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  1.    #1  
    I just found this at the local library!

    "Piloting Palm" is the story of Jeff Hawkins, Donna Dubinsky, and the start of the palmtop industry. It follows them to Handspring, and up to the very recent past.

    Right now, I am at the point where Palm Computing is wholely owned by US Robotics and Pilot Pen is sueing over the name Pilot for the first pocketable device they put out.

    Wow! I did not know a lot of this back story stuff- Palm working with Compaq to relase their own version of a Palm, early struggles with Tandy and the Zoomer (which I absolutely do not remember), early skirmishes with Microsoft.

    I may end up havging to get my own copy of this!
    Do what you can, with what you have, where you are at!
  2. #2  
    Thanks for the heads-up. I'll see if my library carries it!
  3. #3  
    YIPPIE! I've been looking forward to this book since Brighthand had a little blurb on it! can't wait to buy...
    -Michael Ducker
    TreoCentral Staff
  4. #4  
    Felipe
    On the road to 5,000 posts
    Life is what happens between Firmware releases.
  5. #5  
    I just downloaded it from Peanut Press and started reading it on my Visor Pro. I guess that is kind of appropriate. I got my first PDA (VDX) a couple of years ago and don't know much of what went on with the original development. So far it is interesting.
    Bruce Christensen
    South Pasadena, CA
  6. #6  
    Originally posted by Bruce Christensen
    I just downloaded it from Peanut Press and started reading it on my Visor Pro. I guess that is kind of appropriate. I got my first PDA (VDX) a couple of years ago and don't know much of what went on with the original development. So far it is interesting.
    Read the whole thing in two days. Pretty interesting I thought. Learned some new things.

    Listen to one of the authurs:

    http://www.toddshow.org/ram/tmshow0321.ram
    Last edited by Felipe; 03/24/2002 at 11:06 PM.
    Felipe
    On the road to 5,000 posts
    Life is what happens between Firmware releases.
  7. mjd1969's Avatar
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    #7  
    I finished the book last night. A very interesting read. Anybody interested in PDAs should read it. It explains a lot of the behind the scenes action we don't see as consumers.

    At the end of the book, I came to the conclusion that we won't be seeing any new traditional PDAs out of Handspring. The Neo/Pro lines look to have been issued just to raise capital for the Treo. I love my Edge and have been quietly holding out for a color version (which the book mentions was pushed for and rejected). Doesn't look like this will ever happen. Hawkins seems focused on the Treo like communicators. Personally, I think this decision will be the end of Handspring.

    I guess I'll hold on to my Edge a little while longer then jump ship to Sony. After reading what the past few years have been like for Palm, I'm staying away from their products.
    ___________________________
    To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is
    research.
  8.    #8  
    Huh... I got a slightly different take when I was done reading it.

    Jeff Hawkins wants to push 'communicators' and his research into how the mind works- but Jeff really isn't the only driving push at Handspring.

    One thing I can see simmering on the horizon is a split in Handspring between communicators and PDA's. I hope it does not happen because I think it will literally kill the company.

    Oddly, Jeff initially resisted a lot of features fo PDAs because he rightly figured no one would want to, or be able to use it... and now he is pushing communicators that cannot yet be used in large parts of the world and the US. If I recall, that was one of the reasons he resisted wireless on the intial Palms and Handsprings.

    Anyway- there seem to be at least some in Handspring who want to see them continue in the traditional PDA lines.

    I still predict PDA's aimed for a lower income/tech level group- students, homemakers, etc., and a color Neo-like unit. I suspect the Edge did poorly enough that a color Edge may be out of the question.

    Using my crystal ball (which correctly predicted a return to classic car designs before the Prowler and PT Cruisers came out), I see a new form factor with a sleeker look, maybe a more horizontal version or a semi-ruggedized version. It would be designed to not really need a case- drop and scratch resistant. I can also see it designed with the changeable face-plate bit so it can appeal more directly to a broader audience more swayed by cosmetics.

    Well, it is fun to speculate, but this entire market is both so fast changing and so new that it is like predicting the weather in Nebraska!
    Do what you can, with what you have, where you are at!
  9. #9  
    Originally posted by Madkins007
    [...] Oddly, Jeff initially resisted a lot of features fo PDAs because he rightly figured no one would want to, or be able to use it... and now he is pushing communicators that cannot yet be used in large parts of the world and the US. If I recall, that was one of the reasons he resisted wireless on the intial Palms and Handsprings. [...]
    Well, I've just started it (they've just decided to produce their own hardware and are looking for a partner), but the reason that I gather is more because he didn't want a compromise device. He didn't want a device that was a mediocre phone and a mediocre PDA where integration was the only advantage. He wanted a device that was great at each of the tasks and tied into an elegant whole. I'm not sure if the Treo is it (I've no direct experience with one), but that was his main argument according to the book. I think as a whole, Hawkins is/was the original design philosophy at Palm and one of the main proponents of not doing something if it would compromise one of his three tenets of price, size, and ease-of-use. When he left Palm seems to have just lost its rudder. I'm curious to see if the rest of the book confirms that.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  10. #10  
    Originally posted by Toby
    He wanted a device that was great at each of the tasks and tied into an elegant whole. I'm not sure if the Treo is it (I've no direct experience with one), but that was his main argument according to the book.
    It's damn close. Fixing the battery life will do it, and GPRS will REALLY do it. Unfortunately, the cost is way outside the scope of his original vision. I think that the next iteration, the 270 on CDMA, will be the elegant whole and nobody will have any significant complaints about it. Hopefully, cost will come down soon enough...

