MobileInfocenter

Editorial: We, the Suckers

Mike Cane is back on his Palm OS soapbox with with one of his first articles for PalmInfocenter in some time. Mike has been covertly using and abusing PDA's running all sorts of operating systems and brings us his latest thoughts and opinions on the mobile industry. -Ryan

Editorial: We, the Suckers
(©) Copyright Mike Cane 2005.
All Rights Reserved.
Exclusive to Palm Infocenter.

There's a reason cliches come into being. It's experience.

And the developments of the past few weeks bring to mind the cliche, "Wait for the other shoe to drop."

In this instance, we've had to wait for a third shoe to drop to make sense of everything.

Several weeks ago, it was leaked that palmOne was considering other OSes. One under consideration was Windows Mobile (formerly Pocket PC, Pocket PC Phone Edition, et al).

Then earlier this week, PalmSource announced the departure of its CFO, specifically mentioning licensing issues in its press release.

The hints were there, but none of us are Sherlock Holmes.

The third shoe to drop was the bombshell of Cobalt basically becoming a skin for a variant of Linux!

Well, kids, there's actually a fourth shoe that's going to drop, but you won't know about it until some 4-6 months from now.

I'm going to blow the lid off this now because I don't like being taken for a ride -- and this is a trip none of us should have to take, either.

THE DOG ATE IT!Earlier this year I plunked down a little over $60 to buy a used Pocket PC on ebay. It was a prior lust object of mine, the Toshiba GENIO e550g. It's a gorgeous unit and sported the first 4-inch screen on a PDA (with case styling so beautiful, the screen still looks larger than the 4-incher on the new hp hx!). After fondling PPC so much in stores, I wanted a low-cost, low-risk way to investigate it more thoroughly. Within a month, I was disgusted with it and it has remained in a drawer, where I take it out every few days to recharge its battery and sigh over its ugly, bug-ridden, crash-prone heart. (And no, I will not part with it.)

When Ryan heard of my disappointment (and he had warned me I would be), he offered the loan of a palmOne TE unit. I said great, I'd do a head-to-head review.

I'd been working on such a review (which would have included elements from the latest version of WinMob, so the PPC cultists could not carp over my reviewing PPC 2002 and not its latest mutation) -- but it no longer matters.

It no longer matters.

Let that sink it for a minute.

The tech industry, despite it being a financial collosus, is actually quite small. Everyone knows everyone else. There are far fewer than those mythical six degrees between its members than those that allegedly separate everyone else from Kevin Bacon. There are no secrets in this industry. None. Everyone talks to everyone else. Any move generates counter-moves.

palmOne knew about PalmSource considering a Linux kernal well before any of us did. palmOne also understood what a botch the standalone Cobalt OS was, before any of us could come to believe in such disappointing news. palmOne, seeing PalmSource flailing without direction, wanted to guarantee it could stay in business selling hardware. And if that hardware had to be based on Linux or WinMob, so be it. (Though only palmOne knows what they could bring to Linux, not actually having any software divorced from the PalmOS itself to offer such a platform... and as for WinMob, well, maybe they'd be the first to make the DPad have some actual use on a PPC.)

PalmSource, seeing its demise looming ahead of it, entered NASA mode: Think cheap, small, and fast. There is nothing cheaper, smaller, or faster for small devices than variants of Linux -- when it is done correctly. PalmSource apparently believes it has found the cheapest, smallest, and fastest variant of Linux and will make Cobalt and its associated apps a skin (yes, this is what it amounts to!) over this kernal.

But what PalmSource has not said and will not say -- but I will say -- is this: They have basically stated in very smooth and camouflaged tones that the operating system no longer matters to them. They intend to mint their coin in the following ways:

  1. Porting the widely-known PalmOS GUI to other platforms
  2. Porting the widely-known PalmOS apps to other platforms
  3. Making the Palm Desktop a direct competitor to MS Outlook

Let those three points sink in and you will see why my PalmOS vs. PPC review is now dead in the water, totally obsolete, and just so beyond the point.

Here is the fourth shoe that will be dropped by PalmSource next year: They will port the core PalmOS apps to Windows Mobile.

Why?

You just read it above: the operating system no longer matters to them.

In business evolutionary terms, this is a brilliant move.

In terms of being a "loyal customer" to a certain platform that does things a certain way, it's "Touch luck, kid, but this is business."

What does this mean for us, who adhered to the PalmOS platform with more constancy than the Israelites wandering the wilderness for forty years?

