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Comments on: Reactions from the Mobile Tech Industry

So what are other people saying about PalmSource's new moves? PalmInfocenter asked a few of our favorite webmasters, CEOs and mobile enthusiasts from all sides of the mobile Industry for their reactions on the historic events. updated
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As usual, Kent gets it wrong...

jkirvin @ 12/9/2004 1:54:28 PM #
PalmSource is *not* cramming a desktop/server OS into a handheld. They're using the Linux *kernal* with the Cobalt UI. Kent is smart enough to know they're not cramming KDE or GNOME into a handheld, so I don't see his point, unless it's just to find something, anything, to complain about. The fact is that the Linux kernal isn't much bigger than the kernal already used by Cobalt. PalmOS for Linux will look identical to Cobalt (they use the exact same graphics system), but should be more "cross-platform" and have better device driver support. Essentially, the key difference between the Cobalt and Linux versions of PalmOS is that in theory, I *could* run the Linux version on x86 hardware, or any of the other 31 platforms that support Linux. All versions of PalmOS will run just fine on a handheld or smartphone.

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
Foo Fighter @ 12/9/2004 2:20:09 PM #
Don't you have something better to do...like play Duke Nukem on your Zodiac?

And this coming from a guy who said Bluetooth has killed WiFi! Bwahahahahahaahah!!!


-------------------------------
Editor, http://Pocketfactory.com
Contributing Editor, http://digitalmediathoughts.com

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
pmjoe @ 12/9/2004 2:28:41 PM #
> PalmSource is *not* cramming a desktop/server OS into a handheld.

Ah, but they are. Sure, they'll reduce it down to the core functionality that is needed, but Linux was designed as a desktop/server OS. There are much better designed operating system and kernels for mobile/embedded devices, including BeOS.

They are betting on the advanatages of using a more popular operating system with more developers who are familiar with its internals and the availability of more drivers for chipsets (often handled by the chip developers themselves). Oh, and it's free.

I think PalmSource is probably right with this decision, but don't let yourself believe that there are not better operating systems out there for this task.

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
Foo Fighter @ 12/9/2004 2:30:11 PM #
>> "The fact is that the Linux kernal isn't much bigger than the kernal already used by Cobalt"

Sort of off-topic, but do you have any evidence to back that up?

-------------------------------
Editor, http://Pocketfactory.com
Contributing Editor, http://digitalmediathoughts.com

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
Foo Fighter @ 12/9/2004 2:40:14 PM #
Just because the upper level software is not present doesn't make the Linux kernal any less than what it is. It is purpose built for servers and workstations. Sure you can strip it down to bare bones, but truck is still a truck even with shiny red paint over it. And frankly if PalmOS will run on Linux as well (*sarcasm*) as QT Linux does, then this will be the last curtain call for PalmSource.

-------------------------------
Editor, http://Pocketfactory.com
Contributing Editor, http://digitalmediathoughts.com
RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
jkirvin @ 12/9/2004 2:41:26 PM #
They're both about 4MB, IIRC.

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
jkirvin @ 12/9/2004 2:42:53 PM #
"Don't you have something better to do...like play Duke Nukem on your Zodiac?"

Too busy getting actual work done on my Zod.

"And this coming from a guy who said Bluetooth has killed WiFi! Bwahahahahahaahah!!!"

Never said that. I said Bluetooth *and 3G cell data* would kill WiFi. A friend of mine is ditching his Tungsten C this weekend for a Bluetooth-enabled T5. He's tired of me being able to check my email and RSS where he can't.

kernel size
hotpaw4 @ 12/9/2004 2:50:57 PM #
There are linux distributions that will run on systems with as little as 2 MB of RAM plus 1 floppy drive. The original PalmOS 1.0 Kadak kernal was smaller, running in only a 32KB system heap + some ROM, IIRC, but was a lot more limited.
Pilot 1000 - Palm OS 1.0
Admin @ 12/9/2004 3:38:46 PM #
I still have a fully working Pilot 1000. It is a timeless device, remarkable even today.
Stick to "Writing on your (hairy) Palm"
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 12/9/2004 3:56:12 PM #
They're both about 4MB, IIRC.

Guess again, Bubba.



******************************************************************
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
hkklife @ 12/9/2004 4:05:43 PM #
I have a nearly fully working Pilot 1000 that unfortunately has a faulty digitizer. I have a PalmPilot Pro that is flawless and has the 2mb OS 3 upgrade card in it. In theory, it could still handle all of my basic PIM needs with room for an e-book or two. An absolutely classic design but still a few rungs down from the timeless V/m500s.

As far as article comments go, I'd like to hear from some ex-Palm Inc/PalmOne/Handspring staffers. Are they predicting doom & gloom like the rest of the PIC faithful?


Rant:
Going back to the previous comments about the "Zen" of the older units. The other day I met with a guy who still kept a HS Edge in his briefcase. I briefly played with it. That could have been a phenomenal unit had it just had a bit more oomph under the hood and an SD slot instead of that stupid mini-Springboard. In fact, P1 should have immediately tried to shoehorn a 320*320 color screen, SD & BT into that fellow as soon as the Handspring acquisition became official. Now THAT'D be a proper T|E2!

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
Wollombi @ 12/9/2004 4:09:32 PM #
Somebody...please....make the Voice-s stop!

_________________
Sean

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
tompi @ 12/9/2004 4:35:03 PM #
"Sure, they'll reduce it down to the core functionality that is needed, but Linux was designed as a desktop/server OS. There are much better designed operating system and kernels for mobile/embedded devices, including BeOS"

It is BeOS that was designed, from the ground up, as a desktop operating system. Its tightly integrated design also meant that targeting it at a different device type was going to be a lot of work.

