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  1.    #1  
    by Jake Ehrlich

    6/26/2003

    I’m in love…deep...really deep!

    I had a chance to recently preview a Treo 600 in person and all I can say is WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Every once in a great while it happens: You have an experience with something that is well designed and very interesting and you say: WOW! It does not necessarily mean you want one but you say, WOW! That is really cool! Examples of this would be the new VW bug and the IMac.

    I never wanted to own a new bug or iMac, but I really dig them because they are so cool looking…eye candy if you will. They just kind of make me smile.

    Sometimes though, you have an experience with something where you love the way it looks and feels. You become intrigued, enamored and you know you have to have it—can’t live without it—but the thing also has a MAGICAL aspect to it.

    Magic Moments Are Made Of This

    I remember the first time I saw Star Wars. I was ten years old and everybody and their mother had already seen it. This was before video cassette recorders so very successful movies could play in theatres for a very long time. I think Star Wars had been in the theatre for a year before I saw it. I was probably the last kid in the USA to see Star Wars?

    To make a short story long, I lived with my Evil Stepmother who would never let me do anything fun like see Star Wars. I remember being in third grade and having the second coolest girl in my class—her name was Gigi and Gigi was a babe in a brunette Charlie’s Angels kind of way—ask me if I had seen Star Wars? I very embarrassingly said no.

    She looked at me with this really sympathetic expression on her face and started passionately telling me all about the movie. I could barely keep up with her. She was making my head spin: &#$+%@*!!!=??????

    All I remember her saying was something about a princess and this thing called Chewbaka the Wookie who kind of looked like a Bigfoot from outer space? Since we humans reason by analogy, I was trying to draw a mental picture of a Bigfoot from outer space??? The closest frame or reference I could come up with was Planet of the Apes??? "No" Gigi said, "It is much, much better than Planet of the Apes." I remember thinking to myself, "What could be much, much better than Planet of the Apes?"

    Then she said, "By the way. They are coming out with a new Star Wars in a couple of years and it is rumored that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalkers dad and Princess Lea is Luke's sister and if that is true, then that would be gross because Luke and Lea French-kiss each other??? A Princess French-kissing her brother? A Bigfoot from outer space? I had no idea what she was talking about??? I just knew I had to see what everybody was talking about???

    On one of those seemingly endless hot summer days of youth, I was walking down the street and I found a dollar bill on the ground.

    I knew exactly what to do with that dollar bill. I ran home and got another Eighty-five cents I had hidden away from my Evil Stepmother and ran as fast as I could in the sweltering heat to the movie theatre. I had just enough change left over to buy a box of Peanut M&Ms. Boy this part of my life story is starting to sound like Willie Wonka in the Chocolate Factory, isn’t it?

    So there I sit perspiring on a hot summer day...with bated breath from running so fast...In a big, cool, dark movie theatre waiting patiently for the matinee performance of Star Wars to begin…all by myself…flawlessly naive…10 years young...like a puppy wagging its tail...like an empty box waiting to be filled...like a colorful big box of crayons and a huge pad of paper—ready to draw. I remember there were hardly any other people in the theatre...just me and that big blank white screen which when it soon came alive with moving images would inextricably alter my life in the most positive sense and take my imagination to unimaginably higher new levels.

    It was perfect. I was old enough to understand the movie but young enough to have an imagination that was not contaminated by a jaded adult world. I was old enough to know that Santa Claus did not exist, but I totally dug him anyway.

    I remember when Star Wars started with the yellow text disappearing into outer space, along with the thumping neo-classical music.

    I sat on the edge of my seat, intensely focused with my jaw dropped to the floor! I did not move out of that position the entire movie. It was a completely mind-bending experience that pushed the outer envelope of my childhood imagination!! The vividness of my imagination has never been the same ever since, nor would I want it to be. Pure unadulterated Magic!!!

    Hans Solo...Luke Skywalker...Princess Lea...Obi Won Kenobi...Darth Vader...Chewbaka the Wookie...Storm Troopers and of course C-3P0 and R2D2. It was like nothing I had ever seen! And how about those Light Sabers? Man I wanted one of those light sabers. Star Wars was like Star Trek cubed and then some.

    Next was John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. After I saw that movie all I could think about was how much I wanted one of those white three piece suits with a black shirt and platform shoes.

    I experienced the same heavenly magic as Star Wars several years later when I first saw Raiders of the Lost Ark. Man Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones was something else!

    1984: The Year Computers Became User Friendly

    I remember the first time I ever used a Mac in 1984. A few months prior I was skiing at Squaw Valley on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe in California. One night after skiing I met a lady I had a conversation with who worked for Apple Computers. She told me Apple was going to be coming out with a new computer that would forever change the face of computers. I asked her to tell me about it, but she said the only thing she could tell me was that it was really small and easy to move.

    The day the Mac was introduced to the public I was at a store checking it out. I remember checking out MacPaint and MacWrite and using a mouse for the first time. I was just blown away!!! Maximum coolness. It was pure Magic. MacPaint was like Etch-a-Sketch on steroids.

    I remember the first time I ever used a color Mac. It just so happened it was also the first time I saw Photoshop in action. It was interesting because someone in the computer store had scanned in Paul Simon’s album cover from “Rhythm of the Nations.” It had this beautiful picture of Indians running through a forest with headdresses on. I remember it had a lot of beautiful warm tones that were somehow energizing coming through the CRT. Looking at the CRT was like some kind of virtual reality experience. It was like looking at a photograph that was alive but frozen.

