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  1.    #1  
    Well I just dug up some interesting information on the future direction of the PalmOS and the platform in general. This info is coming directly from Ted Ladd, Palm's "Evangelist".

    If the information in this article is true (I have my doubts), it doesn't look very promising.

    Check it out:

    http://www.jeffkirvin.com/writingonyourpalm/



  2. #2  
    Actually, I think they are doing the right thing in regards to keeping the PalmOS simple and lean. Does that mean they shouldn't innovate and improve it? Of course not, but they shouldn't try and me a windows CE, IMO.

    Perhaps the PalmOS could be applied to bigger and better things in the future, but once they stray from the PDA mentalitly, they will ultimately lessen the appeal of the PalmOS as a PDA OS. I've never understood why so many people put CE into their hardware...I do NOT need nor WANT a toaster running Windows CE.

    All that said, they ARE being a bit lazy. There are certainaly things they could learn from PocketPC...namely the higher screen resolution. The biggest single detriment to handheld devices is the resolution of the screen. 160x160 is simple and nice, but is definitely at the low-end of acceptbility:

    Primarily, this is to prevent breaking the huge installed base of applications that are hardcoded for that resolution. If Palm does change the resolution, the most likely change would be to move to a 160x240 screen and make the Graffiti area "soft", allowing users to turn it off and get more display space when input is not required (a la the PocketPC). Even this change, though, is far off.
    I would imagine that they could easily DOUBLE the rsolution (320x320) and simply build in hardware features that scale 160x160 apps by 200%. How hard would that be?

    The 'soft' graffitti area is a MUST...not sure why they are so lazy in getting around to that...

    And, sooner or later, they need to start working on actual handwriting recognition...the technology is out there. Ultimately, yes, the PalmOS is great, but they shouldn't rest on their laurels and expect us all to remain loyal if they are not about to offer SOME newer innovative features.

    The great thing about the above three features is that it wouldn't break ANY of the old software...for the most part, they are all hardware changes and would allow us to easily keep on using the incredibly large base of PalmOS apps with a much more versatile and flexible interface.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  3. #3  
    Quick addendum:

    On second thought, why would Palm even need to be part of the above feature additions? In theory, couldn't all of those features be added by a third-party? They probably could be add-on apps that perform the above functions.

    Handspring...the challenge is yours!
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  4. #4  
    Originally posted by foo fighter
    Well I just dug up some interesting information on the future direction of the PalmOS and the platform in general. This info is coming directly from Ted Ladd, Palm's "Evangelist".
    If the information in this article is true (I have my doubts), it doesn't look very promising.
    Well, I'm afraid that I no longer consider Mr. Kirvin to be an unbiased source ever since he went to the Dark Side of the Force by switching to PocketPCs.

    http://www.jeffkirvin.com/writingony...lumn000918.htm

    Mr. Fighter seemed to be the same way until he became disillusioned with the PocketPC as well. Now he has the unfortunate habit of attempting to make us regret our choice of the Visor. Just look at his sig.
    <pre> ^<br> /_\ WINCHELL CHUNG Nyrath the nearly wise at the Praeternatural Tower<br> <(*)> nyrath@ProjectRho.com http://www.ProjectRho.com/home.html<br>/_/|\_\ ABSIT INVIDIA VERBO IDEM SONANS<br> //|\\ -------------------------------------------------------------------<br>SURREAL SAGE SEZ: I'm nobody. Nobody at all. But the secrets of the<br>universe don't mind. They reveal themselves to nobodies who care.<br></pre>
  5.    #5  
    Originally posted by Winchell

    Well, I'm afraid that I no longer consider Mr. Kirvin to be an unbiased source ever since he went to the Dark Side of the Force by switching to PocketPCs.
    True, but this information isn't coming from him. It was obtained from Ted Ladd, Palm's "Evangelist". Whatever the hell that means!


    Mr. Fighter seemed to be the same way until he became disillusioned with the PocketPC as well. Now he has the unfortunate habit of attempting to make us regret our choice of the Visor.
    Not at all. Well actually, just as my signature suggests, I'm dissatisfied with both platforms. Palm's are limited and don't do enough, and Pocket PCs are too expensive and at times try to do too much.

    I'm still holding out for the "middle of the road" PDA. I just won't be holding my breath!
  6. #6  
    Just because Palm is slacking off doesn't mean Handspring is. Obviously they saw the flaw in color depth of the IIIc and did something about it with the Prism.