Linux, on the other hand, is widely used in embedded devices, cell phones, and handheld devices already. Linux implements the most widely used standards for embedded operating systems. Linux and its predecessors run on machines with a few hundred kilobytes of RAM. And Linux cleanly separates the GUI from the kernel, allowing Palm to do just what Palm wants to do.

"They are betting on the advanatages of using a more popular operating system with more developers who are familiar with its internals and the availability of more drivers for chipsets (often handled by the chip developers themselves)."

Yes, that's the point: Linux is already widely used in handheld and embedded applications, so it is already supported.

"I think PalmSource is probably right with this decision, but don't let yourself believe that there are not better operating systems out there for this task."

Maybe there are, but BeOS isn't one of them. BeOS was a bad design even for desktop use, and it made absolutely no sense to port it to handhelds.



RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
Foo Fighter @ 12/9/2004 4:57:14 PM #
>> "BeOS was a bad design even for desktop use, and it made absolutely no sense to port it to handhelds."

From a technical standpoint maybe, but it had...by far..the best GUI. If developers could have layered the BeOS graphical interface over Linux, it would have made the perfect desktop solution, rather than KDE and Gnome..which frankly aren't very appealing. BeOS was the first non-Apple/Microsoft desktop OS I used that I actually found compelling and a pleasure to use. Sadly Linux does not offer the same user friendly experience.



-------------------------------
Editor, http://Pocketfactory.com
Contributing Editor, http://digitalmediathoughts.com

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
pmjoe @ 12/9/2004 5:07:58 PM #
tompi, I responded to these comments in the "An open letter to the Palm OS community from PalmSource" thread. I'm not going to re-state them here, ... but I might blabber on for a bit. Windows is "widely used" on desktop systems. That does not make it a "better" OS for those systems.

Just so you're clear on this, BeOS was never designed to be a traditional desktop OS. When it was designed, desktop systems had the power of today's PDAs. It has a microkernel design and was specifically geared toward handling multimedia. The BeOS folks did years of work on using it for non-desktop systems.

Targeting BeOS to other device types was not a lot of work. Getting Linux to even be a reasonable possibility for embedded systems was. Go back and look at the history of it. The big difference was that BeOS was closed source and done by a handful of developers in a short period of time. Linux efforts are open and have far more effort and time behind them.

I don't specifically want to argue for BeOS here. I'm glad that we have Linux as an alternative to Windows, because it is clearly the winner there. The simple fact of the matter is that Linux won out with PalmSource because of cost and support, not because it was the best software solution (and that is not saying it is a bad solution) for the task. It was the best decision for a company that wants to make money.

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
mikecane @ 12/9/2004 5:13:56 PM #
Listen, Jeff, your newfound enthusiasm over this PalmNix is rather difficult for me to swallow. According to you, Cobalt was to the a "mini BeOS." Maybe that's why they've all but killed it?

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
JonathanChoo @ 12/9/2004 5:23:14 PM #
Embedded Linux kernel with limited functionality can take as little as 300KB of space. Same with CE.Net. Not sure about PalmOS.
RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
Calroth @ 12/9/2004 6:05:55 PM #
You can run Linux on an m68k device (read: an old 68K Mac) in 16MB of RAM. It also runs already on the Zaurus, etc. etc. The Linux kernel is designed to scale both up and down. Anybody saying that it's server/workstation only is spreading FUD.
RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
Surur @ 12/9/2004 6:20:16 PM #
The more you cut down the OS, the less compatible you will be with the rest of the linux software offerings. The value of the move can not be in all the brilliant handheld optimised linux software available, can it?

Didn't people complain long and hard about win ce being a cut down windows system, and therefore a resource hog with little optimisation for handhelds? Who's playing the same game now?

Surur

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
AyDb @ 12/9/2004 6:28:17 PM #
"Anybody saying that it's server/workstation only is spreading FUD."

Anybody who says it's universal is only spreading Linux fanboyism. Like it or not, it was designed first and foremost for servers, and it translates very poorly into a desktop environment for the average user.

I wish this whole thing sounded like good news for the Palm OS, but it doesn't. At best, it means that Cobalt was so unusable that they had to completely throw it out and start over after two or three years of wasted effort. At worst, it's PalmSource's death throes, blindly grasping at straws to hold on in the face of a downward spiral.

Anyone else remember how the PC market began? Apple had a large majority of the user base, including a very passionate core group of users, and was argued to be superior to PC-Compatible computers because it was so much easier to use. Slowly, Apple's lead began eroding in the face of more, more powerful, and cheaper PC-Compatibles. Eventually, despite the Apple loyalists' protests that Macs were infinitely better in every way, more customers chose PCs, and it's been that way ever since. Apple got hit by a death spiral because they didn't diversify and compete, so they lost the market leadership position. Sound familiar?

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
tompi @ 12/9/2004 7:15:00 PM #
pmjoe, you made two claims.

First, you claimed that Linux was "designed as a desktop/server OS". That's simply wrong. Linux was designed to be a work-alike of UNIX, nothing more and nothing less. UNIX derivatives have been used for decades in embedded applications and have requirements that are a fraction of those for BeOS. Also, Linux is one of the most popular embedded operating systems and already powers a huge number of mobile and embedded devices; claiming that it's a "desktop/server OS" is just unreal.

Second, you claimed that BeOS is a "much better designed operating system for mobile/embedded devices". One will never be able to settle that argument definitively, but just because there is a zealous and vocal group of BeOS advocates out there doesn't make that true. To me, BeOS is a textbook example of poor engineering: it does what it does fairly well, but it does completely the wrong things.

I hope we will eventually get something better than Linux. I also hope its successor will look nothing like BeOS because BeOS got just about everything wrong.

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
tompi @ 12/9/2004 7:29:16 PM #
The more you cut down the OS, the less compatible you will be with the rest of the linux software offerings

The value, as far as Palm is concerned, is probably primarily in drivers and chipset support.

. The value of the move can not be in all the brilliant handheld optimised linux software available, can it?

