[NTLK] Palm vs. Newton

NewtonTalk newtontalk at pda-soft.de
Mon Feb 17 17:38:26 EST 2020

> Frank, well thought out as always.

Thanks (blush)...

> the Newton really fail us because of its poor synchronization qualities,
> or are these things we now take for granted, so the disappointment is in

Apart from never having had the impression that any of my Newtons failed me:
The reasons for buying my various Palm Pilots were all quite simple.

a) It was affordable, and you could get it everywhere. As opposed to
Newtons. If I hadn't been given an OMP at an Apple developer conference a
long time ago, I might still be unaware today of what a Newton is. Apple had
next to no advertising at that time, and even if you went into an Apple
store with heaps of cash in your pocket, which I did when I intended to buy
Apple's first color laptop, you were unlikely to bring home what you set out
for because, although it had been announced weeks before, it wasn't
available. At least not in Germany. I tried all stores in Hamburg, which
isn't exactly a village. All I could have bought that day was the black and
white version of this brand spanking new model, complete with a nasty flaw
in the display. This was the only real piece of hardware I found in all

b) Synchronization was easy, and it came out of the box unless you wanted to
synchronize with Outlook.

c) I didn't have to mess around with cables. My Palms always came with a
docking station that was solid and reliable. Plugging the Palm in and
pressing the sync button took less than five seconds.

d) Palms were small. They fit in my trouser pocked, which even the OMP did
not. I never was a fan of cargo pants, and I never carry anything in a
separate bag because I would forget it somewhere within a week. So for me
Newtons are machines for home use.

d) Palms did most of what they were designed for exceedingly well. I was a
big fan of the Fitaly keyboard. Entering text that way was reliable and
fast. Way faster than the OMP's on-screen keyboard.
However, I hardly ever wrote prose on my Palm machines. The screen was
simply too small, and if you wanted to edit things after writing, the Newton
beat any Palm hands down.

> In those days I really disliked the Palm, mostly I think because it did
and had things
> other PDAs?like the Newton and Zaurus I owned?did not. Full color, great
GUI. I guess I was jealous.

I guess that's the wrong strategy. Life is easier if you try to use the
gadget that can do a particular job best. These days, I wouldn't even think
of writing more than a handful of paragraphs on a Newton. I wouldn't even
use an eMate although it has a decent keyboard, making me ten times faster
than on a Newton. Speech recognition on my latest Android phone is so
incredibly good that I would never use the (stupid) Android keyboard.

The funny thing is that I've never missed a color screen. Neither on my
Palms nor on my Newtons. The last two or three generations of Palms I owned
actually had color screens, and I didn't see any real benefit. I mostly used
this device for managing contacts and to dos, and this worked just as well
in black & white. Even better in my opinion, since the battery lasted much



-- Newton software and hardware at http://www.pda-soft.de

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