Meeting Notes for November 26, 1996 - BA274

Subject: PDAs - the Newton's

Attendees: Lark Dunham, Sandra Doi, John Dick, Shailen Mistry, Kensuke Yaegashi

Discussion Leader: Sandra Doi


PDA is an acronym for Personal Digital Assistant.

A Little History, A Little Background:


From reading early articles, people either hailed it as the coming of a new age in every-man computing, or a "next generation killer toy for bored yuppies."

The first Newton's were problem plagued:

Apple persevered, despite the fact that the:


So where does that leave us today.

Newton just announced its fourth generation product - Newton 2000 due out 1997.

John noted that Pilot's seem to be more popular. Possibly this is due to the size (truly pocket sizd) and the price of $300.

Most of us agreed that the tone of articles seem less skeptical. Why?

Breakthrough will require the "killer app" whatever that may be:

  1. Truly wireless, no-hassle email functionality?
  2. Color, wireless web surfing?
  3. Wireless client-server relationship (ex. Newton's in the UCB Library)
  4. Navigation progams? GPS connection?

Perhaps PDA will never breathrough to the mass market:


Other articles reviewed:

San Francisco Business Times Article - Oct 96 "Beefed up PDAs back to Kick Sand..."