Actually, that is also a benefit. There is a lot of Linux code that is useful for application writers and requires no adaptation to handheld use (libraries, scripting languages, etc.). And there is actually a sizeable amount of very useful handheld software out there, including ports of the Mozilla and Konqueror web browsers, real ssh implementations, etc.

Didn't people complain long and hard about win ce being a cut down windows system, and therefore a resource hog with little optimisation for handhelds? Who's playing the same game now?

Yes, but Linux isn't WinCE. WinCE is cut down in places that cause real problems: resource limits, string handling, file handling, networking, etc. You can't just recompile a Windows program for WinCE, even if your WinCE has the memory to run it.

Embedded Linux has the same core libraries and kernel functionality as any other version of Linux; it is "cut down" in areas like command line programs, and libraries that are included by default. But if your application needs something that isn't preinstalled, you can just include it--no code changes required.

Since Linux is already used on so many embedded devices, we don't have to guess about how useful this is. My Linksys access point runs Linux, and people take advantage of that for creating all sorts of very useful add-on software.

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
tompi @ 12/9/2004 7:40:04 PM #
Anybody who says it's universal is only spreading Linux fanboyism. Like it or not, [Linux] was designed first and foremost for servers,

The relationship between Linux and desktop software is no different from the relationship between Windows XP and the Windows GUI and between Macintosh and the Macintosh GUI: it's a kernel with a separate user-mode GUI environment, composed of a window server and lots of dynamically loaded toolkit libraries.

UNIX/Linux has had that architecture from the start, while Windows (3.1->NT) and Macintosh (OS9->OSX) basically had to start over to get there because there previous systems were architected so poorly.

and it translates very poorly into a desktop environment for the average user.

There is no basis for that claim; Linux desktop usability is comparable to that of Macintosh or Windows.

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
ChiA @ 12/9/2004 8:05:20 PM #
>" Slowly, Apple's lead began eroding in the face of more, more powerful, and cheaper PC-Compatibles. "<

Cheaper, yes, more powerful - arguable. PCs starting pulling ahead of Macs in the power stakes towards the late 90s. Prior to that it was neck and neck.
Whether it's back to neck and neck now is debateable but I don't want to turn this (yet another) PC vs Mac argument - especially in a Palm OS forum!

>" Eventually, despite the Apple loyalists' protests that Macs were infinitely better in every way, more customers chose PCs, and it's been that way ever since. Apple got hit by a death spiral because they didn't diversify and compete, so they lost the market leadership position. Sound familiar? "<

Ya, ya ya. I think it's more a case of PC market grew much faster than Mac market and Apple NEARLY went into death spiral as a result of their mismanagement in the mid 90s. Yes, Apple has small slice of computer market BUT, unlike PalmOne and PalmSource, it's a PROFITABLE slice and APPLE has US$4 billion in the bank - that's what counts whatever business you're in.
Compare with what's happened to IBM, the inventor of the PC. It's PC division has been offloaded unto a Chinese company; it can be said that the PC business hasn't worked out for them. Unlike Apple, many PC compatible companies have come and gone.

The only company which has CONSISTENTLY gained the greatest benefit from the PC compatible market since its creation (both of market and company) is MICROSOFT.

Relating all of this back to PalmOS, it appears that PalmSource has struggled with OS 6, in the same way Apple struggled with Copland in the 90s and Microsoft seems to be struggling with Longhorn now. It also infers that Palm's BeOS aquisition was a bad move, why didn't they make the move to Linux then instead, now they're having to throw stuff out and start anew - just as Apple did when it threw out Copland, went for NextStep/Rhapsody and transformed it into OS X.

It also suggests this is a last chance move by PalmSource in it's battle to stay alive - I ask rhetorically just how many major licensees of the PalmOS remain now?


RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
abosco @ 12/9/2004 8:22:46 PM #
Hey, here's an idea. Let's pretend Cobalt never happened and skip straight to OS 7. Add true multitasking, remove limitations that plague the system, but still include PACE, and find out based on well-spent R&D polling data what people like in a PDA and what they don't. Then use that data to build an operating system with the versatility to run on a smartphone or a mini-laptop.

PalmSource, I can understand you want to flee from the PDA market as soon as possible. But it appears to be stagnant because nobody is making anything desirable. Let me repeat that. Nobody is making anything desirable. I'm a gadget enthusiast and I haven't bought a new PDA in over a year and a half. That's unprecedented for me. There is nothing fresh, and that's a fault of your licensees. But you can cure that, and the solution is to build a more compelling and more convincing OS to get those unsure PPC licensees to jump ship. There was a nice slot for Toshiba in the high-end here, while in the WinMob market it was crammed. Now they're gone, never to return again. We already scared off Sony, but what about Sony Ericsson? Hell, get Henry Kissinger to convince them your OS has more support than Symbian, which is controlled by Nokia. There are a disgusting amount of ways to spread your reach, PalmSource, but the ways you are choosing truly are .. well .. disgusting.

In summary, Cobalt and Linux won't get you back your marketshare. Resting on your laurels won't get you back your marketshare. Beating Microsoft to the punch will.

-Bosco
NX80v + Wifi + BT + T637

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
sdf @ 12/9/2004 8:25:26 PM #
More than 4MB?!? I had no problem finding a Linux kernel that was below 400k. 1MB would probably fit the Linux kernel, TCP/IP networking, a web server... and you'd still have half the space free for web pages.

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
Cikub @ 12/9/2004 9:52:25 PM #
"The more you cut down the OS, the less compatible you will be with the rest of the linux software offerings. The value of the move can not be in all the brilliant handheld optimised linux software available, can it?"

I'm sure the last thing that PalmSource is thinking about is getting PalmOS smartphones to run existing linux software. They want people to develop to their OS layer--not everyone elses.

