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Palm Before the PalmPilot

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the deep-in-the-mysts-of-the-past dept.

Handhelds 143

Gammu writes "SiliconUser has an in-depth history of the Palm, starting with its humble roots. The Pilot (later PalmPilot and finally just Palm) saved Palm Computing. Before the release of the Pilot, the company was subsisting (barely) on revenue from connectivity packages for HP PDA's and a version of Graffiti for the Newton. This was because its first PDA hardware product had failed under the weight of feature creep and design by committee. The first article in a series follows the early days of this company-reforming product."

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I miss Visor (4, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | about 7 years ago | (#21066671)

Visor was what Palm should have been (and rightly so since the company was owned by many of the people who hated the committee design of the Pilot. I still think the Visor Edge is the greatest palm based PDA ever made. Its still thinner than my Tungsten E2.

Re:I miss Visor (2, Funny)

cheater512 (783349) | about 7 years ago | (#21066787)

I love my Lifedrive.

Mind you its about double the thickness of a TX but its extremely useful with its built in hard drive.
Movies and music galore. :)

Re:I miss Visor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21066943)

Not to mention, the possibility of modding it to use a CF card instead of the microdrive gives a huge and relatively inexpensive upgrade in battery life and responsiveness (no more drive spinup lag).

Re:I miss Visor (2, Interesting)

karnal (22275) | about 7 years ago | (#21067031)

I used my TX daily for about a month until it developed the dreaded screen squeal. It sounds something similar to a TV flyback transformer @ 15khz or so.

Sent to palm 3 times at my own expense; they claim there's nothing wrong with it.

In addition, there's a lot of noise coming from the amplifier in the unit - using it with 32 ohm headphones (which most consumer headphones are at) is very very noisy.

All in all, I really loved the unit; the web browser worked well and it played divx/xvid movies with ease. But once you've heard the squeal, it can drive you nuts. Wish I could find a solution. There's a software package out there that is 20$ that is an overclocking utility (warpspeed?) that has the ability to eliminate 95% of the screen noise, but I hadn't dug into my wallet to fix it. I shouldn't have to spend more money to enjoy a product my wife got me for my birthday......

Re:I miss Visor (3, Informative)

cheater512 (783349) | about 7 years ago | (#21067129)

There are free programs around which also fix it.
It involves changing the touch screen's refresh frequency.
Apparently it works well.

Dont know about the noise from the amplifier. My Lifedrive has great audio.

Re:I miss Visor (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | about 7 years ago | (#21069121)

I just stuck some paper between the touchscreen and the chassis... problem fixed.

Re:I miss Visor (1)

arb phd slp (1144717) | about 7 years ago | (#21067285)

I also had a Visor and loved it.

I have a T|X that had the screen whine and a terribly miscalibrated touchscreen. Two trips back to tech support and no improvement. Warpspeed and PowerDigi that fixed both problems. Between having to pay someone else extra to make it work the way it should out of the box and the general flimsiness of the hardware (have to really mash the hardware buttons to get them to register) I'm pretty sure this will be my last Palm device.

The only reason I haven't replaced it with an iTouch is that the T|X does spreadsheets and has a full scientific calculator. With the iPhone SDK coming soon, that may change (just call it the Newton2 already and be done with it). Palm is going to need to do something pretty drastic to keep from losing me as a repeat customer.

Re:I miss Visor (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | about 7 years ago | (#21067373)

Assuming they learn some lessons from these iTouch and iPhones, perhaps they'll come out with something less closed off as Apples offerings are.

Re:I miss Visor (2, Insightful)

karnal (22275) | about 7 years ago | (#21067403)

Oh yea, speaking of hard-to-push buttons, my TX eventually got to the point that the power button no longer worked. At first it was just getting to where I had to push it harder, but finally it stopped working.

See this note regarding Palm and the screen noise:,kb=PalmSupportKB,CASE=obj(31651),ts=Palm_External2001 []

So they know about it, claim it's a non-issue and won't fix for free. Or for any amount of money.

Defective from the manufacturer.

I have tinnitus in my left ear, and the device drives me up the wall.

Re:I miss Visor (1)

epp_b (944299) | about 7 years ago | (#21067517)

I used my TX daily for about a month until it developed the dreaded screen squeal. It sounds something similar to a TV flyback transformer @ 15khz or so. Sent to palm 3 times at my own expense; they claim there's nothing wrong with it.
Well, if "nothing wrong with it" means "this is normal behaviour", then they're right. I've been in Palm stores were every Palm PDA with a TFT screen buzzes and drives me to insanity (it seems that only Palms with TFT screens will emit this squeal; their STN-screened models do not). I don't understand how this is even acceptable.

Maybe they only want to sell these things to people over 40 (who apparently can't hear high-pitched sounds like this)

Re:I miss Visor (1)

karnal (22275) | about 7 years ago | (#21067701)

I stopped carrying my tx around - but was in staples one day and showed my wife the squeal that EVERY palm was emitting.

See, she was pissed that I wasn't using the 300$ pda she had bought me. However, now she's in agreement with me that I have a valid reason for not using it. That will teach me to buy new untested technology. The big bummer is that it's a really neat device.... collecting dust in my basement.

Re:I miss Visor (2, Interesting)

adolf (21054) | about 7 years ago | (#21068193)

I used to suffer from this same problem with my Zire 71. I found myself using it less and less as the noise became more and more bothersome. And then, one day, the display went all wonky and intermittent in an unrelated case of a bad internal connection.

Palm fixed the connection under warranty, apparently by replacing the entire front half of the unit.

Ever since then (it's been about 3 years), it has been totally silent. So, clearly, not -every- unit has this problem, and it can be fixed.

Re:I miss Visor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21066811)

Troll != I Disagree. Whomever modded this comment troll needs to place the mod points on the ground and walk away slowly. There isn't anything trollish about the parent post at all. Mod Nazis.

Re:I miss Visor (3, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | about 7 years ago | (#21067067)

Palm did have the Palm V. That was perhaps the high point of my PDA experience. Today I have a $500 HP iPaq with Microsoft software which is incredibly sluggish, crashes constantly, and is about twice as thick and heavy as my Palm V. However that is all my company allows me to use, because it does have a fingerprint reader and encryption. Nevermind if it locks up 30% of the time you try to turn it on with those features enabled.

To be fair, the iPaq 1945 series with an earlier version of Windows Mobile was much, much better. I believe today nobody at Microsoft or HP actually uses PocketPCs. Everything has gone over to cellphones, leaving those of us who still need a non-phone PDA for whatever reason (generally, security policies) almost high and dry. I guess they have to follow the market, but I wish they would at least not advertise and ship stuff that doesn't work.

Re:I miss Visor (2, Informative)

bearfx (697655) | about 7 years ago | (#21067843)

Does yours randomly reset itself, losing all data, to? I like the idea of Windows CE (or whatever it is called these days), but I have yet to have a CE device that works well. Crashes, Freezes, Resets...Windows CE, they name is CRAP. Their is some very useful and cool software available, but if a device cannot perform its core functions well, then it is a failure... I to have a 500$ HP IPaq that is a failure. My Palm V never crashed, never locked, never reset itself, never lost data... it just worked, and worked well. My Treo 650 (personal cell) has functioned 100% since I got it (when it was first released by verizon). It has never crashed, reset, etc etc. When I am on call at work, I am assigned an HP Ipaq 510 (AT&T). Sometimes it will freeze for no reason... and it takes over a minute to reboot to the point I can make phone calls. I have never seen it lose data, but I don't store anything in it.

