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Comments on: Users Petition PalmSource for Mac Support

Many Apple Macintosh computer users are still disappointed by PalmSource's decision to abandon native Mac OS support in future versions of the Palm Desktop. A new petition has been started to persuade PalmSource to reconsider.
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Stupid move from the beginning

stan98 @ 8/2/2004 8:16:44 PM #
We're looking at a company that was not too sure about its future when these decisions were made. That was a while ago - maybe as early as spring 2002. The first measure is to cut down on expenses - cut down on the employee list. Lots of companies did that in 2002 and earlier. Specifically American employees. People in this country were just fired left and right as a reaction to the declining stock market. At that time the Mac had two things going against it:
A - market percentile
B - OS X
While most companies had always seen the Mac as an additional source of income for their fully developed Windows products, it was ever only a strategy of MAXIMIZING THE MARKET. Get the last 10% out of an existing product. That worked fine with the low percentage of Macs being sold because the Macs were the Beamers, the showcase computers, the stuff featured in Playboy under the "Cool Stuff" category. Some companies developed an excellent software strategie where the core code was kept platform independent and only the gui had to be translated. These companies are still around and Mac users still pay more for their products. They don't complain. Spare parts on a beamer cost you more, duh!
With OS X, however, a lot of companies had a puzzle in front of them. They couldn't figure it out and neither could the programmers.
Programmers had 2 options. They could either run so-called carbon versions of their programs and modify them accordingly or step up to the much greater challange of converting to what is called Objective-C.
What happened then is what actually made major companies stop making Mac software. Here it is:

What is currently called Xcode and is probably the most advanced IDE and language package on the planet builds on C. Xcode uses objective-C as opposed to C and C++. The Mac environment uses Cocoa as a framework (for you old C++ guys and gals).

Here comes where it bubbles up:
The typical C or C++ programmer was suddenly tasked with estimating the amount of time, it would take them to re-write whatever project to conform to Mac OS standards.
They had two choices:
- Spend time making the current code compatible
- Spend time rewriting (well - if their code was written well, they only had to re-model)

What happened:
Most developers were very tight with C++ and the Metrowerks class hierarchy (PowerPlant). That was their life and bread. hese were the people fired. We still see it on Monster sometimes that their skills are required, but mostly those are companies are gone.

To Do Now:
Well - we know a couple of things:
1- the Mac is still around
2- major research is being done using the Mac
3- music and photography are easily the Mac's strength

As a closing observation - companies closed down on the Mac after 9/11 because they wanted more secure investments. It is easy to go with the monopoly, isn't it?


RE: Stupid move from the beginning
JarJar @ 8/3/2004 11:22:14 AM #
Can I dare ask the question who the "stupid" in the title applies to?

Are you speaking of only Palm, only Apple or are there multiple parties of stupid?

XCode "most advanced IDE"???
Winter_ @ 8/4/2004 8:27:53 PM #
What is currently called Xcode and is probably the most advanced IDE and language package on the planet builds on C.

Most advanced IDE? ...on the planet??
On WHICH planet, man??
Is the rest of your post as informed/credible as THAT?

(I'm a die hard Mac user, and pray every day for Apple to stop playing silly games with XCode and the like and start collaborating with the Eclipse people)

RE: Stupid move from the beginning
stan98 @ 8/4/2004 9:25:54 PM #
It was a stupid move from PalmSource. The totaly underestimated the amount of support etc. they have received from a Mac base.

Do petitions work?

Calroth @ 8/2/2004 10:32:52 PM #
I've seen a lot of online petitions in my time, and in my experience, companies take little to no interest in them. I suppose that PalmSource considers there a difference between putting your name on a web page, and spending extra money to buy Palm devices to justify Mac OS X support.
RE: Do petitions work?
Calroth @ 8/2/2004 10:36:57 PM #
Possibly a better approach is to raise a bounty for the inclusion of Mac OS X support, like what TreoCentral is doing to get Bluetooth support for the Treo 600. Hard cash means more than words. But if you're going to contribute money to a bounty, you may as well send it to Mark/Space instead, who will be happy to send you the Cobalt version of The Missing Sync when they finish it.

RE: Do petitions work?
RhinoSteve @ 8/3/2004 12:14:21 AM #
EXCUSE ME!!! The decision processes inside most of
FYI, on-line petitions don't mean much since you can't verity every "signature" to a unique source. One guy with a slick CGI script validity of the whole effort is gone.

Corporate America is not a democracy. You think PalmSource is getting it wrong? Start up your own company and do it.

Mark/Space has done an excellent job supporting a market that PalmSource does not want to support. If there is any "vote" here, it is how you spend your money on products. Getting people to sign a document is easy. Having them part with cash -- that speaks thousands of signatures louder.

Mac users in general tend to be liberal, victims of charasmatic personalities and have a big gang-up mentality toward anyone successful that they can't sponge off. (In fact, the political demographics of Operating Systems are facinating.) Thus Mac user somehow think they can protest their way into anything without putting real labot and effort to earn it.

