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  1. Iceman6's Avatar
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    #21  
    Originally posted by Scott R

    Thanks for the tip. My wife was commenting earlier on me starting sentences with the word "but," which I insisted was OK to do for certain effect (but then again, I could just be stubborn).

    Would you mind offering a bit more detail around what you thought I wrote poorly? Was it a response in this thread or an article on my site? Specific examples would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,

    Scott
    I was just pulling your leg, Scott. I started reading your review and, three pages later, I abandoned it. I have a short attention span.

    I suggest that you come to the point more quickly, at least in an article that is "published". I think the best reviews are ones that have a high information content for the number of words used. Or as Strunk would say, be brief.
  2.    #22  
    Originally posted by Iceman6
    I suggest that you come to the point more quickly, at least in an article that is "published". I think the best reviews are ones that have a high information content for the number of words used. Or as Strunk would say, be brief.
    Oh, wordiness. Yes, I'm certainly guilty of that. I could have probably left out the intro discussing my trip to Vermont and the diatribe about the egg-shaped keys. That would probably cut two paragraphs out of the article. Other than that, though, I don't think I'd want to leave out too much more commentary. Anyone can report a data sheet. I want to offer my opinions on the device in general. When I eventually do detailed reviews, I plan to break it out into multiple pages, perhaps putting my "nutshell" opinion on the first page (kind of like CNET's reviews). I actually thought about doing something like that here, when I started to notice that my article was getting quite long, but decided that it would have been overkill for a non-review.

    Nevertheless, thanks for the feedback. Hopefully I'll get better at this with time.

    Scott
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  3. #23  
    Originally posted by Scott R
    I am reserving final judgement until I do just that. Why does writing a "first-look" article imply that I've made any final judgement? That said, I don't think that's necessary all of the time. Someone can decide that the Sony CLIE NZ90 is too expensive or big without actually using one. Someone who has a definite need to do a lot of Excel spreadsheet editing on their handheld can decide that any of the Treo models is unsatisfactory without actually holding one.

    Scott
    But that's not what you were determining. You were analyzing look and feel attributes (such as typing on the keyboard). In your article, you had already made up your mind that the keyboard was too small. (At least that was the tone of your statements).

    As I said, I'm going to reserve judgement until I can hold one and try it for myself.
    --Inspector Gadget

    "Go Go Gadget Pre!!"
    Palm Pre on Sprint

    Palm V--> Palm IIIc--> Visor Prism--> Visor Phone--> Treo 270--> Treo 600--> Treo 650-->
    Treo 700wx--> HTC Touch Diamond--> Palm Pre & HTC EVO 4G.
  4. #24  
    Gameboy70 as quoted by Appleman:

    ....while the Treo is all-too-noticeably scuffed on the lid and at the edges............How did Handspring's beta testers manage to avoid damaging their screens after months of use? By normal use, if their experience is anything like mine. Flip lids do not equal protection.


    I'm forced to refute the edited version of myself. Without the anecdote about my experience with uncovered screens, my conclusion appears unsupported. Without further comment, I refer all interested parties to the original post on the previous page.

    Appleman wrote:

    I'm confused by your statement. Case damage, which I'm sure most Treo users experience, is a lot different that screen damage. How can one damage the screen in the Treo when the lid is closed


    Wanna lend me your Treo and show you how? It's quite easy to drop the Treo at sufficient height and shatter the screen without touching it, just from the force of impact transmitted through the case, regardless of which surface makes contact with the ground -- just as an untouched windshield shatters during a car crash.

    As I noted above, my unedited paragraph is more coherent: it addresses phone damage in general, then screen damage in particular. I pointed out, not insignificantly, that out of three phones it was the Treo that looked the worst for wear, despite being the phone allegedly most protected.

    I absolutely agree that case protection and screen protection are separate issues; and even if our focus is on screen protection, I find the flip cover useless for this purpose. First, it merely shifts the vulnerability to damage from the screen to the speaker vis-a-vis the hinge. Second the screen is more vulnerable when the phone is in use, i.e. when the lid is open, not when it is closed. Handheld devices are typically out of harm's way when not being handled. It's a bit like the old saw that the people who need to be in church the most are the ones that aren't there.