It means this: You are free to dump palmOne and Tapwave products. You are free to choose a Windows Mobile device. You will have the core apps you are used to next year. They will have a WinMob skin, but so what? How is that much different than a PalmOS skin over Linux? Do you really think the first release of a PalmOS skin over a Linux kernal will be very different from what Sharp did with their Linuxed Zaurii? I very much doubt it! Not unless this PalmOS Linux skin is going to held up until 2006!

And if you don't have the core apps next year, Nagel is going to have to do one hell of a tapdance to the shareholders and Board of Directors next year. They: "How can you pass up a platform that has so many millions of potential customers? And among corporations too!?" But that's his problem.

Our problem is whether or not we wish to continue to be suckers.

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2 in 1?

ozz @ 12/10/2004 1:52:11 PM #
They will port the core PalmOS apps to Windows Mobile.

OK, so does that mean with a future Palm, say a T-7, the user can choose either the Palm OS or the WinMob on his device? I'm not sure what the benefit of porting the two operating systems would be.

RE: 2 in 1?
mikecane @ 12/10/2004 4:47:46 PM #
No. For example, you will be able to run, say, an app called Palm Calendar. WinMob skin but everything else is Zen of Palm like (unlike the Catastrophe of WinMob!). Palm Calendar (and I do hope they call it that!) would be an alterantive 3rd-party program to use, just like Pocket Informant is right now on PPC.

RE: 2 in 1?
lobotomic @ 12/10/2004 7:21:16 PM #
Hey Mike,

It is amazing what a turmoil you've raised while having not the foggiest idea on what an operating system is.

Palm Source very probably could port their higher level APIs to Windows CE, if they wanted and wanted to pay the price. Windows CE is an embedded kernel over which you can build a GUI if you want -- but you can use it without a GUI, like the Sega Dreamcast did.

Also, there is not just one GUI that could run over WinCE: Microsoft had its first go at handheld PCs with a pretty unsophisticated GUI. Then it came up with progressively better editions of PocketPC. But the underlying kernel to PocketPC is Windows CE.

Finally, there is a lot more to a user environment than a kernel and a GUI. There are many more useful services that the operating system can provide: printing, synchronization, authentication, encryption, messaging, 3D, multimedia, and many more things nobody has even though up yet. If you want to call all that *just a skin*, then you are either unbelievably intelligent or plainly oblivious to your own ignorance.

Palm Source could port their high-level user environment to the CE infrastructure just the same as they are going to do over Linux, but what would they gain from that? It is NOT THE SAME as having all your apps running under PocketPC. They could also port their apps to PocketPC, but that would be a totally separate exercise, only equally pointless.

What they want from Linux is a sophisticated, powerful, well suported kernel they don't have to pay to maintain. For no money they get multitasking, threading, TCP/IP, real time, drivers for all kind of USB devices, Bluetooth, Wifi,compiler technology, several programming languages .... This amounts to BILLIONS of man-hours of work.

A kernel is a VERY sophisticated piece of work, and it takes a titanic effort to keep it up with the times. Microsoft sort of manages with XP and CE (they had to drop W95, though), but there is no denying they've got plenty of dough and no denying that they could do a lot better too.

Linux is receiving inputs from everywhere, as it runs in everything from Wifi access points to car navigation systems, industrial control systems, cellphones, handheld, desktop and mainframe computers, DVD players, whatever.

RE: 2 in 1?
lobotomic @ 12/10/2004 8:00:22 PM #
(sorry, I forgot my end line)
> Linux is receiving inputs from everywhere, as it runs in
> everything from Wifi access points to car navigation systems,
> industrial control systems, cellphones, handheld, desktop and
> mainframe computers, DVD players, whatever.

PalmSource can now freely profit from all that effort while, at the same time, adding their own polish to the kernel for everybody else to enjoy. This is what makes Linux ever more difficult to beat. But then, of course, why would you want to beat it?

RE: Lobo
Cheetah @ 12/11/2004 3:02:07 AM #
good writeup

RE: 2 in 1?
Surur @ 12/11/2004 6:18:12 AM #

Lobotomic, you make so much sense. The only question is why Palmsource waited so long, and if using a Linux GUI would actually benefit the Palm GUI and user experience in any way. The POS6 is apparently also very capable under the skin, but the e.g. multitasking that it exposes to the user is still very limited.

