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  1.    #1  
    On this, the 7th anniversary of the launch of webOS and the Palm Pre, I wanted to share my own history with Palm and webOS, and some reasons why, after all this time, I still use my Veer and TouchPad every day.

    I work as a software developer/maintainer in my day job, starting in the late 80's. Soon after I started my career, I started having to keep track of A LOT of detailed information: meeting dates and times, contact information for co-workers, software development tasks, bugs, new feature requests, etc. It got to the point where my family and co-workers were noticing I didn't always remember things they told me, I would sometimes forget meetings, and things like dinner dates. People were getting annoyed with me, and I felt bad for letting people down. I thought maybe there was something wrong with me - other people could keep track of their life and work obligations, so why couldn't I?

    One day at work, it came to a head when I went to add another Post-It note to the pile on the inside of my briefcase, and I suddenly realized - I had no more room - there was no more empty surface area on the inside of my briefcase to add even a single, additional Post-It note. I also realized that there was NO WAY I could possibly do all of the things I had on all of those notes.I had to find a better way. This was sometime around 1998.

    I decided to try one of those Franklin-Covey Day Planners to improve my organizational skills, and I really got into it. I took a couple of training courses, read books, and really worked to make a habit of writing down and organizing contacts, appointments, tasks, and random notes. I got rid of all those Post-It notes covering the inside of my briefcase, and I FELT a lot more organized. But I found this paper-based system wasn't as flexible as I wanted it to be - and I couldn't re-arrange the data to make it easier for me to find things once I had written them down. I got better at remembering appointments and meetings, but it seemed like an awful lot of effort, and even then, I still forgot or lost track of some things.

    Towards the end of 1999, a co-worker started talking up the Palm Pilot he had recently got. Sure it was a PDA, and could do all the things those other electronic organizers could do, he said. But this one had a growing library of 3rd-party software, and could do things like e-mail, connecting to the Internet using an optional modem. A pair of AAA batteries would last about a month. You could even write your own software for it.

    I was interested, and the more I researched it, the more I liked what I found, so around the end of the year, I bought a Palm IIIx. The next few days were a blur of learning the Grafitti hand-writing recognition software (that built-in Giraffe game was AWESOME!!), all the PIM programs (calendar, contacts, tasks, notes) and realizing how easily and quickly I could look up whatever I entered into this device. Before there was Google, and Just Type, there was the Palm OS find function, and it was glorious. Anything you had previously entered into your Palm device could be retrieved nearly instantly just by searching for it. Coming from a paper-based organizer, this was a quantum leap forward.

    Oh, and about getting information into that device - it was incredibly easy. Oh sure, you could use the standard dialog boxes and wizards to enter data, but there were all sorts of little time-saving shortcuts that made data-entry faster and easier than writing it down on paper. I actually started to look forward to get more information I needed to remember, just so I could marvel at how easy it was to enter into Palm OS.

    After about a week or two of having that fist device, I noticed a change in my life - I was no longer nervous, worrying about what meeting I may have missed that day, or what family obligation after work I was forgetting about. I could look up notes from a past meeting, or reference a to-do list instantaneously.

    I became a more confident, more capaable person, because of Palm. How could I not grow attached to this little electronic marvel? I strated to (only half-)jokingly refer to it as my second brain - the one that never forgets things.

    The years went by, and I upgraded to various different Palm OS devices - the VIIx, Zire 72, Tungsten T, and finally the Tungsten TX. I rode the roller coaster of ups and downs through various Palm CEOs and competitors promising to be "the next big thing". I held out hope that Cobalt, the planned successor to Palm OS, could usher in a new era of market competitiveness for Palm, but like so many of us Palm fans, was stunned to hear news that it was cancelled.

    Smartphones like the Treo and Centro hadn't seemed like a viable option for me - I couldn't justify the expense of the service plans offered by the cell phone companies, so I stuck with my Palm TX for a while.

    Finally, in January 2009, Palm introduced it's savior - the Palm Pre, and more importantly webOS. Just a few minutes into that CES presentation, I had that same feeling you get when your favorite sports team comes from behind in an incredible upset. This looked like it would change everything. Sure, I had seen the iPhone and Android phones, but webOS looked so much more capable, and coherent, and well thought out, with attention to detail to a level that I had seen only in Palm OS.