    Prior to that I had never seen how a scanner worked. The guy in the store was showing me how you could zoom in and out of the image he had scanned into Photoshop and it just blew me away! I remember thinking, "wow, a computer can do that?" It was so Bladerunner. It made me feel like anything was possible.

    Same feeling when I first saw the original Apple Powerbook (with a trackball). It was just so cool. Same thing when I first saw the IBM Thinkpad 701c. C is for color. For those of you who are not familiar, the 701 had this James Bondlike keyboard that IBM called the butterfly keyboard, because when you lifted the lid of the 701 two pieces in the keyboard popped out and formed one large keyboard. It was neeeeeto.

    Same thing the first time I saw a four-inch deep plasma rendering a high-definition image. I was completely blown away. I was certain I was seeing the future.

    The Palm Pilot Changes Everything

    In the PDA world I kept seeing people with Palm Pilots. For some reason it took me a long time to figure out what they were and how they worked. My first PDA was a Palm3. I really liked it but despite the fact that it was small relative to other PDAs like the Apple Newton, it seemed too big.

    Next was the Palm V. I got the Palm V the first day it was available. Once again, the Palm V gave me this “magical” vibe. I just couldn’t get over how thin it was?!

    After a couple of months I grew kind of complacent with my passion for the PalmV because I kept thinking it would be so much better if it were only color. Then I got a Nokia 8290 cell phone which was tiny. I used to hold the Palm V up to my head and think to myself, “How hard could it be to combine a Palm V and a Nokia 8290 with a color screen? I would be willing to go back to the Palm 3 form factor for that!

    Then I was seduced by the Pocket PC iPaq. I remember when the iPaq first arrived via UPS. It had a magical essence about it. It had this really bright and vivid color screen and it made really cool noises…kind of like R2D2. The magic wore off really fast because it was so unreliable. With the iPaq I went through Cycles of elation and despair. It was always giving me problems from the battery not charging, to dust under the screen.

    The Microsoft Pocket PC…Definitely NOT Cool!!!

    The worst thing was the ActiveSync software. It was a living hell. I tried calling everybody to try and fix the problems. Compaq passed the buck to Microsoft and Microsoft passed the buck back to Compaq. I had to replace it many times and felt like a guinea pig. The iPaq was Symbolism over Substance in its shining hour. Definitely NOT Cool!!!

    After I switched over to the iPaq the novelty wore off quickly and I realized that ALL the cool things it could do were not of much use. It was All Glitz and no Guts. I think I spent more time showing people what the iPaq could do than I spent enjoying it.

    Then came the Treo 180. When I saw the mistakenly leaked photos from the FCC filing it really made me think??? Another challenge I had with the iPaq was I would have to carry my Nokia phone with it and I felt like I was wearing Batman’s utility belt. In the final analysis I ended up not bringing either device with me.

    I was not that crazy about going backwards to a black and white screen, but with the Treo 180 the idea of having a phone and PDA in one unit that was significantly smaller than my iPaq was really appealing. So I got one. I really liked the thumboard. It made text input so much faster, easier and much more accurate. I loved my 180 but kept thinking, like the Palm V, it needed a color screen. You guessed it! The day the 270 became available I bought one and have loved it ever since. Also the 270 had a backlit keyboard which was sooooo much better.

    The supreme irony about going from the iPaq to the Treo is that the Treo is kind of boring—in a good way. With the iPaq I was always showing people cool stuff, but it was seriously traumatizing me with its problems. The iPaq was complete garbage and should not have been brought to market.

    I have a tremendous amount of respect for Bill Gates, but shame on Microsoft for pushing such a half-baked product out the door. They should really know better. Releasing the Pocket PC before it was ready for primetime was Dumber than a bag of hammers. As I mentioned in another thread, power is useless without control.

    Supreme Irony: The Treo 270 Turned Me Into The Maytag Man

    Back to the supreme irony. Now I feel like the Maytag Man with my treo 270. It never has any problems and works sooo well it is kind of boring, or undramatic. Don’t get me wrong. This lack of drama is a good thing. I am happy not to have to waste time running around in circles like a chicken with its head cut off.

    In a weird kind of way the iPaq when compared to the Treo 270 is kind of like comparing a dramatic woman to a mellow one. I am sooo sick of overly dramatic persnickety women. I’ll take the mellow, nice, easygoing one any time.

    I have always believed the reason why the Handspring Treo would beat out the Microsoft Pocket PC in the final analysis was because Jeff Hawkins always carried his PDA with him and relied so heavily on it. Not to mention, Jeff Hawkins invented the original Palm Pilot.

    Conversely, I have only ever seen one picture of Bill Gates with a PDA in his hand and I think it was likely staged. I could be wrong, but I would be very surprised.

    This whole PDA thing is so weird because Microsoft has always slaughtered every one of its competitors by their third attempt. Strangely the PDA arena has been the exception to that rule.

    For whatever it is worth, I think Palm has got Microsoft smoked. Especially with Jeff Hawkins back in the creative drivers seat at Palm. I think the only way Microsoft can catch Palm is if Microsoft completely overhauls everything and basically copies the form factor of the Treo 600. Pocket PC design today is suffering from a bankruptcy of ideas. Pocket PCs today look sooo stale. They look like color Palm 3s…Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

    An accurate hardware analogy would be to compare touch screen remote controls to remote controls with physical buttons. The current Pocket PCs are all screen and few physical buttons. The Treo conversely has a screen with many buttons. A friend of mine who works in a super-high-end Audio/Video store was showing me these really expensive touch screen remotes with no hard buttons.

    I told my pal I did not like the touch screen remotes because there was no tactile feedback and you had to turn on the backlighting and look at the unit every time you wanted to do anything. With a buttoned remote after you get used to it you can use it in the dark.