Re:I miss Visor (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 7 years ago | (#21067987)

I have never seen it lose data, but I don't store anything in it.
Starting with Windows Mobile 5, Microsoft finally wizened up and fixed the data loss problem. Now everything is handled more like a PC: data and applications are on flash memory, and RAM is just RAM (and not a place to store things). You'd have to work at it to lose data now.

Re:I miss Visor (1)

PetoskeyGuy (648788) | about 7 years ago | (#21069339)

To be fair, the iPaq 1945 series with an earlier version of Windows Mobile was much, much better. I believe today nobody at Microsoft or HP actually uses PocketPCs. Everything has gone over to cellphones, leaving those of us who still need a non-phone PDA for whatever reason (generally, security policies) almost high and dry. I guess they have to follow the market, but I wish they would at least not advertise and ship stuff that doesn't work.
The iPaq 1945 used the PocketPC 2003 OS / Windows Mobile 2003 OS. This was the last version of PocketPC / Windows Mobile made that I would consider useful for instant on applications.

Starting with Windows Mobile 2005 and later Microsoft made a decision to protect users from losing their data if batteries fail at the expense of losing the "instant on" behavior I used to love. They did that by implementing something like hibernation mode on a laptop. Your data and running programs are always saved in slower NV ram and has to be loaded into the real ram every time you turn the PDA on. It's a bit more complicated then that but it's close enough.

Here's a post about it. As someone there stated if you knew how to keep the battery charged WM05/06 is a step backwards in terms of performance for increased battery life and risk of data loss. []

Re:I miss Visor (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 7 years ago | (#21069851)

Interesting design decision. The Psion Series 3 I owned a decade or so ago stored everything in RAM. In the entire lifespan of the device, I only did a full reboot (they called it a hard reset) twice. When the batteries went flat, there was a secondary battery that protected the contents of RAM. The entire OS and application stack was written in 8086 assembly (code size was important on a device with 256KB of RAM which was also used for data storage and ran a spreadsheet, word processor, address book, and compiler at the same time) and yet it still managed to be stable.

I've also not found a PDA as developer-friendly as the S3. It had an OPL editor, interpreter, and compiler. I wrote a couple of full-featured apps on it and a huge number of little single-task ones.

Re:I miss Visor (1)

ChameleonDave (1041178) | about 7 years ago | (#21070109)

Ah yes, I remember them well. I had a Siena, then a Series 3, then a Series 5. My dad had one of those old Psion Organisers. Them were the days!

Re:I miss Visor (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21067123)

Viso Pro. Owned 3 of them. OK, so no color, no multimedia, no phone. So what? Runs for 2 weeks off a pair of AAA batteries, and if they run down, any convenience store adds another fortnight - no need for funny chargers or other tie-me-downs. Carried my contacts, appointment alarms, to-do-lists, memos, general notes on life (e.g. bus schedules &co.), universal IR remote control, shopping list, and a couple of e-books for when I had to wait for doctors or mechanics.

Downsides: Fragile LCD (broke 1) and crummy copper sync contacts that would corrode and interfere with syncing. A tad bulky, but at least it fits a shirt pocket.

Re:I miss Visor (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | about 7 years ago | (#21067209)

I like how your sig relates to your post.

Re:I miss Visor (1)

ehrichweiss (706417) | about 7 years ago | (#21067235)

Agreed. I actually just gave my wife my Visor Edge so that we can work out our scheduling, to-do lists, etc. I don't know why they didn't make more Visors(or PDAs in general) with metal cases/covers like the Edge.

Re:I miss Visor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21067257)

yea i had a fat palm 3? i forget, it was short on memory and everything. i so desired that thin little palm 5 but the pricing really didn't justify the cripple capability so i went with visor. i've never gone back to palm since, they seemed to act with an arrogance they couldn't justify. their products weren't good enough to justify the prices.

Re:I miss Visor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21067267)

Just a minor nitpick, but the company was called Handspring. The product was the Visor.

Re:I miss Visor (4, Informative)

thethibs (882667) | about 7 years ago | (#21067313)

Indeed. To my mind, the Tungsten is a giant step backward. It's particularly stupid that Graffiti is what made the pilot in the first place but in the Tungsten they put Graffiti 2, which is slow, unreliable and hyper-sensitive to small timing variations. I really hope they fired the idiot who thought that was a good idea.

With the Visor and Graffiti, I could take notes continuously without looking at the screen (great for meetings). With the Tungsten and Graffiti 2, I have to keep checking that it read what I wrote or that it hasn't interpreted an "i" as "l." or vice versa. I've never figured out how to get it to consistently read an "r" or an "h". The original Graffiti was fast and sure. Graffiti 2 is so bad that I'll probably be looking for something with one of those moronic little keyboards as my next PDA. I know that is really slumming in technological backwaters, but I don't see much choice.

Re:I miss Visor (2, Interesting)

a_nonamiss (743253) | about 7 years ago | (#21067451)

in the Tungsten they put Graffiti 2
IIRC, that wasn't Palm's decision. It was the result of a lawsuit (Xerox maybe?) and they were forced to change Graffiti "just enough" so that it wasn't interfering on IP rights. About 30 seconds of Googling could clear this up more definitely, but my I am out of brain for the day...

Re:I miss Visor (1)

lintux (125434) | about 7 years ago | (#21068259)

Ah yeah, from the Graffiti 2 Wikipedia page [] :

"The primary reason for the change was the fact that in April 1997 Xerox had sued PalmSource, Inc. over its use of Graffiti. After a legal fight lasting a number of years, and despite the dismissal of the case by a federal judge, Xerox won a reversal late in 2001 in the U.S. Court of Appeals."

However, Googling for "graffiti 2 xerox" also gives you this El Reg article [] where it looks like Xerox didn't really own Graffiti 1 at all...

Interesting to know this. I (and many more, I suppose) always thought Graffiti 2 was there to attract more people who don't understand steep learning curves can have advantages in the long term. It keeps annoying me how typing TT in Jot gets converted to " all the time if I don't want for at least a second before writing the next T (IIRC).

Re:I miss Visor (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 7 years ago | (#21069781)

Agreed. Graffiti 1 was good, I can tell Graffiti 2 would annoy me immensely just by looking at the glyph chart.

I still have my old Palm III, upgraded to PalmOS 4, for this very reason. Although I have been quite impressed by the Fitaly keyboard, which is freeware for Palm devices. Since you can get it for other devices, it might be a good input device to learn.

Fitaly Keyboard for Palm []

Re:I miss Visor (1)

scottme (584888) | about 7 years ago | (#21070015)

New model Palm devices have Graffiti 2 in ROM. If you install the original Graffiti modules, from an older model Palm, into RAM, the device uses them instead, so you *can* use original Graffiti on a new Palm.

Google around for a how-to guide.

Re:I miss Visor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21067327)

Same here.

I had a Visor Platinum which lasted close to 6 years before throwing in the towel (the sync port actually detached itself from the daughterboard that held it!!), incredible considering I dragged it out every single day, rain or shine.

Replaced that with a Treo 680, which, despite the well-documented flaws, picks up right where the Plat left off.

