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Comments on: New Screen Whine Treatment Utility

Hack&Dev has released a new free screen whine treatment utility for Palm handhelds. Over time, some Palm models can develop a rather annoying, high-pitched hum when turned on. Most of the time this noise is unnoticeable, but some devices can get quite loud.

According to Palm support, this is caused by the transflective TFT display amplifying the vibration of electronic components within the device. Palm claims this is "normal and expected behavior", and does not provide repairs for products exhibiting the buzz.

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Normal behaviour my...

naio21 @ 7/6/2006 4:34:31 PM # Q
PPCs have the same kind of configuration and none of them buzz.

Find another excuse. :-P

Ivan

RE: Normal behaviour my...
Kasona @ 7/6/2006 4:55:32 PM # Q
Yeah, My Zodiac is completely silent, and my T|T never had this problem in over 2+ years of daily use. My friend's Zire71 buzzed from the day he got it though, and my brother's T|E has recently started becoming noticeable too.

RE: Normal behaviour my...
AdamaDBrown @ 7/6/2006 9:24:54 PM # Q
That's not quite accurate. My old Axim X3i used to squeal like a banshee. The newer models don't do it anymore, though.

Something I've found is that if you get a unit which whines, you can sometimes reduce it by installing a screen protector, particularly the thick Boxwave/Covertec/PPCT kind.

RE: Normal behavior my...
naio21 @ 7/6/2006 11:44:57 PM # Q
It was an exception, not the rule. I mean, can you point me a WM software designed to prevent screen whining?

The fact is: people have to create subterfuges to compensate Palm's low quality control over parts and assembling procedures (except for their flagship Treo Line). m100's defective capacitor, MDS and Zire 72 "banana" are other examples.

I've got 5 PPCs and NONE of them presented such "normal and expected behaviors"... probably neither the Cliés, nor the Handsprings and all the other brands...

Ivan

RE: Normal behaviour my...
SeldomVisitor @ 7/7/2006 6:56:06 AM # Q
> ...people have to create subterfuges to compensate Palm's low
> quality control over parts and assembling procedures (except for
> their flagship Treo Line
).

Yer kidding, right?

Reply to this comment

Treos?

DevPOV @ 7/6/2006 5:27:26 PM # Q
Why is it, then, if this is expected behavior, that I've never heard of this happening on a Treo?

In fact, between the weird alignment, buzzing, lousy cameras, crappy support, and inconsistent software, is it any surprise that people are bailing on Palms?

I really, really, really miss the days when Palm was exciting and innovative.

RE: Treos?
naio21 @ 7/6/2006 11:27:29 PM # Q
Aren't Treos manufactured by HTC?

Ivan
RE: Treos?
AdamaDBrown @ 7/7/2006 3:55:52 AM # Q
Yes, the 650s, the 700ws, and I'm pretty sure the 700ps as well, are all of HTC manufacture.

RE: Treos?
KultiVator @ 7/7/2006 4:36:12 AM # Q
I'm sure the T3 was manufactured by HTC as well - and the three T3 units I have access have all had a whistly/whine from new. But all can be easily silenced in PXAClocker by overclocking the LCD by just one notch (also helps TomTom run a tad quicker, since overclocking the LCD really involves upping other frequencies inside the T3 as well).

My TX on the other hand is silent.


KultiVator

RE: Treos?
SeldomVisitor @ 7/7/2006 6:57:18 AM # Q
During the latest CC the CEO said there are now three manufacturers working for PALM for smartphones:

== "...We strengthened our ability to deliver even more
== smartphones by selecting two additional ODM partners in
== addition to our current partner..."

It is not clear if they have already or when they will "come online" and actually start manufacturing.

RE: Treos?
AdamaDBrown @ 7/7/2006 2:12:09 PM # Q
I'm sure the T3 was manufactured by HTC as well

Really? I was pretty sure that all HTC's manufacturing was in Taiwan, whereas the T3 (at least the one I have) is labeled as Made In China.

