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Usually refers to file sharing programs that allow two transmission of data across the Internet.
In the beginning was the notebook, easily lost, hard to search and hard to update without causing chaos from scratchy pens and constant erasing or data. Next came the Filofax with replaceable pages but many of the same drawbacks as the plain notebook. The computer solved many of the issues but was too large to be mobile. Laptop computers made the task much easier, but the answer was to reduce the Laptop to 'pocket' size.
There have been many attempts to create 'electronic organizers' for example Casio have been selling them in one form or another for 20 years. The drawback was always small screens and inelegant data entry and retrieval.
The 'big advance' was the introduction of the Apple Newton with had a large screen and early handwriting recognition software. It flopped. Others took up the challenge and now so self respecting yuppy would be seen dead without their PDA. In fact, they are so ubiquitous that they are beginning to replace the business card as people can transmit their contact details via infra red to adjoining PDA's.