As has been said before, Palm has had 3 kernels before. They do not seem to have made much difference from the user POV, accept that Palms have become progressively more unstable.

Maybe the Linux kernel can fix this, and maybe it wont...

Surur

RE: 2 in 1?
mikecane @ 12/11/2004 10:12:35 AM #
My God!

>>>What they want from Linux is a sophisticated, powerful, well suported kernel they don't have to pay to maintain. For no money they get multitasking, threading, TCP/IP, real time, drivers for all kind of USB devices, Bluetooth, Wifi,compiler technology, several programming languages .... This amounts to BILLIONS of man-hours of work.

So, WTF are they *BUYING* CMS if all this stuff is allegedly "free"? And if you don't think they've effectively ditched Cobalt and made it a skin, just keep watching. You'll eventually be convinced.

RE: 2 in 1?
rsc1000 @ 12/11/2004 11:39:33 AM #
>>So, WTF are they *BUYING* CMS if all this stuff is allegedly "free"? And if you don't think they've effectively ditched Cobalt and made it a skin, just keep watching. You'll eventually be convinced.

They are buying CMS because CMS has Linux developers and already has an OS based on linux. Also - CMS has clients - they provide the OS / system software for a number of phone manufacturers and make there own devices as well (apparently - not sure what).

Mike - this is not just 'skinning' linux. What people think of presently as 'Cobolt' is really the Protein APIs (what all 3rd party developers would/will use to write code for Cobolt) + the underlying Cobolt kernal (developers don't ussually 'touch' this directly with their code). What PalmSource is doing is replacing the Cobolt kernal with the linux kernal - BUT the Protein APIs are all still there (ie - what people previously thought of as the 'Cobolt APIs'). You will not be able to run most Linux apps unchanged - you will have to re-write parts of the apps that deal with the interface at the very least. Conversly - people learning to dev for Cobolt (i.e. people learning / writting code using the Protien APIs) will be able to use the exact same code here (but recompiled for the new kernal).

But PalmSource's Protein API isn't just the GUI - these APIs handle most things (as lobotomic pointed out): communications, graphics, security/encryption, database operations, etc.
That is hardly a 'skin'. Nobody would call Mac OS X a skin for BSD.


RE: 2 in 1?
Wollombi @ 12/12/2004 9:57:57 AM #
>>"So, WTF are they *BUYING* CMS if all this stuff is allegedly "free"?"<<

They are buying a ready made kernel for mobile devices that will require little effort on thier part to polish up. This in itself is no big deal, since it is GPL'd, but they are also acquiring the talent that developed that kernel and knows it inside and out. This is no small detail, as well as the fact that they just got a boatload of qualified Linux coders/developers in the deal too, so the search, hiring, and training costs are eliminated for the most part. Again, no small detail. It costs enormous amounts of money, even in China, to find, interview, hire and train qualified people for any job. Employee turnover/acquisition costs companies large amounts of money each year.

>>"And if you don't think they've effectively ditched Cobalt and made it a skin, just keep watching. You'll eventually be convinced."<<

I truly hope you are wrong on this (no offense, Mike). You present a clear, logical thought process, but it seems based on incomplete understanding and/or information (again, no offense intended). As others have pointed out, there's a lot more to it than just "skinning" Linux, and the upshot is that the PalmOS has the potential to become exponentially more capable, robust, and flexible almost overnight, if PalmSource/CMS play their cards right and don't totally bugger it, and that, my friend is the wild card here. Will PalmSource do it right? Or will we be "Cobalted" again? Only time will tell.

_________________
Sean

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

RE: 2 in 1?
batmon @ 12/16/2004 7:43:03 PM #
I hope they won't port to WinCE...

OS/2 runs Windows --> dead
SUN runs Windows --> dead
Winodows runs Linux (winlinux) --> dead
Sun Java Desktop runs on Linux (http://wwws.sun.com/software/javadesktopsystem/index.html) --> might die too. Never heard of anyone using it



Talk about putting it on the line

RhinoSteve @ 12/10/2004 1:52:35 PM #
Well Mike, we have been going back and forth for a long time. This is either the biggest piece of disinformation I have seen in a long time or an honest view.

First you say PPC sucks and then the OS doesn't matter. I think perception is the big thing. One is the view of the customer "Is it cute and does it do what I want?" Second is the engineer "What OS and API will me code work with?" and then there is the Sewing circle PalmInfoCenter member "Palm Sucks! Nagel Sucks! If both don't suck then something else will!"

