Why I Hate Palmtops (was: Re: SGML, XML and SML)

rev-bob at gotc.com rev-bob at gotc.com
Wed Nov 24 04:29:13 GMT 1999

> ** Original Sender: "Don Park" <donpark at docuverse.com>
> >See, all that just misses my point entirely.  I don't care what the writing surface feels
> >like.  I don't care about handwriting recognition - in fact, my Casio doesn't include it
> >at all.  My concern is that I can't write a coherent article when I can't even glance up
> >to see what I wrote last paragraph - and that's purely a function of the limited visual
> >area.  The only thing that will help that is to make the screen bigger - and that
> >clamshell trick is probably about the only practical way to do that to any large 
> >degree.  (Not to mention that it automatically provides screen protection and covers 
> >the buttons!)
> This is a misuse of Palmtops.  They are designed for writing small notes and not for
> writing complete articles.

And so we come full circle.  Remember, my original comment was that palmtops are 
okay for shopping lists and similarly-sized documents, but that they were torturous for 
handling anything larger - and thus, I could not understand the drive to put an XML 
parser in one, much less the whole "Wireless Web" campaign.  See, there is a method to 
my madness....

> Some people are using it to even write programs but that is misuse as well. 

And some people would like to have a very portable way to write - more portable even 
than the average laptop.  I am one of those.  Are you actually saying that my computing 
needs are irrelevant and that nobody should aim a product at this target group?  (FWIW, 
one of my big uses of my palmtop is to jot down things which go into my randomizing 
routines for GOTC - more slogans for the list, fake ad concepts, and so on.  I've even 
been known to write down column ideas in the bathroom.  I'd love to be able to flesh 
those out without having to hook the unit back up to my computer to do so.)
> Again, I reiterate my position: slightly larger screen size + higher screen resolution +
> ClearType will increase readability tremendously.  I guarantee that people will get a
> shock come next X-mas.

To what end, though?  If you're just reading stock quotes or a shopping list, who really 
cares what it looks like?  Either the purpose behind that is to enable better reading of 
longer documents (which you characterize as "misuse") or it's just feeping creaturism 
with no point.

> BTW, I think we are off-topic for this list.

Perhaps you are - I still want to know what's behind the "XML in a toaster" imperative, 
and I daresay that's got to be on-topic here.  Like I said at the outset, I've heard a lot of 
talk about *how* to put XML in a cellphone, but nothing at all about *why* to do it.

 Rev. Robert L. Hood  | http://rev-bob.gotc.com/
  Get Off The Cross!  | http://www.gotc.com/

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