    ...the real question is whether or not Handspring is going to be the only game in town with an elegant solution. So far, I think they are the closest.
  11. #11  
    Egad, after finishing the book, I'm of the opinion that the only reason Palm is still in business is name recognition and the fact that the general public has no clue that Handspring is what really made Palm (from a personnel standpoint). Palm hasn't had a single original PDA that wasn't on the drawing board while Hawkins and his team were there (the m5xx and i705 aren't original AFAIC).
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  12.    #12  
    So...

    The main reason Handspring spun off was because 3Com would not let Palm go indpependent, so Donna and Jeff left...

    Palm is now not only independent, but splitting into two groups...

    Neither company is doing exactly great right now- both have losses, lower than expected sales, disappointing new products (with a couple argueable exceptions)...

    The PDA market is rapidly breaking into segments- traditional PDA, wireless PDA, and communicator, for example...

    Sony is rising up against both, as are a couple of other 'newbies'...

    Whadda ya think-

    ?Palm and Handspring merge...

    The new company (NeoPalm?) creates operating divisions- OS and software, mainstream PDA (with and without Springboard slot), wireless PDA (bluetooth or whatever?), and communicators.

    They begin to market multiple devices aimed for both mainstream and fringe markets- business people, students, homemakers, etc. (Hmmm, sounds like Apple and Commodore in the old days!)

    They create a new product line something like...

    Communicators, B&W and color

    Wireless PDA's- dedicated versions and add-in modules, color and B&W screens

    Upper-end PDA's in various color and 'slotted' options (color thin-line would not have a slot in favor of the thinness, etc.)

    Lower-end PDA's designed to be expanded via the slot.

    Dirt-cheap 'semi-disposable' PDA's for kids, entry-level, etc.

    Designed around 2 to 4 form-factors so a smaller selection of cases or mounts will fit the widest range possible.




    Not likely, maybe... but we can always dream!
    Do what you can, with what you have, where you are at!
  13. #13  
    Originally posted by Madkins007
    The main reason Handspring spun off was because 3Com would not let Palm go indpependent, so Donna and Jeff left...
    That's basically it.
    Palm is now not only independent, but splitting into two groups...
    Actually, I think this is probably a big mistake, in retrospect.
    The PDA market is rapidly breaking into segments- traditional PDA, wireless PDA, and communicator, for example...
    Actually, I don't think that's a problem in and of itself.
    Sony is rising up against both, as are a couple of other 'newbies'...
    Sony is really their only competitor in their own product space. All of their other licensees seem to dovetail into Donna's original licensing ideas.
    Whadda ya think-

    ?Palm and Handspring merge...
    The only way that would save them is if they pulled the Sony license and went beck to their original policy of only licensing to those who wouldn't compete directly.
    The new company (NeoPalm?) creates operating divisions- OS and software, mainstream PDA (with and without Springboard slot), wireless PDA (bluetooth or whatever?), and communicators.
    The original synergy and I'd argue the reason for their success was how closely the engineering for everything was tied together.
    They begin to market multiple devices aimed for both mainstream and fringe markets- business people, students, homemakers, etc. (Hmmm, sounds like Apple and Commodore in the old days!)
    And look how well both of _those_ are doing today!
    They create a new product line something like...

    Communicators, B&W and color

    Wireless PDA's- dedicated versions and add-in modules, color and B&W screens

    Upper-end PDA's in various color and 'slotted' options (color thin-line would not have a slot in favor of the thinness, etc.)

    Lower-end PDA's designed to be expanded via the slot.

    Dirt-cheap 'semi-disposable' PDA's for kids, entry-level, etc.

    Designed around 2 to 4 form-factors so a smaller selection of cases or mounts will fit the widest range possible.




    Not likely, maybe... but we can always dream!
    Sound more like a nightmare to me.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  14. #14  
    I've met Pogue personaly, and i'm happy to see this book finialy on the e-shelves.

    I would have bought it right now, but I just realized I've lost my credit card....
    -- Go Illini!

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