RE: Treos?
Wollombi @ 7/8/2006 10:11:45 AM # Q
>>"I really, really, really miss the days when Palm was exciting and innovative."<<

When was that? If you think about it, nearly all of the "innovations" that Palm has come out with were actually pioneered by OS licensees such as Handera, Sony, Handspring. Name one that originally came from Palm.

_________________
Sean

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.

Palm Innovations List
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/8/2006 12:11:13 PM # Q
>>"I really, really, really miss the days when Palm was exciting and innovative."<<

When was that? If you think about it, nearly all of the "innovations" that Palm has come out with were actually pioneered by OS licensees such as Handera, Sony, Handspring. Name one that originally came from Palm.

Graffiti (Pilot 1000). No wait - Palm apparently "borrowed that idea.

Using SD cards in a PDA - Palm (naïvely) was one of the original companies to embrace the SD format.

Using Bluetooth in a PDA - I think Palm may have beat PPC.

NAND Flash (Tungsten T5). No wait - The CLIE UX50 had that.

Collapsible case (Tungsten T series)


RE: Treos?
AdamaDBrown @ 7/8/2006 5:49:24 PM # Q
Using Bluetooth in a PDA - I think Palm may have beat PPC.

If you mean integrated, no, the iPaq 3870 had it almost a year before the TT was out. If you mean via expansion card, no, BT CompactFlash cards were out in 2000.

RE: Treos?
hkklife @ 7/8/2006 6:38:55 PM # Q
What about the Palm VII? Couldn't you make some sort of claim that Palm was first with a PDA w/ integrated (ie not via sled/card) WAN conectivity? A notable machine (in the big picture of things & how it kinda/sorta inspired the VisorPhone/Treo line), even if it was on the crummy Mobitex network and used PQAs instead of a mobile-optimized web browser.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P
RE: Treos?
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/8/2006 8:44:16 PM # Q
Yes, I guess Palm wasn't first with Bluetooth either. And yes, (barely functional) integrated wireless is a Palm innovation I forgot to include. So the revised list:


1) Using SD cards in a PDA

2) Collapsible case (Tungsten T series)

3) Integrated wireless

- Looking at how many innovations have been produced by companies like HandEra, Handspring, Sony, etc it becomes obvious why Palm is having major problems competing these days. Incremental upgrades may have been OK when Palm, was the big fish in the small PDA pond but now that Palm reinvented itself as a handset company that competes with Nokia et al such a strategy is suicidal.

TVoR

Handspring
freakout @ 7/8/2006 9:36:22 PM # Q
Out of curiosity, does anyone know how many of the Handspring people are left at Palm now?

I always loved Handspring's designs and ideas. I remember long before I got my Treo 270 I was looking very mooney-eyed at their Visor series. Springboards seemed like such a great idea. Such is youth...

On another note, I cannot believe that Handspring's ringer on/off switch idea (first seen on the Visorphone) has not been copied by every handset maker on the planet yet. Still one of the Treo's most useful features, even after all these years.


....oo, tags are fun. ;)

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

RE: Treos?
Wollombi @ 7/8/2006 9:52:55 PM # Q
TVOR:
>>"Yes, I guess Palm wasn't first with Bluetooth either. And yes, (barely functional) integrated wireless is a Palm innovation I forgot to include. So the revised list:


1) Using SD cards in a PDA

2) Collapsible case (Tungsten T series)

3) Integrated wireless

- Looking at how many innovations have been produced by companies like HandEra, Handspring, Sony, etc it becomes obvious why Palm is having major problems competing these days. Incremental upgrades may have been OK when Palm, was the big fish in the small PDA pond but now that Palm reinvented itself as a handset company that competes with Nokia et al such a strategy is suicidal.

TVoR"<<

Actually, we need to remove #1 from the list too. IIRC, the Handera 330 was the first PalmOS pda to us SD, but not SDIO (close call because the market availability was close to the M500 series, but the Handera was innovative while Palm merely added a card slot). If you want to extend that to just using industry standard removable memory, then Handera (as TRG with the TRGPro) takes that title as well.

