Why the PDA is dead

Remember these things?

You know, those quirk handheld personal digital assistants from the late 90's that EVERYONE had to have to keep their lives in order. More memory, power, and capability than a full desktop computer of 5 years earlier, but ultra-portable.

Sounds killer, doesn't it? So...where are they now? The PDA market is ever-shrinking, and I think I know why:

First, they evolved. Like most scientists believed dinosaurs evolved into birds, these single-trick PDAs evolved into today's smartphones.

These things are Phones, cameras, MP3 players, organizers, and Java Micro-Edition hosts. Don't know if they're GOOD AT being any of those things, but que sera sera.

Second, they're not necessary. With ultra-portable laptops (my dell M410 is ~2 lbs), you have that paper-notebook formfactor with the full power of a computer, a real keyboard, and a hard drive.

Finally, we don't work that way anymore. In the middle 90's, you needed to 'have' all your info with you all the time, sync'ing it between PDA & desktop These days, with the omnipresence of the internet, I can remote desktop into my work computer and "be there" without any sacrifices.

Do I have a PDA? Sure, in a drawer somewhere. Great idea, great implementation (particularly the old Handspring ones...they're TANKS!), but it's time has come and gone.

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