back to article Time to party like it's 2005! Palm is coming BAAAA-ACK

Of all the intellectual property rights on which our future prosperity depends, perhaps trademarks are the most undervalued. The deep emotional power of a brand endures, long after its parent has expired. Don't believe me? Well, Palm is coming back. Yes, Palm. Two filings made with regulatory authorities in the US confirm …

At this rate, by 2020 we'll all be back to wearing pagers...

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Aren't smartwatches basically pagers? They display your messages, but you can't easily reply to them without resorting to a phone (it's just the phone is in your pocket now instead of being a landline in a phonebooth).

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I'm considering a blockchain rolodex startup.

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The more unlucky among us, especially in healthcare, still do ... :(

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Blockchain Rolodex

I'm in!

Will it be Gestetner compatible? I often need to print off addresses.

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Re: Blockchain Rolodex

I'm considering a pen device with an e-paper screen and e-carbon-paper behind that.

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Re: Blockchain Rolodex

Sounds like the ideal companion to my eFiloFax!

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Anonymous Coward

Make that diapers...

For some reason I read that as "wearing diapers...". For some of us, that's not an unreasonable prediction.

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Anonymous Coward

Apple Watch works pretty good without a phone

The latest Apple Watch (with built in LTE) can fully work without a phone.

You can make phone calls on it and make and reply to text messages without being tethered to a phone.

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Bit like this pager.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-y3qeCz7JRmQ/UzUSvs4g9jI/AAAAAAANGxQ/DIyJwsXg61E/s1600/Columbo_Cries_Wolf-1990-VCSS4-229.jpg

Love Columbo.

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If it wasn't for my job, I would be wearing a pager. There is a nationwide pager service provider that I have used that allows for unlimited alphanumeric paging for about US$15 a month. I have one of their brand-new alphanumeric pagers--a Motorola Adviser Gold knockoff--sitting in a drawer in my study ready for use.

I absolutely detest cell phones. I always have. But I've always been a bit of an anachronistic person in respect to communications. (I'm an amateur radio operator also.)

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I'm still waiting for a 3-D printer to print me a stylus strong enough to let me chisel stone tablets like I used to. It's the original Word processing device.

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I have to say, no pager I've ever seen can do what my Pebble does.

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Joke

> At this rate, by 2020 we'll all be back to wearing pagers...

I'm wearing a pager as I write. It's around my ankle...

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I remember that episode

Also, columbo quite often had story lines using video tape, telephone answer machines, paging / text devices, secure keys etc.

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Re: Apple Watch works pretty good without a phone

The latest Apple Watch (with built in LTE) can fully work without a phone.

At this point it's not a smartwatch any more, it's a small smartphone, with a wrist strap. Congratulations, Apple got you to buy a second (concurrent) phone from them, I'm sure the ghost of Steve Jobs is very happy.

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They were all called PDAs at one point. They've gone the way of the ipod now.

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...call it an iPDA I'm sure some folk will buy it.

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I suspect PDA would actually be a more fitting name for modern devices, rather than using 'Smartphone'.

Being able to make calls (i.e. the 'phone' part) seems to be almost a nice-to-have side feature now, rather than the primary purpose of the device. How many smartphone reviews have you seen lately that have a large portion of the review, dedicated to the phone app itself and covering things like a calls audio quality?

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Most reviews seem to, er, focus on the camera aspect of phones nowadays.

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@Boothy; I agree. I've said more than once that if the PDA market hadn't been in decline for several years before the iPhone came out, it's possible that something like the post-Apple smartphone would have evolved from that direction instead- or at least it would have been marketed as such, rather than as a "phone".

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Quote: "Most reviews seem to, er, focus on the camera aspect of phones nowadays."

I see what you did there! :-)

This is something I've never really understood, this obsession with the camera, perhaps a generational thing? (I'm not a teenager, that would have been the 80s!)

To me a camera on a Phone is a way to take quick snaps if you can't be bothered to take a real camera out with you, and for the occasional thing like snapping a receipt to make an expenses claim, or for unexpected situations like taking a photo after an accident/water leak etc.

Most of these photos will only ever be seen on the phone, or a computer monitor or maybe a TV, and rarely if ever printed out.

So to me, having a high quality camera is somewhat pointless when taking into account how the pictures (or video) is then likely to be viewed! Good enough, is quite alright with me.

The only newer camera feature I've found of use in recent years, is the improved low light usage. As even my now oldish Oneplus 3 (which apparently is getting Android 9!), rarely needs the flash to take pics, even in low light, and I'd assume newer models (some anyway) are better than my device.

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They'll be PDS Now

Personal Data Syphon

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LDS
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"this obsession with the camera"

They no longer have any other differentiating technology - from most other perspective phones are more or less the same. To justify price you have the material used, maybe the screen res, and the camera. There are enough selfie-obsessed people to make extracting more money from them easy enough.

