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Palm Withdraws Linux-Powered Foleo PC

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the dead-before-arrival dept.

Portables 165

M Saunders writes "Not long after we enjoyed playing with the device at LinuxWorld 2007, Palm has announced that it is shelving the Foleo handheld PC, before it was due to ship, so that the company can focus on a 'next-generation platform.' Palm hasn't ruled out a 'Foleo II' at some point, but for those of us looking forward to dinky Linux-powered laptops it's a bit of a disappointment. Still, with the Asus Eee PC nearby — and at a very low price point — perhaps it was a sensible move by Palm."

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I'm not surprised. (2, Funny)

Dster76 (877693) | more than 7 years ago | (#20472475)

It's not a laptop, but it's a reason to carry an extra charger, in addition to your smartphone's. Don't these product designers every travel?

Re:I'm not surprised. (4, Interesting)

click2005 (921437) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473275)

Hopefully this will be the start of a trend..

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200612/19/eng200 61219_334047.html [peopledaily.com.cn]

They should use USB chargers for all portable devices (assuming USB has enough juice to charge it).

Re:I'm not surprised. (2, Funny)

Mikachu (972457) | more than 7 years ago | (#20474567)

Are you saying we might be nearing an end to overpriced cell phone chargers?

I wish the US government would follow suit. The chargers, at this point, often cost as much as buying a new phone (subsidized, of course).

Re:I'm not surprised. (2, Informative)

DogBotherer (965190) | more than 7 years ago | (#20476081)

In Vietnam, a standard Nokia charger costs around 50,000 vnd (about $3.25), just so you know how much you're being overcharged...

Re:I'm not surprised. (1)

Zebedeu (739988) | more than 7 years ago | (#20476279)

And what percentage is that of the average wage?

The average wage in Vietnam is $700/year [1] while in the US it is $36,764/year [2].
I'm not even going to bother with calculations. I think the point is clear: You're not really comparing apples to apples there.

[1] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5301086.stm [bbc.co.uk]
[2] http://www.bls.gov/cew/state2002.txt [bls.gov]

Re:I'm not surprised. (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#20476371)

The average wage in Vietnam is $700/year [1] while in the US it is $36,764/year [2]. I'm not even going to bother with calculations. I think the point is clear: You're not really comparing apples to apples there.

Irrelevant. The manufacturer doesn't bill depending on the customers' average wage levels. And I think the shipping cost from Vietnam to the US (in the worst case) in any quantity will be a few cents per unit. The rest is retail markup -- which is influenced by local wages and rents, but considering how cheap a lot of similar gadgets are, shows you most of it is profiteering because you have no option but to use the prorietary charger.

Re:I'm not surprised. (1)

Zebedeu (739988) | more than 7 years ago | (#20476573)

You write "which is influenced by local wages and rents" as if it was accounting for only cents in the retail price. I think it probably has a bigger influence than that.

Having said that, I agree that the manufacturer is profiteering, but probably not as much as you insinuated by your original numbers. Besides, I would think that they also markup the prices in Vietnam by as much as they think they can get away with (which is obviously much less than in the US).

Re:I'm not surprised. (1)

Phil John (576633) | more than 7 years ago | (#20476725)

My HTC produced WinMo device (T-Mob MDA Vario II, also known as the Hermes or TyTn) trickle charges off USB when plugged in. There's been a few times I've disabled it (like when I'm using it as a 3G modem plugged into may laptop which is itself running off battery) but normally when it's cradled it's charging.

I can't actually remember the last time I used the charger that came with the thing.

Very clever approach (4, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473545)

Release details of a proposed product. Watch for reactions. See poor reactions and shelve product.

Way, way, cheaper than taking it all the way to market.

Still, I think the recipe was almost right. I have an (unfortunately broken) Psion 7. Very handy machine in its day: instant on, reasonably fast. Light... Give it a freshen up with a faster CPU, Wifi,... and you'd have a vry useful device.

Re:Very clever approach (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20475203)

Release details of a proposed product. Watch for reactions. See poor reactions and shelve product.
Way, way, cheaper than taking it all the way to market.


According to TFA, Palm took a $10 million hit due to this. Now I know that this is big business and they run on scales which most of us can't comprehend. But if you consider that cheap, I don't want to know what you consider expensive...

Re:Very stupid approach (1)

gig (78408) | more than 7 years ago | (#20475309)

> Release details of a proposed product. Watch for reactions. See poor reactions and shelve product.

Look like incredible fools in front of the whole frickin' world.

Show your very poor hand to everyone so there's no need to bluff anymore.

Associate your brand with outrageous failure.

My iPhone is so good all by itself that I don't even go into the next room to do an email or look up a Web page. Palm should have spent time creating the iPhone first instead of apologizing for the Treo with the Folio. I can remember the demand for an "Apple PDA" back in 1999 and Apple didn't deliver on that for 8 years. An 8 year head start for Palm and the iPhone caught them flat-footed. Three months before the iPhone announcement Palm said don't look for anything special from Apple, smartphones are HARD, it will take Apple many years of trying to make something "decent". Way to have your head up your ass.

The fact that Palm is fucking around with shit like this when they have yet to even put a Unix core OS and Web 2.0 browser on their smartphone is pretty incredible. That's the Internet and the Web, two little trends that most people think are here to stay.

Re:Very stupid approach (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#20476215)

Your iPhone is so good that it can not do what PalmPilot could 10 years ago - run a simple custom application or game. There are many valid criticisms of Treo, but Apple should also have learned more in those 8 years.

I'm saying this as a palm user (1)

soupforare (542403) | more than 7 years ago | (#20477313)

Associate your brand with outrageous failure.

They didn't need Foleo to help them do that.

Re:I'm not surprised. (1)

arashi no garou (699761) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473631)

It was my understanding that this device was to use the same Palm-branded charger that the Treos and the Treo-branded bluetooth headsets share.

Re:I'm not surprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20476539)

I first saw the Folio last year when I was doing a QA contract. While I didn't work on that project I sat with the people who did. After signing the NDA's, (now expired since this is public), the thing was explained to me. My first response was "Why? What's the point?" This thing is about the size of a laptop and requires a connection to the Palm in order to work. I always thought that a laptop would do the job just fine and it wold be one less thing to haul around with you.

No one who was doing the testing could really get into using it. (Of course all the bugs the thing had at the time didn't help any)

When I was told what the price was going to be I knew right then that thins thing wasn't going to make it. Between the palm and the folio you were looking at around $1000 plus the monthly connection fees. IMHO this ranks right down there with the Segway. Fun, but not really useful and to damn expensive.

Re:I'm not surprised. (1)

felix (7014) | more than 7 years ago | (#20476963)

The only thing that surprises me is how not surprised I am about this 11th hour cancelling of the Foleo. For Palm's sake I had been kind of clinging to the notion that perhaps it was all simply bad marketing and that when the Foleo was released a light would turn on as to why it was going to be the mass market hit they needed it to be. It turns out there was no one behind that curtain. It may have been an appealing product for some - but really for very few. And the cost? Well, Colligan says that their going to take a $10 million hit, but what was the opportunity cost for palm? How much has it cost them in the years they spent developing the Foleo while letting their gigantic industry lead in the smartphone business die, leaving them as a has been? Turning their once thriving community of fanatics and developers into a dwindling one filled with resentment?

