Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science


Scientific advances have resulted in a computer technology revolution which has offered more functionality in smaller packages for less money. The latest advance is a computer small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Currently, 'handheld' computers or 'Personal Digital Assistants (PDA's)' with up to 8 Mbytes of RAM and CPU speeds from 16 to 33 MHz can be purchased for $100 to $500 each [1] [2]. They are being used for many applications and can be used to control devices in real-time. During the last ten years, real-time controllers using standard hardware and standard operating systems have been developed using desktop development environments, to support cost reductions. These critical items are available for Palm OS handheld computers running Palm OS. However, to be useful as real-time controllers, Palm OS handhelds must issue commands on a regular timing interval and at the same time process user requests within the one task allowed for an application. The model proposed in this thesis provides soft real-time control via the RS232 standard serial port for intervals down to 0.1 sec. Applications can choose one of several available timers and an additional auxiliary timer. Event-Loop handling of timing notifications and user-initiated events allows events to be processed during the interval time, within specified limits. User interfaces can be developed with readily available point and click desktop development environments. Real-time control via the RS232 serial port can be enabled or disabled.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Pocket computers Palm Connected Organizer (Computer) Real-time control



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University