Census Handhelds: Do They Work?

Spring is in the air and that means the Census Bureau is preparing for address canvassing, during which 140,000 enumerators will go block-by-block to verify the addresses to which census forms will be mailed next year.

Reports about the exercises have been popping up in local newspapers, but as yet no one has weighed in on the performance of the bureau's much-maligned handheld computers. (The topic has surfaced on micro-blogging site Twitter.)

However, Tech Insider commenter Jack Stanton chimed in with some thoughts today on Allan's post from last May about glitches with the handhelds. Stanton's assessment is harsh, though some of his complaints echo those identified during the field testing last year: slow upload times, delays and poor tech support.

But that's just one man's opinion. What say you? If you or anyone you know is working with the bureau and has gotten their hands on a handheld, shoot us an e-mail and tell us about it. Good? Bad? OK, but no iPhone? We'd love to know.