April PalmSource will tell the truth.

My take is this is your Grinch article to spoil the PalmSource Christmas party next week since you didn't get invited this time.

RE: Talk about putting it on the line
mikecane @ 12/10/2004 4:49:31 PM #
Ha. Some funny stuff there. No disinfo here -- when I have spread any? (*Intentionally*, that is.)

Well, it could spoil palmOne sales, but so what? Let them have to *earn* their customers again.

That said, I am *not* buying a WinMob device. I don't think it's time for another look until WinMob 2005 is released (and even then, NOT as an early buyer!).

RE: Talk about putting it on the line
ben_TE @ 12/11/2004 6:09:12 AM #
No disinformation? Let's see:

Quote 1: "PalmSource apparently believes it has found the cheapest, smallest, and fastest variant of Linux and will make Cobalt and its associated apps a skin"

No, PalmSource is making a Linux kernel an alternative to the proprietary kernel. The application-facing PalmOS layer remains the same, so applications are unaffected. All that is changed is the backend of the PalmOS layer.

Quote 2:" Porting the widely-known PalmOS apps to other platforms"

Why would they want to do this? And how does changing the kernel have any effect on the portability of the apps, when they have stated that current m68K apps will run on the new Linux/PalmOS.

Quote 3:"You just read it above: the operating system no longer matters to them."

The operating system clearly does matter - they are porting it across to Linux. What clearly doesn't matter is the kernel.

Quote 4:"They will port the core PalmOS apps to Windows Mobile."

How does the fact that PalmSource appears to be going to great lengths to make the new Linux-based system backwards-compatible mean that PalmSource is going to port its limited-functionality apps, which are a minor part of its product, to a competitor's platform?

I think the problem is that you have confused applications, operating systems and kernels. I'm not quite sure how someone who could make mistakes like that gets to post editorials on a major palm news site.

RE: Talk about putting it on the line
ardiri @ 12/11/2004 9:05:04 AM #
    It is amazing what a turmoil you've raised while having not the foggiest idea on what an operating system is.

:) its only raising a turmoil if you actually try to listen to what he has to say. over the years; i've seen mikecane post the most amount of crap anyone in the handheld community can post to forums - and, he hasn't got any clue about what he is talking about.. its always a laugh to see his "predictions".

i dont know why ryan posts this stuff; it is very degrading to the site - stuff like this kept inside the forums, or, mike should host his own site for posting his opinions.

i'm sure mike cane is a nice guy in real life; ryan got it right in the going back "story" he posted:

    "Mike Cane has been a vocal member of the mobile community"

but, we all need to sit back and realise - mike is just a USER of handhelds; any predictions he makes about the future/hardware really have no justification. he's wrong about cobalt, he's wrong about the linux migration.. why? because he doesn't understand how the tech industry functions.

i got an email from two palmsource people asking me for my opinion about the announcement of the linux kernel dicussions - i will post my reply here:


    deep down, it should not change the user experience
    (the classic KISS concept) - but, using a stronger underlying
    kernel for task handling, data management is a great move.

    the linux kernel is very stable; and, configurable. it used
    to run on old 386 machines without any problem (low ram, cpu).

    my main concern would be binary compatability with 68k and
    ARM code; but, using the new kernel will open up many
    possibilities that haven't been possible so far. linux has grown so much since its conception back in the early 1990's - having palmsource write everything from scratch is a waste of time/money.

keep in mind the "key" point - it wont change the user experience with the device; a kernel is an underlying component of the device - it doesn't matter if its running garnet, cobalt or linux. it may matter to developers (new API's etc), but since mike cane isn't a developer - i dont see any points he makes about these things valid. if palmsource does it right - it wont be any different at all between the devices.

---
Aaron Ardiri
PalmOS Certified Developer
aaron_ardiri@mobilewizardry.com
http://www.mobilewizardry.com/members/aaron_ardiri.php

RE: Talk about putting it on the line
mikecane @ 12/11/2004 10:15:27 AM #
Ah, of course ardiri comes out of the woodwork. And it's fun to click on the new names who are now posting here. I see some joined specifically to comment on *this* piece (which I called "Opinion" and Ryan posted as "Editorial" -- and I did ask him to switch it back!) -- for you newcomers, why haven't you been here before? Raised some hackles, or is it only now that you have something to grace us with your presence.

I stand by what I said. All of you will see soon enough.

