×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Palm OS Ends With a Whimper

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the hands-down dept.

Handhelds 245

PetManimal writes "Computerworld reviews the Palm Treo 755p, the last Palm device with the Palm OS, and concludes that the OS is going out not with a bang but with a whimper. The article says there are some useful improvements (better integration with Exchange and IM, limited speech recognition, etc.) but 'nothing that will make you sit back and say "wow."' Palm already has at least one device with Windows Mobile (the 700w) and soon will make a big push to Linux devices, maybe by the end of the year. But the Palm OS, which was top dog for a while back in the 1990s, and is still used by many people who own Palm Pilots or Treos, is going to quickly fade, it seems."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

245 comments

palm interface on a linux kernel? (4, Interesting)

User 956 (568564) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216541)

Palm already has at least one device with Windows Mobile (the 700w) and soon will make a big push to Linux devices, maybe by the end of the year. But the Palm OS, which was top dog for a while back in the 1990s, and is still used by many people who own Palm Pilots or Treos, is going to quickly fade, it seems.

Ok, but what will the interface for those Linux devices look like?

Re:palm interface on a linux kernel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19216667)

What device? Hell, the almighty console, of course!

Re:palm interface on a linux kernel? (5, Informative)

yog (19073) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216769)

The Palm Linux OS is going to be "compatible" with Palm Garnet (current OS); thus, it should look and feel like a present day Palm with a compatibility mode for current apps. In this sense, the Palm OS is not going away. In fact, it's being supercharged for multitasking so we can do handy things such as, for example, run both wifi and cell phone at the same time on a future Treo.

Re:palm interface on a linux kernel? (5, Informative)

jayratch (568850) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216797)

Had a nice bit of face time with a Palm product rep not long ago, got stuck at a table with him for six hours of a trade show. Bits of handy info:

-The new Linux based system will be promoted as the next generation of Palm OS, as opposed to something completely different
-Full backward compatibility will be retained for legacy palm apps, which accounts for 90% of Palm's loyal userbase
-Multithreaded preemptive multitasking will fix the stability issues that arose from cramming phone and email push functionality into a single task 68k-based OS

One could suggest that this is similar to the Mac OS X upgrade from 9.x.

They are talking Intel for the platform, same as the latest generation of, well, everything. Processor should be in the 400mhz neighborhood.

The direct goal is to maintain classic Palm "look and feel" plus compatibility, but with... well, stability. And Power.

Once this platform rolls, Windows Mobile will, by my reckoning, be the only remaining platform NOT based on some flavor of *nix, unless you actually count Symbian and Blackberry as platforms...

(yes, at least in a distant, hypothetical, degrees of separation NT derived sorta way, even Vista has *nix roots)

Re:palm interface on a linux kernel? (1)

plover (150551) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216829)

Any word on whether there will be back-ports to existing Palm devices, such as the LifeDrive or the Tungsten family?

Re:palm interface on a linux kernel? (1)

supersocialist (884820) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217369)

History tells us the answer is "no." I'm still waiting on the WM 2003 update for my Toshiba e740.

Re:palm interface on a linux kernel? (1)

tomz16 (992375) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217461)

Hahaha... the fact that someone remembers that is insane! I remember getting burned on the E740 WM2003 update thing as well!

Re:palm interface on a linux kernel? (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216803)

Going forward, it's still going to be the familiar PalmOS front-end. To my knowledge, the only changes are to the underlying kernel.

So (unless I have all the facts very wrong), the complete story seems to be hogwash. What this article is saying is akin to saying that Microsoft abandoned Windows when it moved from Windows 3.0 to 3.1 or from 3.1x to Windows 95.

Re:palm interface on a linux kernel? (2, Funny)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217041)

Ok, but what will the interface for those Linux devices look like?


It will be the new Small Edition X server.

Re:palm interface on a linux kernel? (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217169)

More importantly will I be able to install the new OS on my Palm T|X?

Re:palm interface on a linux kernel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19217725)

I think this is the natural way to go, abandon their OS in favor of a well stablished Linux, given the fact that several mobile CPU's like the ARM run Linux, they should do an elegant move just like Apple did, grab the OS as a base and have a well studied, really USER friendly GUI.

Good Riddance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19216543)

I never could get it to sync with OS/2 anyway. Long live OS/2!

