PDAs in Science Fiction

This list is dedicated to the Usenet Newsgroups that produced the bulk of these lists: comp.sys.palmtops.pilot and rec.arts.sf.written. Many thanks also to the readers of User Friendly for their contributions.

Most of the dates are from ISFDB (Internet Speculative Fiction DataBase). Kirk L. Kroeker & Jonathan Vos Post's [January 2000] article "Writing the Future: Computers in Science Fiction" provides some interesting extrapolation.

Media

  • 1966-present - US TV /movies - Star Trek : Tricoders
  • 1968 - US movie - 2001 - A Space Odyssey
  • 1975 - US TV - Space:1999 : alien with clear, etched plexiglass PDA ; Moonbase folks had a handheld communicator device that opened doors
  • 1979 - US movie - Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century -- ??
  • 1987 BBC TV program Star Cops Box
  • -- Star Trek: Next Generation. Personal Access Display Devices, PADDs
  • 1989-present. Quantum Leap. Ziggy
  • 1993-1994. Time Trax. " Smartass computer disguised as a credit card"
  • 2001 - Disney's Saturday morning cartoon - Recess - ("the smart kid (Gretchen) has a PDA.")
  • 2003 - US TV - Earth: The Final Conflict. Global - Wireless net access, video phone, voice controlled, and a touch screen that rolls up when not in use. See

    LIFE IMITATES ART

  • 1974 - Hewlett-Packard HP-65, first programmable handheld calculator
    1979 - Hewlett-Packard HP41C ; organizer functions
    Texas Instruments, Casio, HP release small organizer/calculators
  • 1984 - Psion
  • 1993 - Apple Newton
  • 1996 - PalmPilot

    SOURCES
    Many thanks!

  • 1989 - Digital Diary
  • 1995 - Pocket Computers In Their Time (was Re: Leeper Intersection)
  • 1995 - SF-books/movies and computers in the 1950s
  • 1997 - Pocket computers in SF
  • 2001 - Military PDAs thread
  • 2002 - YASID PDA's Run Amok
  • 2002 - Wearables in sci-fi
  • 2002 - Biological SF #2 - Courtship Rite (1982)

  • Mari Stoddard
    maristoddard@gmail.com
    July 2001; December 2001; August 2002; March 2005