Palmtop and handheld computers - Программирование

A palmtop, or handheld, computer isn’t really as much a computer as it is a data-gathering device. Basically, the system is about the size of a pad of paper, with a large screen and a few handy buttons, as shown in Figure 3-7. A stylus is used to write directly on the screen, which serves as both the display and the input device.

The palmtop computer is more ideally a replacement for the old organizer.

It’s good for taking notes, scheduling, doodling, and playing games, plus some versions can play music or even take digital pictures. But, overall, this type of computer works best as an on-the-go extension of a desktop computer system.

- The most popular palmtop device is the Palm handheld computer. This fact leads some folks to refer to this category as “Palm” computers, although many other handheld computer brands, makes, and models are available.

- Unlike other, earlier small computers, the modern handheld system is revolutionary because it doesn’t pretend to be a smaller version of a fullon computer. It serves as a notepad, address book, and scheduler, and it has lots of unique software. The handheld system does specialized tasks and does them well.

- Handheld computers can work with both Macintosh and PC computers, making them an ideal supplement to a desktop system.

(Chapter 3: Computers from A to Z)


a) Listen to this interview with Tom Bryant, a writer with a computer magazine. Are these sentences true or false?

1. Palmtops are a type of handheld computers.

2. Palmtops have a mouse and a keyboard as input devices.

3. Handheld computers run Windows XP.

4. Some pen computers come with operating systems that can recognize handwriting.

5. Handhelds are primarily designed to organize and communicate personal information.

6. You cannot transmit data from handheld computers to desktop PCs and peripherals.

7. Business people will make up a large section of the handheld market.

b) Read the extract from the interview and fill in the missing words. The first letter of each missing word is given:

Interviewer:Some portable computers are referred to as laptops and others as (1)p___. Can you explain the difference?

Tom: Sure. Laptops are simply smaller versions of desktop Pcs, but they can run similar applications. However, palmtops are (2)h___ computers and weigh less than 2 pounds; they are used as PC companions or as personal (3)d___ assistants.

Interviewer:And what are the basic features of palmtops?

Tom:Well, these handheld devices run on rechargeable alkaline batteries and have small (4)k___ and high-contrast LCD (5)s___. Sometimes they have buttons for launching applications and a stylus or (6)p___, which is used for interacting with a touch-sensitive screen.

Interviewer:Do they need special operating (7)s___?

Tom:Yes. They usually run Palm OS, from Palm Computing or Pocket PC OS, the system developed by Microsoft for mobile-computing devices. Some pen-based systems can also (8)r___ hand-written characters and convert them into editable text.

Interviewer:Right. What sort of things can you do with handheld computers?

Tom:They are usually designed to store personal (9)i___, for example, a calendar, an address book, a note pad, a calculator and a voice recorder. They can also come with built-in (10)m___ and Internet software, which lets you send and receive e-mail from a payphone, a hotel or even a plane.

Now listen to the recording again and check your answers.

Summing- Up

a) Read the extract from Dan Gooking’s book ‘Buying a Computer for Dummies’. Give a good translation of the extract, try to keep to the style of the author:

“Just Tell Me Which Type of Computer I Need!”

Sorry — can’t do that. Everyone is different, so everyone needs something a little different in their computers. Although it’s true that you could get by with just about any computer, why settle for something less than what you need? This book shows you how to find a computer especially for you.

Think of it like a car. You may say “I want a new car.” Which type of car? A sedan? A truck? How big of an engine do you want? What about good gas mileage? Do you want to pay extra for power seats or heated outside mirrors? And — most important — what color do you want? Computers are more complex than cars, so you have even more personal decisions to make.