Re:Good Riddance... (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217387)

That's weird... Syncing with OS/2 isnt that difficult... with apps from IBM and others that allow it - assuming you dont want to just use the Palm Desktop software in a virtual VPC session (though that requires a Serial connection instead of USB - unlike the other solutions available).

good riddance (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19216567)

they wasted their time developing an OS when they could have used linux and added new features that everyone will benefit from. Instead, they're slowly sliding into irrelevancy and bankruptcy, like Rob Malda sliding into a 12 year old boy's ass.

Out with a bang? (2, Funny)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216569)

How, exactly, does software go out with a bang?

Doesn't "bang" imply success, and therefore, not going out?

- RG>

Re:Out with a bang? (5, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216581)

I take it your development team never went on a 7-day cocaine/hooker orgy and deleted all the source code?

Re:Out with a bang? (1, Funny)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216599)

How, exactly, does software go out with a bang? Doesn't "bang" imply success, and therefore, not going out?

Think "24"...
"Jack! That Palm will explode in 20 seconds if you can't get Linux booted on it!"
"I'm on it! Quick open another port in the firewall so I can interface directly with the TCP!"
.....
BAAAANG!

Re:Out with a bang? (3, Informative)

shark72 (702619) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216819)

"How, exactly, does software go out with a bang? Doesn't "bang" imply success, and therefore, not going out?"

I think the editors may have been a bit too literary this time. It's from a T. S. Elliot poem called "The Hollow Men." The last two lines are:

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper.

The meaning of the poem is subject to interpretation, but it's clear that the bang/whimper comparison very much refers to an end to the world.

Re:Out with a bang? (2, Informative)

josephdrivein (924831) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217593)

The quote in the text is wrong:
Not with a bang but with a whimper.

Should be:
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Poetry should be quoted correctly, or not quoted at all.

Re:Out with a bang? (2, Interesting)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217997)

I prefer "Not with a bang, nor with a whimper, but with a muffled cry." In my version, PalmOS gets bought by MS, who promises to continue support, then is knifed quietly in the back room when no one is watching.

Re:Out with a bang? (1, Funny)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217199)

How, exactly, does software go out with a bang?

Doesn't "bang" imply success, and therefore, not going out?

- RG>
For a brief period, I had a Treo 650. Once I got my replacement Blackberry, the Treo went out the window, and I do believe it made a bang as it hit a passing car.

Would've died sooner if... (1, Insightful)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216607)

Palm OS would've died sooner if Windows Mobile supported 320x240 prior to the just-released Windows Mobile 6. Windows Mobile 5 and earlier could only support even multiples and divisions of VGA, which is why the Palm 700w had a downgraded 240x240 LCD. For a history of why in Windows Mobile architecture, see the Feb., 2006 Windows Mobile blog [msdn.com].

BTW, I never thought Windows would be taking over the mobile world the way it has. But I admit, even I prefer it because I find it familiar. I avoided the whole PDA thing until they merged PDAs with cell phones -- because I never wanted to bother carrying around both. Now that I've waited, I've discovered it's a Windows-based world.

Oops, meant 320x320 (2)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216857)

First sentence should have read "Palm OS would've died sooner if Windows Mobile supported 320x320 prior to the just-released Windows Mobile 6." The Treo 720p is 320x320, which Windows Mobile 5 did not support. I have the Sprint/Audiovox 6700 from December 2005, which is 320x240 and Windows Mobile 5.

Windows Mobile would also have died... (5, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217069)

if it had to make a profit to stay alive like Palm did.

Windows CE/Windows Mobile was running at a huge loss, but has now broken even. Tactics like that do tend to allow you to destroy traditional competition in the long run. Linux-kerneled devices are growing faster than ever and MS does not have a recipe to destroy them.

Re:Windows Mobile would also have died... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19217467)

Hmmm, What about suing into oblivion?

It seems to have worked quite fine so far...

What's the status of handwritting recognition? (4, Interesting)

oni (41625) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216657)

To anyone who owns a modern PDA, how fast can you write? I've went through two Palms (no pun intended) and two handspring visors back in the late 90's and I loved them - but more importantly, I could enter text at least twice as fast as anyone I knew who had a WinCE device.

Has that changed?

Re:What's the status of handwritting recognition? (1)

superphreak (785821) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216703)

I don't have an exact answer to your question, but I've owned two WinCE devices. I used Transcriber as the primary input on both. I don't really have anyone to compare against, but I wouldn't say it's particularly fast. What input method did you use?

