Hawkins to Speak at Special PUG Meeting at PalmSource

Jeff Hawkins, Founder, Chairman, and Chief Product Officer of Handspring, Inc., and inventor of the original PalmPilot products, will speak at a special worldwide Palm User Group meeting, to be held at PalmSource. This meeting with Mr. Hawkins is a chance for Palm User Group members from around the world to have an opportunity for an informal discussion with the visionary of handheld computing. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 07, 2002 at 6:45PM PST.

The meeting is expected to last approximately 75 minutes. All persons attending this meeting must have a ticket, which can be obtained at the InterPUG booth at PalmSource (Exhibit Station #109), beginning 12:00pm on Wednesday February 6th.

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sandbuck @ 2/5/2002 8:28:50 AM #

The "visionary of handheld computing" is going to need a visionary in tap-dancing to help him undo the PR nightmare HS created around the future of the Visor. I can't wait to hear this.

Office Depot has already liquidated thier Visor stock. Who's next?

RE: Tap-tap-tap
mikecane @ 2/5/2002 8:45:03 AM #
I went into an Office Depot in NYC yesterday. They might as well liquidate *all* their PDA stock, for as little as they have! I never did see them carry the HandEra -- so it's a good thing they made it into CompUSA (not that I've seen anyone buy it there). OD dropping them is no big loss.

As for the future of the Visor itself... that's a whole other story. Can you say, "Treo"?

RE: Tap-tap-tap
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/5/2002 9:32:33 AM #
FYI: CompUSA is no longer going to be carrying the HandEra 330. It's my understanding that HandEra pulled it from them.

RE: Tap-tap-tap
sandbuck @ 2/5/2002 9:40:33 AM #
mikecane, I hope you're right.

RE: Tap-tap-tap
Foo Fighter @ 2/5/2002 9:57:16 AM #
I've always cringed at the way the media glows over Hawkins. In my opinion, he is a has been. The Treo is a nice product, but Hawkins didn't invent this category of mobile device. How well it will do remains to be seen. Handspring's track record hasn't been very impressive. Springboard was a flop, the Visor is dying, and rather than admit that he misgauged the market, Hawkins is claiming that the PDA is dead. Liar! The truth is, his company doesn't have the resources to compete against the likes of Sony and Microsoft. So he is running away with his tail between his legs, and moving into a whole new market. I see this as an even bigger mistake. Now Jeff will have to deal with Nokia, Sony-Ericsson, Samsung, and Motorola in a market where Handspring has no brand name recognition. Look at the new Philips Fisio 820 color phone, it looks like a winner! Grayscale phones are gradually being replaced with color variants.

The mobile market is going to be an interesting space to watch, but I don't see Handspring as a long term player.

RE: Tap-tap-tap
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/5/2002 11:26:48 AM #
A flop? There currently more modules for Handspring than for any other handheld. Yesterday a magnetic card reader was announced. Handspring, in less than two years managed to be the second PDA seller, with more than the PPC handhelds TOGETHER.

Do I see envy ?

RE: Tap-tap-tap
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/5/2002 12:16:18 PM #
Handspring offers nothing more then Palm Sony or MS in what they make. The Edge was a huge flop, the Pro was as well (Who wants to carry around a 16 meg monolith like that?). I only see people with Deluxes and sometimes Neo's. I had one woman return 3 edges in less then a week to Best Buy because they crashed every time. One time, the machine totally locked up, could not be restarted, only leaving a grayish static all over the screen. There was no way to get rid of it. Other people have come in and complained about crashing systems over and over, and the lack of being able to find any peripherals.

The Treo is cool, but it can't carry a company, especially in today's society. It's a nice idea, but with all the new cell phones coming out that can do everything the Treo can do, how the heck can HS expect to survive? Do they really think anyone will want to surf the web on the miniscule screen they have? This is their first step into this type of market, who knows what kind of reception the phone will get as well. There just isn't enough out there to draw people towards a device like the Treo. People, especially in America, aren't ready for it.

