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[6]: Revisionist History
by jared_wilkes on Mon 27th Aug 2012 16:52 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Revisionist History"
jared_wilkes
Member since:
2011-04-25

No, I'm perfectly fine with the fact that people were working on these areas.

What I'm not fine with is claiming that Apple does not and has never invented or innovated anything, however, a device that required a licensed OS, hardware manufacturing from Tandy and Casio, and marketing and distribution from those two hardware manufacturers, and Donna Dubinsky from Apple doing financing and recruiting (mostly from Apple) to keep the company afloat to produce a product AFTER the Newton that was an even bigger flop is somehow designated groundbreaking and revolutionary.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[7]: Revisionist History
by socheltree on Mon 27th Aug 2012 17:03 in reply to "RE[6]: Revisionist History"
socheltree Member since:
2012-08-27

EXACTLY.
Does anyone here remember GEOS? Woof! It was a kind of mockup of the early Mac GUI running on 8-bit processors. You could "run" it on a C-64, I put run in quotes because it was more of a slow crawl.
Anybody here remember the build quality of Tandy or Casio devices? Woof again. Tandy's DOS based computers were so bad they were practically a fork in the OS. Software which ran on them would list them as a separate compatible device, even though it was technically running the same OS.
The Zoomer was not prior art.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[8]: Revisionist History
by galvanash on Mon 27th Aug 2012 19:51 in reply to "RE[7]: Revisionist History"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

I had a Zoomer. I had a Messagepad. They were both very interesting little distractions that facinated me. Neither of them worked well - they were both horrible in their own unique ways.

Just saying, people have selective memories. Everyone's products were horrible by todays standards in the early 90s - even Apples.

Not that it means anything... But my Messagepad stopped working at about 6 months old (1994?). The Zoomer was still working in 2001 or so when I threw it away...

Edited 2012-08-27 19:54 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Revisionist History
by TM99 on Tue 28th Aug 2012 03:42 in reply to "RE[7]: Revisionist History"
TM99 Member since:
2012-08-26

EXACTLY.
Does anyone here remember GEOS? Woof! It was a kind of mockup of the early Mac GUI running on 8-bit processors. You could "run" it on a C-64, I put run in quotes because it was more of a slow crawl.
Anybody here remember the build quality of Tandy or Casio devices? Woof again. Tandy's DOS based computers were so bad they were practically a fork in the OS. Software which ran on them would list them as a separate compatible device, even though it was technically running the same OS.
The Zoomer was not prior art.


Just because you dislike the OS it ran and considered the hardware makers second rate does not mean it was not prior art. It is as simple as that.

Did you actually ever use a Newton 100? Seriously, do you want to convince me it was not slow, buggy, and prone to hardware failures. Do you not remember how difficult it was to sync to your Mac? Do you not remember that it drained AAA batteries faster than a frat boy downing a keg? Do you not remember how horrid CalliGrapher's handwriting recognition software was? It was even mocked on the Simpsons.

But, unlike you, I recognize that it was the first model, and I expected that. Only in this pop culture age where all things must be instantly 'perfected' and a 'blockbuster' do we tend to forget that all 1.x products form hardware to software tend to suck until the bugs are fixed or the products are canceled & hopefully revived years later in another form.

This is the very psychological tendency of historical revisionism that is being addressed in this side-topic. I 'dislike' this so it must not have been so. I 'like' that so it most assuredly must have been so. When you can look back at over 35 years of tech history, the picture is a lot more nuanced and wider than seen only through a partisan haze.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[8]: Revisionist History
by Tony Swash on Tue 28th Aug 2012 10:10 in reply to "RE[7]: Revisionist History"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

From today's technology blog on the Guardian, commenting on Thom attempt to rewrite history sans Apple.

the Zoomer came out in 1993 and work started on the Newton in 1987 - with Apple already filing Newton-related patents in October 1992.


The Patent is here
http://www.google.com/patents?id=jQ8dAAAAEBAJ&printsec=frontcover&d...

The drawings attached to the patent, which are worth a look, are here

http://www.google.com/patents/US5446882?printsec=drawing&dq=5,446,8...

Here is an idea: lets drop this tedious tech archaeology, the tech intellectual equivalent to trying to prove that Atlantis existed, and accept that stopping Android OEMs from copying Apple in the future (whether they did it in the past or not) will not stop them innovating and inventing. If they are up to it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[7]: Revisionist History
by TM99 on Tue 28th Aug 2012 04:16 in reply to "RE[6]: Revisionist History"
TM99 Member since:
2012-08-26

No, I'm perfectly fine with the fact that people were working on these areas.