C

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
voice of chaos @ 12/9/2004 10:42:22 PM #
Actually, if we look at the history of Unix (not Linux), it was designed for a spare DEC PDP that was lying around (Ken Thompson wrote it to run a game in which he was interested). The Unix V6 code fit into 64K (I've got the Lyons book).

Linus wrote Linux because he wanted an OS that he could tinker around. That it has evolved into workstations and servers is just one market path. I've had a Sharp Zaurus for several years and the startup time and battery life are real pain points (and QTopia isn't so hot an environment, either, IMHO). If mLinux has solve those problems as they claim then they have a good jump on the Linux/Palm OS experience (well, at least the old Palm OS experience, maybe ;) ).

(Personally, while I think Palm OS on Linux is a good idea, the better aspect of the deal is the move into the China market. And I really don't see many vendors jumping on the Be-based Cobalt now - if I didn't have the device ready to ship at this point I'd at least want to know the timeframes for the Linux-based OS first, and I would probably wait for it. CMS also seems to support the same ARM vendors as PalmSource, so it's a very good fit from that standpoint.)

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
Deslock @ 12/10/2004 10:47:37 AM #
Kent has a point, however, there is a difference between MS' approach and this one:

Cramming an inefficent, buggy desktop/server OS design into a handheld *is* a flawed, inferior design decision. The problem with CE is that MS used Win32 along with its shared-DLL, registry, and memory-management nightmares as well as its general temperamental nature.

Using a more modular, stable, efficient desktop/server OS as the foundation still has some disadvantages over designing an OS from the ground-up to run on a handheld. But with mobile hardware as advanced as it is, that's no longer the issue it used to be.

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
pmjoe @ 12/10/2004 11:39:43 AM #
> UNIX derivatives have been used for decades in embedded applications
> and have requirements that are a fraction of those for BeOS.

LMAO! You're kidding right? If you said over the past decade, you'd be pushing it. Decades??? Hilarious!

Yeah, you might of seen some "embedded" systems running Unix derivatives in the 1990's, but they were running on relatively high-end hardware for the time. Maybe even in the 80's but once again, it would've been on very high end hardware for the time. Hardly what I'd call an embedded system, and most Unix derivatives at the time didn't have much support for real-time stuff either.

Requirements-smirements ... who cares about requirements. Any decent OS today from a company other than Microsoft should be able to run circles on today's 100-400MHz PDA processors. I'm talking about pluggable micro-kernel achitectures, consideration in the design for low power requirements, real-time support, etc. Things you want for mobile/embedded devices. I can't think of one Unix-related OS that goes (or at least had its origins) in those directions. Sure Linux, with A LOT OF EFFORT, has gone in those directions, but just imagine that kind of effort behind an OS that was designed that way from the start.

> just because there is a zealous and vocal group of BeOS advocates
> out there doesn't make that true.

Well, I'm actually NOT one, but you probably think I am. I'd just like to see a mobile device with an OS that was designed for the task, and Linux isn't it. I hadn't had a chance to take a look at Cobalt yet, but I had been hoping PalmSource would use that opportunity to put together an OS designed right for handheld devices.

> To me, BeOS is a textbook example of poor engineering: it does
> what it does fairly well, but it does completely the wrong things.

Well, get your textbook out and educate us about what's wrong with BeOS (or Cobalt for that matter). When you keep telling me that Linux is better because everyone else is using it, your argument doesn't hold much weight.


RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong... (true multitasking)
FlaSheridn @ 12/10/2004 11:39:57 AM #
One correction to abosco's posting: Palm OS Cobalt does have "true multitasking" at the OS level, and the API's are exposed to third-party developers. There is still a single main application, but that's a UI decision, based on the Zen of Palm design philosophy, not an OS limitation. We don't expect this to change in PalmNix/Palm OS on the Linux Kernel/Palm OS for Linux/whatever our marketing department decides to call it.

Disclaimer: I'm a PalmSource employee (the QA lead for the Cobalt Arm Native C/C++ Compiler), but you can check this out yourself by downloading PODS from our developer site. On the broader issues, I'll defer to hackbod's posts; but on this issue, she argued strongly that we should expose our multitasking to developers. I argued against it at the time, on testing grounds, but I'm glad she won.

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
abosco @ 12/10/2004 3:30:21 PM #
I know Cobalt has the capability to multitask. The problem is, developers need to recode their apps to be able to do so! What if I wish to run an old 68K version of AIM 1.1 for Palm OS and multitask it with Blazer Web Browser since I'm using a cell phone and the page trimming features of Blazer are ideal for minimal downloads? I'll be stuck doing it the same way I've been doing it for years - task switching.

Cobalt should have an option to inefficiently multitask two applications with notification of activity in a background process, so long as the user desires. This issue can be addressed by allowing the people to turn on and off multitasking in Preferences for individual applications. That would kill two birds with one stone - it would allow true (inefficient) multitasking to those of us who demand it, and turn the feature off for those of us who lack the system resources on their device. This, in my opinion, should be the types of things PalmSource should be investing R&D into - how to give customers what they demand.

-Bosco
NX80v + Wifi + BT + T637

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
wilyone @ 12/10/2004 3:30:58 PM #
>> UNIX derivatives have been used for decades in embedded applications
>> and have requirements that are a fraction of those for BeOS.

>LMAO! You're kidding right? If you said over the past decade, you'd be pushing it. Decades??? Hilarious!

QNX has been in the RTOS business for years (embedded systems). http://www.passageway.com/camz/qnx/qnx4.html
"1.3: QNX History.

QNX was originally created by Dan Dodge and Gordon Bell in 1980 and ran on prototype, wire-wrapped 8088 and 6809 machines. The QNX community benefits tremendously from the fact that Dan and Gord still play an active role in the development and coding of the QNX operating system.

The OS was originally called Qunix, "Quick UNIX", until they received a polite letter from AT&T's lawyers asking that they change the name"



RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
tompi @ 12/10/2004 5:11:24 PM #
"UNIX derivatives have been used for decades in embedded applications and have requirements that are a fraction of those for BeOS."