I think they are serving Kool-Aide in the next room.

RE: Do petitions work?
statik @ 8/3/2004 9:53:24 AM #
As for online petitions, I agree that they are pretty much a waste of time. A much more efffective solution would be a grass roots writing campaign where everybody interested writes to PalmSource/PalmOne asking about support.

Why???

siralien @ 8/3/2004 2:31:32 AM #
Mark/Space are indicating that their software may be included in the box for all new Palm Colbalt products from PalmOne. Why petition PalmSource when PalmOne has already filled the gap with a good product?

I use the new Missing Sync 4 with PowerBook and G4 iMac plus CLIE TH55. Works well with all the Mac apps and existing conduits including M$ Entourage.

Don't know what all the fuss is about.

RE: Why???
cmoney @ 8/3/2004 3:24:26 AM #
IMHO, the fuss is about more than just syncing. What happens to conduits? With no formal API, companies are unable to even try to make a conduit for the Mac. Also, some products that require file conversion before transferring files to the Palm may simply stop creating Mac equivalents. You may find them saying, "Palm says they're not supporting Mac, so why should we?"

Without formal support, why not just go to PocketPC? Heck MarkSpace supports that and we should get the same level of support anyway.


RE: Why???
Alric @ 8/3/2004 9:26:06 AM #
Ditto. The whole deal just made me get a PPC. I just don't understant why would you want to alienate 30% of your costumers.

RE: Why???
MikeInDM @ 8/3/2004 9:51:30 AM #
So, Palm won't support Mac and you buy a WINDOWS product?

What kind of fuzzy logic is that?

RE: Why???
Alric @ 8/3/2004 10:46:37 AM #
No fuzzy logic. Its not whether its windows or not but what works best. I wanted a built-in wifi and BT landscape-enabled PDA. Palm is not producing such a PDA at the moment and any shred of loyalty was gone with the announcement for no Mac support.



RE: Why???
MikeInDM @ 8/3/2004 11:56:21 AM #
Actually it's quite fuzzy since the software and the MAC support come from one company and the hardware comes from another company. Not to mention that the hardware side of things has already promised to partner with a 3rd party to supply the MAC support.
RE: Why???
cmoney @ 8/3/2004 1:01:36 PM #
That partnership with a third party provider (MarkSpace) will provide no better support than a PocketPC vendor saying they'll partner with a third party provider to provide Mac support for PocketPCs.

In fact Mac users will actually have more choice on the PocketPC since we have the option of MarkSpace or PocketMac sync software!

I see it like this:

PalmSource (software) says no Mac support
MarkSpace provides sync support

Microsoft (software) says no Mac support
MarkSpace, PocketMac provide sync support

Why again is a Palm a more valid option if the software side doesn't provide any support?

RE: Why???
Alric @ 8/3/2004 2:24:35 PM #
Right. Although in reality the newer version of Missing sync for Palm offers compatibility for a few plug-ins that the PPC versions does not.

In my case the need for built-in wifi outweighed the losing of those plug-ins and there are still ways, although not as convenience of synchronize the data.

Cheers,

Best Petition is sales of Missing Sync

seichert @ 8/3/2004 11:45:53 AM #
Support for the Mac was likely dropped because it did not provide a significant return on investment. Purchasing Missing Sync is a clear indication to PalmSource that Mac Users are willing to pay to synchronize new Palm OS devices with their Macs. If sales are sufficient perhaps PalmSource or some of the licensees will make a deal with Mark/Space to include their software in the box. If not, at least there is high quality third party software for Mac Users.


Stuart Eichert

RE: Best Petition is sales of Missing Sync
Eutychus @ 8/3/2004 7:40:30 PM #
I have signed this Mark/Space petition twice: I have bought a Clie and a Tapwave Zodiac. The Mark/Space Missing Sync provided better integration with the Mac than I had when I used the Clie from a MicroSoft computer set up or when I used Palm's provided Mac set up for their handheld. I have been very pleased with Mark/Space. Sure, I could sell my Beemer and buy a used Chevette. Both work on the roads and get you where you want to go. And I am happy for you if you like your Chevette. (I sometimes get jealous you can buy your car care products at WalMart or so many other local retailers.) But I don't want to drive a Chevette. I am quite pleased with my BMW and am thankful that Mark/Space have brought out a BMW quality product. Now excuse me while I listen to my iPod through my BMW radio.

RE: Best Petition is sales of Missing Sync
vesther @ 8/4/2004 11:23:41 PM #
Not only that, but IMO the best petition would also be for ALL PALM OS LICENSEES to partner with Mark/Space to provide Missing Sync deployment for Mac Users.

It's time for all Palm OS Licensees to get up from the rubble, sign a contract with Mark/Space, and start supporting the Mac.

Intel PXA27X, Motorola's ARM Processor, or Texas Instruments OMAP? Pick one Palm Enthusiasts, the choice should be yours. When handheld makers make you choose the ARM Processor, you win.