Re:What's the status of handwritting recognition? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216773)

Handwriting recognition on real Windows (i.e., XP Tablet Edition and Vista) is excellent, so I'd expect it to be pretty good on Windows PDAs too (slower CPU notwithstanding).

Re:What's the status of handwritting recognition? (5, Informative)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216789)

Yes. Windows had a Transcriber, Letter Recognizer, and Block Recognizer. You can get it to behave just like Palm Grafiti if you would like it to...the transcriber is very customizable...it will recognize words and phrases, but you can set it to reconize single letters if you would like. There is also a great 3rd party app called Caligrapher you could try too.

Re:What's the status of handwritting recognition? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216841)

I use a keyboard with my PDA so pretty damn good.

PDA Keyboard (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19217153)

Yes, and I first had a full-sized, folding keyboard (Targus Stowaway) for my Handspring Visor somewhere around...2000. (That's Palm OS 3.1, BTW)

Re:What's the status of handwritting recognition? (2, Interesting)

jinxidoru (743428) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217021)

I agree. One of the things that Palm got right was Graffiti. Although it takes a little time to get used to, Graffiti allows you to input text so much faster than text recognition, and with much better accuracy. That was one of the main things that pushed me towards getting a Palm rather than a WinCE device.

Re:What's the status of handwritting recognition? (5, Interesting)

5pp000 (873881) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217193)

Forget handwriting recognition. Fitaly [fitaly.com], a tap-optimized virtual keyboard, is much faster -- in my experience, at least twice the speed of pen and paper. And while it's neither as fast nor as accurate as touch-typing, it's plenty good enough to make it unnecessary to carry around one of those folding keyboards.

I've used Fitaly on a Tungsten T3 to take voluminous notes at multi-hour seminars. It's that good. I wouldn't even think of going back to Graffiti.

Re:What's the status of handwritting recognition? (2, Informative)

acalthu (1045630) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217337)

The best handwriting recognition so far for me has been on the Sony Ericsson P910i. I own a Dopod PDA which is based on WIndows Mobile 5 and I can honestly say despite it's powerful features the handwriting recognition sucks. Firstly, it's no where near as fast as the Symbian platform is, and secondly you're limited to the amount screen space utilized as the writing area. Btw, the P910i uses a version of Graffiti 2 so maybe thats why it's so quick and efficient.

Re:What's the status of handwritting recognition? (1)

Fengpost (907072) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217781)

In my quest of getting my new mobile phone, I have tried the UIQ version of Symbian on W950i. It is much better than the Windows Mobiles. However, the best hand writing recognition system belongs to Motorola's A1200 and ROKR E6. It is very quick with very high accuracy in both English and Chinese. The ROKR E6 is what I end up getting. Plus, it run on Linux!

Re:What's the status of handwritting recognition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19217979)

The wince (Ya that's what I call it) Machine/phone I finally bought (ppc6700) has a full keyboard & I can (after some months) actually go faster than I can with graffiti

However, I still miss palm desktop, using outlook sucks.

Developers, applications, and openness (1)

bhmit1 (2270) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216659)

Part of what made Palm successful was the ability to write applications and expand it. Will they continue this ability on their linux phones? Have they considered including a palm emulator in the initial versions so people can bring their apps with them? I haven't been following the market closely enough, but the little I've seen is companies putting linux on phones as a replacement for another embedded OS, but without the ability to expand what's there. I'm hoping palm can change this with a truly open mobile development platform.

Emulators should be available (1)

bug_hunter (32923) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217003)

I was able to get access to a palm emulator by signing up as a palm developer (free) back in the day. I would think they would keep providing that service.

It will, be backward compatible (2, Interesting)

feranick (858651) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217361)

PalmLinux will be fully backward compatible, so you can use all your old apps with no problems. They will include a 68K emulation layer just for the purpose.

Why Does It Have to Go Out With A Bang? (5, Insightful)

okmijnuhb (575581) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216661)

The whole point of palm OS was that it delivered what was needed with simplicity, and no bloat, like it's rival at the time Windows CE.
A simple to do list, contacts, calendar, a memo pad was the core of the experience, and allthat you needed a PDA to do.

Re:Why Does It Have to Go Out With A Bang? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19217183)

It isn't going out with a bang. It's going out with a whimper. I don't see the problem here.

Depressing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19216663)

This news is somewhat depressing, I have to say. Though not at all surprising.