    (Speaking of in-the-dark. In case you never noticed, the Treo is an excellent flashlight!)

    I use the MX-500 Universal Remote from Home Theater Master. Oh my God! If you don’t have an MX-500 run out and get one! It is by far and away the best universal remote control on earth. It is as amazing as the Treo 600. You can get them from http://www.bluedo.com for almost half-off the retail price.

    My Mind-Bending Experience with the Treo 600…The Future of Quality Handheld Computing...

    Speaking of the Treo 600. I had the opportunity to spend a few hours playing with one, and all I can say is that my eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Treo 600!!!!!!!!!! It was love at first sight!!!!!!!!! Complete knockdown, drag-out, mind-bending, pure undiluted love. I am almost at a loss for words, but I will attempt my best to share my insight with you.

    The svelte Treo 600 is clearly the result of deeply profound thought. I believe it is a sea-change product that will forever change the way we utilize and perceive portable phones. Did I say the Treo 600 was a portable phone? The original clamshell design Treo was a PDA with a phone built into it. The Treo 600 is a Telephone with a PDA built into it.

    Appearance wise, when you talk on a current Treo people look at you because the Treo is so big and different looking. It sticks out like a sore thumb. It is so big, distinct looking and awkward that you stand out as much as you would if you walked around with one of those original oversized banana with an antenna on it Motorola cell phones like the one Michael Douglas’ character Gordon Gekko talks on in the beach scene in the Movie “Wall Street.” I’ll bet you Gekko would love the Treo 600.

    Remember that cool dialog between Bud and Gekko: “Bud: How much is enough, Gordon? Gekko: It's not a question of enough, pal. It's a zero sum game, somebody wins, somebody loses. Money itself isn't lost or gained it’s simply transferred from one perception to another.”

    Anyway, for the most part, the Treo 600 is indistinguishable from a “normal” or “regular” cell phone, which is kind of cool in a traveling incognito way. With the Current Treo if you are talking on the speakerphone, you look like you are imitating Captain Kirk, in a "Kirk to Enterprise, come in Enterprise...Three to beam up" kind of way.

    The advent of the Handspring Treo 600 is a profoundly important watershed moment in digital history.

    The Treo 600 I saw was the darker color; dark grey, almost black. When I first laid eyes on it my jaw dropped. I was speechless! It was the same kind of feeling you get in a dream when you are trying to scream but your vocal cords are completely silent.

    Please bear in mind I am a designer so I tend to appreciate beautiful aesthetics. After all, God gave us eyes so we could appreciate beauty. The Treo 600 is a superbly balanced tool which exhibits perfect spatial harmony and flawless aesthetics.

    The Treo 600 was so cool and beautiful I was almost afraid to touch it. When it was placed in my hand it was “shock and awe” in the most positive sense of the term. I was completely smitten. Bear in mind I had already seen many pictures on the web of the 600, but actually seeing it and holding it just blew me away. I could not get over how small and DECEPTIVELY SIMPLE it was. It felt prefect in my hand...hand-in glove-perfect...like it was a natural extension of my hand...like it should.

    Then I got a presentation, I won’t say from whom because it really does not matter. Once again, more shock and awe. Much more!

    One of the things I knew about before I saw the 600 in person was Handspring had re-engineered all their apps, from the general to the specific, to be used without a stylus. Holy guacamole! I can’t believe how well they engineered this solution.

    The way the new navigation system works is the thing you are currently doing is highlighted with a blue outline. So let’s say I am in the Memo app and I am typing a memo and I have five lines of type written, but I want to navigate up and insert another word in the second line. No problem. I just hit the up arrow on the five way directional button and move it up or down or left or right exactly to where I want it. I add the new word and then using the five way navigation button I move the flashing cursor back to where I had it originally and continue typing.

    Let’s say I want to switch the memo from having no category to a Personal category. You just hit the center of the five way button and it changes the focus from the text to the category being highlighted in blue and being ready to drop down. I realize that I am probably not explaining it well but let’s just say it is amazingly intuitive, well conceived, well implemented and it will certainly give the Treo 600 a sharp competitive edge.

    The Treo 600 is the Evolution of the Revolution in Every Way, Shape and Form

    At the end of the day if a product design is not very useful it has no real social value. The Treo 600 is extremely useful. It is so indescribably beautiful…So Simple…So Elegant...So utterly Sheik...So Cary Grant. It has a perfect balance of form and function. It perfectly follows the Bauhaus edict that less is more.

    In a certain sense, the Treo 600 is not only a revolutionary new piece of hardware, but a revolutionary new OS and UI. There are context sensitive features galore. The 600 has the skinniest stylus I have ever seen, but I would not worry about using it any more because the new User Interface has been completely optimized so you don't need to use a stylus with any native HandSpring applications. This is perhaps the most stunning feature of the Treo 600...the fact you can do everyting one-handed...without a stylus.

    With just one thumb on the Treo 600 you will be Busier than a one arm man in a fist-fight...

    The thumboard was superb. It was PERFECTLY accurate. Whenever I am experimenting with a keyboard to see how it types, I always type the same thing. It is two lines from a song from the band named THE THE. I always type the same two lines and I don't know why? I always type:

    “This is the day that your life will surely change. This is the day that things will fall into place.”

    Out of the hundreds of times I have typed those two sentences, I don't think they were ever more on point!

