop than to a laptop. And although powerful, CPUs for laptops are usually a bit slower than the latest CPU offered for desktop units. Still, many users feel the mobility laptops offer is worth the added expense.