Heh, I blogged a good more about it... but Colligan really, really has to go [deasil.com] .

Tor like oatmeals! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20472525)

Tor like oatmeals!

Re:Tor like oatmeals! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20473317)

Beer Good!!
Windows Bad!!

The answer.... (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#20472539)

...to why it was cancelled is right here:

http://www.engadget.com/2007/08/21/dear-palm-its-t ime-for-an-intervention/ [engadget.com]

Palm actually listened as they mentioned in their reply:

http://blog.palm.com/palm/2007/08/thanks-engadget. html [palm.com]

What was the question? (4, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#20472819)

That's a mostly insightful rant, but it's only got a couple of sentences about the Foleo. And that's a weak point — they're basically saying nobody will buy the Foleo if the Treo sucks. Which is kind of dumb, since the Foleo isn't that tightly bound to the Treo.

The big question with the Treo is whether there are enough people who need more than a PDA but less than a full laptop. Or maybe I should say, "who will buy less than a full laptop." Because there are a lot of technically clueless folks out there who'd be better off with a device that simpler than a "real" computer but does everything they need to do — most users just don't need all the functionality a PC provides. But every time somebody comes out with such a device, it fails miserably.

Why? Because such devices only cost a little less than an equivalent PC. And people would rather pay a little extra and get all that extra functionality. Even if it's functionality the won't use.

What I want to know is why Palm won't do a phone that isn't a minor variation on the Treo. There are still folks out there who don't need a QWERTY keyboard and do need a phone that will actually fit in a pants pocket. It's sad and ironic that Palm doesn't recognize this, when their foundation product was the first practical pocket computer.

Re:What was the question? (4, Insightful)

Sandor at the Zoo (98013) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473007)

Palm can't (or doesn't feel that it can) compete with Nokia et al in churning out low-end phones. Palm can only stay in business by making higher-end smartphones.

Their biggest problem is that their product cycle is way too long. The hardware and software revs between models seem small enough, but they're taking more than a year to push them out. That can't go on much longer.

Re:What was the question? (3, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473161)

I said "small" not "low end". I'd kill for a clamshell or slider phone that runs Palm applications.

As for their product cycle, it hardly matters how long it is when nothing really new comes at the end of it.

Re:What was the question? (1)

lordkuri (514498) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473215)

I'd kill for a clamshell or slider phone that runs Palm applications.

http://www.phonescoop.com/phones/phone.php?p=173 [phonescoop.com]

My ex-wife's address is.... ;-)

Re:What was the question? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473807)

I'd hate to bother your ex. I could probably pick on up on eBay. I'd hate to switch back to Sprint though.

There are some nice Palm-based clamshells for the Asian market. Problem is, they're all tri-band, since nobody there uses the 850 band. Now, I could probably live without the 850 band, but I don't know. Anybody know a way to detect what bands a GSM cell uses in a given area?

Re:What was the question? (1)

dgmartin98 (576409) | more than 7 years ago | (#20475393)

Telus in Canada still offers this Palm clamshell:

http://www.telusmobility.com/bc/pcs/kyocera_7135.s html [telusmobility.com]

A friend of mine bought one, used it for a couple of years, then bought the Treo 650. The Kyocera is a little bulky, even for a Palm-based device.

Re:What was the question? (1)

scolbert (1122737) | more than 7 years ago | (#20474617)

I seriously think Palm is doomed and must sell itself fast. The Treo isn't that interesting in light of the Apple iPhone [personafile.com] , meaning they can't complete in the high, high end (which they used to own) and must go lower, which RIMM owns. Doomed. Foleo was just a pet project to keep the original founder happy.

Why crank out worse quicker? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#20474701)

Their biggest problem is that their product cycle is way too long.

That wouldn't be a problem at all if the products very very desireable at the start of the cycle, much less the end - Palm's problem is not one of needing more incremental Treos, but a fresh design! Which in fact was why I never bought a Treo even though I almost pulled the trigger many years running.

Forget the iPhone, they need a refresh of thinking just to keep ahead of other smartphone makers! I can't even remember when the last time was I saw someone with a Treo, instead of an 8525 or a Blackberry.

Re:What was the question? (1)

admactanium (670209) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473035)

Why? Because such devices only cost a little less than an equivalent PC. And people would rather pay a little extra and get all that extra functionality. Even if it's functionality the won't use.
you're right on target with the price problem of the foleo. this comment though strikes me as a bit shortsighted. the things that even average to below average users do with their computers today is years ahead of what was being done a few years ago. 7 years ago nobody would have imagined that basic computer users would be ripping their music cds onto their computer to transfer them to a digital music player. 10 years ago nobody thought that image manipulation would ever be within the ability or cost of normal home users. if you would have suggested 15 years ago that home users would be uploading, logging, editing and outputting movies from computers less than $700, people would have laughed out loud. the first AVID system i saw was in 1992. the preview window was about 150 pixels wide and it took an hour to render a preview for a 30 second commercial. no people edit minutes-long hd videos accompanied with soundtracks that include dissolves and effects.

the reason products like the foleo don't do well is because you don't save any money and you're limiting your options. sure most folks aren't going to sit down and cut a feature length movie or compose their own music, but they like to think that they have the resources to do so if they wish. buying a crippled machine for very little cost savings takes away a lot of the aspects of computing that people wish they could do with some learning and time. this is one of the basic tenets of apple's philosophy of including their bundles ilife suite. people will discover hidden talents when they have the resources available to them and can figure them out without having to read a huge book. the same philosophy is what drives microsoft's "the wow starts now" campaign. a product like the foleo will never be successful because the only people who would know about it or consider buying it are already tech-savvy. and those people certainly don't want something like the foleo. the people who might possible be suited for it can spend a little more and get a whole computer that does what the foleo does for them and has the possibility of doing much more. even if they don't use all of the functions, they'll still feel like they're getting the short end of the value stick by buying a foleo.

the fact that the foleo made it all the way through product development shows me that palm is doomed. i don't know how much time/money they spent on it, but it was too much. palm is drifting further and further away from what their customers want or need. i'd be surprised if they lasted more than a few years. more likely they'll just get bought out for their patent portfolio.

Re:What was the question? (1, Informative)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473195)

Still haven't learned to use the shift key, I see. I realize that it slows you down. But that would give you extra time to think about what point you're trying to make, and maybe expressing it a little more concisely.

Ever carry a desktop replacement every day? (1)

DingerX (847589) | more than 7 years ago | (#20474655)

People want PCs for a range of reasons. If they don't want to play the latest games, they don't buy a fancy video card; and if they aren't particularly interested in A/V, they don't spend the money on the best experience.

Personal computing is moving away from the good old days of the 8086, and sitting at a desk to do "Lean-in" applications only. Now, in addition to the old-skool word processing, spreadsheets, heavy data lifting tasks, we're using computers at the core of our entertainment systems and for our basic communications. Frankly, for communications, entertainment, and "on-site data entry", my 5-kilo desktop replacement is overkill. I would gladly trade power for weight (and size).