Palm? Do we care?

briandburnham @ 8/3/2004 2:31:28 PM #
One underlying message of the limiting of support is that the company is headed out. Palm, for all its buying and selling of companies hasn't come up with an idea worth investing in for years.

Palms are toys next to PocketPCs. Really, are we going to miss Palm? Get a smart phone and sync it with iSync. It works better and faster than Palm Desktop.

Even better, bet a PocketPC and the missing sync. Whatever you do, don't drop any money on a sinking ship. I'm waving this palm goodbye.

RE: Palm? Do we care?
Strider_mt2k @ 8/3/2004 6:00:59 PM #
Don't let the door hit ya...

RE: Palm? Do we care?
Patrick @ 8/3/2004 8:41:41 PM #
Geez, where have we heard the Palm doom and gloom stories before? Like, for the last 4 years maybe? Meanwhile, for a long time Palm couldn't make enough Treo 600's to fit demand and their stock price has recently tripled. Sure sounds like a company on the way out, don't it?

No matter how many times you say "Each platform is best for different people" the PPC fanatics just don't get it. Like their master Bill, they know what's best for you and for me and you're a fool if you think otherwise. Yawn.



RE: Palm? Do we care?
RhinoSteve @ 8/4/2004 1:39:08 PM #
It has been my experience is that ex-Palm user that go to PPC usually come back in less than six months. PPC sounds sexy but in general, very very buggy and poorly behaved with CDLs (Cataclysmic Data Loss) all too common.

It is kinda like a womam with a seven year itch from marrage that gets divorced. She leaves her man, finds herself in a real abusive relationship and laments that the problems she had when married wasn't that bad.

I'd get rid of ActiveSync and the fake hard disk copy it does for Palm Desktop anyday.
RE: Palm? Do we care?
Alric @ 8/4/2004 4:33:32 PM #
It's been about a month for me but I find using my PDA much more than before.

Cheers,

RE: Palm? Do we care?
JonathanChoo @ 8/6/2004 9:15:24 AM #
PPCs are becoming more like Palms as well. We have new low end iPAQ devices that acts like Zires but with extremely high prices, unlike the Zires. People are rushing out to purchase the old iPAQ h1940 that the price has even gone up! The new iPAQs (bar the hx4700) are a disgrace.

"The quality of both sides feel cheap, like the plastic that you get in $10 universal remote controls." (quoted from BargainPDA's review on the rz1715)

--
PalmOne Tungsten T3/256Mb Panasonic SD; HP h4150/512Mb Sandisk Ultra-II, Sony Ericsson T630

The (v4.0) Mac desktop is foul.

orb2069 @ 8/4/2004 3:57:48 PM #
I moved to a G3 about two months ago(For work) from linux, and have been using (struggling through?) the Mac version of Palm Desktop most of that time.

Some of my problems with it:


  • The interface is a total pig's breakfast. It's not Apple, it's not Palm. It's horribly counterintuitive.
  • Miserable note support.
  • Even MORE miserable note-on-appointment support.
  • Reliably mangles data - I've had it wipe out my memo classifications twice now.
  • Very poor backup options - You can either set up a full backup for EVERY hotsync, or not.
  • Backups are incomplete. Won't backup the Address and Memo databases as .pdb files - So when it fubars them, you're sunk.

I don't know about the rest of the world, but some of these are 'Showstopper' level bugs, as far as I'm concerned.

http://wiki.jpilot.org/index.php/Frequently%20Asked%20Questions">The JPilot FAQ says that it runs under OSX - I'd find it hard to believe it's any worse than Palm's offering.

RE: The (v4.0) Mac desktop is foul.
stan98 @ 8/4/2004 9:19:50 PM #
Man- did you ever move to an old machine and expect wonders. Get yourself a smi-decent Mac before comparing ; )

RE: The (v4.0) Mac desktop is foul.
vesther @ 8/4/2004 11:27:24 PM #
Recommended: Any G4-based Mac machine, such as an iBook (the one I have) with at least 512MB DDR SDRAM on a PC2100 Bandwidth level.

Better: Powerbook, iMac, or eMac with the G4 Processor.

Best: Dual G5 Mac Desktop

Intel PXA27X, Motorola's ARM Processor, or Texas Instruments OMAP? Pick one Palm Enthusiasts, the choice should be yours. When handheld makers make you choose the ARM Processor, you win.

What???
orb2069 @ 8/6/2004 9:03:45 AM #
The speed of the application is fine.

How the heck is changing the processor going to improve the user interface? Or cause the program to behave more reliably? All the OTHER programs I run on this machine don't FUBAR their data.

RE: The (v4.0) Mac desktop is foul.
MitchL @ 8/11/2004 9:02:41 AM #
I agree with orb2069. I've had very similar problems trying to sync my T3 with a PowerBook G4, 1 GB RAM. Data loss, merging of data between my wife's and my Palms, etc.
It's not the hardware, it's the software.

Mitch

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