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5 More Years Until PDA's Outsell Laptops

  • To: None <r@schestowitz.com>
  • Subject: 5 More Years Until PDA's Outsell Laptops
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <r@schestowitz.com>
  • Date: Mon, 06 Jun 2005 07:22:03 +0100
  • Delivery-date: Mon, 06 Jun 2005 07:22:14 +0100
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  • Organization: Manchester University
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Roy Schestowitz:

Hardware becomes smaller and cheaper. The CPU speed changes slowly; RAM
and all of that malarkey matters very little at this point where the O/S
just doesn't need it.

So, smaller is equally good.


no, pdas are too small to be of any use, ive had plenty of them to know.


I wouldn't say size is the problem.. You could always hook an external
monitor through a proprietary interface, and keyboard/mouse through
bluetooth. Moreover, solid-state data-storeing is about to hit it's
prime (with 16Gig IDE drives this fall). The problem is CPU
horse-power.. The ARM CPU is simply too wimpy to handle instensive
load.. At least, not without killing the battery in short order. The ARM
is a bueatiful architecture for power desipation, and not much else.

I've seen some crazy ideas to compromise between horse-power and power
dessipation.. For example, lowering the voltage until you get a 1% error
rate in your computation, then provide extra hardware/software to
detect/correct these errors in a manner transparent to the application.
Or take advantage of multi-processing techniques to identify
applications which can be periodically put to sleep to reduce average
power consumption. Or cache banks which go into sleep modes when not in
use, but require longer access time when first hit.

Transmetta had some great ideas too; but notice this involved trying to
migrate a prolific architecture into an optimized architecture... These
days, if you've got a hand-held, you can afford recompiling all your
apps to the optimized platform. Of course, proliferating Java on these
hand-helds isn't exactly helping in the performance market.

I still think in 10 years the CPU will be a wrist-watch, and IO will be
some external media.. The consolidation in the cell phone market took
longer than I expected.. Now we have GPS, MP3, MS office, cell,
SD-memory, external-keyboard-capability all in one device. But as said,
horsepower is lacking... I'm ignoring, of course the PSP, but consider
that too close to a laptop to really count as a hand-held. (That's a
dual-hand-held. :)


Right now, perhaps. But in the future? It's all in the marketing. I use
a Zaurus C3000 and am very happy with it as a laptop replacement when
I'm traveling. I can watch movies, listen to music, connect peripherals,
browse the web, connect to my office via vpnc (which means administer
servers, check eamil, etc). Granted, none of that was out of the box,
save the music and web, but it's currently possible at 640x480 resolution.

If Nokia properly markets their new 770, or Archos with their AV series,
it'll be all that's needed. Laptops were originally marketed as
something you used when you were away from your desktop.

Now we've got a whole new generation of PMP/PDAs that are capable of
what laptops were just a couple of years ago, with all the above
mentioned stuff AND office apps. Just attach a USB keyboard and you're
good to go.


What about a pocket PC?
Or a very small laptop, like the old libretto?


The pepper pad [pepper.com] looks pretty neat, but I guess it's not
quite small enough to be considered a PDA....


I like my PDAs. I find that using my desktop as the central repository
for my files, and then remoting into it at need from my wireless enabled
PDA to be a better solution than carting around my data in an easily
stolen and cumbersome form. In the event that my PDA is stolen I am
looking at a lower replacement cost and minimal data loss. PDAs do what
most people need them to do when they are away from thier main system,
Check email, read slashdot, write documents, play emulated NES games.
Integrate wireless, and the capabilty to easily transfer information by
secure USB ala pen drives {read: no clunky drivers and management apps
to install} that would be killer, but right now no one seems to get it.

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