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Handhelds Businesses HP Patents

The PalmPilots That Never Were 56

harrymcc writes "Among the things that HP is getting in its $1.2 billion takeover of Palm are hundreds of patents for mobile technologies. Many are reflected in Palm's iconic products. But they also include odd keyboard designs, peculiar ideas like a stylus tip that converts into a joystick, and pre-Treo hybrids of phone and PDA that just didn't work. I rounded up some fascinating examples." It's worth clicking through the obnoxious slide-show format to see them.
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The PalmPilots That Never Were

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  • Oh yeah. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @08:30AM (#32055372) Homepage

    I had a PalmPilot M100 in high school...that thing was AWESOME. Super useful for keeping track of homework, keeping study session schedules...I also used it to take notes, since my handwriting was atrocious but the weird Palm recognition alphabet was so easy to do quickly.

    I miss having a need for one...I always felt like such a cool fucker whipping that thing out.

    That's what she said.

  • Re:Oh yeah. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Abreu ( 173023 ) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @09:31AM (#32055656)

    Yeah, I also felt awesome when I was the only guy in my office to have a PDA...

    Why did Palm drop the ball? I mean, there was a moment when they had total market dominance, but instead of creating a new, better OS to cover their opportunity areas (like an actual filesystem for PalmOS, or a decent media player), they just rested in their laurels and allowed themselves to drop into obscurity...

    I'm still kinda sad HTC/Google didn't buy them, they could have used Palm's patent portfolio to countersue Apple, or at least get a cross-licensing deal

  • Re:Oh yeah. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by soupforare ( 542403 ) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @10:34AM (#32055966)

    Graffiti 1 is, imo, still the best quick way to get text into a portable device. I'd take even G2 but no one will license the damn thing. With all the MIDs and Windows tablets getting cheaper and cheaper, I wish someone would port it. I'm sick of on-screen keyboards.

  • I miss Palms. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by safetyinnumbers ( 1770570 ) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @11:36AM (#32056350)

    <big rant>

    I used Palms for years and I'm sad that no modern smartphones or other gadgets can really replace them.

    Even the old ones were pretty fast (they ran programs directly in-place, so you didn't have to wait for them to load from flash into RAM, I believe).

    And so reliable (as long as you weren't running a crashy app on it). By that I mean the time between needing reset was MONTHS, not days like some smart phones.

    But I moved to a Treo, and the newer OS had become unreliable (jt tried to keep old and new data files in sync causing both apps and PC-syncs to lock up).

    I'm a big fan of my iPod touch, but my old 33Mhz Clie was much faster to use, but in response speed and reliability. For instance, to set a reminder, I'd press a hard-button set to launch diddlebug ( , scribble a note on screen (it was a "sticky-note" app, so I could just write directly on the screen), tap the alarm button and choose a time with two taps, from a UI full of buttons for hours and 5-minute intervals.

    I could do that practically before you can even load up the iPod's clock app, let alone typing in the text and spinning the nice-looking but inconvenient time-spinners.

    Oh, and I doubt that you can port diddlebug to the iPod Touch, due to lack of an alarm API, and you'd still have to wait for it to load to use it.

    (While writing this, my iPod alarm went off, coincidentally reminding me that I get no choice about how to snooze alarms, either.)

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson