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Handhelds to power 2010 Census data gathering

Yes, the American Census Bureau has embraced the age of mobile computers. Beginning in 2010, Census Bureau workers who go door-to-door to record information on American households will use handheld computers to store and transmit that information back to Washington. That eliminates the rather costly step of translating Census results written on paper to a computer database.

The devices will be specially designed for Census purposes by High Tech Computer Corp. out of Taiwan, for distribution by Harris Corp. The devices will run an individualized version of the Windows Mobile operating system. Workers will not be able to use the devices for making calls or sending email; rather, they will be strictly data entry and transmission.

The Census is a staggeringly large and time-consuming process that routinely takes several years to complete. You’ll start seeing these devices next year.

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