    I had the exact same thought as you homer, changing the screen to 320 x 320 would be the perfect solution for screen resolution. "Old" 160 x 160 pixel apps could just run on the screen using 4 actual pixels (of the 320 x 320) for each of the rendered pixels. You could make this the default setting of the screen and include a special call to the hardware if an app was written for the higher resolutions. If that isn't possible you could have the Palm OS scale the graphics and then output it to the screen. The second option might cause a slight decrease in performance, but with a faster processor it wouldn't be any slower than the VDX. I'm not an expert, but it seems like a fairly simple thing to do and I'm sure there are a few other ways of doing it too.
  7. #7  
    Why double the resolution and do all that extra work (I don't think it would look right)? Let old apps show in the top left corner of the screen and put common shortcuts (cut/copy/paste/etc) buttons all around the screen.

    Besides, it's not like Palm hasn't told developers that higher res screens are in the future.
    James Hromadka, TreoCentral Editor
    Houston - EST. 1836
  8. #8  
    Originally posted by JHromadka
    Why double the resolution and do all that extra work (I don't think it would look right)? Let old apps show in the top left corner of the screen and put common shortcuts (cut/copy/paste/etc) buttons all around the screen.
    Unless they double the screen size (Which wouldn't make much sense), I can't imagine looking up addresses or taking notes in a 1 3/16" square area! One would hope that whatever processor would be powering a higher resolution display would also be able to handle enlarging older apps with no problems!

    The article is troublesome, though. As somebody here (or maybe it was Slashdot) said, "If Carl Yankowski says one more thing about the 'Zen of Palm', I'm going to stab him through the heart with his f***ing stylus".

    I'm probably going to get the Prism despite cost reservations, because I still like the PalmOS, and I've got enough invested in my accessories to keep me from abandoning the platform... but if 160x160 is the resolution "for the forseeable future" and they're not switching to Strongarm for another two years, I'm a little worried. I hope Handspring is cooking up an OS of their own in some secret laboratory up in Mountain View.


    -Andy

    [Edited by Usonian on 10-17-2000 at 06:55 PM]
    <br>"Form follows function - that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union" -Frank Lloyd Wright
  9. #9  
    Apps would look exactly as they do now. It would be like if you switched your monitor from 1280x960 to 640x480. The screen stays in the same place, but the pixels get larger. Old apps would look exactly as they do now (same size pixels) and new apps could change the resolution to 320x320 and look much nicer.

    There are enough apps out there now that I think Palm would be making a big mistake if they displayed the "old" apps in a corner of the screen. Just imagine trying to read an ebook from CSpotRun in the top left corner of your screen!!!! No, you have to display everything full screen, especially on such a small device. You can get away with emulating old arcade games on a computer screen, but it just won't work on a PDA.

    It might make Palm and Handspring use their brains a bit, but other than that there isn't any reason it couldn't be implemented. Like Usonian said, the processor(in future units) should be more than capable of handling the extra work.
  10. #10  
    Originally posted by lennonhead
    Apps would look exactly as they do now. It would be like if you switched your monitor from 1280x960 to 640x480. The screen stays in the same place, but the pixels get larger. Old apps would look exactly as they do now (same size pixels) and new apps could change the resolution to 320x320 and look much nicer.

    There are enough apps out there now that I think Palm would be making a big mistake if they displayed the "old" apps in a corner of the screen. Just imagine trying to read an ebook from CSpotRun in the top left corner of your screen!!!! No, you have to display everything full screen, especially on such a small device. You can get away with emulating old arcade games on a computer screen, but it just won't work on a PDA.

    It might make Palm and Handspring use their brains a bit, but other than that there isn't any reason it couldn't be implemented. Like Usonian said, the processor(in future units) should be more than capable of handling the extra work.
    I totaly agree (sorry James ) this is the most simple and probably best solution. You could even do the conversion by hardware, one litle IC that check the resolution and puts it on the screen right....

    Mmm maybe homer should file a patent for this idea
    (can't believe I just said that, I'll just hide in a corner till the flames stop )

    Homer, send your Idea to the Palm/Handspring CEO's they might use it....
    <IMG WIDTH="200" HEIGHT="50" SRC=http://www.visorcentral.com/images/visorcentral.gif> (ex)VisorCentral Discussion Moderator
    Do files get embarrassed when they get unzipped?
  11. #11  
    I have to agree with foofighter -- there needs to be a middle of the road unit .. If this particular article is true about any major overhaul of the Palm not happening until 2002, that leaves way too much opportunity for the PocketPC to possibly have a few slim models to fit into that "middle" market.. Unless the rumors of a killer new Palm OS start churning out mid-2001 (more advanced apps, lots faster, higher resolution, etc..etc..) -- I think I may jump over to the PocketPC side (that should be enough time for them to make more adjustments and get the PPC squared away with the .NET stuff..)