RE: Tap-tap-tap
fkclo @ 2/5/2002 12:31:25 PM #
I am the guy who carry a 16MB brick - the Visor Pro. To be exact it is a 32MB brick, because I have a 16MB flash moduel with it. I still believe my Edge has the best build quality of all Palm OS device. I switch to Pro just because I want to free my Springboard slot for my SoundsGood MP3 player, or the occassional ProRecord which allow to attach voice memo to my events, todos, memo or address items, or when I am driving, to allow my Audible Advisor to boardcast audio books through my car stereo system, and continue with my listening when I am at the queue.

I have owned 8 Springboards so far and have been amazed at what a Visor can do for me. Now that my Tero has just arrived (this evening) I do think I am going to keep both for different occassions. Including the Tero this is the 4th product I brought from Handspring. I did have a TRGpro and a Vx and all models before that. But no one can beat the service of Handspring's sole distributor in my location - they gauranteed a 30 minutes fix (or a replacement) for whatever problem one may have with a Handspring device. When you rely your Palm OS device on every aspect of your life, this service quality is what make me adhere to Handspring for a long time to come.

Francis Lo
Hong Kong

RE: Tap-tap-tap
james_sorenson @ 2/5/2002 12:54:19 PM #
This is getting old. The only reason people at PalmInfoCenter think that the Visor is dying is because there are about 6 trolls with nothing better to do than search for Handspring news and attempt to first-post "Doom! Dooooooooom!!!"

There are a ton of Springboards, and more are still being made. That does not define a flop.

The Visor Pro is actually a really capable piece of work, and I see the Neo series in many stores and in people's hands. That does not define a flop.

So, please make yourself useful, and troll the PPC sites. At least then you'd be doing a worthy cause. I'm still ticked off at the "Can Your Palm Do That?" ads. Yes, the Visor can, you turkey.

James Sorenson

RE: Tap-tap-tap
jkevinwolfe @ 2/6/2002 3:07:07 PM #
Whatever Handspring's intentions were, a conference call with Donna Dubinsky and an email to Springboard developers from Jeff Hawkins a month ago sealed the doom of the Visor PDA by year end.

The only springboards being released are not by developers who expect for them to sell well. They're just trying to cut their losses of development $. The Springboard market has already shrunk. The attraction of these addons was that you could use them in the next generation of Visor PDAs. But there will be no next generation. It doesn't appear there will even be upgrades of the Edge, Pro, and Neo (which are the only ones still in production.)

So OS 3.52 in black and white is all we get, while Palm, Sony and Handera will be on to OS5 as soon as the summer. Face it: if the Treo doesn't appeal to you, there will be no Visors PDAs. The production rampdown on Visor PDAs starts in a month.

The most amazing feat in the handheld arena was Jeff and Donna convincing developers three years ago to risk their own capital and create over 50 Springboards. Then they burned down the community in a few sentences. Don't expect small peripheral developers to ever trust anyone like that again. Handspring burned that bridge on their way out of town. Office Depot is already liquidating their Visors and Springboards.

In the chessgame of the PDA market, Handspring has their flanks unprotected and nothing backing them up. They can't make money on PDAs they're not producing or enhancing anymore and the Treo isn't even on sale in the US yet. Handspring is banking on the one product, which is pretty much a PalmPhone with an older OS. And PalmPhones haven't been a huge success, since the phone service is so expensive.

Jeff Hawkins may make the Treo a hit. I wish him luck. While I'd love to send wireless email, I don't need a phone, especially a phone that doesn't even have a memory and backup slot. The other PDA producers have all gone to plug in media and the company that revolutionized it isn't even putting a slot in the Treo. Go figure.

Handpsring said they'll produce PDA's until the market is no longer viable. They're already selling PDAs at closeout prices, so the market doesn't appear to viable (profitable) right now.