Re:I miss Visor (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | about 7 years ago | (#21069237)

I'm afraid I've managed to get addicted to the Tungsten E2. My work involves graphics, so I need a screen with decent definition. The 2G SD card I added provides quite a bit of storage. The keyboard/bluetooth gives me a wee, tiny little notebook with internet access when I need it. I also have to take verbatim notes sometimes. I can do that easily with the keyboard. Recording and transcribing later would be a huge pain in the ass. I like to listen to music and play the odd video file. It plugs very nicely into just about any audio/video system you can think of with the right patch cord, which has gotten me major brownie points for being able to provide emergency music a couple of times. And a lot of people I deal with have compatible PDA's, so we can swap data around quickly and easily.

In short, it's like somebody designed the damned thing for me personally, and I can't imagine getting along without it anymore. Oh, and I get to spend time cooling my heels at City Hall from time to time, so I've got a few novels on there, too. The only thing missing is a built-in microphone.

I don't know the Visor. Would it have suited my needs better?


Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21066683)

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Do not just suck on her nipples. Move your tongue around it also. Foreplay is a body massage done with your hands, fingers and tongue. The entire intent of this exercise is to arouse the Bitch's sexual excitement... At some point during your sexual attack, you may encounter some resistance. The Bitch may say something like 'PLEASE STOP!' This is a simple ploy used by many females, because they don't want you to think that they are a tramp! Ignore those stupid requests. You might consider putting her at ease saying that you promise not to go any further than you have already gone. (Lie to the Bitch! Tell her that you er h her! Tell her WHATEVER she wants to hear!) Continue to kiss her, lick her, hold her, squeeze her, rub her, suck on her nipples and fondle her... Continue your sensual and sexual body massage... There is a wonderful mechanism built into all females! It is an audible report of the progress of your assault. Listen for her to start breathing HEAVILY! This means that her defenses are weakening and her body is now ready for the next step of your Game Plan! You are now ready to attack her most private area! It is time to direct your efforts and energy to getting your hand into her pants, so you can start rubbing her cunt!


Before you can get at her cunt, you must continue to undress the Bitch. This is a CRITICAL moment, because fear and panic may arise when she realizes just how far she has already allowed you to proceed! You must overcome any and all her objections at this point or ALL of your efforts will be lost! You may have to promise the Bitch that you will not go 'ALL THE WAY!' You just want to make her feel GOOD because you CARE about her and you er h her, and be sure to let her know that if she cares about you, she will let you rub her between her legs! When you first begin to rub her pussy, it should be done over her clothing, until the sensation of sexual bliss begins to further enhance her physical joy. Her breathing will become noticeably increased and she will reach the point where she will start to make moaning sounds. You should still be kissing, hugging and rubbing her while you start to loosen her pants. Assuming that the Bitch is breathing very heavily, and is now in FULL heat, you should be able to unbutton or unzip her lower garments so you can make enough room so you can comfortably slide your hand between her legs. First, gently, then firmly rub the hairy area above her cunt!


You have now reached another crucial point in your molestation of the Bitch. There are two ways to rub a cunt: The RIGHT way and The WRONG way. If you do it the wrong way, and it is not satisfying to her, or even worse, if you cause her any pain, you can TOTALLY forget about getting laid! The very first step is to get her legs spread far enough apart so that her cunt is accessible to your hand. Curl your hand into a fist with your middle finger sticking out and reach down between her legs and gently slide it upward. Doing this will accomplish several different things. First, it will separate her cunt hairs. If you don't get them separated, it will be painful for the Bitch, so make sure you do it enough times so that your finger slides smoothly from the bottom to the top of her cunt. It will also open her cunt lips, and it will expose her clitoris (clit) so that you can start to rub it. As your finger travels from the bottom of her cunt lips to the top, you will notice two things. First her cunt will be wet. Second at the top of her cunt lips there will be a piece of skin that slightly hangs out or may even seem a little bit swollen. That is her Clit! That is the magic button of her pussy! Take two fingers and slide them back down to her cunt lips and insert them just far enough into her cunt to get them wet. Now slide them back up to her clit and rub it from side to side. Do not rub it up and down! You will know when you are doing it right, because the Bitch will start to groan with extreme PLEASURE! You may also alternate by rubbing in a circular pattern. Keep in mind that the Bitch is getting close to achieving an ORGASM (Getting her rocks off). At this moment, if she hasn't already done so, take her hand and place it on your prick so that she can start to give you mutual pleasure. Be sure to whisper to her 'OH GOD! LOOK AT HOW HOT YOU HAVE MADE ME!' This will enhance her sexual and animal desires even more! Let her know just how WONDERFUL your body is beginning feel. Keep rubbing her Clit, and keep kissing and caressing entire body. The moment as soon as she finishes getting her rocks off, keep hugging and kissing her! Reassure her about how much you love her and what a wonderful experience you enjoyed with her. Do NOT let her feel guilty about it, because the BEST is about to happen! You are now going to try to FUCK this HOT little Bitch!


If you have properly followed ALL of the steps, there is no reason that the Bitch will refuse to let you FUCK her. After all, you serviced her well, and it is now time for her to repay you for what you did for her. If she hasn't already unzipped your fly and pulled your prick out, do not hesitate to do it for her. Take her hand and wrap it around your cock, and show her how to move it up and down so that it feels best for you. Do not let her rub it too much, because you will soon need it for BIGGER and BETTER things. While the Bitch is rubbing your cock, you should be rubbing and squeezing her tits, and again rubbing her pussy. By now, her clit is very sensitive, so you should now insert one finger directly into her cunt and concentrate on an area often referred to as the 'G' spot. It is inside her pussy and since pussies are like snow flakes (no two are alike) the 'G' spot can be located almost anywhere inside. You will need the Bitch to inform you when you have located her inner button.


It is now time for your reward if you followed your game plan properly! By now this Bitch should be BEGGING to get fucked, but if she isn't, do not dismay! It doesn't mean that you won't get laid, it just means that you may have to use a few TRICKS of the trade to get what you want from her. You should now have the Bitch totally undressed from her waist down. This means that her pants, pantihose and undies should be totally off of her body! If she objects to this simply assure her that this Many younger females have an extremely tight pussy, so the SECRET to being able insert your cock into her is LUBRICATION! Most inexperienced females are afraid of having their cunt soaked with things like baby oil, so the next best item that you have is your spit. While you are hugging her with one of your arms, discreetly put as much spit as you can onto the fingers of your other hand, and smear it all over her cunt. Get her pussy as juicy as you can, so that penetration will not be a problem. The next and final step is really easier that you would think. Simply hug the Bitch and pull her as close to you as you can. Make sure that you slide your leg between her legs as you do this. Your body should now be laying directly on top of her. Without any hesitation, you should slide your other leg between her legs, and spread hers far apart! Now is the EXACT time to lunge your cock forward toward her warm and wet hole! You probably will have to direct your cock with your hand until you find the opening of her gash. Just move your cock up and of the way in! By now, the Bitch may object to getting fucked, but there is nothing she can do or say about it. To alleviate her from having a panic attack, simply assure her that you PROMISE not to CUM inside of her. Help her to forget her fears. Ask her about how GOOD her pussy is feeling. Ask the Bitch if you are humping her too hard. Keep the humping rhythm going at a pace that she seems to enjoy. If she is not humping back, simply slide your hand under her ass and pull her toward you each time you thrust forward into her. She will soon understand what she should be doing to mutually please and satisfy both you and her. Remember that a woman's cunt gives her the same amount of PLEASURE that a prick gives a guy, so sensual pleasures are received by both you and the Bitch.