    Joe
  12.    #12  
    Originally posted by Usonian
    As somebody here (or maybe it was Slashdot) said, "If Carl Yankowski says one more thing about the 'Zen of Palm', I'm going to stab him through the heart with his f***ing stylus".
    Cute huh? That was my line.
  13. #13  
    I, for one, can wait for the StrongARM migration. But I can't help but wonder why Kirvin and others insist on preemptively eulogizing the Palm. Even when the Pilot first came out, pundits were quick to point out that it was technologically inferior to the Newton. I've been reading this "Palm needs x, y, and z to compete" boilerplate for four years now. Two years ago I read an article by a critic who insisted that Palm would last two years if they didn't start incorporating multimedia into the platform.

    The catechism of needing "competitive" technology misses a critical aspect of why people buy Palms: they try them out in stores. When I switched from the Netwon, I was ready to buy one the Casio Palm-sized PCs (as they were called back then), primarily because of the much better screen resolution. But I hated the Windows interface when I tried it, so I tried a Palm instead and took to it like a duck to water. I worried about the lower resolution, but ultimately I purchased the Palm after imagining myself using that Windows UI on a daily basis, which would've driven me crazy. I didn't even care about the other criticisms like lower battery life, bulkier form factor, occasional crashes, etc. So while WinCE OEMs like Compaq have resolved most of the hardware issues, the interface keeps me from buying a PPC, regardless of how much technology they throw on top of it. If MS can refocus the interface to operate like a Palm, I'll switch in a heartbeat.

    I find it interesting that PPC owners are, virtually without exception, male. Whenever I hear a statement like, "Can your Palm do that?", the insecurity behind it seems like worrying about who has the biggest...well, you know. Consumer judgement, not Palm philosophy, is what keeps the Palm platform successful, and consumers do not buy PDAs to compete with other PDAs. They buy them to consolidate their personal information and increase their productivity. That's not to say that their aren't valid criticisms of the platform -- it could definitely support higher resolutions and better audio, for instance -- but those limitations don't affect the user's productivity.

    With the Prism and the VisorPhone, I'll pretty much have 90% of all I ever wanted out of the platform: color, internet access, phone integration, and my favorite handheld user interface. And I won't mind paying $750 for all that. The 160 x 160 resolution is a limitation that I can accept, given the increased readability of true black-on-white text -- a good compromise. So while Kirvin, et. al worry about the future of Palm, I'll be having a very merry Christmas.

    [Edited by Gameboy70 on 10-18-2000 at 01:18 PM]
  14. #14  
    Originally posted by Gameboy70
    I, for one, can wait for the StrongARM migration. But I can't help but wonder why Kirvin and others insist on preemptively eulogizing the Palm.
    WinCE has always been "Just About to blow Palm out of the water with new functionality" and it just hasn't happened.

    I suspect that most WinCE devices are used primarily as toys. After all, even Foo sold his iPaq because "he needed to synchronize with both a Mac and Windows PC" (uh, why does anyone "need" to synchronize with two computers? I spent six months or so with a work computer I never synchronized with my Visor. Double entering appointments was a bit of a pain, but nothing worth mentioning), which ultimately means that despite all his verbiage on the subject, he didn't find the iPaq's additional features to be terribly useful.

    The WinCE devices are supposedly around 25% of total sales, but how many have you actually seen people use? Personally, I've only seen one person use one -- since he got off the bus at Hewlitt-Packard, he might have got a deal on it.
  15. Rob
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    #15  
    Originally posted by John Nowak
    ...despite all his verbiage on the subject, he didn't find the iPaq's additional features to be terribly useful.

    The WinCE devices are supposedly around 25% of total sales, but how many have you actually seen people use? Personally, I've only seen one person use one -- since he got off the bus at Hewlitt-Packard, he might have got a deal on it.
    I generally agree with Gameboy and John -- the simple and intuitive interface is one of the biggest selling points of the PalmOS (and you would think it would be much easier technically for MS to add than multimedia, etc...)

    In terms of actually seeing anyone use the devices, I've only seen one person with a WinCE (and it was a Casio that they gave away to some Princeton CS grads)...on the other hand, I've only seen one other person using a handspring visor, too. I see a ton of palms out there, though.