What made the Foleo inherently stupid was its reliance on the smartphone. Smartphones are cool and all that, but either they fulfill your portable comms and entertainment needs, or they don't. If they do, you're not going buy anything else to lug around. If they don't, you're not going to buy the smartphone, so forget about any costly addons.

The Eee, on the other hand, has the potential to be a winner. If they can deliver them really cheap (which has yet to be seen), then it's the ultimate satellite PC for a home network.

And somebody please explain why I shouldn't buy the n800...

Re:What was the question? (4, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473235)

That's a mostly insightful rant, but it's only got a couple of sentences about the Foleo. And that's a weak point -- they're basically saying nobody will buy the Foleo if the Treo sucks. Which is kind of dumb, since the Foleo isn't that tightly bound to the Treo.

Out of the box, yes it was. To quote the spiel:
"Foleo mobile companions work with Palm's Treo(TM) smartphones (Palm OS(R) and Windows Mobile(R) versions). However, Palm believes that most smartphones based on Windows Mobile should work with little or no modification. Smartphones based on operating systems from Research in Motion, Apple, and Symbian likely can be supported with a modest software effort."

That "little modification" and "modest software effort" would be beyond the average businessman. And, of course, their phones would have to support BlueTooth and not have BlueTooth crippled by their provider before even trying to get it to work... So in reality, we're back to a potential buyer group of Treo users, plus a handful of diehards and rich people who can afford to say "aw, shucks, doesn't work, in the basement you go".

What's flabbergasting is that it took so long before Palm killed off Fooleo. Almost all user groups predicted it would either be killed, or drag Palm down with it, and I have seen absolutely no support for Hawking's view that this was the best invention ever to come out of Palm. It was so blindingly obvious to everyone that this was a solution looking for a problem, and a bad one at that. When you can get full laptops for around $350, why would you want to spend $600 (less $100 initial mail in rebate, for those who qualified) for an ultra-slow laptop-looking device that can only do a small fraction of the things a laptop can do? And if small is your thing, the Foleo wasn't particularly small either -- bigger footprint than the new (and much cheaper) Asus models, but with a smaller screen and incredibly enough even less memory and slower CPU.

No, this was doomed from the start, and in this case, people are in their full right to tell Palm "we told you so". Because we did -- and not just a few of us either.

And, as Engadget said, "Small is sexy". Remember that, Palm. And remember how well the Palm V/Vx sold. It was small and sexy, and we luurved it! The replacements were clunkier and/or less sexy, and we didn't go for those. Simplicity and beauty in a small form factor is what you sold, and then forgot all about. The buyers didn't -- YOU did. There may still be time to do something, but the sand is running out as fast as the pennies on your budget, and you don't have much time left.

Regards,
--
*Art

Re:What was the question? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473931)

I have seen absolutely no support for Hawking's view that this was the best invention ever to come out of Palm.
I used to think highly of Hawkins, after hearing the story about him modeling the first Palm Pilot out of a block of wood. But then he started Handspring, and came out with some of the worst PDA designs ever. And why has he never intervened in the horrible button design for the Palm m Series? (If a button is designed to turn on the PDA, you don't want it sticking out so it gets pressed in your pocket!) I do believe his 15 minutes are up.

And remember how well the Palm V/Vx sold
The last really good product they did. I miss mine. I'm tempted to downgrade, except that not having a USB interface would be a major pain.

The early Palms were good because of all the stuff they left out. They did a few basic things, and did them very well, making them indispensable for their owners. Hard to make marketeers understand that. And maybe they're even right — feature bloat makes for a bad product, but it also makes for a product that's easier to sell.

Re:What was the question? (1)

Bin_jammin (684517) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473257)

Functionality you don't use is still equity in the device. In two years time a laptop will hold more of its initial value than a phone or phone accessory. Or, put it simply, two years later, there's always plenty of people looking for a decent deal on a used laptop, how many people are looking for an internet enabled phone acessory?

Re:What was the question? (4, Insightful)

gig (78408) | more than 7 years ago | (#20475475)

> The big question with the Treo is whether there are enough people who need more than a PDA but less than a full laptop

No, the smartphone IS the new notebook. The notebook is the new desktop. The desktop is the new workstation. The Treo is just way behind the curve because it still doesn't have a Unix OS and Web 2.0 browser or a UI that works on a tiny screen. It was supposed to start being a real computer about 2-3 years ago.

Why buy a Core 2 Duo in a big white box when you can have it in a MacBook for $1100? Very few reasons.

Once you have an iPhone (or similar future competitor with Unix and Web 2.0 and zooming UI) you look at a PC, even a notebook, as a workstation. You use it to run Photoshop, you use it to make stuff, but you don't take it everywhere with you, you don't open it up to do email when you're on the road, you don't open it up to look up something in Google or get a map or refer to some notes. You only get the notebook out to do a real computing session, like an hour or more of real work.

size, weight (1)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 7 years ago | (#20475883)

Many people want a functional linux-based computer that is smaller/lighter than a laptop. The Nokia N800 internet tablet is a good example. Small, light, and runs linux -- there is even a TeX/LaTeX distribution for it. If I'm traveling the world with a backpack, I'd rather have the N800 and a bluetooth keyboard than a laptop.

Something doesn't have to be a huge market-redefining, ipod-magnitude product to find a following. Not everything has to change the world and get 90% market saturation just to be called a success. I hope the N800 has a phone-enabled successor, and that other models follow. I also hope that Palm releases a Linux-based Treo. Small if good, even if you personally wouldn't find a use for it.

Re:size, weight (1)

R_Dorothy (1096635) | more than 7 years ago | (#20476589)

I find the N800/Bluetooth KB combo is a winner. Mine has taken over 90% of what I used to use my Laptop for (time wise, not functionality) whilst simultaneously doing a much better job of diary/notebook/media player than either of my Palms ever did. Having been a Psion S3/5 user this is the first thing I've come across that is anywhere near as good - if not better.

Re:The answer.... (1)

acacia (101223) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473091)

Full disclosure: I now own a Treo 680 that I love. I've had a Tungsten T3, m505, m500, and V. So I'm not really too objective a voice.
That said, I've also owned a iPAQ 6920, RIM 7100t, and RIM 7130e.
Based upon that history, I think I know a couple of things about handhelds.

I'm a consultant with no real base of operations outside of my house, so mobility is critical to my job. Little things like a phone that actually works as a phone is pretty big in my book, since people generally like to call you on your phone. ;-) Equally important is battery life, since you never know how long you'll be delayed at ORD, LAX, MSP, etc. Finally, a device must be operable with one hand as you are walking through an airport or while taking notes with the other hand.

The Engadget article was insightful, but I think that the basic functions are done better than most in the market today. The 680 is, hands down, the best handheld device I have ever owned. To me, the cardinal virtues are battery life, call clarity, one-handed usability, and application availability. On those scores, the battery life trounces the iPAQ and is dead even with the RIM devices. The interface is comparable to the RIM devices for single handed operation, and the call quality tops all of them. Given such a good resume, why is the Palm struggling? I still cannot figure it out personally. They are late to the game with Exchange syncing, so that was a pretty big hurdle, but now it is a non-factor. The rich offering of applications like GPS navigation, voice recording, and entertainment options are great. Exchange syncing on Palm devices with MS operating systems preceded it, but when you look at battery life and usability of the interface, that humble Palm OS stacks up favorably.

