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Are PDAs a help or a hindrance?

        Tech | Cell Phones

This man appears frustrated with his personal digital assistant. Do PDAs make our lives easier, or are they just a hassle?
This man appears frustrated with his personal digital assistant. Do PDAs make our lives easier, or are they just a hassle?
Anne Rippy/Getty Images

Everyone said technology would make our lives easier. Computers filled with vast amounts of memory would store large files and tons of information. Telephones connected us in ways we never could've imagined. Cell phones came along and connected us even further, adding mobility and multitasking to the equation. The Internet gave us news sites, blogs and online libraries to make up-to-date stories and reliable reference materials available at the click of a mouse button.

While all of the above is generally true, sometimes we find ourselves contemplating the downside to each of these aspects. After a hefty memory upgrade, our computers can still run as slowly as ever. Multitasking with a cell phone, along with being difficult to do, can be potentially dangerous if it's done in the car. A search on the Internet for some decent information can lead to a bunch of junk Web sites that are a decade too old.

One piece of technology that suffers from this pull between pros and cons is the personal digital assistant, or PDA. When PDAs were first introduced to the market in the mid-'90s, their operating systems were simple, using programs that kept calendar appointments, phone numbers and addresses, but little more. Now, the increasing popularity of smartphones, which are essentially sophisticated phones with PDA capabilities, we now have personal, convenient handheld devices that can perform the majority of our daily tasks and provide us with entertainment along the way.

But are PDAs all they're cracked up to be? Do they improve our lives, saving us time and effort? Or do they simply make things more complicated and cause unwarranted frustration? To learn about the ups and downs of PDAs, read the next page.