I'm one of the few who seems to be happy with my Edge. But since there's no plan for OS upgrades, memory upgrades, future springboards, or even repair, where can I look for my next PDA, but elsewhere?

An Interesting Note

mashby @ 2/5/2002 9:37:21 AM #
It's interesting to note that Jeff Hawkins will not be speaking at PalmSource, with the notable exception of the Worldwide PUG meeting. Typically, Jeff speaks either as a keynote speaker (a few years back), or at one of the smaller session (like last year). As you might imagine, his sessions are one of the most popular out there.

As luck would have it, Mr. Hawkins is not speaking at any of the sessions. So, if you want to hear Jeff, the only way to do it is at the Worldwide PUG meeting.


I.M. Anonymous @ 2/6/2002 10:48:24 AM #
Please stop slamming Handspring. It is them you should thank for there being a standard API for 16-bit color and PROPER USB hotsyncs on PalmOS PDAs. Yes, it was Handspring. The only thing brick-like about the Visor is its shape. It is a rectangle. Yet, it causes me no discomfort holding it in my hand than, say, a calculator. Oh, did I mention that you can use all the same peripherals from the old Visors on the newest ones (except the Edge)? I thought that should be said.

Springboard kicks butt. It had real, better-than-serial I/O peripherals back when CF, SD/MMC, and Sony Memory Stick were just glorified playstation memory cards. If Handspring kills it then someone else should pick it up and continue it (I'm hoping HandEra). If ONLY because you can now use almost every PDA storage standard with it by doing a Springboard swap (THANKS MEMPLUG!!!). In fact, that's another thing, Springboard modules are quite durable, if large, and harder to lose.

Truthfully, the only things really WRONG with the visors are the lack of flash ROM storage, and no standalone Springboard reader for desktops. No flash ROM really does annoy me, because, like many, I like tinkering around with my PDA, and moving apps that I "just can't live without" into ROM for safe keeping is a luxury I appreciate greatly. There's also the fact that you can't upgrade the OS and included apps WITHOUT USING RAM OR MEMORY CARD SPACE. Supposedly, PalmOS 4.x is a little bit better and will be maintained and supported for a little while longer. A standalone Springboard reader for PC's and Macs, like how you can get CF, MS, and SD/MMC readers. This would be a great help because you could access data stored on your modules (imagine hotsyncing your data/backup modules!) and would allow you do such nifty thingies like use your GPS, or your BlueTooth from your desktop, so you wouldn't have to buy additional suff.

There are my two only beefs with the Visor product line, and they are not MAJOR ones either. Of course, I am super annoyed with Handspring for threatening to kill my Visors and no Springboard on the Treo (A flash ROM upgraded GPRS color Treo with PalmOS 4.x and a BlueTooth SpringBoard...droooooool). And I suppose that Springboard might have to be radically changed for the transition to ARM, unless OS 5's emulation is REALLY good. Still, the Visors were always damn good PDAs with a few annnoyances, and for the price, a Visor NEO is a great first PDA.

Any reports on what was said?

brianlane @ 2/8/2002 12:28:57 PM #
Noone has posted any summary, review, etc. of the meeting. Any reports?

Brian Lane

Lead Programmer, Shine Micro http://www.shinemicr.com

RE: Any reports on what was said?
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/8/2002 1:28:39 PM #
I'm interested in thiis as well. Ed or Ryan, do you have any feedback. I'm particularly interested in knowing if Hawkins said anything in re: the release of Treo in the US. We are almost in the middle of Feb and no signs of it being immenintly released. How is it going to get the device into stores by March? I spoke to the Voicestream store near me and it is not planning on carrying it. In addition, I haven't received my weekly eletter from Handspring this week. I guess it is tired of publishing them w/o providing any new information on the Treo. What a turn off!

[ No Subject ]

PIC mobile user @ 3/18/2002 8:29:03 AM #
**** Hawkins & Handspring for leaving all visor users & springboard developers out to dry. I'll rot in hell b/4 I buy another handspring product.


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