June 10, 2009

Farewell, Ed Colligan

Filed under: Musings — mikecane @ 4:43 pm


Jon Rubinstein Appointed CEO of Palm
Ed Colligan Steps Down After Sixteen Years of Palm Leadership

I was soooo mean to Ed Colligan:

Palm Computing: Self-Destruction By Self-Distraction

What Palm needs is a leader like Steve Jobs. Someone with taste and vision. Ed Colligan just doesn’t seem to be that kind of guy. He’d be a great lieutenant to such a person. But he just isn’t the leader Palm requires if it’s to celebrate a 20th year of existence (especially as an independent company).

Palm Wants Us To Wait ANOTHER Two Years…

Palm, Inc, the maker of the Treo smart phone, will continue to focus on ease of use and reliability rather than design, Palm CEO Ed Colligan said in an interview at the 3GSM telecommunications trade show here.

“We think that will be a greater driver of purchases in the future,” he told MarketWatch in the interview. “We don’t want to follow design fads.”

What This Year’s Treo Should Have Been

Hey, Colligan! Hiring Mercer to tart up PalmOS isn’t going to distract people with brains from the fact your hardware is going to die! die! die! under the onslaught of the iPhone!

Engadget Snags The Attention Of Autistic Palm, Inc.

Just a few questions for Ed:

1) Are you insane?

2) Are you that out of touch with reality?

What Engadget has put in one post has been said for YEARS over and over again at Palm Infocenter — which used to be *the* sites for PalmOS enthusiasts. As Fake Steve Jobs might say, Have You Heard Of It?

If We Can’t Have Momentum On This, Can I At Least Get An Amen, Brother?

Dumbass Of The Year: Ed Colligan

“We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”

I’m So Bad, I’m Good

Can it be Ed Colligan’s resignation?


Then not interested.

Will Palm Die Or Show Others How To Be Reborn?

“In my opinion, the Foleo is going to be most successful and the most significant product that Palm has done.”

Palm’s Worst Nightmare: HWR For iPhone

Wet your pants, Ed Colligan. Your gloat is over. Resign now. Palm is dead. And good riddance!

Palm + Celio Redfly = Mystery Device?

Ed Colligan is not below slapping a Palm label on the Redfly.

It’s Foleo Day! Did You Celebrate?

Palm’s Colligan: Centro Easier Than iPhone!

I think people are buying Centros for different reasons [than the iPhone]. They’re [Centros] easier to use, they’re a little less pretentious, they are smaller form factor. They’ve got a full keyboard for doing data entry.

To say that I never missed a chance to stab Ed Colligan would be … entirely true!

There has probably never been a company that took such a leadership position in a market and then dribbled it all away. The only thing that saved Palm from looking like the total disaster it was becoming was this year’s deserved collapse of General Motors.

What Ed Colligan has in his favor — what ultimately redeemed him — what his recognition that he didn’t know what to do next. This is a very tough thing for anyone to have to admit — and I applaud Ed Colligan for having the bravery to admit such a thing. It takes real guts to do that.

In doing so, Colligan gave Palm another shot in the market. If press coverage, word of mouth, and general Internet buzz could instantly translate into real dollars, Palm would have had a market capitalization above that of Apple, given the six months of anticipation that led to the introduction of the new Palm Pre.

Having brought Palm to its Third Act (Pilot, Treo, and now Pre), it’s fitting for Colligan to step away and regroup for his own Third Act.

Farewell, Ed Colligan.

I’ll sharpen my knife for Jon Rubinstein.

He’s been warned now.

June 7, 2009

How Demos SHOULD Work

Filed under: Musings — mikecane @ 2:22 pm

For those who were skeptical about my account of emailing iPhone pictures to myself, here is the proof. The timestamp reflects that of the iPhone, which was set to Cupertino, California time:


Click = big

And look at the email itself:


Click = big

And these are the five photos (click = big):






Eh, my hand moved when I took one. But if I didn’t include all five, people would wonder.

And by the way, yes, I do know that the iPhone does not email the full-sized photos. I would have been happy for the Pre to have mailed similarly-sized proxies too, OK?