LMAO! You're kidding right? If you said over the past decade, you'd be pushing it. Decades??? Hilarious!

UNIX has been used as an embedded OS for communication switches, network switches, high-end printers and copiers, industrial devices, and high-end machinery for more than 20 years. POSIX arrive in 1988 and was quickly adopted by embedded OS vendors.

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
tompi @ 12/10/2004 5:17:05 PM #
"Well, get your textbook out and educate us about what's wrong with BeOS"

Do you drive a Lamborghini or some more sensible car? I assume, like most people, you drive a more sensible car. Likewise, most people only care about seeing one video at a time; the fact that BeOS thirty meant that they had optimized the wrong thing. And that's why companies like Lamborghini and BeOS are always near bankruptcy.

"(or Cobalt for that matter)."

Pretty much the same thing, only worse. BeOS might have been led a quirky side-line existence, but Palm is a mainstream business and they can't afford to mess around with that sort of nonsense. Palm needed a mainstream, industry standard kernel.

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
pmjoe @ 12/10/2004 5:18:28 PM #
> QNX has been in the RTOS business for years

Yes, and if you looked any further into it, QNX isn't a "UNIX derivative" despite the name.

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
pmjoe @ 12/10/2004 5:21:47 PM #
> UNIX has been used as an embedded OS for communication switches,
> network switches, high-end printers and copiers, industrial devices,
> and high-end machinery for more than 20 years.

Well if you want to call what was essentially a computer with the latest and greatest CPUs stuck in a $10,000+ switch or printer an "embedded device", that's up to you.

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
tompi @ 12/10/2004 5:28:06 PM #
Yes, and if you looked any further into it, QNX isn't a "UNIX derivative" despite the name.

And if you looked even a little further, you'd see that both QNX and Linux implement the UNIX APIs.

http://www.qnx.com/products/rtos/


RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
pmjoe @ 12/10/2004 6:05:54 PM #
> you'd see that both QNX and Linux implement the UNIX APIs

http://www.qnx.com/developers/docs/momentics621_docs/neutrino/sys_arch/intro.html

"Despite its decidedly non-UNIX architecture, QNX Neutrino implements the standard POSIX API."

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
RoadKnight @ 12/10/2004 7:44:42 PM #
So, out of all of you "experts" who are so sure of what Linux can and can't do and what memory footprint a kernel can and can't fit into, how many of you have actually ever done any Linux system programming, esp. at the kernel level?

Just curious...


RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
tompi @ 12/13/2004 11:25:30 PM #
" you'd see that both QNX and Linux implement the UNIX APIs [LINK] "Despite its decidedly non-UNIX architecture, QNX Neutrino implements the standard POSIX API."

POSIX = standard defining UNIX APIs. So, yes, you proved it yourself: QNX implements the UNIX APIs.


RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
tompi @ 12/13/2004 11:28:00 PM #
I have.

But, in any case, you don't have to in order to see how well Linux runs on embedded devices: lots of devices already use them. It's the OS for many MP3 players, access points, webcams, etc., usually created by companies with far fewer resources than PalmSource to run on devices with far less power than a PDA.

RE: As usual, Kent gets it wrong...
atrizzah @ 12/15/2004 12:02:16 PM #
Almost all of you are deluded and misinformed, and sadly, so are most of the people who were quoted in the above story. This is much ado about nothing. I guess that's what you get when you ask a bunch of webmasters and amateur journalists to comment on technical issues.

All that's changing is the kernel, and that pretty much only affects the people who have to design the rest of the OS and the hardware manufacturers, and that's it. The only reason this would affect the user at all is if developers start writing software that takes direct advantage of the Linux API's, and this will probably have to be limited to only power tools. Does anyone here know anything about the current kernel? For those of you with networking routers at home, do you know what kernel the OS of your router runs on? I thought not. The reason is because it doesn't matter to the user.

All of the subsystems on top of the kernel are going to remain the same, i.e. the UI, the multimedia framework that Be designed, etc. Other PDA's have used Linux and made it the central part of their platform with much lower quality home-built userland utilities, but Palm plans to continue to make their already-highly-developed OS still the main piece of the puzzle, so the analogy simply isn't there.

For all of you running your mouth about Linux not working well on the desktop, that has Nothing to do with the kernel, and everything to do with what's on top of it. Palm already has the winning UI and applications, so it's going to be a non-issue.

Peace Out
Alan

ugh... i smell Harvard Graphics/WordPerfect/Lotus/Borland...

pkuhns @ 12/9/2004 5:07:14 PM #
Ugh I do not want to be singing the praises of this ship as it sinks and everyone runs to PPC apps...

Please please someone tell me PalmSource can stay competitive with Micro$oft...

Nokia 3650 bluetooth magnate

RE: ugh... i smell Harvard Graphics/WordPerfect/Lotus/Borland...
Surur @ 12/9/2004 5:19:30 PM #
I'M sure there's a palm emulator running on windows too. Does this mean you can run palm as a layer on top of windows xp on a T5? I mean it does have 256 Mb, just like a lot of entry level laptops. Maybe not though....

After some pondering, Ive come to realise palm has long ago stopped competing against just pocketpc's. Windows CE is now turning up in all kinds of devices, such as media players, DVD players, gas fill-up terminals, mobile phones, pay points and (on slashdot today) in a radio transmitter for r/c devices. It is turning into a device platform just like embedded Linux. The funny part is it is the pocketpc gui which is usually left out.