I've been using Palm devices for over ten years, and while it's been pretty apparent for a while now that Windows Mobile (or Pocket PC) has quickly grown to include more features and better integration with computer software, I personally don't like it at all. I think it's sluggish and poorly laid out. It can take several seconds to open the simply calendar, or the media player (during which time parts of the screen update before others, which is tacky), while the Palm is almost always instant. While that's obviously because the Palm OS is simpler and less graphically intensive, I have no problem with that. I like things to open the very instant that I tap on them, and this is always the case with my trusty Treo. My iPAQ, my friend's Dopod, and the various other Windows Mobile devices we have at work are all the same... slow and frustrating. They also crash a lot, which the Palm rarely does without the help of poorly written third-party applications.

I will mourn this unfortunate change.

Re:Depressing (2, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216695)

I will mourn this unfortunate change.
Which one? The switch to Linux, or the splintering of the interfaces?

The title flamebait, and amazingly wrong. Palm will keep on selling devices with "Palm OS" until they go out of business, just as Microsoft will keep on selling "Windows", Apple will sell "Apples", and GM will sell "Chevrolets".

By this time next year, you'll be able to buy an imported phone running "Palm on Linux" from Access, a phone running "Linux Palm OS" from Palm, and (please oh please) a geniune PDA from Palm with Linux under the hood. The differences for an end user will be no greater than the switch between a Palm III and a Palm TX.

Go linux, go wiki (2, Insightful)

draxbear (735156) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216927)

I'm a palm user of over 10 years as well and happily keep my phone and PDA separate for a variety of reasons.

The biggest problem I've had with it is the lack of a Linux Palm Desktop. I really miss it having moved to Ubuntu and while I'm getting by with Jpilot I have lost a lot of functionality (specific to my behavior) having switched. Not to much joy with wine (due to a lack of knowledge on my part no doubt) either.

I hope that if/when they finally (2nd/3rd time lucky?) go linux we'll see a desktop released for that OS, or at least enough published to enable Jpilot and others to jump on board better.

While they're at it, perhaps they'll realize that wiki-fying their base menu system (address/memo/to-do/calendar) apps will make for a simple and enormously useful improvement in functionality.

Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19216679)

Palm had an OS? Who knew? Was microsoft in on this secret also?

Sad (2, Interesting)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216699)

I recently had my Zaire die and tried to find a replacement but nothing availible came close. Instead of getting better the line has largely stagnated. I loved my Zaire so I guess the next move is iPhone. I just hope they add in more desktop apps soon. I have high hopes on the second generation. The Palm OS was a landmark OS and for many years it was the best. For the people that loved the devices it's definitely a time to mourn it's passing.

Re:Sad (4, Funny)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216813)

I recently had my Zaire die and tried to find a replacement but nothing availible came close.

No worries; just replace it with a Congo [wikipedia.org]!

The OS doesn't matter... (4, Insightful)

rdean400 (322321) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216705)

Honestly, should anyone really care? If the next-generation Palm operating system is based on a Linux kernel but has the capability of running Palm OS apps in an emulation mode, should we care about what code base it runs on?

OS's aren't like people or pets. They're tools. When you've outgrown them, you can either upgrade them or find a new one. Obviously Access has no interest in updating the PalmOS, so Palm has to go its own way. I personally hope that they deliver new capabilities on Linux while retaining the simplicity of the Palm interface.

Re:The OS doesn't matter... (3, Insightful)

updog (608318) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217895)

Of course it doesn't matter to the user.

But it does matter to us geeks, because we care what's under the hood. That's why we're discussing it - so to answer your question, yes, we do care, the OS does matter!

Good. (3, Interesting)

koreth (409849) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216711)

I have owned various PalmOS devices for over a decade, and still use my Treo 650 daily, but I'll be happy to see the old OS go. It's unstable (a null pointer access will reboot the whole device), has no OS-level support for multitasking (applications have to hook into timer interrupts to run in the background), the memory management system is a monstrosity to code for, it has no ability to launch apps directly from a removable memory card, and even its strong suit, the UI, has some serious problems (try replying to an SMS message when you're in the middle of doing something else; when you're done sending the message it will take you back to the app launcher rather than to what you were doing.)

A new Linux-based core will solve many of those problems inherently. Plus, one hopes, it will be even more hackable. So I say good riddance to the old OS.