Fucking a woman properly is a complicated process. It is much more complex than just shoving your cock in and out of her cunt until you blow your load! If you fuck a woman properly, she will BEG for it again and again. You can turn a Bitch into your personal sex slave once you have mastered the art of sexually satisfying a female. The most important asset that you can use when you are fucking a Bitch is 'CONTROL'. Your prick rubbing inside of her cunt will give the female an orgasm as strong and powerful as a male! Believe it! If you stuff your prick into some Bitch's pussy and blow your load in thirty seconds, I can guarantee you that you will never fuck that Bitch again unless she has recently had Electrical shock treatments. The secret to fucking a Bitch properly is simply to keep humping, fondling, and kissing her until she CUMS! Yup! Broads CUM too, just like guys, but they can CUM more than once! If you keep fucking a Bitch, she will CUM three, four or five times! It may take her a couple of minutes between each orgasm, but it WILL happen if you keep fucking her! If the word 'CONTROL' comes into play.


Control simply means preventing yourself from CUMMING. It isn't easy. But it can be accomplished by two different methods. The first method is physical. When you start to get the feeling that you are about to CUM, you should FORCE yourself like you are trying to PISS. It isn't easy, but it works. Your prick is HARD so you won't be able to piss, but the bodily function of straining to piss will send a message to your BALLS that you don't to 'SHOOT YOUR WAD' yet. The second method to prevent you from CUMMING is mental. This means that you have to STOP thinking about what you are doing, and think about something that has NOTHING to do with sex. Think about a problem or some situation that you are currently dealing with. Get your mind off of the fact that you are having sex because it will only excite you, and that will make you cum. CONTROL is the 'SEXUAL SECRET' to being THE GUY that every Bitch wants to LAY! Once you have mastered this technique, you will DESIRED by every Bitch who has heard about your STAYING powers, and believe me, Bitches do gossip about shit like this, so your sexual reputation will rapidly grow!


You are now humping and thumping your Bitch. She has CUM several times and it is now time for you to 'BLOW YOUR LOAD', but you must first ask the Bitch if she is currently taking Birth Control pills. If she is, Go for IT!!!

Next PC a casio? (5, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 7 years ago | (#21066737)

According to David Pogue, in his book Piloting Palm, Casio was a particularly difficult partner to work with. Their relative inexperience with software and hardware development (the company's major portable products were digital wristwatches, calculators and inexpensive pocket organizers) made them irrationally intolerant of any bugs, no matter how minor or how unlikely to affect the user.

Can you imagine what IT would be like if Casio had created the PC? Why, it might actually work.

Amazing that IT has managed to train us so well to the existence of bugs in final products that we laugh at a company that seems to think bugs are unacceptable.

Truly amazing how we come to accept that the software we use is not functioning correctly.

Re:Next PC a casio? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21066871)

I see your point although anyone waiting for a version with absolutely no bugs is going to be waiting for a very very long time. In the case of PCs, never. There will always be bugs, a company that spends 10 years straight ironing out the kinks is going to be many years behind and out of luck by the time they release.

Re:Next PC a casio? (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 7 years ago | (#21067297)

I've heard it said before that there have been zero hardware bugs ever found in the original design for the Apple II. Of course, now that I've mentioned that, I'm sure you'll all give me a laundry list of Apple II bugs (note, the original Apple II, not the IIc, IIe, IIgs, etc)

Re:Next PC a casio? (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | about 7 years ago | (#21067465)

There was a hardware bug involving the keyboard of the II which was tracked down and corrected shortly before the II was introduced at the Faire. It might have been the result of a bug in the "original design" as opposed to, say, manufacturing error, but I don't know. Perhaps someone would like to ask Woz about it? I did notice that you avoided mention of software bugs, of which there were a few.

Re:Next PC a casio? (1)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | about 7 years ago | (#21067497)

Even now hardware bugs are pretty rare thing, at least any major ones are, and the ones that do exist are usually require a very specific sequence of steps to recreate. I'd be more impressed if there were no software bugs in the Apples IIs OS and any software that came with it.

Re:Next PC a casio? (1)

jandrese (485) | about 7 years ago | (#21068669)

If you ever get into driver development you would be shocked at how many bugs there are in just about every piece of hardware on a modern PC. Even simple things like SATA chipsets can have errata sheets that are several pages long, and the idea of a modern graphics card without hardware bugs is laughable. One of the major jobs of drivers is to work around these bugs to make them invisible to the user. Luckily almost all of the bugs are minor, but occasionally you'll get real nasty ones that prevent you from running the chip efficiently without corrupting data.

Re:Next PC a casio? (3, Insightful)

mh1997 (1065630) | about 7 years ago | (#21067349)

Amazing that IT has managed to train us so well to the existence of bugs in final products that we laugh at a company that seems to think bugs are unacceptable.

Truly amazing how we come to accept that the software we use is not functioning correctly

Which is why, in my next life, I will write code instead of designing hardware. I'd be fired if I delivered a product that required regular updates, yet the software that goes on my hardware has an update plan at delivery.

Re:Next PC a casio? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21067519)

Let us know the next time you implement an entire web browser in hardware.

Re:Next PC a casio? (1)

SavedLinuXgeeK (769306) | about 7 years ago | (#21067381)

Can you imagine what IT would be like if Casio had created the PC? Why, it might actually work.
I can, it would either be a wrist watch, or one of their incarnations of a PDA. I owned a Casio PDA, it ran Windows CE, and it worked pretty well, but obviously Casio changed their tune as they dove into more complex markets. I think the article is right in noting that to make something as complex as a "computer" is going to allow for a set of bugs to exist, or to spend inordinate amounts of money making sure the entire project is perfect. It's possible, look at the Space program, but its not cheap. You can't have cheap and perfect unless you want something so simple that your product is more than likely useless anyways. (Not to discredit calculators or wristwatches)

Re:Next PC a casio? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21068733)

Space program? You must be kidding right? Check this out: [] ...and that's just the mission log for Mars. They have multiple redundancy for critical systems and yet that doesn't make them immune from failures. No software is ever bug free. The more complex, the more the likelihood of bugs. Once you have reduced the bugs to an acceptable level, the market will demand a new version with more functionality and so more bugs.

Re:Next PC a casio? (1)

lindseyp (988332) | about 7 years ago | (#21070147)

I had a Japanese model casio 'organiser' way back in 1993.

The damned thing is to this day the most reliable and *sensible function* packed device I ever owned. One quick example... the ability to update "holidays" so that repeating appointments could be moved to the following day if they fell on a holiday, and not just on a weekend.

It's a shame it was ahead of it's time. I'm not aware of any English-language version of this thing, and my Japanese was barely good enough to use it back then.

Great thingies (4, Interesting)

El Lobo (994537) | about 7 years ago | (#21066803)

I still own and actively use a Palm Pilot from 1996. No color screen, no wireless communication, no nothing. Works like a charm even today and I don't need more. Of course you CAN remove and change the battery yourself, which cannot be said of some other iGadgets.