RE: Talk about putting it on the line
ben_TE @ 12/11/2004 10:30:52 AM #
mike, you can mock the people commenting, but the basic point remains: you haven't answered any of their points. You have a PalmSource developer saying you haven't understood what PalmSource is doing. You haven't cleared up the confusion between operating system and kernel in the article. You haven't commented on the fact that this will be the fourth kernel for PalmOS, and the previous changes didn't herald a change in Palm[Source|One]'s porting policy.

All you have said is "just wait and see" without clearing up any of the confusion or misinformation in the article.

>So, WTF are they *BUYING* CMS if all this stuff is allegedly
>"free"? And if you don't think they've effectively ditched Cobalt
>and made it a skin, just keep watching. You'll eventually be
>convinced.

This is the funniest quote which most clearly shows your lack of understanding. What Linux provides for free is a huge amount: the basic stuff is all there and working. That's hundreds of thousands of developer-hours of work for free.

However, it will need tweaking for the Palm. New device drivers, execute-in-place (probably), testing, porting PalmOS - these will all take time and expertise. That's presumably why they have bought CMS, as they appear to bring expertise on Linux handheld devices to the table.

Rantings, Ravings, Drivel, Sex, Lies and Videotape.
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 12/11/2004 6:05:00 PM #
Mike Cane:

You obviously have ABSOLUTELY no technical computer knowledge, whatsoever.

You don't appear to know much about hardware or software either.

It is inappropriate for you to be posting ARTICLES full of confused misinformation at Palminfocenter. Newbies can blow off your rabid comments, but when they see an article by you they may mistakenly feel you have some credibility. You have none.

The only function I see your article serving is the discussion it created, interestingly drawing panicked PalmSource developers/supporters out ouf the woodwork in an effort to defend their (now-shaky) position. PalmSource s c r e w e d up in many ways, but you're incapable of understanding exactly how.

Keep posting Mike. Every word you type underscores your ignorance. I'd suggest you spend a couple days reading some basic computer books and maybe Gavn Maxwell's Palm programming book before you end up putting your foot even further (completely?) into your mouth.

Please don't take this as an insult, Mike. It's honest advice.

TVoR




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

RE: Talk about putting it on the line
ardiri @ 12/12/2004 7:31:33 AM #
    Ah, of course ardiri comes out of the woodwork

of course i do.

hell, i'm even sending this message from a singapore airline lounge. i just had to come back and see how you would react. where is the fun it in any other way?

as for your points, you need to sometimes sit back and really try to understand what is going on before you go mouthing off what you think is right etc etc.. its very unprofessional, and - every time you post; you just make yourself look more and more stupid.

i would definately welcome your thoughts and opinions if you put the right amount of time to justify all your thoughts and opinions rather than just blant on about them. like, what does palmsource using linux mean to the user? pretty much nothing. are you really in a position to comment on this - seeing, you are just a user of palmos hardware?

---
Aaron Ardiri
PalmOS Certified Developer
aaron_ardiri@mobilewizardry.com
http://www.mobilewizardry.com/members/aaron_ardiri.php

Aaron Ardiri: Damning with faint praise?
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 12/12/2004 1:45:54 PM #
i got an email from two palmsource people asking me for my opinion about the announcement of the linux kernel dicussions - i will post my reply here:

deep down, it should not change the user experience
(the classic KISS concept) - but, using a stronger underlying
kernel for task handling, data management is a great move.

the linux kernel is very stable; and, configurable. it used
to run on old 386 machines without any problem (low ram, cpu).

my main concern would be binary compatability with 68k and
ARM code; but, using the new kernel will open up many
possibilities that haven't been possible so far. linux has grown so much since its conception back in the early 1990's - having palmsource write everything from scratch is a waste of time/money.


keep in mind the "key" point - it wont change the user experience with the device; a kernel is an underlying component of the device - it doesn't matter if its running garnet, cobalt or linux. it may matter to developers (new API's etc), but since mike cane isn't a developer - i dont see any points he makes about these things valid. if palmsource does it right - it wont be any different at all between the devices.

Aaron, I believe everyone seems to be glossing over how much work needs to be done to create PalmLinux and whether or not PalmSource has the engineers sk!LL3d enough to get the job done. Theory is great, but the Devil is in the details. And as you're only too well aware, Palm/PalmSource doesn't exactly have a good history re: attention to details. The second issue is TIME. Plan B (9?) from Outer Mongolia can't even start in full swing for a few months until the purchase of the Chinese Cavalry is complete. If the kernel is GPLed, maybe PalmSource can start playing around with it now, but I doubt they currently have more than a handful of engineers qualified to properly extend a true Linux kernel. If that's the case, PalmSource is essentially putting their fate in the hands of a startup company, China MobileSoft Limited. I don't see this as A Good Thing.