Re:Good. (2, Informative)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217077)

it has no ability to launch apps directly from a removable memory card,

I am not sure what you're talking about, there. I specifically bought an SD form-factor card for my Tungsten E. It was a 'games pack' card and had Sim City and a bunch of other game programs burned into it, and it ran them in place, directly off the card.

Re:Good. (2, Insightful)

embsysdev (719482) | more than 6 years ago | (#19218027)

Actually, it copies the prc file from the SD card into storage RAM and runs it from there. When the app exits, the copy is deleted. If the app crashes, the copy is left in storage memory.

Re:Good. (1, Insightful)

F34nor (321515) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217127)

If you love your Treo you should emasculate the little bastard.
http://www.treoantenna.com/shop/ [treoantenna.com] All the women love my stumpy antenna these days. All right no woman has noticed, not even my wife. She's got he god damn hollier than thou E61 with its Wifi and VoIP and... um never mind.

I love my Treo. The Palm OS itself sucks but there are so many apps for it that I cannot see appearing on Windows or Linux anytime soon. e.g. Tide charts and Bridge OC. Palm should stop being a bitch to the cell phone providers and add skype and wifi to these things. You can hack your treo to accept the SD wifi card so its clear Palm left it out just as a mea cupla
to the motherfuckers.

No suitable replacements? (0)

zanderredux (564003) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216737)

Too bad Palm is going south. However, the worst is that there are no apparent replacements for it.

I need something fairly stable, to manage contacts telephones and calendar, but that's it. It should retain its memory when the battery runs out (the later Palm devices had it), and should be simple.

None of the newer PDAs satisfy this criteria, IMHO, but I could be wrong.

Any suggestions?

Blackberry? (1, Insightful)

voidstin (51561) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216929)

i find the Blackberry Pearl a more than suitable replacement for my Treo 650. Not sure if it retains memory when then battery runs out (the treo didn't) but a re-sync gets it back in shape. Plus, the Java apps (esp Google Maps) are much better than the palm software.

Good Riddance, Palm OS.

Re:Blackberry? (1)

embsysdev (719482) | more than 6 years ago | (#19218041)

I think you are mistaken about the Treo650 or your was an isolated case. It uses flash memory specifically to solve the problem with batteries running out. I rarely even sync mine anymore - it is that reliable.

Re:No suitable replacements? (1)

arashi no garou (699761) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217291)

Have you no reading comprehension at all? Palm devices are not going away; Palm OS as we know it now, is. It is, however, being replaced with a Linux-based, fully backward-compatible OS to run on the same (and, in the future, better) hardware.

Or were you intentionally trolling?

Re:No suitable replacements? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19217751)

reading comprehension? I didn't even RTFA!

Re:No suitable replacements? (1)

dn15 (735502) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217319)

But there *is* a replacement on the way -- the Linux-based replacement that the article summary mentions. The Palm OS is not actaully going away, they've just outgrown the classic Palm OS core and are replacing it with Linux as the kernel.

Secure eReader Books (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216807)

With Palm using Linux, is there any word on people being able to develop 3rd part programs to read Secure eReader books? I'd love to be able to migrate my secure eReader books to eBookwise [ebookwise.com] without downloading illegal copies.

Re:Secure eReader Books (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217179)

...why? You bought a license to the content, not just a specific encrypted set of bits. Get the "illegal" copy and use it as you're legally entitled to.

Re:Secure eReader Books (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217881)

But its illegal ;) I prefer to follow the law and instead support those who don't require me to break it by giving them my money and time. Unfortunately I've given palm some of my money and time so I want to get it back legally.

Do Not Want! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19216869)

NOOOOO!

compare PalmOS and Window Mobile at Best Buyt (2, Informative)

waterwingz (68802) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216913)

My company recently gave me a Treo 700wx. Much to my horror, this proved to be much like Win95 on a very small screen. Except it was interfaced via a touch screen that required you to pull out "the stick" to do anything usefull. So I went to Best Buy and played with the PalmOS version of the same Treo 700. I was in love - the whole thing worked the way I would expect from the keypad or via big fat buttons on the touch screen. No stick required. But my company said "No, we are a Microsoft house". Curiously, they were also willing to let me go back to a real mobile phone / email device and I changed back to a Blackberry. I've never looked back.

Palm is dead, long live Palm (2, Interesting)

soupforare (542403) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216925)

I started with a Pilot, moved to a III. I flirted with wince devices for a while and have now come back home to the IIIxe. When it breaks, I'll buy another one, they're cheap and plentiful.
It doesn't play movies, mp3s or emulators but that's what computers are for.