I'm thinking that Palm needs to really apply marketing muscle into enterprise acceptance. I cannot fathom where a new laptop helped with that, so I think ditching the Foleo was good. Palm really needs to continue to focus on the enterprise user and enhanced productivity, with an eye toward those cardinal virtues, and perhaps either partnering with Google or (god forbid) being acquired by Google as a portable physical gateway into the Google ecosystem.

Re:The answer.... (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 7 years ago | (#20474299)

At least for the people I work with, the answer is that the Palp is too simple, and somewhat as importantly, too expensive for the innards. The iPhone suffers the latter problem, although I have never used one, so I have no idea about it's relative simplicity.

At least everywhere I've worked, Palm devices are dropped in favor of Windows Mobile because the latter are apparently easier to write applications for (I've never written one so don't know), especially complicated applications with hardware hooks. Simple is good, I am told, but if I'm going to carry something that big around in my pocket I want it to be as useful as I can make it- and that's where Windows Mobile works.

My personal phone has(had, a new battery is on order for it) excellent battery life, between 8-20 hours of talk/audio/work time; terrible phone quality, terrible one-handed usability, and mediocre application availability. But I found it far more valuable than a Treo or a Blackberry; for what appeared to be equivalent bulkiness, the machine I had in my pocket could perform the functions of any ultraportable laptop. Screen real-estate and keyboard quality were both critical for this, as was networking capability and desktop interoperability.

I suppose that just goes to show you, then, that it really depends what your enterprise users do with their smartphones. :p

Re:The answer.... (1)

adrianmonk (890071) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473747)

I wrote apps for Palm OS for a little over 3 years, and that Engadget article was right on the money. That Palm responded at all was a positive thing, but that may be the only positive thing they do about it. Their response has a hint of phoniness to it, as if they had never thought of any of the ideas listed but answered with "uh yeah, of course we're working on that". If their behavior over the last few years is any indication, they'll probably end up releasing a new device that addresses exactly none of the points. I only say this because of the long string of broken promises and lame excuses from them over the last few years. But I dunno, maybe they have hit rock bottom and they are ready to start climbing up again and will actually do something. I'd love to see it, because honestly there isn't a really great mobile device out there, and given how much hardware has advanced, there totally could be.

At any rate, as a former developer for Palm OS, it'll take a lot to get me interested again. Even if they were to release a product that is absolutely smashing and kick-ass from both a technical and user experience point of view, many of the small shops that were doing apps for Palm OS have seen a BIG drop in revenues, and I don't think it's a very good financial gamble to develop for some new device. I'd have to take a big pay cut and in return for it I'd get a huge amount of risk that I'd be spending a bunch of effort on a platform that will go nowhere. Not very enticing.

Or perhaps Ted Ts'o killed it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20476387)

In his Thoughts about the Palm Foleo [livejournal.com] post kernel hacker extraordinaire Ted Ts'o critiques the device and there is even a follow up comment from a Palm employee on there.

Makes sense on a dozen levels (3, Interesting)

Simon Carr (1788) | more than 7 years ago | (#20472545)

There's a new, weird surge of mini devices coming. Palm's entry was kinda neat but really failed to live up to some of the promises of the other devices coming out.


It's sensible; they're waiting to see how hard the Eee fails in this arena before they try to launch. They'll either compete directly with the Eee and the others or they'll learn from the failures of the Eee and we'll see an even neater (can I say that, neatER?) device from Palm.


I still love my Sony Clie, and I wish Palm the best, I'd really like to see a new Palm device that had a fair chance at rekindling the good old days of the Palm Pilot.


PS. I'm not damning the Eee pre-maturely, I'd love to see it flourish as well but I'm not holding my breath. Every time Asus raises the price a hair every tech forum goon places bets on it's death. What makes me think they may be right is that these cheapskates are it's primary market. If they aren't willing to buy it at $300 or even $400, they probably never would have seriously purchased it at $260 or whatever the limbo stick was at.

Re:Makes sense on a dozen levels (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20472797)

Maybe they can sell the lot to Apple. Once Apple re-brands it and sells for x4 the price, the demand will go through the roof.

Re:Makes sense on a dozen levels (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20473555)

I don't think it'd be a successful Apple product. Using Linux prevents you from getting laid [istheshit.net] . Mac users love their buttsex far too much

Unsostainable platform (1, Redundant)

feranick (858651) | more than 7 years ago | (#20472563)

The Linux platform the Foleo was built upon is different from the one they are currently developing for the next line of smartphone. Thus it is quite expensive and resource intensive for them to maintain two lines. The Foleo II will have the same OS powering both the Foleo and the smarthphone. In addition to this, the Foleo had a very limited amount of application that could run out of the box, making it not very practical/useful to use. Finally, in the current generation one it only support tethering with a Palm phone. In few words: a very restrictive platform, a dead end for Palm. Let's hope generation two will be better.

Re:Unsostainable platform (1)

Erwos (553607) | more than 7 years ago | (#20472621)

"In addition to this, the Foleo had a very limited amount of application that could run out of the box, making it not very practical/useful to use."

That's for sure. The Foleo's specs compare pretty well... to the two-year-old smartphone next to me.

Not if but when? (2, Informative)

David Hume (200499) | more than 7 years ago | (#20472567)

From the summary:

Palm hasn't ruled out a 'Foleo II' at some point
FTFA:

Jeff Hawkins and I still believe that the market category defined by Foleo has enormous potential. When we do Foleo II it will be based on our new platform, and we think it will deliver on the promise of this new category.

Erm ... (4, Insightful)

shellbeach (610559) | more than 7 years ago | (#20472689)

... it's called "saving face".

Unless I'm very much mistaken, there will never be a Foleo II. The press release is merely a cover for the fact that the product concept was DOA. Nobody was interested in the Foleo apart from a few geeks who wanted a cheap sub-notebook that ran linux. For business users there just wasn't a market for that thing and there most likely never will be.

Even die-hard Palm fans hated it, renaming it the Flopeo or Fooleo. Palm seriously screwed up with this one, but at least they had the courage to axe it before making complete fooleos of themselves ...

Re:Erm ... (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 7 years ago | (#20474817)

Unless I'm very much mistaken, there will never be a Foleo II. ... Even die-hard Palm fans hated it, renaming it the Flopeo or Fooleo.
You are. There were more than a few die-hard palm fans that looked at the Foleo, and though "hey, that's worth $600." Most of those that didn't did not as much ridicule the concept (a Palm OS pseudo-Laptop!) as mock its lack of media capability.

If the Foleo could manage a plug-in USB 2.0 DVD drive, had a full PCMCIA slot, and out-of-the-box could be used to watch YouTube, it'd be on shelves right now. I'd expect the last one to be fixed, and then the Foleo launched in six months or so with the single "Palm Linux" OS.

