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Re: My favorite color for the Handspring Visor is...

by hacker (Priest)
on Sep 23, 2002 at 23:32 UTC ( #200255=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to My favorite color for the Handspring Visor is..., as in save your money and don't spend it on a Handspring Visor.

Handspring has already stated that they are getting "..out of the organizer business and into the communicator business."

Now, I say this as an authority on these devices, having contributed to the success of Palm handheld devices in the last 6 years as both a developer of Palm applications, as well as current maintainer of the software many of you probably use to talk to your Palm handhelds on Linux and Unix systems, pilot-link.

I have a Visor Ice model here, complete with serial and USB cradles, and a USB sync cable. It is one of my collection of about 15 Palm handheld devices (not all shown in that shot, not including my dozen or so non-PalmOS® handheld devices such as my iPAQs, Helio, Agenda, and Cybikos). It is in 100% mint, pristine condition. I put it on eBay for about 10 days, and wanted to sell the bundle, cradles, Visor, cable. Nobody wanted it.

Handspring Visor models such as the Ice and Graphite do not have flash memory. This means you can't upgrade the OS on the device. They are also greyscale devices, and you can't reverse the backlight like you can on other Palm handheld devices. They also include a nice proprietary memory architecture, Springboard slots, which proved quite a failure for Handspring. Nobody supports them at this point, and those that do, are producing very expensive Springboard add-ons.

The market for Palm handheld devices is pretty dismal in this regard. With the recent announcement of Palm's three new models, the Tungsten-T , Tungsten-W, and the Zire, the market looks even more bleak. Sliding and moving parts on a PDA? Doomed.

I'm not partial to Sony Palm handheld devices either, even though technically, they are the most superior. More colors, larger screens, audio capabilities, and using that wonderfully proprietary memory storage architecture, the MemoryStick.

Sony is also violating the GPL in at least two separate ways. They happen to also be the number-one financial backer of the RIAA, whose sole purpose it is to take away the rights of music afficianados.

I continue to support the devices, because I believe in most of them, the market they support. I host four Palm mailing lists, there are several popular public Palm projects in my cvs server, and I contribute on dozens of other Palm projects, both as support and developer.

I just think that currently there's too much fragmentation and convergence in the wrong areas. When you try to stick a PDA screen on a cellphone, you either get a huge cellphone, or a tiny PDA screen. The same applies for a keyboard as an input mechanism. The addition of experimental proprietary technologies in these devices are also not embracing the market they represent. These types of convergence are going to fail in the long run.

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