I wonder what value the palm gui will add to a DVD player, where there is no touch screen, or even a (CHEAP) mobile phone with no touch screen and stylus. Palm chose Linux, but they could have chosen the windows ce 4.2 kernel just as easily, for similar value, and would have gotten more wifi and bluetooth drivers included in the process and palm could run all the mobile optimised pocketpc software too. I wonder how much mobile optimised Linux software there it... (and no, command line is not mobile optimised)

This whole story smacks of riding the Linux wave, as if it is 1999. Unfortunately the stock-market is not buying it this time, and Palmsource is a whole 2 dollars down in the last 5 days. In fact the stock appears to be nose diving.

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=PSRC&t=3m&l=off&z=m&q=l&c=

Surur

RE: ugh... i smell Harvard Graphics/WordPerfect/Lotus/Borland...
Rome @ 12/9/2004 10:35:00 PM #
I paid about $40 for my first copy of Microsoft OS in the 1980's. Today, I pay $200 for a copy of Microsoft Windows XP Pro.

We need more choices and competitions in the mobile OS space, not less.

Copland = Cobalt = PLinux = Nagel Redux

Gekko @ 12/9/2004 8:19:49 PM #
RE: Copland = Cobalt = PLinux = Nagel Redux
Foo Fighter @ 12/9/2004 9:37:31 PM #
Oh God..not the Copland issue again.

-------------------------------
Editor, http://Pocketfactory.com
Contributing Editor, http://digitalmediathoughts.com
RE: Copland = Cobalt = PLinux = Nagel Redux
Gekko @ 12/9/2004 9:46:42 PM #

Read the article, bitch.

RE: Copland = Cobalt = PLinux = Nagel Redux
Foo Fighter @ 12/9/2004 9:52:47 PM #
It's from 1995 and it pertains to Apple's failed Copland project. Translation = HISTORY. If you're arguing that Nagel isn't the best captain to stear PalmSource..you'll get no argument from me. Is history repeating itself? Perhaps, but lets concentrate on the matter at hand, not some ancient Businessweek article about Apple from 1995.

-------------------------------
Editor, http://Pocketfactory.com
Contributing Editor, http://digitalmediathoughts.com
RE: Copland = Cobalt = PalmLinux™= Nagel Redux
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 12/9/2004 10:41:13 PM #
Read the article, bitch.

W T F???


******************************************************************
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.

RE: Copland = Cobalt = PLinux = Nagel Redux
voice of chaos @ 12/9/2004 10:55:10 PM #
In fact Nagel's Copland experience has motivated some of the PalmSource execution. Palm OS 5 was released to get them quickly to the ARM platform instead of plan of action before Nagel came on board. While we might have gotten a new OS with multitasking and more goodies it would have also pushed out the move to the ARM base by a year or more. According to people I know Nagel pushed the PACE-centric model specifically because he could see history repeating itself. I have to give him credit there.

Now, as to the company's execution since OS 5 first shipped, well, obviously chaos had to reign somewhere. :-)

RE: Copland = Cobalt = PLinux = Nagel Redux
ChiA @ 12/10/2004 3:10:04 AM #
What's the old saying, those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it? I think Gekko is quite right in bringing up the Newsweek article.

Mind you, it's a history Nagel should know only so well; question is whether he's learnt the lesson? Like the Apple of the mid 90s, PalmOS is suffering from shrinking marketshare. Back then, Apple had one major competing OS against MacOS - Windows - and yet it nearly went under. Now, PalmSource has to fend off not only Windows PocketPC but also Symbian OS as well. Symbian OS is just as large a threat to PalmOS - just look at how Nokia advertises the Nokia 9500:

http://www.nokia.co.uk/nokia/0,,57363,00.html

Again, like Copland, something must have gone wrong somewhere with PalmOS 6 - why haven't we seen ANY OS 6 devices after one year of waiting?

RE: Copland = Cobalt = PLinux = Nagel Redux
smap77 @ 12/10/2004 3:19:26 AM #
Anyone want to instruct me how to filter out comments by certain users? Sometimes you just realize how useless a whole forum can be with so much noise and so little signal put out from those people.

You could autofilter me out as well...

RE: Copland = Cobalt = PLinux = Nagel Redux
hackbod @ 12/10/2004 5:19:29 AM #
The very big difference between Copland and Cobalt: Cobalt exists, today, and you can download it and run it and see for yourself. Go to www.palmsource.com and download the simulator if you don't believe me.

Yes I realize, it is not yet shipping on any devices, and that really needs to change. There are a lot of factors feeding into this situation, including us not being the ones doing hardware, a mobile OS like PalmOS being much more tied to specific hardware rather than us being able to release updates for existing hardware, etc. However one factor not causing this is Cobalt being in the same situation as Copland was, and you can be sure when we sat down and started working on Cobalt we were aware of the lessons learned from the failure of Copland (as well as the success of MacOS X, and the struggle Microsoft is having with Longhorn).


--
Dianne
PalmSource Application Frameworks Manager

RE: Copland = Cobalt = PLinux = Nagel Redux
rayz @ 12/10/2004 5:53:45 AM #
I don't wish to be rude or anything, but ...

<< The very big difference between Copland and Cobalt: Cobalt exists, today, and you can download it and run it and see for yourself. >>

The situation isn't that much different. Copland did exist and was running on Mac hardware. It made it to a "limited beta" release before Gil Amelio canned it. No-one disagrees that Cobalt exists, the problem is, that just like Copland, no-one seems keen to release anything that uses it.

Now if you can't even get PalmOne to use it, then it can't be really a surprise when folk start saying that Cobalt is stillborn.

.. and now we have the new plan. This is what I am a little unclear on; You have:

1/. Cobalt
2/. APIs and the GUI running on top of a Linux kernel. Let's call it PalmBox.

So, you are going to continue development of TWO operating systems? I don't see it myself; you are obviously following Apple's MacOSX plan to the letter, which doesn't include developing two OSs now and forever, for a single class of device.

RE: Copland = Cobalt = PLinux = Nagel Redux
Foo Fighter @ 12/10/2004 11:05:58 AM #
> "Again, like Copland, something must have gone wrong somewhere with PalmOS 6 - why haven't we seen ANY OS 6 devices after one year of waiting?"