And yes, it is a suicidal strategy. Having acquired a yet to be bested handset is all that Palm has going for it in the handset arena right now. Items like the Moto Q (for $100-$200 less), while not yet to the point of being a Treo killer, are showing that the competition is definitely paying attention and will not sit idle for much longer.

_________________
Sean

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.

Which came first?
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/9/2006 3:13:43 AM # Q
Actually, we need to remove #1 from the list too. IIRC, the Handera 330 was the first PalmOS pda to us SD, but not SDIO (close call because the market availability was close to the M500 series, but the Handera was innovative while Palm merely added a card slot).


Palm m500 - March, 2001

HandEra 330 - June 2001


Close, but no cigar. Go Palm! Go Palm! Go Palm!

RE: Treos?
cervezas @ 7/9/2006 7:27:46 PM # Q
With regard to this discussion about Palm's innovation I think it's worth pointing out that the companies that innovate in terms of being pioneers (first movers) aren't always or even usually the ones that produce the products that make a difference. I think it's fair to say that the Newton was far more "innovative" than the first Palm Pilot, but that didn't make it as successful or useful to people at the time. Likewise, Palm was pretty innovative in delivering integrated wireless in a PDA, but didn't make nearly the impact that RIM did with the BlackBerry (which at the time of the Palm VII was more of a fancy two-way pager than a mobile computer).

Innovation is important: somebody's got to do it and whether they make a successful product in the process or not they deserve credit. But what gets left out of these punch lists of technology "firsts" is the factor that really matters to users: who puts things together in a product that solves a problem people have, works great, is priced right, and maybe is a bit of a status symbol. When Palm/Handspring has hit the sweet spot in those terms (or at done so better than their more "innovative" competitors) their products have been very successful: the original Pilots, the Palm 5xx series, the Tungsten E series, the Treo 6xx series. When they got that mix subtly or obviously wrong, even if in some respects they were arguably being more innovative, they fell on their face: i700, Tungsten W, LifeDrive.

Say what you will about the Treo 6xxs (and I didn't personally care for them much), but as a complete, integrated package they have proven to be devices that hit the sweet spot for a lot of people. Not because any one feature really blazed a technological trail, just because the technologies they used were put together in a more thoughtful way. Looking at smartphones from the likes of giants like Motorola and HP who should have the resources to blow tiny Palm completely out of the water with their pinky finger, I'd say that that "thoughtfulness" factor is the hardest thing of all to deliver in a smartphone--much harder than brute innovation.

Even by the standard of thoughtfulness in overall execution Palm has made more slips than they used to. But with the notable exception of Nokia (big exception, I know!) I think most of their competitors have done a lot worse. Hawkins seems to be right that this is actually the hardest part of designing good products. Which probably explains why Palm's caché has held up reasonably well despite not having the long feature lists. It's going to be interesting to see what Palm's next act (i.e. "third business") is going to be. In terms of what we're talking about here, I expect it to be less of a technological breakthrough than a significant re-thinking of what people really need in a connected mobile device now. I think the industry is ripe for some re-thinking--Palm certainly is--and knowing some of the people who are working on this I'm eager to see what they come up with.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Treos?
SeldomVisitor @ 7/10/2006 7:22:42 AM # Q
I continue to not understand how folks think PALM is somewhat more "thoughtful" than any other manufacturer - almost as if there are only one or two people in the whole tech space that are ... "thoughtful" and PALM has a lock on them!

How strange.


RE: Treos?
cervezas @ 7/10/2006 9:06:13 AM # Q
It must be very hard for you. ;-)

Seriously, I've worked with dozens of client companies and hundreds of new PDA users learning to use Palm and Pocket PC devices. Windows Mobile devices are sometimes preferred because of features, but when Palm devices are preferred (and that's still most of the time) it's because the user interface and user experience is better. I don't think Palm has some kind of "lock" on thoughtfulness, but if good UI design is an easy thing how do you explain that Palm has been able to sell *any* devices at all? It's clearly not because of having the longest feature list, the hottest specs, or the latest bleeding edge technology.