This all sounds like a panicked Coach Nagel calling for a "Hail Mary" pass on the last play of the game. It appears that either no one at Palm is responsible for corporate strategy/competitive planning or they don't know what the he11 they're doing. Just as many diehard Palm users have left the platform in disgust in recent months, I think a lot of developers are now going to start looking at porting their skillsets to other platforms. Looks like you made a wise choice when you stopped focusing on PalmOS a few years ago. Was that because you realized chaos was about to descend on PalmOS?

Try not to get arrested in Singapore.

;-)


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

RE: Talk about putting it on the line
killah fury @ 12/12/2004 2:36:30 PM #
I wish PalmInfoCenter would NOT post articles written by Mike Cane who plainly does not know anything about the tech industry at all. This piece he has written makes little sense and he contradicts himself; and still hasn't answered the questions put to him in response to this mindless drivel.

I'd much rather see editorial written by someone with a greater knowledge of the industry, the hardware and the Palm OS operating system, such as Aaron Ardiri.

RE: Talk about putting it on the line
sdf @ 12/12/2004 9:28:31 PM #
I am a software developer as well. Let me chime in a "me too" here -- I find Mike Cane's "article" full of disinformation, errornous assumptions, and crazy theories presented as hard facts. If I read another article posted here by him it will be my last visit.

RE: Talk about putting it on the line
atrizzah @ 12/12/2004 11:14:57 PM #
I agree with most of the above, and I also think that it is disgrace to the normally great PIC for them to post stories from a person who is so often blatantly unprofessional, immature, and disrespectful in his conduct on said site.

Peace Out
Alan
RE: Talk about putting it on the line
a3 @ 12/13/2004 9:17:35 AM #
Most of the things explained above are far beyond my understanding, but there is one thing I can put my two cents on: Ryan should manage this site in a far more serious way. Any usual reader knows how disrispectful (and childish if I may add) are some of Mike Cane's posts. Allowing those posts is one thing, but posting his opinion as an editorial? That is far beyond what I expect from the palm site where I have seen some of Palm top executives posting!

Ryan, it does not matter if Mike is a very good friend of yours, Palminfocenter has grown a lot so you must take good care of it to keep it that way.

____________________________________________________
Current fan of a 480x640 tablet shaped Palm with built in BT+Wifi for less than US$400

RE: Talk about putting it on the line
Picard @ 12/13/2004 7:53:26 PM #
There just is no quality of Palminfocenter anymore.

I criticize Mike Cane, and the wonderful creator of this website Mr. Ryan of San Diego, California ERASES my message. Especially when I pointed out that Palm OS has had 3 kernels before this new Linux one, and because Mike is not a PDA expert

No wonder Ed Hardy ran away to Brighthand! I suppose Brighthand will be our only source for PDA information now. At least their servers can handle a messageboard

PIC -----> Censorship of messages, promoting non-PDA experts opinions, tolerating dimwitted responses from Mike and Gekko (AKA Ska)

RE: Talk about putting it on the line
G M Fude @ 12/13/2004 9:45:58 PM #
"Gekko AKA ska" is one of the most ludicrous ideas I've ever seen in a news comments post. Someone else on the temporarily defunct forums (maybe the same person) also accused him of being a PPC troll. Yet if you READ his posts you will find there are few here more passionate about Palm OS than Gekko. If he sounds agro at times, it's probably just through frustration at the changes (or lack of changes) at Palm. I know I feel the same way. They won't even give me a simple driver for my mobile phone.

Picard, you say in other posts on this news item that PIC should be boycotted. Your choice, man... do it. Lead the way.

RE: Talk about putting it on the line
Admin @ 12/14/2004 6:48:06 AM #
You are right buddy. I let my quality control staff go, budget cutbacks, fact of life just look at what a great job NASA did by letting go of that sean o guy
RE: Talk about putting it on the line
Strider_mt2k @ 12/14/2004 8:39:02 AM #
Ryan,

Don't look at it that way.
NASA used to be the one government administration with some respectability.
Those days are gone.
Even I can't get behind them when it comes to manned flight, and I was a NASA fanboy!


