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.
Thread beginning with comment 532674
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[9]: Revisionist History
by TM99 on Tue 28th Aug 2012 03:18 UTC in reply to "RE[8]: Revisionist History"
Member since:

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...

As did I, plus I also paid the ungodly sum at the time to get a Newton Developer's Kit from Apple.

You are right. Both of them 'sucked' according to today's standards. But as they evolved, one survived and thrived, and the other failed and was canceled. Later Palm's were exceptional devices. I still use an m515 and a TX to this day. Sure, I enjoyed hacking my Newton 2100 but it was just that, hacking. I had to add a headphone jack in order to listen to music. I had to hack a way to get it to work with iTunes.

True, the Zoomer was not a commercial success but its successors, the Handsprings and Palms definitely were. They built on that foundation. The Newton was a commercial failure. According to the logic of most Apple 'fans' here, if something is a commercial success then it had to have been innovative, inventive, and well the cat's meow, and if it failed, then it never was. So does that 'truth' apply in this case as well with the Newton?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[10]: Revisionist History
by galvanash on Tue 28th Aug 2012 05:46 in reply to "RE[9]: Revisionist History"
galvanash Member since:

I dont know... I remember my Zoomer fondly, even though it was clunky as all hell. But I liked GEOS, and I liked DOS (at the time), and for the most part the Zoomer felt like a little PC with a nice pen based GUI on top of it - a sort of frankensteins monster... It was fun to tinker with and it actually worked fairly reliably.

The Newton was something completely different. It had horrible battery life, it crashed all the time. But it was definitely not a PC, it felt like it was built to be exactly what it was, just that it fell a bit short of really being good.

The first time I played with a Palm Pilot it reminded me more of my MessagePad than my Zoomer. Not because it looked or worked like it - but because it felt engineered to be exactly what it was - except it felt like they finally got it right.

All Im saying is the Zoomer was important in the history of Palm and PDAs in general, but it was the catipillar to The Pilots butterfly. The Newton, on the other hand, always seemed to me to be a brilliant grand idea that they just never got where it was going - the public and Apple themselves gave up on it before they got the formula right.

Reply Parent Score: 2