A lot of what I'm talking about has to do with good decisions that Palm made years ago in designing the Palm OS. Say what you will about the Palm OS'es archaic design, its strong emphasis on efficiency leads to people feeling it is quicker and more responsive to screen input in many common operations. The emphasis on simplicity still makes it easier to learn and discover than WM or S60. And the focus on helping people accomplish tasks with the minimum of screen taps is largely due to design decisions that were made in the first two or three versions of the OS. It's also, I think, still an institutional habit at Palm.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Treos?
SeldomVisitor @ 7/10/2006 12:10:20 PM # Q
I think plain old marketing has more to do with "thoughtful" than anything else.

The Big Guys can afford to do all the User Interface research in the world - can run circles around PALM doing it, too.

And decided not to release THEIR cool phones until the marketplace is ready for them.

I think the marketplace is getting ready for them.

Look out, PALM!

RE: Treos?
cervezas @ 7/10/2006 1:43:45 PM # Q
The Big Guys... decided not to release THEIR cool phones until the marketplace is ready for them. I think the marketplace is getting ready for them.

I'm not sure if I understand what you mean by "cool" phones but if you're talking about "smartphones"--phones that are more data-centric, that deliver good email and office app capability--then yeah, I agree: Palm's mobile computing vision is becoming mainstream and attracting serious competition. Even though the Motorola Q sounds like a major disappointment (huge return rate from what I hear) you've got RIM, Nokia, and Samsung all turning up the heat in Palm's territory. Look out, indeed.

The problem they've all got, Palm included, is that no one has come up with the formula for making wireless data mainstream. Sure, people buy the phones that have the capability, but usage is still remarkably sparse, especially in the US. I don't see anything coming down the pike from any of these vendors, Palm included, that looks likely to change that much. There's opportunity for the company that figures out something that people really want to do with wireless data and creates a good mobile experience for doing it. Or, more accurately, that creates an inviting playground where people catch the idea they can create their own personalized uses for mobile data. The formula will have less to do with technology innovation and more to do with (1) getting the concept right and (2) getting implementation details (especially UI) right.

"Concept" is a marketing idea--it's the "message" that the device conveys--so I think we agree there that marketing, in terms of identifying unanswered problems and communicating the solution, is a big part of thoughtful design. Not to pick on Microsoft for examples, but their "PC in your pocket" concept has been a detriment, not a boost, to their success in mobile computing. They could have squashed Palm dead a long time ago were it not for this preoccupation, which percolated down into all kinds of unfortunate design decisions over the years.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Treos?
SeldomVisitor @ 7/10/2006 4:20:37 PM # Q
Whaat I'm saying is there litereally is nothing special about PALM's capabilities vis-a-vis the world at large other than they decided to put THEIR smartphones on the market and aim for a relatively small niche.

Now that the "niche" is becoming mainstream due to plain old computer evolution (Moore? or somebody in an applied manner...) the Big Guys, who can EASILY do EVERYTHING and MORE that Handspring and Palm did already but with BOTH hands tied behind their backs, have decided that it NOW makes marketing sense to do so.

I attribute literally NO special unique capabilities to dinky little PALM.

And that was my "How strange" point up their a few posts...

RE: Treos?
cervezas @ 7/10/2006 6:46:51 PM # Q
I understand that that's what you were saying, but I still have trouble understanding why the "Big Guys" watched millions of high-margin Treos go out the door for two years before they started imitating them. Was it that the revenues that the gnat-like Palm was taking from them weren't enough to bother swatting it away? Or maybe they underestimated how stupid and/or masochistic Palm's customers were and are only now catching on that the public prefers overpriced crap to quality engineering at a reasonable price? Or maybe something as simple as wanting Palm grow a big head so it would make a satisfying squirt when they got around to crushing it? What's your explanation? The one that has nothing at all to do with Palm ever executing on a good product decision at any time in it's ten-year history?

