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Definition: PIM

(1) (Protocol Independent Multicast) A multicast routing protocol from the IETF. Used in conjunction with an existing unicast routing protocol, PIM Dense Mode (PIM-DM) is used when recipients are in a concentrated area, and PIM Sparse Mode (PIM-SM) is more efficient when recipients are scattered. Contrast with DVMRP and MOSPF.

(2) (Processor In Memory; Processing In Memory) See PIM chip.

(3) (Personal Information Manager) Software for managing contacts, appointments and tasks. It typically includes a name and address database, calendar, to-do list and note taker. A PIM lets you create text notes for any purpose and retrieve them based on the words in the note. PIMs vary widely, but all attempt to provide a convenient way to manage personal information people use on a daily basis.

Software and Hardware
In the mid-1980s, PIMs emerged both as software for desktop machines and as functions built into handheld electronic organizers. The functions in a PIM were the major features in a PDA. See PDA and smartphone.

Structured or Free Form
There are two schools of thought about how names and addresses should be recorded in a PIM. Lotus Organizer (top) has predefined fields for each data item, whereas the Info Select window (below) provides a free-form area to type in without constraints. The best method is the one that suits the user's personality. Usually, people strongly prefer one method over the other.