Sprint/Palm: You’re Doing It Wrong!

Filed under: Musings — mikecane @ 12:23 pm

So today was the day I finally got to fondle a Palm Pre.

It was a disaster of epic dimensions!

I went to a Sprint Store in lower Manhattan where I knew two demo units were available to molest.

I had no problem trying one. The salesman was smart enough not to hover at my shoulder. He dismissed himself when I said I didn’t have any questions, that I just wanted to try it.

The Pre was on top of the Touchstone, so I got to see that too. And the matte rubbery special back that’s required for it.

The Pre was tethered. I expected that. What I didn’t expect is like ten Gs of resistance when trying to hold the Pre!

Tip One: People want to feel the weight of a gadget. Making it feel like it has the weight of a sack of rice is not good.

I was shocked at how tiny the Pre is. Not small — tiny! People have said it’s like a bar of soap. Well maybe one of those bars they give out at hotels! Really, it’s tiny!

I didn’t think it was thick overall. Despite the ten Gs of resistance, it felt good in my hand although, again, damn that thing is tiny!

And then there was the screen. Damn, that thing is tiny too! It’s bright and lush in terms of color, though.

Then I tried to do my thing on it. I was real eager to put webOS through all those delicious and delightful flow paces we’d all seen demonstrated in seemingly hundreds of videos.

This was not going to happen.

The Sprint Pre live demo units are running a Demo program. You’re asked up front if you want to use this Demo or explore on your own. I chose the latter option.

Unfortunately, that Demo program is seemingly always running in the background — invisibly. There’s no Card for it to kill it altogether.

And that’s what killed the demo for me and made it an epic disaster.

The Demo program seemed to hog most of the Pre — both its CPU cycles and its RAM.

I went immediately to Card View to kill all Cards because I’d already read of that slowing things down. OK, there were like six Cards open. Card View and dismissing those cards was slow. Like “Is this thing working?” slow!

But once I got rid of them — and it really was an effort because the Pre kept freezing! — I began to play.

Except that goddammed Demo monster had other ideas. About every 60-90 seconds, the Pre would vibrate and what I was doing would be interrupted!

Would I like to Exit the Demo? What? I wasn’t in the damned Demo! I said Yes at times, and No at times. It didn’t seem to make any damned difference because I’d get the Demo Welcome Screen again asking me if I wanted a Demo or if I wanted to explore on my own!

Tip Two: Sprint, Palm, if you have multiple live demo units in a Sprint Store, make sure at least one of them is free of this damned program! This is making the Pre act like crap!

I got to try the camera. I’m not sure exactly what I saw, though. Here’s why: I’d just spent the previous hour at the Apple Store on both an iPod Touch and an iPhone. I specifically made a point to use the Photos app and the Camera app. When I took a picture, I looked at it and pinched out to its maximum size to judge its quality. This made me realize that while the iPhone’s camera delivers more vibrant colors than what I’ve seen of numerous Pre photos, at full size there are just as many jaggies (although the iPhone camera still does a better job with edges).

When I played with the Pre, I did the same thing. Took a picture and pinched out. Except I think the Photo app on the Pre is cheating. The camera is three megapixels. The image should have really really gotten larger. At no point did it! It went to a certain size and wouldn’t enlarge further. I suspect the Pre is not letting people see photos at actual size on the device itself.

Tip Three: If this is the case, Palm, if you’re cheating with the Photo app, stop that right now! Let people enlarge to full size so they can see the actual quality!

Then I wanted to email a sample photo to myself. This is something I’ve been able to do at the Apple Store all the time. Not so with the Pre. The Pre was not set up with an account from which it could email a photo (or anything else!). Sprint, how hard is it to have every live demo model set up with a “” account?

Tip Four: Let people be able to email things from the live demo Pre!

I tried the keyboard in Twitter. Thanks to that damned pernicious Demo program, I couldn’t get much done even with that! It interrupted me before I was able to complete my Twitter password. This meant I had to go through the dialog and screen of the Demo before I could get back to Twitter. Then once in Twitter, I sent one tweet. That went OK. When I tried to send a second, I was interrupted again by that damned Demo app! I gave up Twitter in disgust.

