RE: NTLK Jot v Calligrapher v Newton

From: Patrick Meuleman (
Date: Tue Jun 06 2000 - 17:56:24 CDT


As an ex-palm pilot user and relatively recent convert to the Newton, and
speaking purely from a user's point of view, here's my 2 cents worth on the
HWR of both Palm and Newton. Please note that I use the cursive recogniser
and not the print one. One of the main reasons I switched to the Newt was
that I was tired of having to learn to write the way the machine wanted me
to. I don't print normally and so to start doing so on the Newton would
have defeated one of the main reasons I switched.

1. Someone posted a message saying that they thought that it was not
possible to write anywhere on the palm screen. There is actually a hack
available that will let you do this. However, when I tried it I found that
because the palm's screen is so small my writing was just getting in the way
so I quickly when back to writing in the allocated area at the bottom of the
screen. The Newton's screen is large enough that this isn't a problem - and
in fact I prefer to be able to see what I've written before it's translated.
2. I find that I can write more quickly on the Newton than on the Palm
although the accuracy probably isn't quite as good (this is probably also
because of my insistence on using cursive writing). I think this is a fair
trade off. With the state of HWR engines at the moment it seems to be a
choice between speed, accuracy and writing the way you want (rather than
the way the machine wants). Maybe if I normally printed I would be happy
all round with Rosetta, however, I don't print so I don't know.
3. Sort of related to point 2 above, I find the Newton much better for
taking notes in meetings. When I had the Palm I used to take a notebook to
meetings with me because the Palm was too small and too slow for taking
notes. Now that I've got the Newton I don't need a notebook.
4. I used to take my Palm with me just about everywhere (because I could
easily fit it in my pocket) whereas I don't tend to lug my Newton around as
much. Personally, I don't find this a problem because even though my Palm
was always with me I, relatively, rarely used it.
5. I have adjusted my hand writing slightly (and I mean slightly) to
accommodate the Newton and am achieving about 90% accuracy. The day that
there is a 100% accurate HWR without having to adjust your handwriting will
be a time for special celebration indeed. However, I'm not holding my
breath, after all, if other humans sometimes have trouble reading hand
writing, how can we expect machines to.

I could probably go on and on about the pros and cons of each platform but I
think it's simply a matter of deciding what features and functions are
important to you and which ones you are prepared to trade off on. I was
prepared to trade off the size of the Palm because I believe that I've
gotten so much more in return. I can understand though that for some people
size is the most important feature (and please no slack jokes about size
being important) and they are prepared to trade off other things. Each to
his own.



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