Re:Great thingies (2, Interesting)

freedomlinux (1072142) | about 7 years ago | (#21067139)

Wow... /. must be reading my mind.
This afternoon I disassembled, resurrected, and reassembled my Palm IIIc with no problems at all, after it sat in a drawer for three years.
Excellent design that the product can be opened and closed, including battery replacement, with no problem at all and using standard screws. Glad to have my IIIc back, and must admit that I should have never dropped in 2meters onto concrete.

Re:Great thingies (2, Interesting)

bigjarom (950328) | about 7 years ago | (#21067969)

I own and use three Palms, a Palm III from 1998, a Palm T|T3 from 2003, and a Palm Treo 755p from 2007. The Palm III is by far the most stable of the three. The batteries (2xAAA) last for about a month without use of the backlight. It has crashed maybe 5 times in more than 8 years I've had it. There are still thousands of very useful apps that run great on it. I upped the built-in RAM from 2MB to 8MB+2MB flash in 2000. The T|T3 is and probably always will be the pinnacle of Palm's product design. The OS is not as stable. There are issues with the screen noise. The hotsync software is primitive at best. But you can't beat the combination of bluetooth, aluminum body, 320x480 resolution, support for on-board application development (BASIC, Pascal, C etc), SDIO slot (only supports 1 GB), voice recorder, vibrating alarm, 400MHz processor, 64 MB RAM, compatibility with various keyboards and other accessories, [unofficial] support for graffiti 1, compact sliding design, networking capabilities, etc etc etc. I wish I'd bought two. The Treo 755p is a barely-functioning mess compared to what the earlier product were. I got it just because I already have so much Palm software that I use and like, but both of my previous phones (Blackberry 7290, Blackberry 8700) were far more stable and didn't lag for 5 to 60 seconds whenever I tried to switch applications like the Treo does. Palm needs to either focus heavily on the user experience like they did a decade ago, or get out of the business before their legacy becomes one of eye rolling and snickering.

Buy a T3 :-) (1)

KlaymenDK (713149) | about 7 years ago | (#21070105)

The T|T3 is and probably always will be the pinnacle of Palm's product design. [...] I wish I'd bought two.
Why don't you? Just because they're "obsolete" does not make them obsolete, or impossible to get hold of. May I direct your attention to []
That's what I did. Then I sent them both to Chris Short, and now I have peace of mind knowing that my 'plastic brains' are trustworthy.

Palm needs to either focus heavily on the user experience like they did a decade ago, or get out of the business before their legacy becomes one of eye rolling and snickering.
Oh, you mean like what happened to Psion? That was so sad. I mean, their devices (5mx, Revo) were better than ewen T3's.

Re:Great thingies (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 7 years ago | (#21068339)

I still own and actively use a Palm Pilot from 1996.

Yep, just dug out my Palm Pilot 1000/8M Superpilot and chucked a couple of new AAAs in it. It still works fine, in spite of a full length crack in the case. It's impressive how well it works compared to modern PDAs - just the necessities, fast, stable.

Wish I could have said the same of my WinCE machines, though the Symbian smartphone (Sony Ericsson M600i) I have now seems stable enough, if a little sluggish.

I for one... (0, Redundant)

calebt3 (1098475) | about 7 years ago | (#21066829)

...welcome back our old hand-held robotic overlords.

Re:I for one... (0, Redundant)

Jrabbit05 (943335) | about 7 years ago | (#21066929)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of those!

Re:I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21070207)

Now I have an image in my head of a beowulf cluster of Newtons, you insensitive clod!

If Palm isn't careful (5, Insightful)

maryjanecapri (597594) | about 7 years ago | (#21066903)

they are going to die a slow painful death. they have a chance to re-invent themselves by bringing the Linux-based OS out (as they've been promising). until then we palm users are all faced with using a very out-of-date OS (with sketchy blue tooth on treos i might add) and no hope for any much-needed updates.

in the meantime the iphone is looking to totally overtake that market (if they start working on bringing out third-party apps). if palm allows apple to start releasing third-party apps palm may as well throw in the towel.

i would like to keep using my palm-based treo. but i am getting so tired of the crashes and horrific blue tooth that it's getting to the point where i might just jump that shark and go the iphone route.

well - i will when a linux app like jpilot can sync with the iphone. if that never happens i'll wait for the open moko. if that doesn't happen i'll just scrap the pda and get a regular ol' phone.

Re:If Palm isn't careful (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 7 years ago | (#21066983)

in the meantime the iphone is looking to totally overtake that market (if they start working on bringing out third-party apps). if palm allows apple to start releasing third-party apps palm may as well throw in the towel.

The iPhone/iPod Touch SDK is being released in 3-4 months.

Re:If Palm isn't careful (2, Insightful)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 7 years ago | (#21067361)

Palm doesn't have a choice in the matter anymore. Once Apple releases a reasonable SDK, it's game over for the entire handheld computer market.

It's unfortunate. I've owned at least 4 Palm-based handheld, and they've all been incredibly useful. A little fragile (hence my owning so many of them), but I also paid more for each one than the iTouch, anyway.

Re:If Palm isn't careful (3, Insightful)

Quarters (18322) | about 7 years ago | (#21067597)

A third party SDK for the iPhone won't be "game over for the entire handheld computer market". For corporations that issue portable computing devices to their employees no IT department in their right mind is going to make a wholesale switch from Windows Mobile based smart phones and PDAs that run on the corporate voice/data network of choice to iPhones with the only choice of voice/data service being AT&T and a necessary reliance on hobbiest software to supply necessary applications.

It might mean a sharp downturn in the number of non Apple PDAs purchased for personal use. That's a far cry different than the wholesale revolution you are claiming it will be, though.

LOL! (0)

SteveM (11242) | about 7 years ago | (#21068057)

... and a necessary reliance on hobbiest software to supply necessary applications.

That's funny.


Re:If Palm isn't careful (1)

rbanffy (584143) | about 7 years ago | (#21068157)

"For corporations that issue portable computing devices to their employees no IT department in their right mind is going to make a wholesale switch from Windows Mobile based smart phones and PDAs that run on the corporate voice/data network of choice to iPhones"

That's why Windows wins. Inertia trumps competence. Nobody who already made an investment on Windows Mobile software will be able to run its business on anything else, iPhone, Palm or Linux, and will either have to pay to port the software or enjoy life as a Windows Mobile vict^H^H^H^Huser for a very long time.

I see, however, many IT managers having to explain people higher on the org-chart why the hell they can't have the trendy and hip phones their children are using that make their Windows things look even more clunky than they already are.

And remember - iPhones won't be locked everywhere.

Re:If Palm isn't careful (1)

GarfBond (565331) | about 7 years ago | (#21068195)

Who says that all the software produced for the iPhone under an SDK has to be hobbyist? Nothing stopping any other B2B software provider from putting out an iPhone client.

This quote is particularly telling I think:

Adding salt to Palm's wounds, Apple proclaimed last week it sold a million iPhones in its first 74 days in the smart phone market. Palm has yet to sell that many Treos in a quarter. []

Re:If Palm isn't careful (1)

Quarters (18322) | about 7 years ago | (#21068309)

Just because Palm can't sell 7 figures worth of Treo's in 3 months doesn't mean that there aren't that many Windows Mobile devices being sold. The number of units sold is only a good barometer for market penetration when you can only get the device from one manufacturer.

