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Handy Work
A pocket-sized personal digital assistant can give a huge boost to your roots research. Gear up for genealogy on the go with our guide to hardware and software for handheld computers.

A few years ago, the laptop computer was a genealogist's dream machine. Family historians relished the ability to track their family trees on location — never mind that hauling those hefty laptops threw our necks into perpetual paralysis. If we wanted to tote our research files to the library (or courthouse or archives), a laptop was the only solution.

But times have changed — and genealogists have awakened to a new option for taking their research on the road. Say goodbye, bulky laptop, and hello, pocket-sized personal digital assistant (PDA). Weighing in at about 6 ounces, these little machines do it all. Now, you can carry your entire family tree, ancestral photos and hometown maps in the palm of your hand.

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