Re:Erm ... (1)

shellbeach (610559) | more than 7 years ago | (#20475839)

You are. There were more than a few die-hard palm fans that looked at the Foleo, and though "hey, that's worth $600." Most of those that didn't did not as much ridicule the concept (a Palm OS pseudo-Laptop!) as mock its lack of media capability.
Well, that's certainly not true over at palminfocenter - most people there mocked the general design of something that was larger than a PDA and had less functionality (e.g. no touch screen, not as portable, lacking applications, etc, etc). A big criticism was that Palm had created the solution to a problem that didn't exist. Even those that did like the concept had to fall over backwards to justify some use for the thing.

If the Foleo could manage a plug-in USB 2.0 DVD drive, had a full PCMCIA slot, and out-of-the-box could be used to watch YouTube, it'd be on shelves right now. I'd expect the last one to be fixed, and then the Foleo launched in six months or so with the single "Palm Linux" OS.
In other words, if the Foleo was actually a sub-notebook, rather than an oversized, feature-reduced PDA for which the principle use was to sync with your smart phone? Sure, you might sell them as well as an EeePC ... but there still isn't the market for these things that Palm thought there was. A business user will already have, and need, a smart phone and a laptop: there's simply no call for some halfway house that has the worst of both items! Really, these things are just toys - very, very few people actually need something like this.

Remember, Palm initially hyped the Foleo as the "most exciting project" they'd ever designed. It was supposed to be revolutionary, the next big thing. Palm fans (myself included) were speculating for months what it could be. Hawkins was pushing this to the hilt. The reality is that he cocked up big time, and Palm has finally realised it.

You can't seriously tell me you believe this is all down to platform compatibility, can you? That problem hasn't just arisen in the last few weeks, and you don't hype a product, announce it with fanfare ... and then pull it a month before its due to hit the shelves unless something went seriously wrong. And the thing that went seriously wrong, I would guess, is that nobody was going to buy it.

Re:Not if but when? (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473777)

I think he was hoping you'd bet otherwise.

SURPRISED? (3, Funny)

MikShapi (681808) | more than 7 years ago | (#20472589)

That a 500$ non-x86 glorified PDA in a UMPC form factor and lacking wireless capabilities would not sell in 2007, when Asus intends to push an XP-capable PentiumM-based EeePC that will harness the Windows application base for 200$-300$?

When two weeks after its announcement, VIA showed a reference C7-based UMPC (reworked nano-itx rig with a screen, really)?

GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK. I'd be surprised if palm managed to sell more than four of these units. Whoever made the call to do this product is a clueless idiot, and the engineers working for him are clueless idiots for not having pointed just how pathetically backward such a product would be in light of existing competition. It wouldn't have sold a decade ago. NOW?

1999 called. They want their Jornada back.

Re:SURPRISED? (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 7 years ago | (#20474729)

1999 called. They want their Jornada back.

Sweet. I've been looking to offload that piece of crap. Any chance they'd be interested in taking back a then first lady?

http://www.medisoncelebrity.com/ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20472601)

Any updates on this "too good to be true" deal?

too little, too late (2, Interesting)

Roadmaster (96317) | more than 7 years ago | (#20472731)

Well, the Foleo compares UNfavorably to my 10-year-old Toshiba Portege; it's also only slightly smaller than my current notebook computer. So I'd rather carry a full computer around; specially if it's the same weight-wise.

Palm decided to throw all their weight and resources behind the Treo line, and thus rendered themselves irrelevant in the PDA business, leaving a lot of users without any clear upgrade path (my T3 starts to show its age and it lacks all sorts of connectivity). Also they have slept in their laurels and have a last-century operating system that's hopelessly out of league with any other smartphone or PDA device out there. I have zero faith in them now, and while I'll be in the market for a smartphone in the next couple of years, it sure as hell will not be a Palm device; while I hope my T3 survives that long, should it fail, I'll just stop using a PDA altogether, Palm's current offerings really are *that* bad and Foleo was only an indication that they're not about to improve.

Re:too little, too late (2, Insightful)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 7 years ago | (#20472867)

Resources behind the Treo line? The Treo 600 was a brilliant product in its day, but all they've done in the 7 years or so since is basically bugfix and do new plastic moldings. And come out with a line of me-too Windows Mobile devices.

If that's all the resources they have they are screwed. The whole point of dumping the Folio is to focus on their new OS.

The whole problem is that this company was nearly destroyed by splitting off the OS division into PalmSource. The hardware division is worthless without a great OS to back it up.

The iPhone sucks in a zillion ways, but it's got a great OS running on a limited piece of hardware. And it can't even do shit out of the box, you have to hack it to even make it moderately useful. Still demolishing the Treo in the market.

That's pathetic. Palm needs a new OS. Palm OS is looking so long in the tooth it's ridiculous.

hmm, you seem hard to please. (1)

Erris (531066) | more than 7 years ago | (#20474085)

Palm needs a new OS. Palm OS is looking so long in the tooth it's ridiculous.

So, what OS would you propose if it's not the one they just developed for Folio or Palm or the me too Windoze mobile?

you seem uninformed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20474167)

Symbian [wikipedia.org] /S60 [wikipedia.org] , for one. VxWorks [wikipedia.org] . Nucleus RTOS [wikipedia.org] . eCos [wikipedia.org] . Inferno [wikipedia.org] . FreeRTOS [wikipedia.org] , which is licensed under the GPL.

Take your pick.

"Windoze", that's rich.

You're welcome.

Re:you seem uninformed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20474843)

Would you run any of these on a PC?

You have to realize that today's modern "embedded devices" and mobile phones have enough resources to run a real operating system.

You seem to be afraid to mention Linux.
Why exactly are you stuck on a RT OS?

Using a stripped down OS could help make up form low memory or processor.
But when those parts come down in price, you would realize that painting yourself into a corner with some POS OS like Nucleus was not a good idea.

Good night and good luck.

Re:hmm, you seem hard to please. (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 7 years ago | (#20475417)

I don't really care, but I'd prefer something Linux based. Or other Unixy OS. The core scarcely matters, the innovation isn't in making a kernel that runs on a moderately limited handheld device, it's in a user interface, applications and email/web browsing experience that is compelling, powerful and usable. You know, like Apple did with the iPhone, only not have it be a closed platform with shitty email support.

Linux Folley? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20472733)

The've recalled the linux Folley?
hrm.

Looking forward to dinky Linux-powered laptops... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20472761)

Or you can look backwards, as well.

The Nokia N800 serves as a good, tiny Linux palm-sized PC. It seems to be what Palm was going to put out -- but it's a lot more open, and it works with many more phones.

They withdrew it because... (3, Funny)

jddj (1085169) | more than 7 years ago | (#20472825)

...it was an answer to a question that nobody asked. Unless the question was "WTF?"

Re:They withdrew it because... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20473375)

So was the computer itself. The altair was a useless piece of hardware, with no software to run it when it first came out.