Re:If Palm isn't careful (2, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | about 7 years ago | (#21067637)

Once Apple releases a reasonable SDK, it's game over for the entire handheld computer market.
If all Apple does is release an SDK, they're going to wind up giving Palm the biggest PR coup ever.

The iPhone/iPod lacks basic features that are standard in Palm -- copy & paste, an IR-device port, bluetooth, expandable memory, integrated search, being able to schedule a calendar event, etc.

If Palm suddenly knows what they're doing, they'll launch a new Linux-based Palm OS PDA within 3 months of the iPhone SDK, and aim their PR campaign as "don't hack your iPhone -- buy the device that does what you want already." Unfortunately, it seems like they don't. :(

Re:If Palm isn't careful (1)

dricci (470949) | about 7 years ago | (#21068047)

I think Apple is just now starting to realize the potential of their existing technology. It's been proven that the iPod Touch and iPhone are nearly identical software-wise. And because the software is based on OS X, all the features you've described could be (and probably currently are being) developed within months.

Apple's recent trend has been to test the market by releasing a product, claiming it can't do x, then once hackers make working proof of concepts of x, cave in and offer an official solution (Intel Macs, no native Windows boot! Now: boot camp and ads based on the feature. iPhone/iPod Touch, no 3rd party apps. Now: SDK coming soon!)

While they don't always get it right (Apple TV.. wtf? and where's my low-cost headless iMac, damnit?) it appears that they are listening, and they know they have the technology right now to introduce major competition to the "mobile OS" market if they want to. All it takes is a way to make money off of it and an "open letter" from Steve...

Re:If Palm isn't careful (1)

lmpeters (892805) | about 7 years ago | (#21069275)

The iPhone DOES have Bluetooth. Unfortunately, it currently only works with headsets. Hopefully the SDK will change that.

Re:If Palm isn't careful (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 7 years ago | (#21069887)

The iPhone/iPod lacks basic features that are standard in Palm -- copy & paste
The Apple Newton had the nicest implementation of this for a pen-based device I've seen (I was particularly irritated after inventing it independently to discover that they thought of it over a decade earlier). You simply drag things to the edge of the screen, where they stay until you switch app and drag them back. I wouldn't be surprised if someone at Apple remembers this and reimplements it for the iPhone.

Re:If Palm isn't careful (1)

RMH101 (636144) | about 7 years ago | (#21070135)

Yes, because we all know Palm are great at keeping ahead of the curve and regularly release innovative hardware that adds extra functionality to their older product lines. They don't, for example, keep trotting out the same tired hardware in a new case and refuse to add features people might actually want, like memory protection and wifi..

Re:If Palm isn't careful (1)

DeadChobi (740395) | about 7 years ago | (#21067915)

Except that it's a huge pain in the ass to take notes on a keyboard where you can't insert basic punctuation and can't feel the keys. I'm sure someone will release a 3rd party application to fix the lack of tactile response in the home row. Oh, wait, the entire screen is flat. Do they at least have a stylus and decent handwriting recognition software for the iPhone that doesn't require me to hack it and risk bricking it?

Try It, You'll Like It (1)

SteveM (11242) | about 7 years ago | (#21068091)

You should try one.

I have not had any problem taking notes, writing emails, entering URLS, and even entering punctuation.

I much prefer this to any other phone keyboard I've used.


Re:If Palm isn't careful (1)

dfghjk (711126) | about 7 years ago | (#21068227)

You are assuming terms for Apple releasing this SDK. All they've said is that they'll be doing one. They haven't said who they'll make it available to and what will be required for developers to actually deliver apps using it. It may remain the case that 3rd parties will have to go through Apple for approval and distribution. In that case, it won't be 3rd party at all and it certainly won't be "game over".

Frankly, there's large portions of the smartphone market that won't be satisfied with the iPhone regardless of the existence of an SDK. I'd be amused to see the reactions of some large employers to the need to install iTunes.

Your Men Are Already Dead ... (3, Informative)

SteveM (11242) | about 7 years ago | (#21067363)

if palm allows apple to start releasing third-party apps ...

And what exactly can Palm do to prevent this?

Palm has been dead for awhile. All that's left is for someone to unplug the life support system.


Re:If Palm isn't careful (1)

DDLKermit007 (911046) | about 7 years ago | (#21067377)

I really wish Palm would get their head out of their asses, and stop being careful. I finally jumped from my Treeo 650 to a Nokia N95 when it came out because they don't seem to care anymore about improving their phones in meaningful ways. Price doesn't matter so much, just improve the damn phone lines.

Re:If Palm isn't careful (1)

HartDev (1155203) | about 7 years ago | (#21067393)

The thing I do not understand is that if I had money to experiment I WOULD! I mean good golly, Apple has done it's hits and miss and their iPhone rocks! I am loving everything about it. I am a planning nut, and am very forgetful, so I need a device to remind me for everything. Palm is like Blackberry, everyone uses it regardless, and I will be the first to admit that the iPhone is not enterprise ready, but give it time and blackberry and Palm are gonna have some heat!

Re:If Palm isn't careful (1)

znu (31198) | about 7 years ago | (#21067535)

Palm bought BeOS in 2001. They could have turned around and shipped a slimmed down version of that (and it was already pretty slim), and had the most advanced mobile operating system on the market at the time. Instead, they've made minor improvements to an archaic OS (crippled by being initially designed for extremely limited hardware) for far too long. In many respects they're in the same position Apple was in in the mid-90s, except there's no NeXTSTEP for them to buy, and there's no Steve Jobs to come back and save the day.

It's sad. I've owned three Palms. Though I have to admit I bought the last one mostly because I couldn't bring myself to buy into a Microsoft platform on principle, rather than because it was clearly better than the Microsoft devices.

But the day Apple ships that SDK (i.e. sometime in February), it's game over for Palm. The smartphone market has already largely undermined the PDA market, and while Palm has a horse in that race, it was already losing to the BlackBerry. Well, the iPhone is even stiffer competition there. And once that SDK is out, the iPod Touch officially becomes a PDA, and will almost certainly outsell every other non-phone PDA on the market combined, possibly several times over. (The non-phone PDA market is only about 4M units a year.)

Re:If Palm isn't careful (1)

IHateEverybody (75727) | about 7 years ago | (#21068775)

Palm bought BeOS in 2001. They could have turned around and shipped a slimmed down version of that (and it was already pretty slim), and had the most advanced mobile operating system on the market at the time. Instead, they've made minor improvements to an archaic OS (crippled by being initially designed for extremely limited hardware) for far too long. In many respects they're in the same position Apple was in in the mid-90s, except there's no NeXTSTEP for them to buy, and there's no Steve Jobs to come back and save the day.

PalmSource bought BeOS, not Palm. Palm split into two companies before the BeOS purchase. PalmSource is a company which was spun off in order to develop and sell the next generation PalmOS. PalmOne was the hardware company which continued to license the PalmOS from PalmSource. While PalmSource did produce a new PalmOS, called Cobalt, none of its licensees -- including PalmOne -- used it to make new devices (supposedly Cobalt's resource requirements and driver problems were the reasons why the OS was rejected). Palm has been making its minor improvements mainly because PalmSource failed to produce a useable OS. While it has hurting them, I have a Palm Treo (I just upgraded from a 600 to a 680) and a LifeDrive and still feel comfortable with the platform. You are right that Palm is in the mid-90s Apple position but we've seen how that turned out. Palm is working on its own Linux-based next generation PalmOS but we're unlikely to see any devices with it until the end of 2008. Maybe they won't survive long enough to make it but I like Palm's devices and hope they make it.