Think more along the lines of Burt Rutan's crew over at Scaled Composites. The little guys that could.

And did!

Hang in there buddy.



RE: Talk about putting it on the line
RhinoSteve @ 12/14/2004 12:01:00 PM #
Well Mike, you put it on the line. The verdict -- you lose! I don't value your opinon anymore. My advise is to publish a retraction of this article to salvage your reputation and get new pen name.


Editorial: The Last Laugh!
twrock @ 12/14/2004 7:17:52 PM #
(The following is an "editorial" by sometimes PIC reader twrock. Although twrock has no credentials whatsoever to be writing such drivel, he's going to do so anyway in the outside chance he might somehow end up looking like he actually knew something. And since wild speculation without any proper basis is in fashion at the moment, he thought he'd give his hand a shot at it.)

Editorial: The Last Laugh! (copyright twrock, 2006)

A funny thing is going to happen four to six months from now: Mike Cane is going to have the last laugh. I know some of you will find this hard to believe, but it is true. The reason will not matter; the only important part for you to know is that four to six months from now Mike is going to have a whopper of an "I-told-you-so."

I'm telling you, it's going to happen. Trust me. I know things.

Recently Mike Cane got some "insider" information from someone about something that will happen in the next "4-6 months." To protect my sources, I can't tell you what it was, but trust me, it was a juicy tidbit. It was just the kind of information that could make a guy look really smart if he could "predict" it would happen four to six months prior. Unfortunately, he didn't know what to make of it and certainly didn't know why it was going to happen. So he started to develop a theory to answer those questions. But since he didn't have a sufficient understanding of the systems involved (particularly OS's), his theory turned out to be baseless. But that only mattered because there are enough people who did have that understanding and pointed out the flaws in Mike's theory. But have no fear. Four to six month from now he will be vindicated, and those of you who mocked him are going to have to eat crow.

At the moment, Mike looks like he doesn't have a clue. BUT, he will have the last laugh four to six months from now when his "conclusions" actually come true. Oh to be sure, someone will try to point out that his conclusions were a non sequitur, but it will be too late. Mike will be basking in his glory, having the last laugh.

(That's my line, and I'm sticking to it. Don't even think of trying to convince me that I don't know what I'm talking about. I do, and you'll see... four to six months from now.)

Great! No guilt in switching!

Wolfgard @ 12/10/2004 2:24:23 PM #
At last, I can get my O2 XDAIIs (when I get the cash) without feeling guilty about ditching palmOS. Hello WinMob, goodbye POS. And I doubt I'll be sticking with the 'new' POS, I've never been a fanboy of Linux anyway. Plus, we'll never know how 'stable' the Linux kernel will be until it comes out. Who knows, it might be less stable compared to WinMob when multitasking processes! I'd rather take my chances on a proven OS than an unproven one.

pen & paper -> m515 -> Zire72 -> TH55 & Handera 330
RE: Great! No guilt in switching!
rsc1000 @ 12/11/2004 12:23:14 PM #
You are not taking this article seriously!??!?! Just read the other comments!!! Mike Cane doesn't know what he is talking about. Its embarassing really - he doesnt know what a kernal is or what they are doing here! Why does this change anything for you? To users - this will still be palm OS (if you were looking forward to Cobolt, then all of features in Cobolt will still be in this).

RE: Great! No guilt in switching!
Wollombi @ 12/12/2004 10:15:36 AM #
>>"I'd rather take my chances on a proven OS than an unproven one."<<

So...you'll be sticking with PalmOS after all? Especially on a kernel that's been proven 1000 times more stable than anything MS has put out since DOS (which they didn't really develop)?

More corporations use Unix/Linux than you imagine. The reason you never really hear about it is the community doesn't talk about it enough, and because you never hear about Linux servers crashing (because it's so rare....I've seen Linux servers literally run for years w/out requiring a reboot). EVERYONE has something to say about the problems with Windows, making it seem even more dominant than it really is. Not that MS hasn't dominated the desktop world (they have for the most part), and taken a significant server market share, but they don't own the arena yet, not by a long shot. Nor do they "own" the mobile arena. Far from it, which is why you see all the contortions/gyrations out of Redmond right now to have a stable, portable OS. Unfortunately, they've taken a poor approach to it, trying to fit a desktop OS into mobile devices, which creates a lot of overhead and a generally frustrating user experience, just like on your Windoze desktop.