Because no one wants it, plain and simple. And judging from my experience with the Cobalt 6.1 Simulator I'm running on my desktop right now, it's not hard to see why. In a word this OS is a DISAPPOINTMENT; or at least that's the impression it gives. Very little has changed from an end user perspective (which has its pros and cons), and even the "new" interface is just a basic topical change from what we have now in Garnet..which dates back to 1997. The only real innovation I've seen in Cobalt so far is the new Date Book app, which is really nice.

Kind of makes you wonder if this CMS acquisition wasn't a bailout strategy, or Plan B if you will. Imagine the reaction if Microsoft unveiled Longhorn...and none of the major PC makers licensed it. It would be huge PR disaster. The only reason why that isn't the case with PalmSource is because the situation is being kept quiet behind closed doors. If only those walls could talk.


-------------------------------
Editor, http://Pocketfactory.com
Contributing Editor, http://digitalmediathoughts.com

First new Cobalt device announced!!! BeVilla.
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 12/10/2004 6:02:05 PM #
Let's call it PalmBox

Nope. It's called BeVilla.


******************************************************************
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.

PalmLinux + Cobalt cannot exist together. Stop the BS please
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 12/10/2004 6:07:01 PM #
Because no one wants it, plain and simple. And judging from my experience with the Cobalt 6.1 Simulator I'm running on my desktop right now, it's not hard to see why. In a word this OS is a DISAPPOINTMENT; or at least that's the impression it gives. Very little has changed from an end user perspective (which has its pros and cons), and even the "new" interface is just a basic topical change from what we have now in Garnet..which dates back to 1997. The only real innovation I've seen in Cobalt so far is the new Date Book app, which is really nice.

Kent, I think you're definitely not understanding what Cobalt is about. The admittedly-familiar GUI belies a he11 of a lot of innovation under the hood. Sure they could have come up with an even fancier GUI but:

1) they didn't have the time and
2) the current PalmOS GUI is already pretty good. I think a LauncherX style tabbed environment with sidebar shortcuts to a "Today" screen, pop-up analog clock (like the UX50), etc would be more functional, but that's splitting hairs and can easily be added later by end users.

I'm probably PalmSource's most vocal critic here, but I'll be the first to admit they have (had?) a lot of good ideas forming the foundation of PalmOS 6. Cobalt may be late, buggy and DOA, but don't pretend it's not a good attempt at a PDA OS given what they (unrealistically) tried to accomplish in the time frame.




******************************************************************
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.

Cool - but what about improvements in PIM functionality?

beneden @ 12/10/2004 4:54:50 AM #
It'd be great to have unix under the hood. Fun to play with, etc.

However, the reason I'm thinking of abandoning the Palm platform is the poor (archaic, if you will) PIM functionality. It doesn't even sync with Entourage properly (multiple categories, unlimited note size, etc.)

PIM happens to be what I got a PDA for - and Palm is so lacking here that I'm considering a PPC/Blackberry.

Yes, the Treo looks great. But, why the hell doesn't it show appointments & due to dos on the default screen, just like a XDA does? This is not about innovation, it's about just thinking a bit..

Ben

Photographer, using Palm M515 and can't decide on what next..
http://www.beneden.com/wedding/uk/london/

RE: Cool - but what about improvements in PIM functionality?
robman @ 12/10/2004 5:31:51 AM #
The PalmSource answer to this questions seems to have become "buy third-party apps".

Are there incredible PIM applications for the PalmOS? You betcha. DateBk3, Beyond Contacts, the Chapura suite, etc, etc.

But as the studies show, (http://palminfocenter.com/view_story.asp?ID=2103)
most users just use the built in stuff. No surprise there, considering how difficult it is to install applications.

Why PalmSource has not bought all these litle companies is beyond me, as they are the only thing keeping the OS alive.

(Note: I know that Ed Hardy discredited that study, but in my experience as a Palm technology trainer it is the absolute truth. I also think Michael Mace's comment is indicative of a general attitude at PalmSource/PalmOne of not taking the harsh medicine of looking at what users are actually doing---something almost every company has trouble with)

Palm Enthusiast since 1998

RE: Cool - but what about improvements in PIM functionality?
beneden @ 12/10/2004 8:38:54 AM #
Unfortunately, being an OSX/Entourage user, there is no complete third party solution on the market. dbk5 and alike can't do much if the conduits are incomplete (and buggy, in my experience.)

I understand there are apps for windows outlook users that provide all the sync/functionality.. That's of no use to me.

Multitasking - couldn't care less. How about multiple categories for starts:)

Anybody have any experience with blackberry/pocketmac conduit/entourage? Ditto for ppc?

Best,

Ben

Photographer, using Palm M515 and can't decide on what next..
http://www.beneden.com/wedding/uk/london/

Professional Photographers need pocketpc's
Surur @ 12/10/2004 8:39:18 AM #

As a photographer the choice should really be very simple. You need a Loox 720 pocketpc. Heres why:

1) Lovely VGA screen.

2) Large 1640 mAh battery.

3) USB host

4) Dual slots (SD and CF)

5) WIFI and bluetooth

6) 128MB ram

The scenarios I see it being very useful to you are

1) It can take your CF or SD card, to review your pictures on a larger screen.

2) You can connect it to a USB hard drive (like the ipod or iriver drives, or dedicated photography portable hard drives) and review their contents, and show them to clients in the field.

3) By using a combination of the CF slot and a USB 40 Gb ipod, you could dump all your pictures from the card to the hard drive and reuse your card.

4) You could use wifi to upload selected pictures to your office, for print out while you are in the field, If there is no wifi available you could do the same using bluetooth and a 3G mobile phone.