But the day Apple ships that SDK (i.e. sometime in February), it's game over for Palm. The smartphone market has already largely undermined the PDA market, and while Palm has a horse in that race, it was already losing to the BlackBerry. Well, the iPhone is even stiffer competition there. And once that SDK is out, the iPod Touch officially becomes a PDA, and will almost certainly outsell every other non-phone PDA on the market combined, possibly several times over. (The non-phone PDA market is only about 4M units a year.)

At this point, smartphones make up 80% of Palm's revenue and they've been putting out four smartphones per year for the last two years. I don't really see that the Blackberry is better than a Palm outside of its core compentency of being the best e-mail device ever made. I'm personally suspicious of Apple's PDA intentions. When the iPod Touch came out, you couldn't even add appointments to its calendar. And when the Apple SDK comes out, I expect its PDA apps to be yet more stuff that Apple wants to sell you at the iTunes music store. That will be great for people who already eat sleep and breathe Apple but I don't think that it will foster a large and varied ecosystem of developers as quickly as you expect.

Re:If Palm isn't careful (1)

RMH101 (636144) | about 7 years ago | (#21070255)

"they've been putting out four smartphones per year for the last two years"

Come on. I'm a Palm fan, but they've not exactly been innovating in that time. Treo 650 added bluetooth and a better screen to the 600. Treo 680 removed the aerial and added a little memory. They got HTC to put out some WinMo phones based on the Treo hardware: god knows why as there's a load of more capable WinMo phones on the market, most of which are also made by HTC.
They've just brought out the Centro, which is, well, a 680 in drag.
What they haven't done is bring out a new OS, with memory management that's crash resistant, or added Wifi, or brought out a sexy form factor.

By any measurement, they've been treading water the last few weeks whilst their geek cred is slowly but surely eroded by other platforms getting better, faster and sexier.

Re:If Palm isn't careful (1)

amsr (125191) | about 7 years ago | (#21068515)

I thought palm bought Be? Now they are doing a Linux OS? Sheesh I'm confused

Re:If Palm isn't careful (2, Informative)

IHateEverybody (75727) | about 7 years ago | (#21069007)

Here's the Cliff Notes version:

The original Pilot (and later the Palm Pilot) was made by US Robotics and was eventually spun-off into an independent company. Jeff Hawkins and the original Palm team left to start Handspring where they eventually produced the Treo -- the first PalmOS smartphone. Meanwhile a "Palm ecosystem" of companies which licensed the PalmOS had blossomed and Palm split into two companies: PalmOne which continued to make PDAs and PalmSource which was tasked with creating and selling the next generation PalmOS. PalmSource failed. Their next generation OS code-named Cobalt was rejected by all of its licensees including PalmOne. The Palm ecosystem dried up and PalmOne and PalmSource started drifting apart. Both companies looked to Linux in hopes of using it to create the next generation PalmOS. This was supposed to solve the problems which had doomed Cobalt -- high resource requirements and lack of hardware drivers.

At some point during this whole mess -- before Cobalt was released but apparently too late to make a difference -- PalmSource bought the Be software team for its talent and did absolutely nothing with the software. As far as anyone knows, the Be team was put to work on PalmSource's Linux project. Whether or not any of BeOS code has made it into PalmSource's Linux project is anyone's guess. My guess is no. Eventually, the BeOS code appears to have been sold to yet another company which has done nothing with it other than sue projects designed to create a BeOS successor. If you want an argument for the importance of Open Source software, the fate of the brilliant but proprietary BeOS is it.

Since then, PalmSource has bought by Access, a Japanese mobile software company and their Linux project has been named the Access Linux Platform (ALP) and is supposed to be an smartphone OS which is backwards compatible with the vast catalog of existing PalmOS apps. While ALP appears to be coming along nicely, don't expect to see an ALP smartphone outside of the far east as Access has set its sights firmly on the burgeoning Chinese market. After PalmSource was bought by Access, PalmOne bought back the rights to the Palm name and a perpetual license to the current PalmOS and is now just Palm again. Palm is unlikely to use ALP as it has been quietly working on its own Linux-based next generation PalmOS for some time.

Re:If Palm isn't careful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21069871)

You're completely wrong. It is Access the one who owns rights to the BeOS source, and instead of suing opensource projects it actually encourages them! Check out Haiku's homepage.

uh. (0, Flamebait)

TailGunner (461259) | about 7 years ago | (#21066979)

Are you retards having fun pretending to be pre-nano mother fuckers? Morons.

The Zoomer and Pam Vx....mmmmmm. (4, Interesting)

jbarr (2233) | about 7 years ago | (#21067103)

I still think the Palm V (and Vx) series was Palm's greatest achievement. Combined with its hard case, they had a true, front-pocketable PDA that performed well. Unfortunately, Palm PDAs have become so bloated and energy-graining that they simply aren't innovative anymore. I REALLY liked measuring battery life in weeks, not hours. And the Zoomer was a killer device at the time. It was PC-compatible that would run DOS apps, had full GUI interface thanks to Geoworks' GEOS, and it had a great implementation of an early version of Graffiti that, at the time, provided real "heads-up" stylus entry (where you could actually look at the person you were talking to while still taking notes. And what was important was that because the Zoomer and early Pilots promoted Graffiti as an input/navigation method, not handwriting recognition, it took of very effectively. The big difference with other HWR implementations was that with Graffiti, the user had to adapt their strokes to what Graffiti expected instead of the HWR engine adapting to the individual user. If you got past all that and just wrote how Graffiti wanted, it was surprisingly fast and accurate. Unfortunately, the Zoomer was overshadowed by the Apple Newton, so it never really grabbed any market share. Fortunately for Palm, (US Robotics at the time) its launch of the Pilot was successful beyond expectations, and the rest was history.

Re:The Zoomer and Pam Vx....mmmmmm. (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 7 years ago | (#21068129)

I completely agree re: the Palm V. I got one when it was first released and it felt absolutely perfect at the time. It and the iPod Nano are my only two gadgets of the last decade that I actually loved carrying around.

And speaking of the Newton, I certainly hope that Apple's iPhone SDK lives up to the hype. An iPhone with full PDA capabilities (and yes, someone's already made a stylus for it) might just be my third.

Weeks? I have a Rex6000 it lasts months/years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21069347)

I have a Rex6000 and the battery life is 6-12 months depending on usage, holds all my contacts and telephone numbers and password protects them.

I'd like something more modern, sleeker, longer battery life, but such a device does not exist.


Every hacker should use a palm (1)

TavoX (962277) | about 7 years ago | (#21067269)

As seen in Die Hard 4, this devices can be plugged in high tech suitcases and process in parallel to crack passwords and that kind of stuff.

Bottom line: (1)

Mopatop (690958) | about 7 years ago | (#21067307)

When any company makes an OS that has text messages, calendaring, contacts and todo lists as easy and *fkin fast* to use as Palm, I'll switch.


Until then, it's Garnet all the way, troubles or otherwise.