Then you get people who can't shoot landscape - last week a truck carrying gas exploded and blew up a bridge on an highway here, and those shooting the scene only recorded ugly portrait videos - lot of ground before, lot of sky above, and microscopic subject. Maybe a good AI could shout "turn the phone horizontally, moron!"

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Why is privacy a phone feature that's never reviewed?

How about a really maverick review covering the relative privacy - or lack thereof- of cell calls? Of device or software options for enhancing same? --oh-- right...

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LDS
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The mistake of a non compatible OS....

PalmOS had the first very large 'app stores'. Nokia and Sony Ericsson could not compete, and Nokia was still thinking 'telephone first', and was creating ugly devices.

When they switched to WebOS (a stupid name also, giving the impression things run on the web and you needed an always on connection when they were still expensive), your PalmOS apps didn't work anymore. It was a lot of work for developers to port them to a wholly new OS.

With alternatives emerging, developers often looked elsewhere. Years later, Microsoft made the same mistake a couple of times.

Anyway, a Palm running Android is just for nostalgics, though.

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Re: The mistake of a non compatible OS....

WebOS had a great UX though. Possibly still the best - the version that was running on the Palm phones that is.

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Re: The mistake of a non compatible OS....

Before Sony Ericsson, Sony made the fanciest Palm OS device there was, covered in buttons, a colour screen (gasp!) swivelling bits and and a camera. See Sony Clie, PEG UX50 or PEG NR70.

I miss Crazy Sony.

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m-k

Re: The mistake of a non compatible OS....

re. sony, I remember asking a rep about the price. It was around £1000. I said "oh", and then made a dash for a philips nino (and it served me for a long, long time as a digital notebook while travelling.

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Re: The mistake of a non compatible OS....

"When they switched to WebOS"

Yes, that switch marked the point at which I stopped loving Palm.

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Re: The mistake of a non compatible OS....

Well they did go to Windows Mobile first, I think that's what killed them. If they had gone to something like WebOS from the start...

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Z80
Pint

CLIÉ memories

I've still got a Sony CLIÉ PEG-SL10 in the bottom of a drawer at home. 320x 320 monochrome display with green backlight, powered by 2 x AAA cells and with the ability to backup to Sony Memory Stick.

With a Japanese dictionary app loaded onto it, it served me well on a trip to Japan in the pre-smartphone era. I've just remembered one occasion on the same trip where I beamed a location map of a place I wanted to visit onto it from my laptop via an Infrared dongle because I didn't have a cradle or sync cable with the proprietary connector.

Pint because remembering things like this make you want to raise a glass to progress.

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Re: The mistake of a non compatible OS....

I had Palms from the second Pilot to the Sony Clie.

I loved them, never lost my data, not once.

I got really good at data entry having spend mucho time playing Giraffe.

I didn't like it when they changed Graffiti to make it easier for regular folk to learn but I got used to it.

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IT Angle

Re: The mistake of a non compatible OS....

Thank you. I still have the elegant collapsible keyboard that attached in a sec. I did word processing, spreadsheets, everything on it. All data synced w/my desktop beginning and end of day and, most important of all, w/no thought of a giant corp. and the NSA collecting any of it. Is there a device that provides even contacts/calendar/tasks/notes while guaranteeing that kind of privacy? Please advise if so, anybody. Just posting this question publicly nowadays probably makes me a suspicious character, but here goes.

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AAA Batteries YEA!

Progress NOT! What was the last device you bought that used non-proprietary batteries- or even removable, replaceable batteries!?

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LDS
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"Well they did go to Windows Mobile first"

Because they rest on laurels for far too long with PalmOS - which, remember, did run on a 68000, not ARM. When the landscape changed, they were caught with their pants down, and had to find a solution quickly. Back then, also, Windows Mobile/CE was a better enterprise solution, with more applications, and before the iPhone made the smartphone sexy just because it was from Apple, they were mostly business devices, they were not stylish enough to be status-symbols.

Sure, having two different product lines with two different incompatible OS was a very bad move, and it was a symptom of bad management. They had not a good roadmap for PalmOS evolution, and switching to a wholly new incompatible OS is always very risky - especially when good alternatives exist. They also wasted resources in the Foleo.

Anyway, when they started I believe there was no way to go with something like WebOS, the hardware required didn't exist yet.

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Meh

"future prosperity"

Sorry, but I'm not especially interested in the "future prosperity" of companies that manipulate people with deceptive branding. "Brands" being passed around like lumps of meat in a butcher's shop is of no benefit to consumers, who only end up disappointed with something that has absolutely nothing to do with the original product. Worse still, it actually tarnishes the memory of classic products, making them less desirable to retro enthusiasts.

Productising names is perhaps the worst idea of all, in the dark realm of intellectual monopoly. The fact that it is then further abused to stop people selling genuine products at lower prices (the so-called "grey market"), is only further evidence that this morally questionable business model is probably not really conducive to our "future prosperity".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "future prosperity"

'"Brands" being passed around like lumps of meat in a butcher's shop is of no benefit to consumers, who only end up disappointed with something that has absolutely nothing to do with the original product.'