    When I realized it was going be exclusive to Sprint, I came up with WILD ideas to try to figure out a way to justify the expense of having both my family plan on AT&T, and a second phone - the Palm Pre - on Sprint. Instead, I waited patiently from January, 2009 until May 16, 2010 when the Pre Plus was launched on AT&T.

    On that day, I was the first person in line at my local AT&T store, in Vernon Hills, IL, about an hour before the store opened. OK, I was the ONLY person in line, but only for a while. Shortly before the store opened, another person came to stand in line with me, and after about a minute, I realized he had a Palm logo on his shirt. It turned out he was the Regional Sales Manager for Palm, and had come to this store to help out with the launch of the Pre Plus. When I told him I was waiting for the doors to open to purchase a Pre Plus, he was so excited, he asked if he could take my picture and send it to corporate headquarters - of course I agreed. I told him about my long history with Palm, and how this was my first smartphone purchase, and he said he would help the store personnel with any questions they had about this new phone, and how to provision it, etc. Ironically, I didn't think to put his name in my Palm TX, so I no longer have his name.

    Good thing that guy from Palm was there to help the folks at the AT&T store with my purchase. Even with him helping, it took nearly 3 hours(!) for them to figure out how to sell me my first webOS device. I didn't really care about how long it took, I was too excited to be mad or upset about it.

    Once I got it home, I of course fell in love with webOS - seems a little strange writing about loving any OS - and it took me afew days to figure out how to do things, and unlearn the Palm OS way of doing things. Some things from Palm OS I missed, but other new capabilities were welcome.

    Why am I writing all this? I guess this 7th anniversary of the launch of webOS just made me think about the reasons why I still use webOS devices every single day. There are reasons for loyalty - it's not a "tribal" thing, it's a "you changed my life and made me a better person, able to more easily function in society", thing. How can I give that up?

    Sometimes I think about how long I can go on with webOS - whether I could function just as well with an iPhone or Android phone. The rest of my family all have iPhones, and every time I get asked to configure or change something on one of them, I realize that no, I am not missing anything, and it's just too different. Sure, I could learn, but once you've tasted the good stuff, you're spoiled for life, and nothing compares. I would be less productive without a keyboard on my phone, and why would I willingly go back to that phase of my life?

    And if I ever get to the point I can no longer keep any of my webOS devices going, and LuneOS isn't an option, I would probably just buy a set of AAA batteries and start up my old Palm IIIx again, and use it in combination with a dumb phone.

  2. squall77's Avatar
    28 Posts
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    30 Global Posts
    Well written, I was a bit different as I wasn't from the US I do not know about it until HP introduce it the last time. Frankly if I am not working at HP the other time I guess I wouldn't know about it either. Anyway the first time I look at the OS I feel in love straight away. I took the hassle to order from eBay all the 3 devices - Touchpad, Pre 3 and Veer.

    When I started using webOS, it feels better than it looks with the gesture and all. Cut the long story short... the Pre 3 and Veer is part of my collection now, the only thing that I am using would be the Touchpad. Occasional browsing and as well as LuneOS testing. After so many other phones, there isn't one that come close to this.
    pmjj likes this.
  3. #3  
    Great story, thanks for sharing.

    My first Palm, a VIIx, was a gift from a supervisor when I worked at EarthLink. It also changed my life, becoming my second brain just as you describe!

    My release day Palm Pre was a gift from a group of friends/coworkers who knew of my satisfaction with the PDA.
    It was all downhill from there. I've carried a Pre (or variant) every day since then.

    Tools which reform how you think and act, they become integrated into your life. To give it up is akin to undergoing meatball surgery to remove that second brain. I'm wholly against it!

    Unfortunately that brain is suffering the consequences of old age, even though it beat the cancer known as Apotheker.

    We will soldier on though, as long as possible!
    Sporting my 13th Pre device, a NOS unlocked ROW Pre3!
    Sumy likes this.
  4. #4  
    Pretty good read. For me the answer is no, I can't do just as well with any other OS.

    I don't go back that far, my first palm device was somewhere in the mid 2000s. I had a samsung something that ran palm os and had some kinda typing method like drawing letters, can't remember what they called it. Anyways, on a call to sprint I mentioned something about that and the lady said I really enjoy my treo, why don't you get one of those. Never heard of this before so I ran off to the store and the guy went to the back and came back with a phone with a keyboard lit up in glorious white light. Cost me $400 but I had to have one and I am forever hooked on physical keyboards.