    On most keyboards I goof up once or twice but on the 600 it was perfect! The new egg/dome shape keys on the Treo 600 feel like you are typing on Tic Tacs as apposed to the keys on my 270 which feel like typing on Mini Chicklets. The Treo 600 thumboard felt more natural and more intuitive than my flat 270 keys. The keyboard has white backlighting but the four main buttons and the five-way navigation button have cobalt blue backlighting. Kind of Deco, Kind of R2D2...Nice touch.

    The screen was amazingly bright, clear and easy to read in and outdoors…even in bright direct sunlight. I know it is a point of contention for many people in this forum trying to decide how they feel about 160 by 160 pixels of screen resolution. Like many in the forum I was shocked when I first heard it would be 160x160. I almost thought it was a typo.

    After using the 600 I think the screen is fine. It is far better than the one on my 270. This is just my opinion but I think in the future with Palm’s financial strength and economies of scale they will introduce higher resolution screens. Will this stop me from purchasing a Treo 600 the first second it becomes available. Absolutely not! I will buy one immediately and if you were my brother and you asked me if you should wait for a higher resolution screen I would say no. It is great “as is.”

    Proffesional Grade...Like A Rock…Really!!!

    Many people have also voiced a strong concern about the absence of a flip lid for protecting the main screen as well as concern for the camera lens getting scratched. Handspring has conducted extensive durability tests to ensure the new Treo 600 can stand up to everyday use. Apparently despite Handsprings best efforts to scratch the screens in their real life testing they could not. Same with the camera lens.

    One of the ways Handspring tested the durability of the screens was to put the Treo in a purse with all kinds of real life things like sharp keys and sunglasses and shake up the purse for long periods of time. It bummed me out to learn this, but they sacrificed two hundred Treo 600s just testing them for sturdiness and durability which included drop testing—on concrete floors!

    I am not really an SMS kind of dude, but I understand SMS messaging is really hot in England and Japan. The 600 has this really cool UI feature that groups together all responses in a single window on the top level and then follows it like this threaded forum. Really Keeewl.

    Picture Perfect

    As many of you know the Treo 600 has a VGA Camera (640x480) onboard. It is really cool because after you take a photo it asks you if you want to save the image or send the photo to another computer or cell phone via MMS (Multimedia Message Service). So let’s say I was at a trade show and my assistant called me and asked me about a certain product. I could immediately take a picture of the product and have it show up on her Treo 600 screen in the hotel room or in an inbox on the other side of the planet in no time.

    Another example would be if I was shopping and I saw something I thought a friend would like, I could take a picture of it and send the picture to their email along with a note that says, “If you want me to pick this up for you while I am downtown let me know.”

    There are all kinds of great uses for the camera. I took some pictures with the Treo 600 and looked at them later. They came out pretty well considering there was no flash.

    I am so happy they added the camera. I think I will use it all the time. Now if they could only add an MP3 voice recorder that could also record telephone conversations…

    I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On

    The way you turn on an off the PDA portion of the phone is with the app button on the far right. Then you hit the center button on the four-way navigation button which unlocks the keypad. It has a Keygaurd feature so that you don't hit buttons by mistake when the Treo in your pocket or purse. There was a second way to unlock the Keygaurd, but I can't remember it exactly. I think first you hit the Option button then the center button on the four-way navigation wheel?

    The Treo also has a customizable start page which allows you to have your own desktop wallpaper. There is a menu which allows you to completely customize it. You know in a weird kind of way the Treo 600 is more like a laptop than a PDA. It kind of looks like and is laid out like a laptop which has its clamshell top open 180 degrees. To come to think of it, it really is a mini laptop?!?

    The Treo I saw was operating on the GSM network. There has been a lot of speculation about where the SIM card goes. Most people speculated from the photos that they went behind the serial numbers on the back in what appeared to be a tiny door. Not the case. There is a tiny slit on top of the phone parallel to the SD card that has a door about the size of the SIM card. This way it will not creak like the 270 SIM door.

    As a matter of fact from what I understand, it was Handsprings objective was to make the phone feel very, very solid. In my hands it felt almost like the whole thing was one.

    To answer a $64,000 question that has been on everybody’s mind: I asked why they did not make the 600 so that you could swap out batteries? They said it was because it would cause the 600 to be a little thicker because there would have to be another piece of plastic and Jeff Hawkins refuses to add any thickness to it. This is fine with me. I am not a heavy phone user and 5-6 hours of talk time is more than I will ever need. Also they told me that the 600 is literally jam packed on the inside. Apparently every scintilla on the 600 is utilized and tweaked for optimization.

    Also, and thank God, they are also coming out with a high-end car kit that will allow you to charge the Treo and use it hands free. They will also have a new cradle for the 600.

    I listened to an MP3 through headphones and it sounded great! In a weird kind of way I think I might be happy using it as my MP3 player. With a 256MB card it can hold about 40 high-quality MP3s. 1GB SD cards are just coming to market so you would be able have at least 16 albums worth of music on your Treo 600. Handspring will not be including an MP3 player because they believe it makes better sense to let you pick your favorite one.

    I watched a Matrix Reloaded trailer on the 600 as well. Really cool! There is no doubt that in the future that you will be able to watch Tivo-like video on your Treo. Imagine that I will be able to watch Jerry Springer wherever I go! Just kidding—but maybe not?

    The app icons were redone for the main menu and look more 3d Apple like.

    In conclusion, I can just say I am completely blown away! The Treo 600 is not only the best of the best but it very accurately illustrates one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor. I take my hat of to Jeff Hawkins and his passionate pursuit of excellence and design perfection. He is a brilliant visionary and Palm is going to rock with the Treo. This is just my opinion, but I would not be surprised if Palm bought HS because they saw the 600 and knew it was going to forever change the face of PDAs.