Re:Palm is dead, long live Palm (3, Interesting)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217111)

I started with a Visor Platinum, went to a Tungsten E, then rolled all the way back to a Palm III, because it:

1. Does everything I want a PDA to accomplish.
    and
2. Is one HECK of a lot more durable than the Visor, or the pitiful flimsy Tungsten E (which failed a few weeks out of warranty)
    and
3. I have found Palm IIIs in almost new condition sell on eBay for under $10 at this point in time.
    and
4. I have Code Warrior for PalmOS, so I can code up any practical PDA-scaled application that I need for classic PalmOS and will be able to forever.

Maybe I have taken a 'survivalist' approach, but I'm hunkering down and buying Palm III devices for my stockpile. They're 'good enough' and it's wonderful to still have a PDA that I don't have to charge, and that runs for several months on each battery change (two AAA's, mind you.)

It's sort of ironic that one can be luddite these days and an active user of a Palm Pilot at the same time.

Re:Palm is dead, long live Palm (1)

franksands (938435) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217989)

That is exactly what I thought. I started with a Palm IIIe, played with a iPaq for a while, but it was too complicated for me. Went back to a Palm m130, and then to a Tugsten e2 because it had bluetooth. I have no complaints: the interface was simple, easy to use, and did everyting it need to do. Palm OS, you will be missed. On the other hand, I am pretty excited what is possible to do with a linux powered OS. If they do thing right, this could a very interessing PDA.

Treo 700p was ok, for about 2 months (2, Interesting)

SnapperHead (178050) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216941)

The treo 700p was great when it didn't have much data on it. However, when you load it up with a few hundred contacts, appointments and about 8000 emails ... it fails apart. Switching between applications results in a white screen for 7 - 10 seconds. Common lock ups, at least once a week. To top it all off, Palm didn't respond to any of these problems. Numerous support requests and calls got ignored. That pissed me off more then anything. The only answer I ever got was to do a hard reset.

Needless to say, I am done with Palm. I will not purchase another phone from them. Even if they solve the software issues, they have a very serious problem with their support that they need to tend to first.

Re:Treo 700p was ok, for about 2 months (2, Informative)

ryanov (193048) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217485)

Do you still have one? A software update is due out next week or thereabouts.

Writing was on the wall (1, Redundant)

d_jedi (773213) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216943)

Palm OS has fallen quite far behind Windows Mobile.. this is no more apparent than for a developer for these devices. The Garnet (v5) platform is hideously out of date, and Cobalt(v6) has never been released.. after years.

Developing for Windows Mobile with .NET is significantly easier than for the Palm API. And where go the developers, so too go the applications. And where go the applications, so too go the users.

WM is not perfect, but it is better than PalmOS. My Axim X50V gets used every day, while my Tungsten TX sits collecting dust.

Linux.. (3, Insightful)

White Shade (57215) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216957)

All I can say is, I hope their linux systems run better than some of the nokia linux-based hardware I've seen, such as the N800 that you can brick by installing software on or looking at wrong.... you can recover them, but only by using linux commandline-only software on a desktop (that was a good waste of an afternoon).

I love linux, but just running linux doesn't automatically make things perfect. (awesome, sure, but not perfect. this is slashdot afterall).

Duh (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216977)

Lack of protected memory or preemptive multitasking on a device released in 2007? Hard to believe it's still there. PalmOS was great for 512KB devices with monochrome screen, but it's an anachronism in today's world.

Disgusting (3, Interesting)

JonnyO (119156) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216983)

Great: Windows Mobile can handle screen resolutions my Commodore could handle 20-something years ago. Ah, progress. Seriously, has anyone tried using Windows Mobile for anything serious without wanting to send their device to an untimely death? I tried a VX6700, replaced it with a Treo 700w, and replaced that with a Motorola Q, all within the past year. I eventually paid (or, in all honesty, my employer paid) Verizon's termination fee just so I could get out of the contract so I could get something else. If you want to experience Windows Mobile, take a ten-penny nail and drive it into your crotch... it's about the same feeling. I now have a BlackBerry Pearl, and - I can't believe I'm saying this - I quite like it. It's responsive, doesn't crash if you look at it, actually knows that it's supposed to charge when the power cord is attached, syncs with my mail, and just plain works. All the things a WM5 device does not.