5) You could use a bluetooth GPS unit and software to guide you to your next engagement, and it could warn you of speed-traps along the way. Tomtom also included real time traffic warnings over GPRS in the UK, so you can avoid delays.

6) You could keep your appointments and contact details on them :), but then any pda can do that (although with more categories pocketpc's do it better)

There is plenty of excellent photo viewers available on the pocketpc platform, and one included in the OS. All of the scenarios outlines above are very practical, and are used in one form or another by professional photographers. It could easily replace a laptop if you were already carrying one, and do it slightly cheaper. You will certainly be more mobile. Press photographers are already using solutions similar to this.

Please reply to this thread if you have any questions or criticisms.

Surur

RE: Cool - but what about improvements in PIM functionality?
Surur @ 12/10/2004 9:06:00 AM #
Some links:

http://firstloox.org/index.php?categoryid=8&p2_articleid=25

Review of the Fujitsu Siemens Loox 720

http://menneisyys.freeweb.hu/SCREENQUALITY/

Screen quality comparison, including the loox 720.

http://firstloox.org/forums/showpost.php?p=15293&postcount=22
http://firstloox.org/forums/showpost.php?p=15287&postcount=19

Posts which show that you can connect the Loox to an iriver 40Gb mp3 player, and another which shows you can connect it to Olympus cameras directly.

http://www.resco-net.com/picview_dwn.asp

A fast and friendly photo viewer.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEWS/1012509131.html

Professional photojournalist software

Surur

RE: Cool - but what about improvements in PIM functionality?
jackl @ 12/10/2004 9:08:08 AM #
Maybe this seems a bit crazy to peeps, but the biggest reason I'm sticking with the Palm OS after a long ride (Palm III in 1998 -> Vx -> m505 -> T1 -> T3, sticking with that:unimpressed with the E2/T5) is that, whatever the PDA OS, synching with desktop MS Outlook is *not* where I want to go today, or any day.

I freaking *hate* Outlook, as well as the rest of the crappy MS Office suite, especially MS Turd. I'm an early adapter attorney who's used computers since my first CP/M machine in 1982, and am quite happy with the Palm Desktop side of things, which integrates very well with other desktop programs (using 3rd party apps like AddressGrabber, the Shoreline VOIP control panel, etc.).

I hate the Outlook UI and find its integration even with MS apps laughable, with the klunky Active-X or VB of *.net templates being called and filled out...half of which break and don't work.

So...if I have to go to the dark side to get a handheld which suits my needs on a hardware/software platform which is still developing rather than stagnant, can I find a desktop host side that interfaces with a more robust PIM like ACT (or does the Mobile Windows OS or whatever they call it have a Palm Desktop NON OUTLOOK simple desktop component?

J


RE: Cool - but what about improvements in PIM functionality?
Foo Fighter @ 12/10/2004 10:58:09 AM #
> "As a photographer the choice should really be very simple. You need a Loox 720 pocketpc."

Heh..well I would argue that, as a photographer, the best choice would be a camera. But I'm just being facetious. ;-)

-------------------------------
Editor, http://Pocketfactory.com
Contributing Editor, http://digitalmediathoughts.com

RE: Cool - but what about improvements in PIM functionality?
Surur @ 12/10/2004 11:18:49 AM #

But the Loox 720 HAS a camera. It even has a flash. It may be the worst camera ever integrated into a mobile device, but I'm sure a REAL photographer could do something artsy with it :) Look at the old Lomo craze :-p

http://www.lomography.com/

Surur

One thing the old M515 has goin' for it...
pkuhns @ 12/10/2004 11:38:59 AM #
the M515 is TINY.

It fits in your front pocket, back pocket, shirt pocket, and sock if you're afraid of getting mugged. This is one serious advantage.

I will say this in Surur's defense: photographers have been completely neglected by software developers on the palm platform for 9+ years! There is NO IMAGE EDITOR SOFTWARE at all on the POS. I found one for my clie - Clie Photo Editor - that lets you adjust brightness/contrast. But that's it. DO YOU HEAR THAT SOFTWARE PEOPLE?

Nokia 3650 bluetooth magnate

RE: Cool - but what about improvements in PIM functionality?
beneden @ 12/11/2004 5:08:08 AM #
Surur: Thanks for the expose - it seems like it would be quite useful indeed for a digital photographer (I'm film based.)

Yes, size does matter and I'm after PIM functionality first and foremost. And I think I'd like to have a phone built-in as well.

Thus, if there was a complete Entourage (BTW, it's nicer than Outlook I believe) - PPC syncing solution, I'd be going for the X(M)DA II. I really love the standby screen that shows.. well..everything at a glance. Finally, only one screen to check/look at during the day.

Entourage is actually a pretty good program if one does a lot of email. Very flexible and scriptable. It's by far not the best time management program, but useable. Again, the problem is to get the desktop PIM sync with the PDA PIMs.

OK, can't help it - I warmly suggest anybody not happy with a PC has a look at a recent Mac. Just a look:)

I wrote above and just realized that there probably are integrated PIM/PDA solutions on the Windows platform.. So you might want to stay after all.

Ben

Photographer, using Palm M515 and can't decide on what next..
http://www.beneden.com/wedding/uk/london/

Story translation into Spanish

albertc @ 12/10/2004 9:36:37 AM #
Spanish-speaking PIC readers may be interested in the Spanish translation of this post, available here by Ryan's kind permission:

http://www.canalpda.com/displayarticle219.html

--
Albert Cuesta
http://www.canalpda.com

Thanks PIC for the reactions

bluedoc @ 12/10/2004 1:24:07 PM #
It sure is refreshing to get a summary of the reactions from actual experts in the field. This provides a good thumbnail sketch of this recent PalmSource move from people with an actual informed opinion, and provides a nice counterbalance to the rantings of the small band of yayhoos who bring little more to the table than an internet connection, lots of free time, and random, misguided, and ill-informed indignance.

Please do this again, PIC!

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