I accidentally called up Google Maps. I was pleasantly surprised to see that even inside the Sprint Store, in a crowded area of Manhattan, it correctly showed the location with a (tiny!) blinking dot.

The keyboard … can you guess by now that I’m going to say it’s tiny? It is!

I had very little trouble typing on it, though, except for one important bit. Part of my Twitter password is a string of numbers. Trying to hold down the orange button and then type in the numbers, I found my left thumb was getting in the way of the number keys. Because the keyboard is tiny!

One other thing about the keyboard — trying to slide up the screen was a pretty hairy experience for me. The Pre seemed stuck and I was sweating bullets hoping I wasn’t about to break it! I hope this reflects this particular demo unit and not the Pre people are buying.

Multitouch. Oh boy. This did not seem to work well for me at all. It felt sluggish and the screen too often didn’t register my touch. The contrast between multitouch on the Pre and the iPhone was shocking: the Pre felt like a poor Chinese knockoff of the iPhone! Again, I hope it was just this particular demo model and is not a sampling of what the Pre is really like.

Overall, I was deeply disappointed with my micro-fondle of the Palm Pre. I chalk it all up to that damned Demo app that’s running on it, interrupting me every minute or so, getting in the way, and irritating the hell out of me.

I didn’t get to experience any of the flow I expected.

Tip Five: And if this is what I experienced as a tech vet, how much more frustrated would the general public be, Palm and Sprint?

I really wanted to molest the hell out of the Pre, especially having played with an iPod Touch and iPhone right before my encounter. What happened was that the Demo program wound up molesting me!

I’ll have to wait until Best Buy’s staff have live demo units. I hope these will be free of the plague of a Demo program and I can experience webOS and the Pre in full.

And Palm and Sprint, if you’re reading this: Act!

March 4, 2009

What Pre Delay? This Is MARCH!

Filed under: Musings — mikecane @ 7:27 pm

Palm Pre Officially Delayed


This is March. This is still the first quarter of 2009.

In January, Palm told everyone the Pre would be released in the first half of 2009.

Let’s get this straight, OK?

First Quarter of 2009: January, February, March

First Half of 2009: April, May, June

Since we haven’t hit July yet, how can there be a delay?

February 23, 2009

The Palm Pre In 2013

Filed under: Musings — mikecane @ 3:55 pm

Oh get your fear of the number thirteen on!

I’ve been given a glimpse of the Palm Pre in 2013!

It uses webOS extensions from Palm founder Jeff Hawkin’s newest venture, Numenta, which will bring intelligence to digital objects.

As you can see, they’ve redone the packaging:



The slider has been retired along with the keyboard. All commands are via voice! Notice the fingerprint reader at left. It also samples DNA. So even if it’s stolen, it can’t be used by someone else!

By 2013, Numenta Matrix Intelligence has been embedded into everything that’s digital. Which is fantastic. You can take the new Pre 13 (note, they might change that name) into any casino and know which slot machine will pay off:


Also, using casino camera triangulation, it can forecast which number any roulette wheel will land on and advise you in betting strategy:


There’s just one nagging problem they have to work out before it gets out of the hand of the poor guy who beta tests it. It doesn’t like to be shut off!


There’s a nasty bug in Numenta Matrix Intelligence they’ve dubbed the Sleepless Threat. I’m sure they’ll work that little thing out!

OK, all of that was a joke. It’s from a new movie opening this week, Echelon Conspiracy. Here’s the wicked trailer:

Let me just say this is the first time I’ve wanted to see a movie because of a smartphone in it.

As for Echelon itself, I hope its predictive powers are actually weak. Look at this! I asked:


It replied:


The Gesture Area: What’s Possible?

Filed under: Musings — mikecane @ 2:38 pm


One of the distinguishing differences between the Pre and regular smartphones is its Gesture Area, below the screen, highlighted below:


It’s bilateral, separated by the center button which invokes the Card View.

We’ve seen three gestures demonstrated.