Almost like Woz pining for early days... (5, Interesting)

PhotoGuy (189467) | about 7 years ago | (#21067341)

I bought one of the first palms, and remember disassembling the ROM, and looking through it. It was lean, elegant, and straight forward enough that one could do that. Try that with Windows Mobile, or probably even the newer palms (oh wait, they are windows mobile now, aren't they?)

Now, I do appreciate the greater flexibility of Windows mobile devices, and prefer it over the palm, but the speed, elegance, battery life, and so on, just aren't there. Too bad we can't have the best of both of these worlds...

Re:Almost like Woz pining for early days... (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | about 7 years ago | (#21069287)

If you have an HTC windows mobile device, check out xda developers. They have tools so that you can either download or build your own custom windows mobile ROMS.

Awful Article (5, Interesting)

captainboogerhead (228216) | about 7 years ago | (#21067351)

Man, for once I read TFA and what do I get? A barely coherent, unedited swamp of words. Did anyone else find this article a slog to read?

Palm's buyer (and a secure feature for the Touchdown) was secured in a surprising way. During product development, Donna, Jeff and Ed were traveling the country promoting the Touchdown as the platform of choice for hardware and sofware developers.

It's never explained what Touchdown is. It's never explained what the "secure feature" is. I'm assuming Touchdown is the orginal name for what was to become the Pilot. But I don't really know. The word is just used suddenlty out without preamble, as if it had been previously introduced.

How about the following:

A simple benchmark of the efficiency or inefficiency of was to count the number of taps to create an appointment or add an entry to the adress book. This required that all of the most used features be easily accessible, not buried behind menus or in dialog boxes. This concept of ease of use had eluded many of the early PDA's.

Perhaps it's just me, but the whole article read like the above excerpt.

Another reviewer, in Macworld, found that his 'typing' speed on the Newton was "up to 20 words per minute at 0 to 95 percent accuracy."

Really? Zero to 95% accuracy? That's pretty, uh, fucking awful. Somehow I doubt that's what Macword published.

It took ten to fifteen seconds to boot up and to switch between applications, seriosuly hampering its usefulness as a serious business tool.

Wow, spelling mistake and redundancy in the same sentence.

A paper planner was much smaller and allowed the user to see his or her entire day. Little quirks like this also turned off business users.

See how the second sentence here should not follow the first? It should have followed the sentence preceeded the excerpt. This kind of construction left me rereading the same few lines several times over.

A few major candidates were considered (Motorola, Compaq and Nokia), but none of the comapnies were willing to give Palm control...

Guess that woulda bin bad fer bidness.

Hey Silicon User, hire a fucking editor!

Lookout! (0)

evilviper (135110) | about 7 years ago | (#21067439)

HP PDA's and a version of Graffiti

An apostrophe mean's, "Lookout! Here come's an S!"

Re:Lookout! (3, Informative)

sinclair44 (728189) | about 7 years ago | (#21067655)

The usage of an apostrophe to indicate plurality is actually correct in this context (i.e. following a word/acronym in all caps).

Re:Lookout! (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 7 years ago | (#21067941)

Very, very few authorities on the subject agree with you. It's only in the case of lower-case words, that the S could be confused as being part of the acronym, that the apostrophe should be used. You do have a point though, it certainly isn't the worst use of an apostrophe I've seen today...

Re:Lookout! (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | about 7 years ago | (#21067675)

An apostrophe mean's, "Lookout! Here come's an S!"

'So? What i's your point?

Re:Lookout! (1)

passion (84900) | about 7 years ago | (#21067977)

Which brings us to Bob the Angry Flower's griping about apostrophe abuse: []

Re:Lookout! (1)

onosson (1107107) | about 7 years ago | (#21069359)

Didn't you mean: apo'strophe?

mista, mista. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21067461)

NaT = nanoterrorist whose mental entropy of his universe wide nanoterrorist orginization is only about 700MBs.
Adapted from Fugee's "mista mista".

NaT: Mister, mister, can I get a CD to back up my brain on?
The Mister: Hell no, muda fuka, what can a CD back up? Nothin muda fuka!

Uhm, what is new here? (1)

bonsai8 (1122769) | about 7 years ago | (#21067747)

"Piloting Palm" was published in 2002 and pretty much covered all of this. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Someone missed the point of tagging (2, Funny)

jcorno (889560) | about 7 years ago | (#21068149)

It's in the Hardware section of Slashdot. It's right there in the address: Why would you tag it hardware?

Ah, the Vx (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about 7 years ago | (#21068175)

I owned a Palm Pilot 1000 (I think, the one with extra memory) that promptly became one of the first to be repaired. Broken screen. They did not survive a 3-foot drop onto tile.

I wore it out. It worked, and Grafitti was just wonderful.

Then I got a Palm III. And a modem. Having HandMail was a blessing. I was much more self-sufficient.

Finally, I got a Vx to replace my tired III... Sleek and wonderful, another modem of course, slick apps, and yes shirtpocket capable.

But I always had a Day-Timer, and used both. Having a Palm saved me from weekly (or more frequent) printings of a dynamic phonebook in Filemaker Pro. And cutting pages to fit...

I'm hoping things at Palm get back to the lean and mean days of old, where the product seemed to be king, and where good decisions were made.

Until then, Windows Mobile. Ugh.

Palm is still around? (1)

WoTG (610710) | about 7 years ago | (#21068365)

I can't even tell you what operating system the most recent Palm's run. There must have been half a dozen attempts to modernize the platform...

I used my Handspring Deluxe for 6 years, it was good for it's time, and the interface is still pretty good, but it just doesn't have the features I want in a PDA today. When it came time to find a replacement, I didn't even consider Palm. I didn't have confidence that I'd be able to find modern apps to run on a new Palm device.

Fact checking, anyone? (1)

LoTonah (57437) | about 7 years ago | (#21068877)

Since when did GEOS come out in 1985? Yes, the Commodore 64 version came out then, but I seriously doubt that any of the code created for that was used in any of the designs discussed in the article. Try 1990, for the IBM how old was that code again?

Oh, and the editor for this piece should be flogged for drinking on the job. What a steamer for readability!

I knew it.... (1)

Xenna (37238) | about 7 years ago | (#21068965)

In the old days, when I had a HP 100LX PDA, I once beta tested a synchronization tool for a company named Palm. I always wondered if they went on to produce the palmpilots (which were known for their excellent synching).

I owned a Palm V briefly, but I never could get used to the stylus text input, so I went with the Nokia Communicator line. I now have a Nokia E90.


Palm desktop PIM (1)

Britz (170620) | about 7 years ago | (#21070277)

For normal PIM the Palm desktop software is pretty good. It also used to race on slower PCs. It is still free for download: []

And, if you feel like it you can get a cheap Pilot off of Ebay and sync it so you can carry all the data that you entered into your PIM with you at any time. Or even sometimes try and enter data on the road (I am kidding).

US Robotics? (1)

Magnifique (1146937) | about 7 years ago | (#21070281)

If I am not completely mistaken, the company was back then known as US Robotics and of which Palm was a division (that eventually split into a seperate company). Is that correct?

If so - Palm was by no means a weak player. US Robotics had strong dominance in the modem market (I still remember how I dreamt of getting a flashy new 33.6Kb US Robotics modem instead of the crappy Taiwanese 9600baud modem I had at home).
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