    Just imagine how powerful and ironic the synergy will be with Jeff Hawkins back in the creative drivers’ seat at the company he founded. It is kind of like Jobs back at Apple. Think about the infinite possibilities?!?!?!

    I think that the next generation of Palm’s which will include Palm OS6 is going to Be off the hook (Pun Intended). Especially with Jeff Hawkins desinging the products and the BeOS developers incorporating so much multimedia and graphics framework from the BeOS into the new machines.

    Think about what Palms are going to look like in just a few years. I'll bet if we could see a Palm from the year 2008 it would freak us out. Sony will probably have bought out Palm in 2004. Imagine that possibility?

    On a philosophical note, it has always been ironic to me how real technology has highly outpaced the way people thought it would be in the past. For instance, if you compare a communicator from the original Star Trek in the 1960s to a Treo 600, the Treo 600 blows it away. I was watching Blade Runner recently—which supposedly took place in something like 2018—and I was kind of tripping on how primitive the computer screens looked. They were all really small and had green text on black screens. Still a great movie though.

    For whatever it is worth, I think in the next couple of years we will see LCD screens that are at least a 100 inches diagonally. Last month Business Week had and article about how Samsung was setting up a factory that could make LCD panels the size of a queen bed!!! Super UltraCoooool!!!

    The Microsoft PocketPC camp must be shaking in its boots. I think a potential weakness that is starting to be exploited against Microsoft is that MS does not make its own hardware. I have a PC running XP which I like, but I have to say that after seeing Steve Jobs webcast on the G5 my next computer may be a Mac! Writing this review and reminiscing about all my experiences kind of gave me deja vu. Neeto.

    You know, there really is something to be said for passion. Especially Passionate people on a mission like Steve Jobs and Jeff Hawkins. What a marvelous time in history to be alive. To see so many people contributing so much coolness to the world. We are all so fortunate!! We really are.

    To sum it up the Treo has a highly "Magical" vibe. Otherworldly perhaps. I know Speed Racer was a cartoon, but if he came to life exactly the way I remember him from my childhood, he would have a Treo 600 sitting in the Mach 5 and he would be talking on the high-quality hands free kit to Trixi, or maybe even weirder, Commissioner Gordon. That's it! It is so Batman or Batcave or Batmobile. Yeah, that's it...I can see Batman driving around in the Batmobile talking to Commissioner Gordon? I can't quite describe it. It is just so perfect, magical and otherworldly. I can't recall anything I have ever been so exited to own.

    You know the more I think about it, the Treo 600 is very JamesBondlike. I like Pierce Brosnin a lot but could they changeup the script a little? Give Bond some real character depth. Not the same contrived Xerox copy over and over. Sorry about the rant. If James Bond were real, he would have a Treo 600. There; I said it. It's Bondlike if Bond were real.

    I realize I am just riffing, but in retrospect, the Pocket PC seems all Wacky-Pack-Stickered out. Do you know what I mean???

    Shock and Awe, Shock and Awe is all I can say. And just for the record. I am not affiliated with HandSpring in any way, and I am usually very constructively critical. I always give credit where credit is due, but I do not get this exited very often. I am deeply in love. Now if I could only find a woman with the same attributes ;-)

    Marcus at TreoCentral.com asked me if he could post my review as an opinion piece on the front page. Of course I said yes. Since I have this bully pulpit, Palm could you please overhaul the Palm Desktop? Pretty Please? In my opinion Outlook is better than Palm Desktop, but could you add basic features to Palm Desktop like a time and date stamp in the notes field for contacts? Isn’t the point of the notes field to take notes and time and date them? Why should I have to waste precious time typing in the time and date?

    Also can you increase the number of characters that can be included in a note field or memo? Another really cool feature would be if the Call History from the Treo could be transferred to the Palm Desktop. I really think Palm is overlooking the significance and importance of the Palm Desktop. I can’t emphasize this enough.

    At present time on 6-29-2003 there are 38 replies in the thread and if you are interested in learning more please read on. I would like it if this thread could evolve into a discussion on what feature people would like to see in future Treo's and Palm's.
    The only way they will hear and understand us is if we share our ideas with them.

    I hope you enjoyed reading this review as much as I enjoyed writing it!

    Take Care,
    Jake Ehrlich
    Last edited by JakeE; 07/03/2003 at 05:10 AM.
    There is a great difference between knowing and understanding. You can know a lot about something without understanding it. —Charles Kettering
    -------------------------------------------------
    Treo 600: Love at First Sight by Jake Ehrlich

    Thoughts on the Future of Handheld Computing: A 5 Part Series by Jake Ehrlich
  2. #2  
    From this description I can only conclude that the 600 is a portent of the coming of the messiah, a veritable red hefer in gray plastique!

    I can not wait to wave my treo 600 across lake washington and see the waters part!

    Can eternal peace be far off?
  3. #3  
    Originally posted by Stevesm
    From this description I can only conclude that the 600 is a portent of the coming of the messiah, a veritable red hefer in gray plastique!

    I can not wait to wave my treo 600 across lake washington and see the waters part!

    Can eternal peace be far off?
    Hahaha! He DID lay it on kind of thick, didn't he? I guess that's a glowing review. It appears we have some "passionate" Palm users out there.

    Well, I doubt that it will part the waters of Lake Washington, but I'm sure I'll find a use, or two, for it.
    --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.    #4  
    My Dear Inspector:

    It looks like you have been gadgeted!?!?!?!