Back, which I’ve illustrated on the left side above. It can also be done on the right side of the Gesture Area, with the same leftward swiping movement.


To invoke the Wave Quick Launcher, begin in the Gesture Area and swipe and hold towards the interior of the screen. Again, this can be done on the right side too.


To call up the full Application Launcher, begin in the Gesture Area and swipe and lift inside the screen. As well, it can be done on the right side.

Those are the three Gestures we’ve seen.

Are others possible?

What about this:


Two fingers beginning at the outer edges of both left and right sides and moving inward?

Or this:


Two fingers beginning near the center button on both left and right sides and moving outward?

For that matter, what about using the Gesture Area for tapping?

No, don’t ask me what these other possible gestures could be used for. That’s up to application developers — if Palm hasn’t already reserved those movements.

February 22, 2009

Paging Andrea Butter & David Pogue

Filed under: Musings — mikecane @ 4:26 pm


In 2002, I wrote a review of that book for Palm Infocenter.

Are you guys planning a sequel book or updated edition?

The book’s website seems to be back too. (For a while, it was 404 — for me at least.)

February 21, 2009

The Flow Of webOS

Filed under: Musings — mikecane @ 5:21 pm

I was thinking about the way webOS assigns each activity a Card and allows quickly moving from one task to another.

I was also thinking about what a miserable experience my Palm OS 5 LifeDrive has been.

And then I recalled what a joy my Palm OS 4 Sony CLIE S320 was to use.

How could it be that a Palm OS 4 device with 160×160 monochrome screen and a weak CPU was better than a more powerful larger- and color-screened LifeDrive?


Palm OS 4 allowed the use of Hacks.

And they were the Joy Juice of OS 4.

I could, for example, be in SmartDOC and need to quickly refer to something in MemoPad.


A stroke in the Graffiti area would call up MemoPad in a pop-up window over the SmartDOC document. How wonderful is that?

Another stroke, no matter where I was, could call up a tiny Calculator.


Another stroke would call up a list of the last ten apps I’d used (a feature that was added to OS 5 itself).

Yet another stroke would call up a display of special characters, such as the Copyright or # symbols, so I wouldn’t have to memorize the Graffiti strokes for those.

I also had one to call up the current date and time and battery meter.


Really, it was simply lovely the way I could move from one thing to the next. It was speedy and graceful. It didn’t get in my way and I could get things done effortlessly.

webOS will bring back some of that.

I’m especially excited by having more than one email open — from more than one account! — at the same time. Having multiple web pages open. And the wee Notifications area at the bottom to bring in live information.


webOS will bring back what’s been missing from Palm’s hardware: Flow!

Another reason for me — and you — to be excited about the Palm Pre!

February 15, 2009

Sammy’s Podcast #4: Twitter, PrePoint

Filed under: Musings — mikecane @ 4:46 pm

Sammual James McLoughlin is best known to readers of this blog as the founder of the famous Palm Addict site.

Sammy surprised me last week by mentioning PrePoint in his personal podcast.


He also mentioned my personal use of Twitter. I wouldn’t advise PrePoint readers to Follow my personal account on Twitter, however. I had to create some guidelines about that. Anyone can follow the Twitter for PrePoint, though.

When the Palm Pre is finally released, you can expect Sammy’s Palm Addict site to be a nerve center of user tips. Some of the most interesting reading there are accounts of how people use their old Palm PDAs, Treos, and Centros. It’ll be very exciting to see how they use the Palm Pre to

February 13, 2009

The Pomegranate: The Palm Pre Is Now Dead!

Filed under: Musings — mikecane @ 11:36 am

Never in my life did I ever think a phone better than the Palm Pre would be revealed — even before the Palm Pre goes on sale.

But it’s happened.


The Pomegranate just makes the Palm Pre look so … backward!

Just go look at those unbeatable features!!


This is the kind of Forward Thinking I expected from Palm!

I’m sad to inform all of you that I’m dropping this blog and setting up PomegranatePoint.

Colligan, Rubinstein, all of the rest of you at Palm … you’ve failed!

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