Light at the end of the tunnel (4, Interesting)

fishthegeek (943099) | more than 7 years ago | (#20472879)

Hallelujah. I've all but given up hope that my Palm TX would not be the last of it's breed. I watched Hawkins debut the Foleo live and I felt a twisting in my stomach, sincerely fearing that Palm was committing suicide in a spectacularly dull fashion. There is not a market for the Foleo and there never was. This might be a sign that Palm execs have finally started to understand that 1997 is gone and will never return. I'm looking forward to the next rev of the Palm OS (read: brutal murder of Garnet). I'm looking forward to a device that has Skype built in and finally has an OS that doesn't crash, plays multimedia, has a decent browser and above all is a PDA not a phone. I hope that this is a sign and I wish Palm the best!

Re:Light at the end of the tunnel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20472927)

NOKIA N800!!! $350, wifi, bluetooth gprs/evdo, Skype, mplayer, DEBIAN BASED MAEMO LINUX. Who cares about Palm we have a great device from a great company already available...

Re:Light at the end of the tunnel (1)

fishthegeek (943099) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473309)

The N800 is a great device for what it is and I don't want to take away from that, but I use a pda as a quick replacement for a laptop for those times when a laptop isn't convenient such as while sitting at a restaurant that doesn't have wifi. I don't want a device that is tied to the Internet to be functional. I live in a semi-rural state where wifi isn't as pervasive as San Fransisco.

As nice as the N800 is, it's is veritably useless apart from a wifi connection.

Re:Light at the end of the tunnel (2, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 7 years ago | (#20474071)

The N800 is a great device for what it is and I don't want to take away from that, but I use a pda as a quick replacement for a laptop for those times when a laptop isn't convenient such as while sitting at a restaurant that doesn't have wifi. I don't want a device that is tied to the Internet to be functional. I live in a semi-rural state where wifi isn't as pervasive as San Fransisco.

I use a PDA too, but one with WiFi for use where WiFi is available, and BlueTooth for when it isn't (Clie UX-50). And unlike the Foleo, I can read and reply to my e-mails directly through WiFi or Bluetooth or USB, and not just sync it with a cell phone Inbox. Multiple e-mail accounts is no problems either, and using IMAP, I can keep gigabytes of emails available on the server, and not be limited to the phone's memory for the Inbox, like with the Foleo.
That it fits in my shirt pocket is a big reason why I carry my PDA with me at all times.
My laptop is nice for when I've planned to go somewhere -- it's not something I always carry with me. And a Foleo couldn't have been that either, simply because it's too big and heavy.

What the Foleo really was, was a keyboard and screen in a laptop form factor that would allow you to access a small subset of what your phone and PDA already could do, on a bigger screen. I don't think anyone at Palm seriously thought this could become a seller, but were simply spit-shining Jeff Hawkins' shoes as good yes-men do, since he had the delusion that it was his greatest invention ever. I'm just surprised that Jeff Hawkins didn't realise the truth himself, or that CEO Ed Colligan didn't blow on the house of cards earlier.

Some safeguards should be put in place so this can not happen again. Firing Hawkins (or more likely retiring him with a bonus and lots of thanks) isn't unlikely now, but won't resolve anything. The culture within Palm must be rotten, and those without guts to say "Sorry, Jeff, but that's plain stupid" even after all the fan sites pointed it out are the real people to blame here.

Re:Light at the end of the tunnel (2, Insightful)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#20474837)

I don't think they'll ever do another non-phone.

Which makes me sad, too. The T|X is okay, but it shouldn't be the best they can do.

Re:Light at the end of the tunnel (1)

robin.com.au (1137403) | more than 7 years ago | (#20475215)

How about the Nokia N800 [arstechnica.com] ?

Fellateo? (1, Troll)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 7 years ago | (#20472997)

What about that one ?

I wouldn't touch that with my barge pole.... (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#20474079)

[lameness filter bypass text]

Re:Fellateo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20474781)

That rumored product would have required a Duo processor. But the Palm brand is clearly strongly with Solo processor uses.

Re:Fellateo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20474805)

At least, that one wouldn't suffer from early withdraws.

What's the big deal ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20473039)

They put a microprocessor in a box. That's been done dozens if not hundreds of times before. I just don't get it.

What I want from Palm (3, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473061)

Palm should return to what they knew how to do well once upon a time. Build insanely great personal organizers. It isn't the 1990's anymore and it doesn't HAVE to be a cellphone, we have bluetooth now. Bundling a PDA with a cellphone sounds like a great idea, but it isn't. They operate on two totally different replacement cycles, cellphones (in the US) are tied to the carrier, requiring you to buy from the subset of products your carrier decides to carry. Cell phones have the WRONG FORM FACTOR. Jeff, go back to your blocks of wood and realize the problem and maybe a solution.

Once you make that jump, something like the Folio is at least possible to think about. A big PDA for the DayRunner set that links via Bluetooth or WiFi and offers a stable platform for the road warrier who doesn't need to worry about problems with Windows and can live with a mostly browser based existence except for the vital PDA data and vertical apps kept locally.

And personally I wouldn't trade month long battery runtimes for 'multimedia clips.' A big Folio sized gadget should do it because it needs a Li-Ion battery and a daily charge anyway, but offer at least one handheld that ISN'T an iPod wannabee. These days you could sell a totally kick ass "Palm" for under a hundred dollars. There is a whole untapped market there just waiting.

How many devices do you want to drag around? (2, Insightful)

swb (14022) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473199)

I'll agree that I don't get the trend towards making a fcsking iPod (errm, music player) out of every bit of electronics, but I do appreciate the phone/PDA hybrid and appreciate the fact I don't need two devices.

I also appreciate the massive overlap -- a PDA is orders of magnitudes more useful if it can communicate with the internet (email, sync, etc) and a phone is orders of magnitude more useful if it organizes phone numbers and contact information. Bluetooth linking doesn't cut it and its not worth the inevitable bullshoot and reliability problems that it would come with it. I love my BT headset and mouse, but the rest of it has been more hassle than carrying an 8" USB cable in my laptop bag.

I do like the sub-sub-notebook ("paperback"?) form factor, but its not truly useful without good 3G or better networking, and phone tethering while useful doesn't cut it.

What we really need is a CF-card sized "phone module" we can move between various devices (phone, notebook, PDA, etc) that gives them network access without creating a hardware dependency (eg, the phone handset/carrier tie-in) AND a much-better-than-bluetooth wireless standard that provides more robust and higher speed connectivity.

Re:How many devices do you want to drag around? (1)

andrewguy9 (1152099) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473739)

Before June I would carry around my laptop cell phone and iPod. Now I just carry my iPhone, however I do miss the larger screen on my laptop! I hoped the foleo would enable me to use Bluetooth to extend my smart phone's EDGE to my other devices. Thats somthing I would really use! Why are all of thee ip and Bluetooth devices getting synced bough USB!!! The iPhone outlook sync is just bad. I wish I could look up directions on my phone, hop in the car, open my laptop and have the map staring back at me. Tight integration was the point of the foleo, and I'm afraid it is the real casulty of this news.

Re:How many devices do you want to drag around? (5, Insightful)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473937)

What we really need is a CF-card sized "phone module" we can move between various devices...