    Jake;-)
    There is a great difference between knowing and understanding. You can know a lot about something without understanding it. —Charles Kettering
    -------------------------------------------------
    Treo 600: Love at First Sight by Jake Ehrlich

    Thoughts on the Future of Handheld Computing: A 5 Part Series by Jake Ehrlich
  5. #5  
    So tell me, JakeE, did you actually like the new Treo or not?

    Last edited by clulup; 06/27/2003 at 06:04 AM.
  6. #6  
    Many Thanks, Jake! Well done.
  7. #7  
    Thanks for sharing this with us, JakeE.

    Did you get to use the new Blazer? I'm curious as to the performance of the new version since it doesn't use a proxy. If you did, was it a Sprint or a GSM version?

    Thanks!
  8. #8  
    Not fair, not fair.

    Again, it's gonna be a long, long summer...
    Ed
    Visor Deluxe, Prism, Visorphone, Treo 270, Treo 600, Treo 650, and am eagerly waiting for the next generation Treo...but wait...is that the iPhone????
  9. KKenna's Avatar
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    #9  
    Finally, someone who is not zeroing in on the one spec or another that they are dissatisfied with. It sounds to me like the 600 will far exceed my expectations of it. HS got it right when they introduced the 300, just stumbled a little in a few places. All I was expecting was the next revision recognized the few flaws and progressed what was a true vision of the future of communications. Sure, it doesn't have a 320x320 screen, but you can watch trailers on the one it does have ? Perfect. Maybe it doesn't have built-in bluetooth, who cares ? Have you ever actually had a rock-solid experience with bluetooth ? I doubt it. Plus, you have to be seriously, technically inclined just to pair two devices anyway (I know, most that frequent this board find this statement ridiculous, but I can tell you, the "regular" person on the street could never conquer the complexities of bluetooth in its current carnation). If you do have to have this option, SDIO to the rescue !

    Since I was old enough to have to give up the concept of the 12 week Summer Vacation, I've always thought that summers were way too short. Not this year.

    Is it October yet ?!?!?
  10. #10  
    I'm glad your experience was a positive one. It's also quite helpful that you mentioned your design background, because I thought you were really losing it

    I'm still chugging along with my 180 and really fascinated with the fascination over Treo 600 minutae. It's quite amusing to read. I get the feeling that if someone mentions the color of the keys is changing, some people here are going to stain their shorts

    I keep asking myself what's wrong. What must I be missing that I'm not drooling in anticipation of handing over more money to Palm? It's a nice device, don't get me wrong, but still.....

    I still have yet to figure out WHAT IS THE FASCINATION WITH A PHONE THAT TAKES PICTURES? Is this simply because it CAN?
    And phones that play MP3's - they're just not at the point where you'd have enough memory to play a serious amount of them (hence the Ipod, et al).

    I guess I just don't understand the Bleeding Edge<tm> (and with a 180, how could I?) Ok, I'd love a nice readable display, sure. No one can argue with better battery life. But is it really THAT much better than a 270/300?


    Signed,
    Perplexed in PA
  11. #11  
    Originally posted by leftyStrat
    keep asking myself what's wrong. What must I be missing that I'm not drooling in anticipation of handing over more money to Palm? It's a nice device, don't get me wrong, but still.....
    You sir, are not a died-in-the-wool nerd. Don't let the door... Nah, just kidding. I consider a hobby of mine. It's fun. It's harmless. It's not dangerous. Hey, if I spend a little money on it now and then no biggie.
  12. #12  
    Originally posted by leftyStrat
    I still have yet to figure out WHAT IS THE FASCINATION WITH A PHONE THAT TAKES PICTURES? Is this simply because it CAN?
    And phones that play MP3's - they're just not at the point where you'd have enough memory to play a serious amount of them (hence the Ipod, et al).
    I'm in the same camp as you with pictures, until this morning. I went for a walk and passed a telephone pole with a yard sale sign on it. I thought about it quickly, but didn't want to write the address in my Treo. It's probably only a 10% chance I'll wake up early enough for it anyway. Then it occurred to me that I could have taken a picture of the yard sale sign quickly and if I woke up tomorrow look it up, otherwise, delete it in a month. We've established that I'm lazy, I'll give you that.

    Three weeks ago I hit a raised mainhole cover that caused a flat tire it would be nice to print out a copy of the picture of it and send it in with my complaint to city hall.

    An mp3 player could be used with a stereo line-out to get a party started. Granted I might never do that, but on my walk I wouldn't have minded having a little music to listen to along the way. Sure I can get another mp3 player, but it's one more device to carry, make sure it's charged, and its costs are more because it has duplicate circuitry and battery that's already in the Treo (things like display and input functions). If there was a downside to the mp3 player or camera (like making the device bigger, prohibitively expensive, etc.) then it's a good argument for not putting one in. I think the price of the Treo 600 would be worth it, just for the new design, software (OS, etc), navigation, memory, and SDIO slot. Granted I'm guessing at the price using the $400-$500 range, but those features make the camera and mp3 player free to me.
  13.    #13  
    KKENA:

    You are correct about bluetooth. This is just my opinion but as I understand it, Jeff Hawkins does not like to experiment with things that have not been proven to be rock solid and reliable. Think about the Palm3 and PalmV and the Treos. They have all been bulletproof. Instead of experimenting with uproven technolgy Jeff Hawkins likes to figure out how to optimize proven technology.

    I can think of two things I would like to use Bluetooth for. First, for using a cordless headset and secondly to be able to wirelessly sync. With a headset, there are a number of challenges. First of all, bluetooth uses a great deal of battery power from the phone battery, not to mention, you now have two things you need to recharge: the Treo and the battery.