Re:Disgusting (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217967)

care to show me which commodore could handle 800x600?
as far as i know the latest commodore 20 years ago was amiga 500 and it could go nowhere near this resolution.

May It Rest in Agony! (4, Informative)

jinxidoru (743428) | more than 6 years ago | (#19216989)

I have found that many people do not share my point-of-view with regards to Palm OS, but I must personally say that I hated it. The interface was easy enough to deal with as a user, but as a developer, it was a nightmare. I am so glad to see Palm OS go and be replaced with Linux.

There were so many problems with the OS design. I could not understand why you would build an OS that lacked any sort of filesystem. Instead, they had a very crappy database-esque system from which you could retrieve data. You couldn't simply load a file onto the system, it had to be loaded into the database and accessed using their bass-akwards method of database access. Be aware, we're not talking SQL here.

Another thing that was horrible was their lack of long-jumps. I had previously never had to specifically arrange the order of my object files in a link statement to avoid jumps further than 64k. There were times where I actually had to create functions that did nothing but call a later function so that I could make code jumps to functions further than 64k away. That made using the STL basically impossible (some would not consider this a loss, I do).

Then you add in the ridiculousness of having to define UUIDs for programs. So, anytime you wanted to write any sort of small application, you had to register a 32-bit number (less actually) with Palm. There are better ways to do this. We don't live in the 70s anymore.

Ugh! There are so many other problems. I just had to get this off my chest. Once they do this, maybe I'll go get a new Palm. I was never able to bring myself to buy a Windows CE device, but I have longed to have another PDA. Hopefully, these new Linux systems will be what I am looking for.

Of course, it has been years since I programmed anything on Palm OS (version 5, I believe). So, for all I know, they fixed all of these problems and I will be the recipient of a massive amount of flame.

Re:May It Rest in Agony! (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217107)

Don't be a wuss. Palm was one of the last platforms to develop for that made you feel like a freaking MAN when you finished an application.

OK, OK, maybe it sucked to develop for. But just try using a Windows CE/Pocket PC device for a while and you'll see how much they suck in comparison (from a user's perspective).

Re:May It Rest in Agony! (1)

jinxidoru (743428) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217775)

It really is a shame that you have to decide between having a sucky user experience or a sucky developer experience.

What a wimp! (1)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217943)

REAL PROGRAMMERS ONLY NEED 64K.

I am bettting that if you were able to program on the palm, you were better than the average Window programmer since you were required to be efficient and understand the platform.

These "Windows programmers" don't understand what it is like to write efficient progams.

Re:May It Rest in Agony! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19218003)

There were so many problems with the OS design. I could not understand why you would build an OS that lacked any sort of filesystem. Instead, they had a very crappy database-esque system from which you could retrieve data. You couldn't simply load a file onto the system, it had to be loaded into the database and accessed using their bass-akwards method of database access. Be aware, we're not talking SQL here.

Because it was originally intended to run a system that had a 16 MHz processor, 128 KB of memory, and a very specific purpose. It was an organizer, they figured the kind of data that was going into it and they tried to figure the most efficient, low memory way of storing things while being able to write relatively interesting applications relatively quickly.

That being said, yes it turned into an ancient clunker. The core portions of the OS should have been updated years ago. Palm continued with little incremental improvements that didn't address the core issues, then went through a huge number of management missteps. They spun off their OS development, changed their name, changed it again, bleh.

At one point Palmsource had the Future, and all us Palm developers were excited over Palm OS 6. I even went out to California to a conference where they were telling us all the new toys we'd get to play with. Multitasking, real memory management, TrueType fonts, a BSD networking library, and hell, even backwards compatibility to boot. It was going to be awesome. And then they couldn't get a single damn licensee to actually use the damn thing. I don't know if it turned out to be unstable or overpriced or what, but it just never materialized.

As to the lack of a filesystem -- if you only care about reading, you can make a little wrapper around the database stuff and make it look like normal file access fairly easily. It's what I ended up doing for some cases where I wanted to read large data files that could either be put on the card or the device itself. Using the Palm Object Library also makes programming for the platform a bit more sane (wish I had learned this before my first major project).

I agree that the OS sucks in its present form, but it did make sense for the problem it was originally designed to solve. It just didn't grow to fit the hardware as time went on.