Well, if North America had standardised on GSM, the answer would be simple: a SIM chip.

But, that's another argument for another time.

Has to be a phone (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#20474739)

It isn't the 1990's anymore and it doesn't HAVE to be a cellphone

In the 90's it didn't have to be a cellphone.

Now if you have an organizer, phones have just enough organizer abilities that it's hard to overcome something a user already has by nessesity (phone) to get them to buy something they are not sure if they need (more advanced organizer). So I'm afraid to sell anything broadly, a phone has to be part of the deal.

However, I agreee with this statement:

Build insanely great personal organizers.

Yes it has to be a phone. But keep focus and make it primarily an insanely great personal organizer. I haven't seen that from Palm since the Palm V, when they were firing on all cylenders and before the OS design people went to cryo storage (yeah, I know the OS was sold).

Perhaps the Linux refresh they are working on will be a true update worthy of the Palm heritage.

Re:What I want from Palm (1)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 7 years ago | (#20476251)

I doubt that's really a good idea, sales of PDAs have been dropping like a stone for years now.

What I'd like too see... (4, Interesting)

Kaenneth (82978) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473067)

1. Google (or someone else nice) wins spectrum auction, and provides an open wireless based server platform. Such that someone can write a service application and can host it themselves, or have it be hosted by Google so it executes in the datacenter nearest the client, using a simple server-side API.

2. Palm provides a open wireless client platform, with a simple API, the ability to run Java and/or .NET/Mono programs that are wireless 'aware' (Battery life, intermittent connection, small screen size, GPS, etc.)

3. that 1 and 2 work together...

Getting web pages on a mobile device is nice, but I want to be able to not only create my own applications, but servers as well. You might be able to unlock an iPhone to work with another service, but do other services work with the iPhone?

Custom traffic maps rendered from traffic sensor data; traffic sensors which themselves could use the wireless... which then notifies you based on your current location, that if you don't leave in 10 minutes, you'll be late for an appointment.

Someone tells you about a cool new show, so you browse TV schedules, then set your DVR to record it remotely... then trickle it to your handheld in the background and watch it.

You can do a lot of that with existing web-server based tools, but sometimes a custom application that's aware of the mobile hardware could be amazingly useful, particularly if it needs to respond to 'events', not just while the page is loaded.

Nokia N800 (4, Insightful)

Gunark (227527) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473153)

Who cares. I'm loving my Linux-based Nokia N800.

Re:Nokia N800 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20473859)

N800 rocks. Definitely the best UMPC at anywhere near the price point, at the moment.

Closest thing I've seen to it in functionality was 3X the weight, 3X the volume, and 3X the price. Oh, and couldn't fit into my shirt pocket.

I think I like my Blackberry better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20473173)

http://www.umpcportal.com/products/ [umpcportal.com]

The link above lists a bunch of similar products. The ones that are actually available seem to cost around >$1000. The battery life is not stellar for those whose battery life is listed.

A full sized laptop is cheaper and better performing. Most of the products listed won't fit in your pocket. Something like a Blackberry is cheaper and has better battery life. Thumb typing on the Blackberry seems to be less of a problem than the qwerty keyboards on most of these product.

I'm struggling for a reason why I would want any of them. They seem to hit just the wrong place between the Blackberry and a real laptop without giving any particular advantage over either. The word kludge comes to mind.

Bwahahahaha! (2, Funny)

Gavin Scott (15916) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473291)

As I wrote here when they announced it:

It seems that almost all gadgets introduced as being a "new class" of device can be found a year later being sold by the pallet-load at bay area surplus and auction places. A year from now we can go in together on a lot of 100 of them for $1 each :)
The only question now is whether they show up at Weird Stuff Warehouse or BDI :-)

Seriously, this might be the most embarrassing product announcement I've ever seen.

G.

Re:Bwahahahaha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20474145)

Your prophecy... ahh.. didn't, ummm... come true.

i just got a fujitusu fmv-u8240 ... running linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20473301)

a umpc, 800mhz cpu (feels like a 1.2 ghz cpu oddly in terms of performance), nice keyboard, touchscreen, notepad swivel screen, lots of extras.

it's running ubuntu gutsy gibbon with everything working out of the box (plus minor configuration) (except for the thumbprint scanner), why the hell would i buy something like the foleo?

as hardware becomes more powerfull and smaller in form factor it pushes lower the special case interfaces and environments like qtopia and wince ... there is just no need for them because a full desktop works fantastic on these things and the inertia behind these platforms is simply overwhelming..

therefore, if you come up with a device that doesn't offer all the bells and whistles you are REALLY going to haveto find another angle for selling these things, and there aren't that many in a commodity marketplace.

My Nokia N800 replaced my Palm PDAs (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20473549)

The Palm OS was EXCELLENT, for a PDA. The hardware SUCKS. I'm writing apps for my nice little Debian-based Linux portable, AKA my Nokia N800, to replace it.

I have gone through quite a few Palm PDAs, including a Palm III, a Palm V, 2 Palm Vx units, a Palm m505, a Zire 22, and 4 Tungsten T|X units. I had 4 T|Xs because the screen digitizer kept failing, so Palm kept having to replace it under warranty. The glue holding the V/Vx cases kept failing, and the motherboard died on one Vx. I got tired of every single device having a different proprietary cradle and charger. I got tired of the previous generation being totally orphaned so that you could no longer find accessories or get repairs. I also got tired of buying hardcases which then disintegrated when the glue failed. Each generation had less battery lifetime, so that I started out with two weeks between charges on my Palm III and finished where I had better not forget to charge my T|X every single night. I love the operating system and user interface, but the hardware is a dismal failure.

Finally my last T|X started rebooting every time I tried to use the wi-fi. That was the last straw. I managed to get one last backup out of it.

The problem is that the Palm to-do list and calendar runs my life and rules my world. I bought an app called PocketMoney and made it a habit to immediately record groceries, gas, lunch, etc. in it, and it has literally kept me from making debit card overdrafts since 2002, when I used to make 3 or 4 a month. Washington Mutual's stock went down when I bought a Palm. I keep all my passwords in there. I write stuff down that I do only once a year and which takes 3 days to rediscover, so that when I go "how do I do..." I can look it up on my PDA. I use HanDbase to track the contents of my parts boxes, tool boxes, and book collection, and to remind me of local restaurants. I use Jpilot and I wrote my own daemon to do wi-fi hotsyncing on Linux so I can easily back it up every day with one button press. It plays a big part in keeping my daily life on track.

So I had to find a replacement. I use Linux so a WinCE/Mobile Windows unit was right out, because it's impossible to sync the data and back it up on anything but a Windows machine. I drooled over the Nokia 770 "internet tablet" for ages, but it didn't seem "programmable" or developer-friendly, and I had no idea what an "internet tablet" was supposed to do for you. Finally the Nokia 800 came out and I discovered you could run Python on it so I bought one. It turns out that you can easily write nice user interfaces with pyGTK if you take a little care to respect the limits of the CPU.

One other nice thing I discovered is that the built-in Opera browser is capable of handling my bank's website, the RoadRunner webmail page, and the Oracle Collabsuite email system at work. The Palm T|X web browser failed with all of these.