    So it was treo 650, then 755p ( my least favorite, gave it away) and got the centro which was my work horse until webos. I was feeling a bit down with all this iphone talk until I read engadget's letter to palm: Dear Palm: It's time for an intervention and the response which wasn't much except we working on something. So I waited and waited until the news broke about the pre and webos.

    I watched every video and every picture trying to imagine how this would actually work. I even installed an app which mimicked the wave launcher in palm os. Launch day finally came and I am still here

    I am happy not to be the only one left using webos. It's a great cummunity.
    HelloNNNewman and Sumy like this.
  5. #5  
    So sweet- thanks for posting. My journey was similar, except the pre introduced me to the world of text messaging (and I immediately used "poll everywhere" to learn what my 200 genetics students were actually thinking- awesome). Thanks to "typo", I can still use a keyboard on my "smartphone"

    -- Sent from my Palm Veer using Forums
  6. scjjtt's Avatar
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    48 Global Posts
    Yes - great read. *My story is so similar but just goes back a little further...

    1981 I started using Daytimers - specifically the Junior Pocket size. *I used that religiously every day. *In 1993 I moved to the Silicon Valley, specifically Sunnyvale, the home of Palm, to pastor a church. *When the first Palm Pilots came out in 1997 I didn't think they would be for me - I had my Daytimer. *

    But as my calendar continued to fill up, with reoccuring schedules, I got tired of writing them in every month into daily schedule. *When two of my board members got their Palms, I got more interested. *

    And then it happened! *One of my board members was being upgraded from a Palm III to a Palm V and he bought the Palm III from the company he worked for and gave me my first Palm in May of 1998!

    Within a day or two I mastered Graffiti and my Palm became my brains in my pocket. *It was used for everything. *It was amazing. *I still have memos for every month since the fall of 1998. *I mastered the Palm, doing things that most people had no clue about. *Every morning I would sync. *Email and news feeds would come in and emails composed would go out. *I moved from the Palm III to IIIx to Tunsgen E's to Palm TX's.

    I too, could not justify getting a plan and pay for data, so I continued with my TX's until writing on the plastic screens would skip and I couldn't get another Palm TX to replace it.

    That's when we moved from Verizon to Sprint and I got my first Centro. *Now I could even do more. *I even had an app for my laptop that put the Centro's image on my screen and while connected to the sync cable, I could enter, type, work my Centro right off of my computer screen as if I had it in my hand. *Texting became even easier and my life was easier.

    I watched, with excitment, the live feed of the Palm - HP Think Beyond Event...

    ...but was disappointed when Palm/HP never integrated the apps from Palm OS into Web OS.

    So I kept using my Centro and then DailySteals had the refurbished Palm Pixi Plus for like $60 so I picked it up. *I still had Verizon at that time but was about to switch to Sprint, so I activated it on Verizon, got it all set up, and then drop the account and used it only through WiFi.

    It was with that Pixi that I learned to love WebOS and then acquired my first TouchPad after the fire sale.

    Across the years I have purchased 6 TouchPad for myself and family members. *They are great units. *Today, I have CM 9 on 3 of them, and they work great for Netflix. *I have another one with CM 11 - but I need to get a more reliable CM, since my version has some hiccups.

    I was waiting for the Pre 3ís to be made available on T-Mobile, but Palm/HP did what they did and I never got to own a Pre 3.

    Today, I have the Pre 3 background on my Samsung Galaxy S4. *I still use Graffiti on all my Android devices with the Android App - Graffiti Pro.

    Web OS definitely, IMHO, was and is the superior OS. *It is just unfortunate that mistakes were made and today we have to live with Android or iOS.

    My S4 and tablets are all set up, as close as I can, to do and function like Palm did. *Google has done a better job at getting closer to what Web OS called as syneregy. *Still today, there are things that Palm OS and Web OS can do that Android nor iOS can do yet or as good.

    Thatís my story - below is a pic of 2 TouchPads, my S4 with the Pre background and a BT keyboard that was made to go with the TouchPad.

    Sent from my Lenovo TAB 2 A10-70F using Tapatalk
    Palms: III, IIIx, IIIxe, Tunsgen E, TX, Centro -> Samsung Epic 4G (wanted a Pre3) & HP Touchpad 32g

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