RE: NTLK Other Platforms: Palm is definitely NOT the one, and Switching to Palm

From: will.tell@iname.com
Date: Thu Jan 06 2000 - 20:24:32 EST


At 17:18 06.01.00 -0500, you wrote:
snip
>So my solution is the same as what my brother and sister-in-law did: they
have two cars - the sedan for the city commutes and other small trips, and
the SUV for when the go on longer trips and need the loarger space for the
two of them and the car seat for my niece, and have to load up the cargo
area with the stroller, high chair, Pack-n-Play, and thousands of my
niece's toys. Two different vehicles for two different situations...two
different handheld devices for two different situations. As long as Newt
works, I will continue to use it for much of my portable computing needs,
and keep the cheap-y Palm Pilot for the most basic of mobile information
needs.

Interesting analogy, with a big difference. Read on:

Q:
What's the most important thing in a computer?

A: Data

Q:
What's the most important thing in a car?

A: Very similar: the content: i.e. first the driver then possible
passengers, luggages, etc.

While it's very easy to exchange "content" between vehicle to suit your
travelling needs, it's somewhat quite different with computers and your data.

Here's what I think would be the ideal environment; and i've been thinking
about that since close to 10 years now but nothing close enough to this has
come on the market, yet.

Imagine all your important content on a card: addresses, schedule, family
pix, preferred songs, etc. The technology doesn't really matter: flash
memory or harddisk like IBM's marvel: the Microdrive.

Then when you want a small shirt pocket device to consult your information
with just light data entry/modification, you slide it into a Pilot sized
device.

Then you require medium data entry/mod? Then you put your card into a
MP2K/Toshiba Libretto sized device with small keyboard or HWR.

Or if you want full size data access (kayboard/voice and screen) you put
your card in a laptop or desktop.

The main problem here is that today computing is too technology centric
(hardware, programs) instead of being human centric: i.e. data. Look at
your favorite word processor to see the long list of documents filters you
need to be able to access all of the many file formats available. Graphic
formats are plenty too. And adresses, schedule data files are also
different from app to app.

So of course my proposed devices should handle _one_ type of file for each
app that the manufacturers have to agree to use as a standard.

It took quite a while to have a "standard" in the VCR business and it
didn't take off until the market chose ONE actor. It took a while to have a
standard for removable electronic cards (PCMCIA/PC Card). Before that you
couldn't use a Compaq's proprietary modem into any other notebook. And then
the market took off. And new card devices where created: LAN, GPS,
harddisks, SCSI, sound, etc.

Concerning data, today you need syncing which means YOU have to adapt to
the machine and not the other way around. This process involves a mess of
transforming, organizing, setting up, transfering, etc.

I believe the Pilot is a best seller because it does this syncing a breeze
whereas the Newt, the WinCE machines, the Nokia 9xx0, etc. are way too
clumsy for most. The only reason I can deal with those later machines is
because I have a long history of computing to back me up.

I'm thinking about getting an IBM Microdrive which I can use with my destop
(I'll need a PC Card drive), notebook, and future digital camera, MP3
player, etc. Unfortunately it's incompatible with my main electronic brain:
my faithful and powerful MP2.1K.

But think about my proposed scenario and you'll get that it's where the
industry should be heading (hardware and software wise) to give us useful,
simple, comfortable devices rather than just making money or manufacturing
techno stuff (devices with lots of useless/difficult to use technology).

My 2.

Jean-Louis
Newton grafted since 1994
Gadgetman/computergeek since 1978
Lausanne, Lake Geneva Area, Switzerland

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