For me, my N800 is my "very tiny Linux laptop that fits in my pocket" and goes with me on my motorcycle and other places where I wouldn't carry a regular laptop.

Afraid of getting squished by Microsoft again? (1)

shanen (462549) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473651)

Dang. I was really hoping Palm could come back with something good.

Should I again rant about the essential badness of Windows Mobile against Palm? Seems as pointless as trying to figure out whether or not Microsoft is still losing money in that tactical niche. I was forced to switch to Windows Mobile a while ago--but it sure seems like forever.

Thanks for the heads-up on the Asus Eee PC (1)

RobertinXinyang (1001181) | more than 7 years ago | (#20473781)

Thanks for the heads-up on the Asus Eee PC. I have been looking for a "modern Tandy 100" for some time. I just want small, light, cheap and able to do simple writing and spreadsheet. I do not want a game machine. As far as formatting, I can do that later on an apple when I get back. I just want something for field notes. This looks like it may be it

Light, Cheap, with a separate pocket size keyboard (1)

Rasta_the_far_Ian (872140) | more than 7 years ago | (#20475275)

I use a Palm TX with a pocket sized infrared keyboard for taking notes at the library. The TX has the largest screen on a (pocket sized!) PDA that I could find, making reading text based ebooks (Project Gutenberg) easy; the separate, foldable, pocket sized keyboard makes typing at an acceptable speed possible. I used to carry a laptop everytime I went to the library, but hardly ever do anymore.

I really don't care for Palm's operating system - my ideal would be something more like a folder structure allowing one to take text notes, etc. I don't like the limitations that Palm's operating system puts on me. Simple text entry would allow me to write notes as I need them, and even format them using something like DocUtils to autogenerate formatted notes.

Unfortunately, the industry seems to have gotten the idiotic notion that a cell phone with a tiny screen is a better PDA for me than the PDAs that were available a couple of years ago.

How can one believe that a camera or MP3 playing capabilities on a cell phone somehow make up for not being able to take notes or read an ebook on a decent PDA!

same old bag of tricks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20473901)

This is Palm's favorite trick. They show off some Linux-powered doodad and then never ship it. How many times now? It's just free press.

who cares? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20474119)

this just means that aids infected linux fags will need to stay indoors. this is where those faggot rump roasters belong.

I know what I want (2, Interesting)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 7 years ago | (#20474691)

a Psion 5mx/Revo (aka Diamond Mako) with SD memory, WiFi, Linux and the possibility of future versions being a SmartPhone. I love those Psion keyboards and that it folded to be flat enough to fit in my pocket with its rounded edges. Also I liked that it was fairly affordable (at least the Mako). I'm pretty much tired of seeing $500 pdas, I'm more into the sub-$200 range, and would really like to see something small and simple for under $100. Let's get back to the basics instead of constantly adding MHZ and RAM and reducing the battery life. I would much rather keep the same MHZ as we move forward and continuously increase the battery life.

Software, like a gas, just expands to fill all available space anyways. Gives those programmers faster cpus and more RAM and it will still take half a second to respond to your actions and several seconds to load anything.

obviously the market disagrees with me what makes a good portable computer. I also wonder why a Palm has a massively more powerful CPU than my TI-85 but the calculator on the Palm totally sucks. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks that everyone should have a solver in their pocket.

Re:I know what I want (1)

sacrilicious (316896) | more than 7 years ago | (#20474951)

You might find the Nokia 9300 (and it's bigger cousin the 9500) fun... they're simbian based, i.e. descended directly from the Psion lineage complete with app buttons and (for a pda) a great keyboard. I was a Psion series 3A fan way back in 94 and missed the hell out of it when it disappeared from the market; the Nokia 9300 has really been like going home. :)

Heavy phone, even for Treo case (1)

dgmartin98 (576409) | more than 7 years ago | (#20475453)

I bought the Treo 650 about 3 years ago, along with a case, made by Palm. The case had a little snap to keep the phone in, vertically, but the whole case rotated on its clip.

So the phone could be right-side up, but unintentionally rotates itself upside-down, holding on for dear-life by a single button. The button came undone about 2 or 3 times within a month, dumping the phone on the floor each time. Finally, I'm out for a walk outside, and the phone must have rotated without me knowing, button comes undone, and the phone splatters on the pavement, battery goes flying, pen goes one way, battery cover goes another, and the screen gets scarred.

PALM - SELL QUALITY ACCESSORIES !!! Don't Cheap out the accessories to the lowest-bidding subcontractor!!! I paid $40 for a piece of crap Palm-branded case.

Now I have a permanently upright case that doesn't rotate, but the size of the phone plus the case is huge !

Its been said already... (1)

ravyne (858869) | more than 7 years ago | (#20475485)

but I'll say it again.

There's no sense in bringing the Foleo to market when its up to 3 times the price of Asus's EEE and less than half a machine. As much as I like the idea of computing devices on less-typical architectures like ARM, MIPS or PowerPC, I can't foot that bill in the face of superior and cheaper x86 based technology. It just doesn't make sense.

I'm sure they thought that they *really* had something before they revealed it. I'm also sure that they crapped themselves the minute the EEE and VIA's competitor was announced.

The problem with the Foleo is its price (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#20475983)

A superlight and cheap laptop is a fantastic idea. Give a device a keyboard, a usable screen, word processor, spreadsheet, email, browser etc. and it's more than adequate for short breaks, camping, coffee shops, lectures etc. A commercialized version of the OLPC will sell by the shitload which is why Quanta / ASUS & VIA all have plans to make them.

This is the Foleo's problem. It's too expensive to compete with the impending supercheap portables and it's encroaching into the price territory of more able laptops. It's just too expensive.

It doesn't even hold up well in a feature comparison. The supercheap laptops will likely be bundled with Linux and software like OpenOffice which is pretty damned impressive. What's the Foleo going to have? Probably some proprietary software which feels primitive and feature light.

It's also being marketed all wrong. It's being sold as a "mobile companion" for your smartphone. Phrases like that do not inspire confidence in the device. The Foleo had flop written all over it, so hopefully Palm are going to take stock and produce something more useful.

Palm lost the plot years ago. (3, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#20476733)

Palm's problem is that they lost the plot years ago. The original Palm OS design allowed for all kinds of cool capabilities that require far greater resources in a more general purpose OS... consider that palm's search function gave you the same kind of capabilities as a modern "desktop search" program... on an 8 MHz 68000!

Instead of building on their strengths they panicked and let Microsoft move the goalposts, then went "wait a second, PalmOS isn't a multitasking laptop replacement, we gotta replace it or we're h0sed!" and ran off in every direction at once to try and replace something that didn't need replacing.

They should have continued to develop the Palm OS 4 platform and follow the Dragonball down to cheaper and cheaper hardware, ensuring a continual influx of new customers who bought a $100... $80... $50... $30... entry-level Palm instead of a $200 Pocket PC because, well, that's what the mass market can afford. They owned that market, and gave it up.

If they'd done that they wouldn't be trying to come up with a way to get people to buy into their latest high margin gimmick.
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