Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pocket Computer

A pocket computer is a small calculator-sized handheld programmable computer.

This specific category of computers existed primarily in the 1980s. Manufacturers included Casio, Hewlett-Packard, Sharp, Tandy/Radio Shack and many more.

Programming languages available was usually BASIC but some devices offered alternatives. For example the Casio PB-2000 could be programmed in ANSI-C, BASIC, Assembler and Lisp. An important feature of pocket computers where that all programming languages where available for the device itself.

Though not identical in principle, personal digital assistants, handheld PCs, and programmable calculators serve many of the same functions as the old pocket computers, generally with significantly more computing power in a package the same size or smaller. The main distinction is that more modern designs (with the exception of programmable calculators) usually do not have included programming capability and are usually set up to act as clients of a larger system rather than as self-contained environments of their own, whereas the early pocket computers had their own data storage and input/output facilities such as printers and tape drives.

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