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog
The Treo WAS ahead of its time. Now its time has come.
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/10/2006 9:29:29 PM # Q
With regard to this discussion about Palm's innovation I think it's worth pointing out that the companies that innovate in terms of being pioneers (first movers) aren't always or even usually the ones that produce the products that make a difference.

True, but there's a fairly obvious reason for that, Beersy. True innovation typically involves boldly rethinking how something should be done. This is a risky pathway to take, as bold experiments frequently blow up in the faces of the experimenter (just look at what happened to PalmSource with their Cobalt "experiment"). Innovation also is more likely to occur in a smaller company that has a strong leader with a clear, unwavering vision of what the product should Offer. Bigger companies favor "design by committee", which inevitably waters down the purity of any bold new designs that may have been created by the company's innovative thinkers. Unfortunately, while smaller companies are good at coming up with new ideas, it usually is the traditional big companies that "borrow" those ideas, incorporate them into their own watered down devices, and use economies of scale to destroy the market for the original innovators. I'm sure you could think of 100 examples of this revolutionary process at work.

Handspring innovated the Treo. Palm USED Handspring's innovation and rode it as a way back to temporary profitability.

Beersy, in your fanboyish attempt to cheerlead for Palm, I believe you're misinterpreting why its sales have been better than the competition and consequently you're incapable of seeing how vulnerable Palm's Treo lifeboat is to enemy torpedoes. Much of the Treo's success is attributable to two facts:

1) Palm's lack of any compelling high end PDAs allowed the Treo to cannibalize sales that previously went to upgraders that would have otherwise bought a traditional tablet-style PDA.
2) Up until now Palm has had no serious competitors in the smartphone world.


I sent Ryan a more detailed post as an op-ed piece. If he's not interested in publishing it I'll post it here.

TVoR

RE: Treos?
freakout @ 7/11/2006 2:33:30 AM # Q
SeldomVisitor said:
Whaat I'm saying is there litereally is nothing special about PALM's capabilities vis-a-vis the world at large

No, you're right. Which makes it all the more embarassing for the big handset makers that they still haven't been able to better the PalmOS/Treo UI over the last few years!

It's what keep the Treo leader of the pack, as far as I'm concerned. "Thoughtfulness", as David put it. Examples on the Treo:

* Ringer switch (thank you, Handspring!)
* Organising SMS into IM-style threaded chats (utterly brilliat)
* Sending a picture/media file? Three taps, baby.

Palm's "Mobile Computing" philosophy seems a much better fit for data-centric devices like smartphones than are the phone-oriented mindsets of the competition. Perhaps a change in thinking will be all they need to catch up. Until then, Palm will still have the most functional, usable smartphone on the market.

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

RE: Treos?
SeldomVisitor @ 7/11/2006 6:31:11 AM # Q
Perhaps I've been too randomly obscure with what I mean.

(1) The Big Guys can and HAVE done everything and more than Handspring and Palm.

(2) Handspring/Palm made a marketing decision to release what they have done.

(3) The Big Guys made a marketing decision to NOT pursue what they have done - or roughly equivalently - decided not to do it "yet" (thus the "and HAVE" up there gets deleted).

(4) The Market and tech is changing as it is wont to do, making it now more attractive to the Big Guys.

(5) The Big Guys are, if not flexing, at least beginning to stretch their considerable muscle mass.

That is to say - the Big Guys simply decided not to do what Handspring/Palm did and now have decided to do so and have scads more talented manpower and the ability to hire even more than Handspring/Palm ever had or ever will have.

Or we could continue to believe in the fairy tale that PALM somehow is the only entity that has designers doing obvious-to-everyone-including-you-and-me UI work.

How strange.

