Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 26th Aug 2012 10:28 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless In light of the jury verdict in Apple vs. Samsung, the one-liners and jokes flew back and forth. One in particular, by Dan Frakes, has been copied and pasted all over the web, and it goes like this: "When the iPhone debuted, it was widely criticized for having no buttons/keys. Now people think the iPhone's design is 'obvious'." This is a very common trend in this entire debate that saddens me to no end: the iPhone is being compared to simple feature phones, while in fact, it should be compared to its true predecessor: the PDA. PDAs have always done with few buttons.
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RE: Revisionist History
by galvanash on Mon 27th Aug 2012 04:49 UTC in reply to "Revisionist History"
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

The Zoomer was not technically a Palm device...

The hardware was made by Tandy/Casio (Casio called their version the ZPAD - they were indentical for the most part).

It was originally released in 1992 (very late in the year). The reason Thom is linking it to Palm is that Jeff Hawkins started Palm as a software company - and the software that the Zoomer ran was written by Palm. He started the company for the express purpose of writing software for this device (in cooperation with Tandy - who was for a short time his employer after they bought his former company GRID Systems).

A bit later Palm also created the Graffiti handwriting recognition software for the Zoomer (and other PEN/GEOS devices like the HP OmniGo 100) and the Newton.

Palm did not themselves release an actual self branded PDA until 1996, and it was entirely different from the earlier Zoomer (both in hardware and in software). However, for all intents and purposes the Zoomer was Jeff Hawkins brainchild, the "original" touch screen PDA.

Apple didn't release the Newton until 1993, about a year after the Zoomer was released.

ps. I am NOT at all saying that Apple copied the Zoomer - just that the Zoomer technically was first to market. They were just similar devices arrived at by different companies independently (in many ways the Zoomer was more sophisticated than the original Palm Pilot was).

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