    The main reason I wanted the Bluetooth headset was for the car, but since Handspring will have a high-end car kit I don't really care much about a headset.

    I think I read somewhere that there was a company making high-end two ear headsets for music that also had a mic for talking on the phone. Imagine going for a walk or run. You are Rolling with the Stones...Mick is singing "Sympathy for the Devil." You are singing along "Woooh Hooow, Woooh Hooow."

    Mick is singing the part of the song where he says, "I'll shout it out! Who killed the Keddedy's, when after all, it was you and me." You are thinking, I did not shoot any Kennedy's. I was not even born. Was I? Then you think, Man, who wrote these lyrics? Brilliant. Sheer brilliance. Man you gota love the Stones. Suddenly the music is paused and the display (which has picture caller i.d.) displays Oscar Goldman.

    You hit the center button on the four way nav button and accept the call. Oscar gives you your new mission and tells you he just emailed you a map of Jamie Summers cottage where she is being held captive. When you hang up the Jumping Jack Flash ramps back up. You change course, kick it up into high gear and end up at Jamies cottage. You call Oscar back and tell him you just emailed him a photo of the liscense plate for the car in the driveway. You have to save Jamie because Jamie is a total babe. Sorry. I got a little carried away there.

    Silverado:

    Blazer looked great! It was also really fast. Plus the super cool thing is that you can navigate around the screen to hit the hypertext links with the 4 way navigation. It basically works just like a mouse. Super cool.

    UGlee:

    I think I remember reading you live in China? Where in China are you?

    You are very welcome. I feel extremely privileged to have been one of the first civilians to see the Treo 600. Despite the fact that a few people saw it at trade shows before me, I think they were caught off-guard and while they knew what is was, they probably did not fully understand the implication of what it was. When I saw it, I understood exactly what I was looking at…the Holy Grail of portable technology...the Rosetta Stone revealed....the future. I was probably the first civilian who actually had a chance to really spend some time examining and playing with it.

    When the world looks back at the Treo 600 in retrospect many years from now, it will be seen as a major inflection point in digital history. The original Palm Pilot was a Horse and buggy, the Palm3 was a Model T, the first generation of Treos was the 65 Mustang, and the Treo 600 is the Lexus LS 430 or maybe even a 2004 LS500. It is that dramatic a difference.

    You know it is kinda interesting…the reason I am so exited about the Treo 600 is not so much because of the 600 but because it is a harbinger or prelude for the digital future. Bill Gates said several years ago, that everything that can be digital will be digital. The Treo 600 is the first device that is really the living manifestation of this idea.

    leftyStrat:

    You asked, “I still have yet to figure out WHAT IS THE FASCINATION WITH A PHONE THAT TAKES PICTURES? Is this simply because it CAN?”

    I was just looking at some pictures that I took with the Treo. Although I do not shoot photography for a living, I am definitely a Pro-level photographer and for 640x480 I am impressed. Basically it boils down to the fact that the camera on the Treo 600 is an excellent spy camera. You can also use it for snapshots. There is no doubt that in the future we will have 2 megapixel cameras on board and that is when it will get really cool.

    But as bmacfarland profoundly pointed out:

    “I'm in the same camp as you with pictures, until this morning. I went for a walk and passed a telephone pole with a yard sale sign on it. I thought about it quickly, but didn't want to write the address in my Treo. It's probably only a 10% chance I'll wake up early enough for it anyway. Then it occurred to me that I could have taken a picture of the yard sale sign quickly and if I woke up tomorrow look it up, otherwise, delete it in a month. We've established that I'm lazy, I'll give you that.

    Three weeks ago I hit a raised manhole cover that caused a flat tire it would be nice to print out a copy of the picture of it and send it in with my complaint to city hall.

    An mp3 player could be used with a stereo line-out to get a party started. Granted I might never do that, but on my walk I wouldn't have minded having a little music to listen to along the way. Sure I can get another mp3 player, but it's one more device to carry, make sure it's charged, and its costs are more because it has duplicate circuitry and battery that's already in the Treo (things like display and input functions).”

    Absolutely brilliant bmacfarland, absolutely brilliant!!!

    At some point in the not so distant future SD capacity will grow to 5GB and beyond. Solid State memory is better and more reliable than spinning hard drives. There is no doubt that in the future that a Treo will be able to hold your entire music collection. It may be several years off, but it will be here.

    The feature I think is missing is a voice recorder that can take voice memos and when you are on the phone can record the call in MP3. I am certain Handspring should add a button on the right side toward the top to activate this feature, and if you are not interested in using the recording feature you could map the button for some other function.

    The single most profound thing I can share with all of you is that because there are so many newly emerging technologies being incorporated into the new Treo 600, Handspring had to make tradeoffs. I believe and I think Handspring believes they made the best tradeoffs.
    Last edited by JakeE; 06/29/2003 at 07:27 PM.
    There is a great difference between knowing and understanding. You can know a lot about something without understanding it. —Charles Kettering
    -------------------------------------------------
    Treo 600: Love at First Sight by Jake Ehrlich

    Thoughts on the Future of Handheld Computing: A 5 Part Series by Jake Ehrlich
  14. Iceman6's Avatar
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    #14  
    There are geeks, and then there are GEEKS. Jake, does your wife know you feel this way about an inanimate object?

    Oops, finally read to the end of your epistle. Never mind. P.S. thanks for writing it.
    Last edited by Iceman6; 06/27/2003 at 05:05 PM.
  15.    #15  
    Iceman6

    You know, it is not so much that I am a geek, so much as I am passionate and like cool things that work like they are supposed to and look beautiful.