RE: Treos?
freakout @ 7/11/2006 9:03:53 AM # Q
^^ It's no fairy-tale, man. It's been the case for many years, judging from what we've seen. Microsoft are closest to beating them, but are still too hung up on making WinMob... well, like Windows, which works fine on a desktop but is too fiddly in a handheld. And far too fiddly in a smartphone.

Nokia's UIs have always been terrible (menu after menu after endless menu...) Moto's have not been much better. Some of the Sony Ericsson ones are okay, but still need a lot of polishing.

I suppose the reason the Pilot was such an incredible success was because Palm simply nailed what people need from a handheld UI. And that'd be why it hasn't changed all that much over the years. If it ain't broke...

It could always use a bit of sprucing up, of course. PalmRevolt and Fontsmoother are doing the job very nicely for me right now.

Does anyone know if Palm/Source holds any patents on their UI? (even ridiculous ones, like Creative's mp3 player "hierarchical menu" patent?)

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

RE: Treos?
cervezas @ 7/11/2006 10:10:14 AM # Q
No, I'm sure SeldomVisitor is right. The Big Guys made a conscious decision to hold off on selling the devices they knew would really compete with the Treo. All those Pocket PC phones and MS smartphones fizzled intentionally or were released by accident like a fart in the course of their real work. And Nokia probably never wanted any US carriers to pick up their 9000 series communicators until now anyway. They barely had time to count the money they were already making. What other logical explanation could there be given that they are SO big and SO much better at what they do?


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Treos?
freakout @ 7/11/2006 8:26:17 PM # Q
(smacks forehead) Of course! How could I be so daft? I think perhaps it was just too brilliant a strategy for my puny mind to comprehend. ;)

On a more serious note, the smartphone market is still in its infancy. All the current players should welcome growth, even if it's coming from the competition. The nature of the phone game is such that people tend to change devices when their contract's up, which means that even if people are buying up your competitor's device today, you know that in another few years they're up for grabs all over again.

With the coming storm of Treo Tryhards, the smartphone market seems poised for some explosive growth. Provided Palm survives this storm*, they're going to be eating from a much larger pie. Which can only be a good thing. Right?

*and any possible buyout doesn't completely change the company's "mobile computing" motive

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

Newsflash: Smartphones are DEAD. Yes, DEAD. Sorry Bubba.
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 7/14/2006 11:11:25 PM # Q
Editorial coming soon.
Reply to this comment

Yet another reason to switch to OLED screens.

VampireLestat @ 7/7/2006 1:15:27 AM # Q
TFT is responsible for screen whine? That is responsible for many pda returns.

Yet another reason to switch to OLED screens (or better newer variants).

What the hell is Palm waiting for?

RE: Yet another reason to switch to OLED screens.
naio21 @ 7/7/2006 11:06:50 AM # Q
Technical expertise? ;-)

Ivan
RE: Yet another reason to switch to OLED screens.
joad @ 7/7/2006 5:47:35 PM # Q
...floating swine?

Reply to this comment

Dream on

jfme @ 7/7/2006 11:25:01 AM # Q
If this can be fixed via software, it would be nice if it is included in the next ROM update for affected PDAs. Lets dream there will be one.

For the Treo the screen whine would not fly. Who wants to hear a buzzing screen everytime you make a call.



Reply to this comment

Permanent Solution

neilc @ 7/7/2006 6:22:47 PM # Q
I had this problem on my T2 (non intel-processor). I used the lightspeed utility for awhile to reduce the noise, but changing the frequency of the processing by over/underclocking made my palm unstable.

I finally bit the bullet, opened the case, and inserted a thick piece of cardboard (with a cutout for the screen of course), between the glass screen and the digitizer. That solved the problem. I following instructions from one of discussion boards to do this, but no longer have the link.

I do not notice any reduced sensitivity in the digitizer.

RE: Permanent Solution
neilc @ 7/7/2006 6:30:02 PM # Q
Correction: The cardboard was inserted between the digitalizer and TFT screen. Here's the link:
http://forum.brighthand.com/showthread.php?t=84643&highlight=screen+noise

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