The pocket computer reminds us of the PDA

Before the explosion of smartphones in the late 00’s, there was still a reasonable demand for pocket-sized computers that could perform relatively simple computing tasks. Palm Pilot and other PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) were all the rage in the early 90’s and early 90’s, although these devices had a lot of astronomical price tags for the sophisticated technology of that era. This Arduino-based PDA goes back to that era, though with a much more accessible part list.

The build is based around an Arudino Nano with an OLED screen and has five essential functions for a PDA: a calculator, stopwatch, games, phonebook and a calendar. With all these components in a small microcontroller, memory quickly becomes an issue when using the default library. [Danko] To make the best use of memory it uses its own custom library which is available on the project’s GitHub page. The build also has a custom PCBO to keep the full pocket computer in pocket shape.

This tiny build has some more features, such as breakout games that can be played with a potentiometer. It’s an impressive build that uses the power of the microcontroller as much as possible, and if you enjoy projects where a microcontroller is used as if it’s a PC, check out this Arduino build with its own command-line interface.

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