    And comparing standard phone screens and touchscreens isn't really fair. A touchscreen has to be a lot more "naked" to interpret stylus taps and strokes. A normal phone screen can have several millimeters of plastic protecting it.

    The stress commonly given to touchscreens' presumed vulnerability is specious. Touchscreens are consciously designed to withstand a wide rage of stylus pressures; the premium on durability is much higher. Even in the instances where normal screens are thicker (hardly universal), they're equally prone to scratches. As I pointed out in the unbutchered paragraph, the screens on my uncovered phones were completely unscathed.
  5. #25  
    Wholly! Relax buddy, I didn't "butcher" the paragraph to twist it in anyway, it was just the most relevant of what I wanted to comment on.

    Gameboy70 wrote:
    Without the anecdote about my experience with uncovered screens, my conclusion appears unsupported. Without further comment, I refer all interested parties to the original post on the previous page.


    What anecdote? All you said was that "By normal use, if their experience is anything like mine. Flip lids do not equal protection." Where is the story about how damaged your screen is and why?

    Gameboy70 wrote:
    Wanna lend me your Treo and show you how? It's quite easy to drop the Treo at sufficient height and shatter the screen without touching it, just from the force of impact transmitted through the case, regardless of which surface makes contact with the ground -- just as an untouched windshield shatters during a car crash.


    <sarcasm>Yeah, that's a good example.</sarcasm> Try that with any Palm device and see what the result it. The lid is intended to protect it while it's in your pocket, not from disasters that any Palm device would experience. I don't remember Handspring marketing the device as undestructible because it has the all powerful lid.

    Gameboy70 wrote:
    Second the screen is more vulnerable when the phone is in use, i.e. when the lid is open, not when it is closed.


    While I agree with this in theory, when it's open you are using it, it's not in your pocket being scratched by keys or coins. How is the screen getting scratched by normal tapping or just being open? The lid protects it when it's not in use, say when you are out of control of the device. While your example of dropping it is rather extreme and as I stated above the same result would come with any PDA.
  6. #26  
    Scott R wrote:

    I, personally, never found the current Treo to be too wide and would welcome additional width if it meant that the keys and screen could be bigger.


    Any bigger and it would probably be more ergonomic to morph to a different form factor, like the Nokia 9290. The Treo's keyboard, in use, feels to me more like a T9; it simply has more keys.

    I own a "real" digital camera (a now antiquated Canon S100 Digital Elph). It is a friend of mine. Mr. Zire 71, you are no Digital Elph.

    Indeed. But this comparison reminds me of a recording engineer friend who dismissed my MP3 player on the grounds that MP3 quality falls short of CDs (I believe the technical term he used was "sucks"). He would rather carry around a CD player and a case of CDs than suffer what I consider an asymptotically nil degradation in sound quality.

    I used to leave the eyemodule in the Prism all the time, and loved the opportunity to compile a photo album right on the Prism. On a 160 x 160 screen, the eyemodule's 160 x 120 photos were just right. At no point did I think of it as a replacement for a "real" digital camera (I have an S230). For anticipated photo ops, I use the Canon; for snapshots, a VGA camera will do.

    Take a look at howardforums.com and do some searches there for sample photos from smartphones/cameraphones. Also, go to dangerinfo.com and look for samples from the new color Danger Sidekick. Those are among the worst. No amount of correct lighting, good composition, etc., could correct the problems with these cameras.

    Viewed on a 1280 x 1024 monitor, sure, but not necessarily view on the products themselves, which I believe is the intention. Pictures suitable for archiving and printmaking require dedicated cameras at this state of the art.

    Non-touch-screen devices have a thick layer of scratch-resistant plastic over their screens. Touch-screens, by nature, have to use a much more sensitive thinner type of plastic in order for the digitizer to work. Plus, if you get a scratch on a traditional phone's screen, it's not such a big deal. If you get a scratch on a touch-screen, you'll feel it every time you pass your stylus across it and it will drive you crazy.

    My previous reply to Appleman on this point applies equally here.

    I think you missed the news headlines. T-Mobile recently switched to an affordable unlimited data plan. AT&T is rumored to follow soon. These carriers don't make an extra dime if you download one email a month or access graphic-laden web pages 24 hours a day. But the latter will definitely take a bigger toll on their networks.

