Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 5th Jan 2014 20:19 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

I came across a website whose purpose was to provide a super detailed list of every handheld computing environment going back to the early 1970's. It did a great job except for one glaring omission: the first mobile platform that I helped develop. The company was called Danger, the platform was called hiptop, and what follows is an account of our early days, and a list of some of the "modern" technologies we shipped years before you could buy an iOS or Android device.

Written by one of Danger's first employees, Chris DeSalvo. Amazing detailed look at some of the revolutionary things Danger did - years before iOS and Android.

It should come as no surprise that I loved this article. I hate how everything is framed as "iOS/Android invented this" - while in fact, both of those platforms rely very, very, very heavily on those that came before, such as PalmOS and Danger.

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RE[2]: Inventing
by M.Onty on Mon 6th Jan 2014 02:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Inventing"
M.Onty
Member since:
2009-10-23


I agree, lots of knocking down of straw men.

Yes, there is a bit of this. But ...

Trying to write the history of technology based on the the question of who invented what first is not just meaningless but actual diverts the discourse away from the really interesting questions: what products caused the big changes and shifts, and what was it about those products that caused them to have such large impacts.

Meaningless to you, perhaps, and really interesting to you, perhaps.

I happen to take an interest in who actual invented things initially, because sometime those people's stories are more interesting and inspiring than the stories of the people who got rich by borrowing from them.

Yes, its important to know who made something go mainstream. But if we habitually belittle the contributions of whoever had the original breakthrough because they weren't good at business then we discourage further invention by taking away all that's left for them; a place in history.

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