Oh, and WinCE programming sucked worse. At least it did for me. :-P

Re:May It Rest in Agony! (2, Informative)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 6 years ago | (#19218111)

The long jump issue was pretty much solved by using multiple code sections. It's fairly easy with Codwarrior or gcc-palmos, although has a small performance cost. It is still a very bad OS to develop for: limited dynamic RAM compared to other handsets, the hassle of worrying about ARM/68k code still, the 'filesystem'.

Dear Palm: Want to go out with a bang? (4, Insightful)

merc (115854) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217055)

Open source PalmOS.

Seriously.

Re:Dear Palm: Want to go out with a bang? (2, Insightful)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217303)

No need to, read comments above you. The new "Palm OS" is going to be Linux-based, with emulation for old Palm apps. To be perfectly frank, I'm more excited about Palm going Linux than upset about the end of Palm OS. Basically Palm OS = Mac OS 6.x without Multifinder. Rest in pieces. The only thing I don't like about this is that Palm should have done this YEARS AGO. YEARS. They might be a little late to the party, alas.

Re:Dear Palm: Want to go out with a bang? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19217985)

The PalmOS kernel was actually licensed from a company that makes embedded systems. In order to get cheap licensing terms, they had to agree to never release the source code, and never implement multitasking. It's the last part that means they have to move to an entirely new kernel.

They tried rewriting it (PalmOS 6), but it was an utter failure. Now they're trying to move to a Linux-based kernel.

dom

And then there's a users perspective (2, Informative)

roseacres (995942) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217327)

After a couple of Palm PDA's and now on my second Treo, I have a different perspective. First - the Palm OS is stable - I took a Treo 600 on vacation through Turkey, a cruise, Greece, and Italy for a month. Never had a crash or had to reset once - rock solid using the phone everyday, sending emails, messaging, reading books, listening to MP3s, completing crosswords. Telephone worked great everywhere - even 10 miles off a barren Turkish coast. Swapped to a Treo 680 late last year. It works perfectly - I picked it up, loaded old familiar applications and started using immediately. Last time I did a reset was probably six weeks ago. Palm OS at an end - I don't think so - it does everything an average user wants, has had for years all the functionality others are just now crowing about. Yup, the camera sucks - that's why I carry a pocket Canon. Yup, no wireless, but a cheap unlimited data plan with Cingular sorta makes that a non-issue. So what's not to like about Palm OS? Windows Mobile may be great for a developer but it stinks from a user's view. There's absolutely nothing intuitive about the user interface. Now would anyone really like to say that it's reliable. Some tell me that it's improved a lot - they only have to reset once a day now. May be great when crunching code but what about us poor button pushers. I'll stick with Palm OS.

Palm died years ago (1)

ichbineinneuben (1065378) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217431)

I was a Palm fanboy right up until I realized that they were never going to give me Cobalt (OS6) for my T3, the last really innovative Palm Pilot. No Cobalt, no native ARM code. Every Palm since has been chock full of unremoveable bloatware, and slower than the T3 was, even with it's emulation handicap. Whoever split that company into separate hardware and software companies might as well have been taking orders from Redmond - they gave the field to Microsoft.

Hand back BeOs please Palm (1)

rh2600 (530311) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217507)

So Palm Os is dead then?

Would Palm be so kind as to give us back BeOs? They purchased it many moons ago, never did anything with it, but didn't want to release it in any shape or form because of IP issues associated with PalmOs (I guess they had grandious plans to port some of the technology across)

Comin' Palm, pretty please?

http://www.macworld.com/news/2001/08/16/palm/ [macworld.com]
http://www.begroovy.com/wordpress/?p=200 [begroovy.com]

The Palm OS is Dead - (1)

HW_Hack (1031622) | more than 6 years ago | (#19217721)

Long live the new Linux Mobile OS !

I just hope they keep the GUI simple - and make sure the device does the basics very well. I've used both Palms and Pocket PCs -- I always went back to the Palms beause they did the basics: calendar - contacts - notes - calculator - and even basic email pretty well. And they fit in your shirt pocket or pack easily ... if I needed more than that I'd drag a laptop along

Okay, so making it simple... (1)

Randseed (132501) | more than 6 years ago | (#19218069)

Okay, so to make it simple, what can I tell people who are buying a PalmOS-based PDA?
For example, I have a Palm Lifedrive. (Despite the fact that the designers totally screwed that device up.) What does this mean to me? (Or anybody else with a PalmOS based PDA?)
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...