    Maybe it's differenct on GSM/GPRS networks, but my PCS Vision unlimited data plan with Sprint still comes out of my airtime. And enough subscribers opt for cheaper service packages that they're still paying through the nose for data, over and above the $10/mo. entry level. There's plenty of cash to be made per megabyte now, even if bandwidth becomes commoditized in the not-too-distant future.

    You're right about the increased overhead on the carriers' networks, but inductive logic suggests that if they've opted to accept proxyless browsing, it must be because it's in their interests to do so; otherwise they would set up a proxy server themselves or contractually insist that Handspring maintain theirs.

    There's something called a "sweet spot." You can only make something so small before usability gets negatively impacted. Take a look at Sony's up/down rocker or the new Fossil wristwatch.

    This illustrates the point that Hawkins was trying to make: designers are challenged to rethink their products when making them smaller, or fail. There's no a priori sweet spot that holds true across time and place. Before the Treo was released, numerous VisorCentral and PIC members constantly griped about how the screen was unusably small; today that's a forgotten issue. The sweet spot is what Vygotsky would call a "zone of proximal development" where the respective learning curves of designers and users overlap.

    The Palm OS GUI requires a touch screen to do a lot of input. If you make the buttons too small, for instance, it takes a lot more effort to tap on them accurately.

    It's hard for me to even imagine what you're doing differely from me to find accurate typing so hard on the Treo. Oh well, nothing new to add here.

    Now, with the D-Pad integration in the Treo 600, I suspect that things will go pretty well for any apps that are D-Pad aware.

    I'm really looking foward to that feature. Anything that helps get rid of the stylus is a welcome feature.
  7. #27  
    Appleman wrote

    Wholly! Relax buddy, I didn't "butcher" the paragraph to twist it in anyway, it was just the most relevant of what I wanted to comment on.


    By "unbutchered" read "uncut," in the nonperjorative way. Trust me, if I was upset, you'd know it in no uncertain terms.

    What anecdote? All you said was that "By normal use, if their experience is anything like mine. Flip lids do not equal protection." Where is the story about how damaged your screen is and why?

    Immediately preceeding the sentence quoted above:

    I've owned one flip phone (the Treo) and two stick phones (Qualcomm QCP-2760 and Nokia 54-something-or-other). Guess which one has been damaged most? The Nokia looks factory fresh, the Q only has a tiny nick in the bottom corner, while the Treo is all-too-noticeably scuffed on the lid and at the edges. The screens on the former two were completely exposed to the world, but they're completely undamaged, even after wearing the QPC in my back pocket.


    Granted, it didn't start with "Once upon a time," and it's not particularly interesting, but I think it qualifies. In reading it for the first time, you'll notice that what's being emphasized is that my unprotected phones were undamaged relative to my "protected" one. Again, I proceeded from discussing the phone to discussing the screen

    <sarcasm>Yeah, that's a good example.</sarcasm> Try that with any Palm device and see what the result it.

    Ask a rhetorical question, get a rhetorical answer.

    While I agree with this in theory, when it's open you are using it, it's not in your pocket being scratched by keys or coins. How is the screen getting scratched by normal tapping or just being open?

    OK, I'll concede a point on this one. I assumed incorrectly that, like some posters in other threads, you were arguing that the lid was good for face-down impact protection.

    But since we're talking about the Treo, and not a phone with a quality case, I'll take back the point. If Handspring had to use a clamshell form, they (or Sprint) could have dyed the color in the injection molding process instead of giving the case an Earl Scheib paint job that scuffs so easily against keys and coins. Ugh. Actually, I'll give you the point back and take a couple from Handspring instead.
    Last edited by Gameboy70; 06/22/2003 at 04:39 AM.
  8. #28  
    Originally posted by Gameboy70
    Trust me, if I was upset, you'd know it in no uncertain terms.
    Is that a threat? Want to meet at the bike racks tomorrow at 4PM?

    Just joking of course
  9.    #29  
    Originally posted by Gameboy70
    Maybe it's differenct on GSM/GPRS networks, but my PCS Vision unlimited data plan with Sprint still comes out of my airtime.
    If that's true, you should definitely call and ask to switch plans. All of the current Sprint Vision plans include unlimited data which does not use your voice minutes.

    Scott
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
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