    And who said anything about Marriage? I am not married, but my girlfreind has a treo and totally digs it and she thinks this whole thing is funny and interesing.

    Jake
    Last edited by JakeE; 06/27/2003 at 05:21 PM.
    There is a great difference between knowing and understanding. You can know a lot about something without understanding it. —Charles Kettering
    -------------------------------------------------
    Treo 600: Love at First Sight by Jake Ehrlich

    Thoughts on the Future of Handheld Computing: A 5 Part Series by Jake Ehrlich
  16. PHO
    PHO is offline
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    #16  
    Jake -

    I read your interview, it was definatly colorful.

    Question for you, pocket pc people, or anyone else. Has anyone gotten a successful streaming media on Sprint?

    os 5has a media player and real player, and the pocket pc's do.

    I haven't seen anyone talk about. Can you ask someone if they have tried this with the treo 600?
    Hmm, Possible Treo Convert?
  17. #17  
    Cool Stuff!! Love the dialog!! I spend time on this board daily for the tech info but also to get a good laugh or two.

    I think what Jake is refering to when he speaks of magic is the clean design and intuition incorporated into the 600. I'm a designer as well and nothings more satisfying than when you see a well designed object or interact with an object in an intuitive manner. A great example of both is the Segway HT.

    It sounds like HS has accomplished this with the 600 -- size, form, and function are all present just as you would intuitively expect them to be. So, it fits in your hand "naturally" (not too big, not too small, not too sharp, not too slippery, etc.). The look is professional, forward-thinking, solid, innovative, exciting -- its something you can impress others with, but not so gimmicky that it falls apart in a month or so. And finally, (and maybe most importantly) the user interface is intuitive and automatic. Stated differently, with little use, you begin to use it without thinking of each step explicitly -- you mind moves individual tasks to the level of automaticity so that you think of the task you want to accomplish and not how you must accomplish it (a good example is driving a car). I think this is the approach they took with the 5-way nav button.

    In my opinion, the camera, mp3 capability, etc. are all icing on the cake. Without meeting or exceeding your design and intuitive expectations, the 600 would ultimately be a flop.
    go.digital
  18.    #18  
    dulan

    Speaking of the Segway HT. I think it is super cool but at the same time kinda stupid. Americans are at an embarisingly high level of obesity and if I used a Segway I would probably gian too much weight because I would never walk. Walking is very good for you. Cavemen walked all over the place. If Cavemen used Segways, I am certain we would have gone the way of the neandrathols.

    I was just thinking about how the new Treo 600 will have a car kit. Would'nt it be cool if the cradle had a feed through the FM antena lead to your car strereo. That way you could listen to your MP3s through your car stereo on an FM channel you preset. That would be awsome!!! Handspring: are you listening?

    When I was goofing around with the 600 I was listening to an MP3 through the rear speaker. It sounded like an average A.M. radio. Kinda cool if you think about it. Imagine if your are out on a date or you go to the beach and you start playing some background music. I don't think an iPod can even do that?
    Last edited by JakeE; 06/29/2003 at 07:35 PM.
    There is a great difference between knowing and understanding. You can know a lot about something without understanding it. —Charles Kettering
    -------------------------------------------------
    Treo 600: Love at First Sight by Jake Ehrlich

    Thoughts on the Future of Handheld Computing: A 5 Part Series by Jake Ehrlich
  19. #19  
    thanks for the good vibes with your review, Jake!

    I know the 'magic' you're talking about. first two feelings like that I can remember are the first time I saw a Vic20 and the first time I saw a disk drive (for the c64).

    then, the years passes, the few magic moments I have.

    hope for this treo600 to have a sort of them again. :-)
    matro 180->270->600->650->750v->680->Pro
  20.    #20  
    matro

    It is strange because I was just thinking about how I defined the "Magic Moments" of my life--almost like high water marks.

    I was trying to think of any other ones I forgot to mention. I could not think of any else, but you got me.

    I forgot about the Commodore Vic20 and the Commodore 64. Now that I think about it I guess I might have to add the AppleIIe.

    It's kinda fascinating because I remember the first time I ever used a computer. I think I was twelve years old, back in 1978. It was one of those old terminal computers that used punchcards and a fixed type printer. When you walked in the compuer lab, as they used to call it, the whole floor was shaking from the printing. Man, we have come a long way. I think those terminals ran MS Basic I. Which I believe was the only program Bill Gates wrote all the code for.

    I remember thinking to myself "What is this computer thing? And what can a computer do?" For many years I would get computers and then get sick of them because they got kinda boring once I mastered them. I would always inevitably end up thinking "Is that all there is?" Kinda like the Peggy Lee song.

    Then something new would come out. I would get that. Master it and then move on. I even remeber when the web first started cooking, I think I had surfed the entire web. At that point people were not really using the web that much and it was not growing very fast. I actually closed down my dial up account becuase I grew tired of the web. Then of course, about six months later I got a braodband conection and since then the web has taken off.

    I guess my computer experince is really a metaphor for life. It just keeps going in cycles. Life Frank Sinatra sings, "First there is laughter, then those tears."

    Ever since I got my Treo, I take it with me everywhere. I guess I have grown complacent with my 270 and can't wait to upgrade to the 600.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Jake
    Last edited by JakeE; 06/28/2003 at 02:01 AM.
    There is a great difference between knowing and understanding. You can know a lot about something without understanding it. —Charles Kettering
    -------------------------------------------------
    Treo 600: Love at First Sight by Jake Ehrlich

    Thoughts on the Future of Handheld Computing: A 5 Part Series by Jake Ehrlich
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