What I'm not fine with is claiming that Apple does not and has never invented or innovated anything, however, a device that required a licensed OS, hardware manufacturing from Tandy and Casio, and marketing and distribution from those two hardware manufacturers, and Donna Dubinsky from Apple doing financing and recruiting (mostly from Apple) to keep the company afloat to produce a product AFTER the Newton that was an even bigger flop is somehow designated groundbreaking and revolutionary.


No actually you aren't fine with what is being said otherwise you wouldn't bring up tired straw man arguments constantly.

Apple and its current fans have a mistaken mindset currently that says because our products are a commercial success, we did this first, best, or alone. We are the great innovators and Jobs, who was a narcisstic ass-hole was somehow a creative genius instead of the prick he really was. Therefore we deserve to receive legal protection and can control the market as we see fit. We can destroy Android simply because Jobs lost to Microsoft and by gods, he wasn't going to lose again even after he was dead.

When others push back against that and say things like, well, there is prior art. Apple may have innovated that but they built it on the foundations done by this company or that company, you call us 'fandroids' or 'haters'. You pull out straw men and tell us that we don't see anything that Apple has done well.

Bullshit! I don't know how old you are but I am willing to bet that I was using Apple products before you were even born. Some of us remember history. We know about Xerox PARC. We know and used Zoomers and Amigas. We know about GRiDPads. We had Newtons and used superior Palms. We remember SoundJam MP before Apple bought it and rebranded it as iTunes.

We remember the Apple Quicktake, which was called the first consumer digital camera, but we know that it was simply a rebranded Fuji or Samsung. Yeah, we remember that and know that iPhones and iPads contain more prior art from other companies like this so we do pause. We remember when Apple almost went out of business and now they are the highest grossing corporation ever. And we know that what goes up, will eventually come down.

So please give this line of reasoning a rest. It is quite tiresome and wholly unconvincing to those of us who were there from the beginning and those who may be young but at least take the time to educate themselves on what really has happened in the history of modern computing.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Revisionist History
by brichpmr on Wed 29th Aug 2012 00:07 in reply to "RE[7]: Revisionist History"
brichpmr Member since:
2006-04-22

Well, I'm a greybeard who has been around since the end of the 1940s, and I gotta tell you that Apple's recovery from where they were in 1997 to their current position goes way beyond whether they innovated anything. Arguably, there has not been another tech company that created an ecosystem and a strategy to leverage that ecosystem via a combination of hardware and software that found favor among tens of millions of 'great unwashed' as Apple has done.

They don't sell their 'shiny' toys just to tech illiteratis....there are plenty of power users sprinkled in their customer mix. The truth is almost always more nuanced than one might think.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[7]: Revisionist History
by zima on Sun 2nd Sep 2012 23:47 in reply to "RE[6]: Revisionist History"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

What I'm not fine with is claiming that Apple does not and has never invented or innovated anything, however, a device that required a licensed OS, hardware manufacturing from Tandy and Casio, and marketing and distribution from those two hardware manufacturers, and Donna Dubinsky from Apple doing financing and recruiting (mostly from Apple) to keep the company afloat to produce a product AFTER the Newton that was an even bigger flop is somehow designated groundbreaking and revolutionary.

So I imagine that it will be really shocking to you learning now that OS X (also a basis for iOS) is likewise an acquired OS - as is Pixo OS, the one used in iPods (and BTW, let's not forget the string of failures in developing a replacement for the last "really Apple" OS, the Mac OS Classic).
NVM how Apple doesn't actually manufacture anything for quite some time...

Also, contemporary product. And you must be really one heck of an Applebot, if you think that marketing or distribution changes anything WRT the significance of a product as a demonstration of tech trends and landscape...

BTW movements of talent and technology: Apple would be utterly lost, unable to compete, without largely taking what the industry at large comes up with - in the words of the messiah (NVM "we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas"): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LEXae1j6EY&feature=player_detailpag...
Apple had its head in the sand for the last many years [...] missed out [...] attitude of arrogance [...] the rest of the world passed us by [...] we need to bring the Mac up into the modern world [...] because we weren't first, because we didn't set the standards [...] this whole notion of being so proprietary in every facet what we do has really hurt us [...] reinvent the wheel our own way; and yeah it might be 10% better but usually it ended up being about 50% worse

(ohh, but I forgot, Apple is "special" and requires different ways of looking at what they do...)

Reply Parent Score: 2