  16. #16  
    i too agree with Gameboy and John, and just wanted to add one quick comment...

    do you REALLY think Palm would unviel it's future plans at a Denver Palm User Group meeting??? Or ANY user group meeting??? It's obvious that anything said would be plastered on the internet faster than you can say 'Hotsync'. Let's give these people some credit and say the are working on stuff that we don't know about, just like Microsoft, HP, Intel, etc.!

    OH my goodness...some 'evangelist' says Palm isn't doing anything at a palm user group meeting and everybody is hoping on the 'Palm is still in the dark age' bandwagon.

    Think of the latest things from Handspring which we only found out about barely a month ago! do you really think they had a 1 month development time??? I wouldn't be surprised if the Prism and cell phone modules were in development before the first VDx came off the production line! (i'm not sure if this is true but as i said, it wouldn't surprise me)

    wow, it's been awhile.....things have REALLY changed...why is my Visor Edge still in my hand? Will a Treo fit better?
  17. #17  
    Originally posted by Rob
    on the other hand, I've only seen one other person using a handspring visor, too. I see a ton of palms out there, though.
    [/B]
    Personally, I've seen two; one was someone on the train on Monday who showed me the Gameface (I assume he's a Handspring employee) and the other another passenger. Lots of Palms, though.
  18. #18  
    Originally posted by Hoser_in_USA
    OH my goodness...some 'evangelist' says Palm isn't doing anything at a palm user group meeting and everybody is hoping on the 'Palm is still in the dark age' bandwagon.
    I recall Hawking stating at PC Expo that he didn't see a color Visor in the works.

    Apart from that, I disagree somewhat with you. The vast majority of computer resources on the typical desktop is squandered on multimedia and general prettiness; I have a multimedia PC as well, and it's fun, but I think it's also nice to see a simple device that does what you need it to do with a minimum of gosh-wow effects. If that's the dark ages, so be it.

    Nothing wrong with toys. Just be honest enough to admit it's a toy.
  19. #19  
    Amen.

    I'm a graphic designer by trade, and I can appreciate elegance and sophistication in a variety of applications. Adobe puts out software that is particularly suited to certain tasks, with a minimum of "bloatware". Microsoft puts out Word, which also has the ability to draw pictures, chart data, turn text a million different colors, edit HTML, and PUT BLINKING FRIGGING LIGHTS AROUND WORDS. It can probably clean grout, distill whiskey and make a mean grilled cheese and bacon sandwich, but I never bothered to read the manual, which makes the Bible look like Horton Hears A Who.

    When Word became too big, I reverted to XYWrite III, which runs in DOS, and, get this, FITS ON A FLOPPY DISK. A DOUBLE-SIDED, 720K FLOPPY DISK. INCLUDING THE DICTIONARY.

    I don't have appointments on my desktop. I don't keep contacts on my desktop. I don't have journals, to dos, notes, or anything else Outlook & it's ******* offspring Outlook Express "offer". If there's something important that I need to do, it goes in my Visor.

    I'm posting via Internet Explorer, but that's only because I haven't figured out how to get out of the firewall at the company I'm whoring myself for to get to Lynx.

    I even shun Pine in favor of Elm, for the love of God. Too many features. I DON'T NEED 'EM.

    I can't remember where I read it, but a CEO of some firm somewhere banned the use of PowerPoint in his company. Productivity (grrr, I hate buzzword bingo) went up something on the order of 75-150% almost immediately.

    My point is this: the Palm OS is absolutely fine for what it's intended use is. It's third-party programmers who muck everything up by showing how cool they can make things on this tiny little thing that's smaller than the first TV remote control I ever owned. Don't get me wrong. I like my Visor because it's all the computing power I need to make mobile. I'm not trying to generate fractals while driving down the highway, nor am I trying to design a web site or retouch a photo, but I do occasionally want to check movie showtimes without buying a newspaper, or keep track of my bank accounts (which are balanced for the first time -EVER-).

    The fact that so many thousands of apps have been written for the OS shows, I think, the simplicity and elegance of the Palm operating system, and the intelligence in its overall form factor and design.
  20. #20  
    Originally posted by JEBaldwin
    I can't remember where I read it, but a CEO of some firm somewhere banned the use of PowerPoint in his company. Productivity (grrr, I hate buzzword bingo) went up something on the order of 75-150% almost immediately.
    That was Scott McNealy from Sun. It almost makes up for his "You have zero privacy!" faux pas.
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