I dunno, the people who bought Bugatti Veyrons didn't seem that disappointed, even though they have very little to do with the Royale.

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Re: "future prosperity"

I am not holding out much hope for the new 'Atari'.

Which is a shame. Because that *should* rock the gaming world. Not with 3d immersiveness. Just easy to develop for.

They should have gone for a Neo Geo on steroids. In fact, they should have just made it a Neo Geo clone. :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "future prosperity"

I dunno, the people who bought Bugatti Veyrons didn't seem that disappointed, even though they have very little to do with the Royale.

A bit different - the market for both the original Royale and the Veyron was the obscenely rich who were prepared to pay for excessive engineering and exclusivity. The Royale actually priced itself out of that market, whereas Volkswagen were able to shift over 400 of their Golf-on-radioactive-steroids, so you might assume that the new buyers were happy.

But in terms of being disappointed, if I'd laid out a million quid for a car, I'd be rather pissed off that around four years later Elon Musk was selling a family saloon that could beat it to 60 for £100k. Then again, the sole point of the Veyron is "excess", so I suppose the buyers will still be happy because it is so monstrous in all other aspects.

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Re: "future prosperity"

They should have gone for a Neo Geo on steroids. In fact, they should have just made it a Neo Geo clone. :)

That brings back dubious memories.

I bought a pocket color late in '99, it was pulled from Europe a few months later, the only games I managed to ever get for it were 'Street Fighter' clones.

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Re: "future prosperity"

>>if I'd laid out a million quid for a car, <<

I'll accept that there are a small number of billionaire petrolheads who do actually buy these things to use. Us lesser petrolheaded mortals will have to make do with the scraped knuckles from keeping an pre-electronics car moving.

To the obscenely (& shallow) rich having one is all that matters, (even in a shed never seeing daylight). It runs alongside having the biggest Yacht / Jet / Tower. They just move on to the next exclusive bauble needed for bragging rights.

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Piloting Palm

...an excellent read, by one of the founders. Explains the whole sad Palm -> USR -> 3Com - > Handspring saga. I was at 3Com when they bought USR, and got Palm as a bonus. The 3Com management was unable to figure out how to leverage Palm without driving the founders away.

They really were clever little devices, lacking only wireless connectivity, as the clever little low-power WiFi modules hadn't yet been invented, so the only connectivity was through glacially slow IrDA or almost-as-slow serial sync through a PC. So close...

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmm

I remember the O2 Palm Pre ads of people moving like flowers.

Always thought it was a dumb move on Palms part to do a deal with O2 to give O2 the Pre as an exclusive when O2 was the same network that still had the iPhone exclusively at that time and were heavily committed to pushing the iPhone.

Launching the Pre at a similar price / contract level as an iPhone, when iPhone had so much more advertising behind it was a odd decision but I'm sure it made sense to someone's bonus payment that year.

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vir
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Re: Hmmm

I had a Pre as my very first smartphone. I really liked the physical slide-out keyboard and the integrated wireless charging - while cool - helped me realize that it's not a feature I'm going to chase in the future.

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Psion

I preferred my Psion 5, the pen thing with palms and handsprings just drive me nuts, something important to o do and the damn pen has disappeared, similar problem with phones too, I have large hands and feet thick fingers, that's why a lot of my posts have weird spelling sometimes.

I found the Psion keyboard just about useable.

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Boffin

Oh yes, Palms

I owned a m100 or two, and even for a non-business type like 20-year-old me,they were pretty awesome. World time clock, scientific calculator with plot function, room for an ebook or two, and apps to manage your die-rolling and tables for whatever RPG you currently fancy. And what feels like near-infinite service on two AAAs. It's amazing what they did on 160x160 b/w with IIRC single-digit MHz. (Or was it 16, re-clockable to 8-32?)

I keep wondering (but can't be arsed to do the back-of-envelope estimation myself): if you just made the "obvious and easy" upgrades: build chips with modern low-nm processes on lower voltage (but probably keep the speed and RAM levels), swap the display for 160x160 eInk, use LiPo batteries, how long would that run? A year on a charge?

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If the new Palm features a real keyboard and is cheaper than Blackberry, I may get one. I still actuatlly, really, use my Dell Axim X5 from time to time - the plug in phased array GPS module will find satellites in the middle of freakin nowhere. Hell to locate replacement batteries however.

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Runs Android

It'll just be another Android device, poorly skinned with obsequious nostalgia to hook the misty-eyed.

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Bah!

Forget Palm emulators! Give me a genuine Kickstarted Handspring Visor (with better buttons and none of the shoddy unsoldered, unsocketed surface contact daughter board connections) and you have my money.

No color screens please, just a re-iteration of the Blue (or Green Or White Or Yellow Or Black) Visor c/w backward compatible slot so I can jack in my old Eyemodule or backup module, and the sync port so I can use my folding keyboard.

And better buttons and no solderless, socketless, surface contact connections.

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