Hey...just my $0.02. =)

_________________
Sean

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

RE: Great! No guilt in switching!
Wolfgard @ 12/12/2004 10:49:23 AM #
Lol...I wasn't that serious when I made that post. But, the linux kernel will be totally new, hence unproven yet. And with every new kernel, especially one that handles multitasking/multithreading, we should expect some level of teething problems assoctiated with it. It'll no doubt be different from the previous POS (I remember reading that older programs will require an 'emulator' of some sort to work) so previous 'stable OS' claims can't be used with the linux version.

Btw, WinMob isn't that 'unstable' as most claim. I've seen people using it for weeks without ever needing to reset the device. I'm no WinMob fan, always prefered POS's simplicity since OS3's days, but WinMob has definately evolved over the years. If I have to switch, well... I wouldn't mind it at all. Especially since their devices are better in build quality and feature packed.


pen & paper -> m515 -> Zire72 -> TH55 & Handera 330

Interesting Read

twizza @ 12/10/2004 2:28:52 PM #
Glad to get a good read from you Mike. I look forward to comparing your article here to the soon to come on from me at BargainPDA. I think we look at things the same way, I just tend to be less the sky is falling abuot it.

Very interesting still. PalmOS has to go somewhere. Proverbs 29:18 says that where there is no vision, people perish. I wonder if the floundering in the PalmOS world is due to the lack of vision for a season.

antoinerjwright.com

RE: Interesting Read
LiveFaith @ 12/10/2004 3:50:24 PM #
Wow, that has to be the longest running collection of text I've seen from you without some cussin'. I'm impressed.

Ryan, give him the mic more often ... it's reforming him. :-D

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com

RE: Interesting Read
Strider_mt2k @ 12/11/2004 9:24:00 AM #
Quite the opposie.

Don't reward foolish behavior with credibility.

Very big misunderstanding

hackbod @ 12/10/2004 2:38:39 PM #
"The third shoe to drop was the bombshell of Cobalt basically becoming a skin for a variant of Linux!"

PalmOS for Linux will be a "skin for a variant of Linux" as much as MacOS X is a "skin for a variant of Mach". It's the same approach.

You have to realize, we are talking about the Linux KERNEL. This is not the thing that users see. It is, by and large, not the thing that developers code against. It is a very small part of the "platform". The vast majority of the platform -- the parts that we see as our core value -- is outside of the kernel. We are not saying "the operating system no longer matters to us". We are saying "the kernel is not a core value of our platform".

Keep in mind that Linux would be the -fouth- kernel PalmOS runs on during its lifetime. Did you know about the other three? Do you care?

As far as having the "core apps" running on PocketPC, I think it is pretty unlikely to happen. Our applications are built on top of our platform, which is not just going to magically run on PocketPC. Porting it to Linux is going to be enough work in itself, and it seems quite unlikely to me that Microsoft will give us enough access to their kernel for us to port our platform to it. :)


--
Dianne
PalmSource Application Frameworks Manager

RE: Very big misunderstanding
twizza @ 12/10/2004 3:17:56 PM #
Diane, you make an good bit of clarity there. I think that in some ways, people have missed over the fact that PS would be using the Linux kernel rather than the full OS. Part of that is understanding programming and development, which not too many people do. Some only know Linux from an alternative point of view and that lends to more of that "sky is falling" mentality.

I know that it wasn't outlined (except in the statement about there being lower cost devices that would be able to be made), but what other benefits does having a Linux kernel have to the PalmOS?

antoinerjwright.com

RE: Very big misunderstanding
Bostonnerd @ 12/10/2004 3:36:49 PM #
Diane;
Okay....other then giving the PalmSource Marketing department multiple climaxes, what exactly is the point of the Linux Kernel?

* You're going to use an Open Source Kernel and layer a proprietary closed code abstraction layer on top of it. What’s the point...does the world really need another embedded RTOS? Motorola and others have spend enormous amounts on Linux for mobile. Have you seen any results? Hmmmm...You've already recouped (I would hope) R&D on Garnett a zillion years ago. You think the margins are going to be better with the new "Pinux"?

* Your Sales weenies are drooling over all the potential sales in China. The Chinese carriers will buy it, as long as its impossbly cheap or free :). I have a vision of ever shrinking margins in your future.

* Many tech companies have had to back way out of the China market due to the constant (and un-prosecuted) IP rip-offs. How long do you think it will take for clones to be sold? My guess is as soon as the QA folks make exit criteria :)


RE: Very big misunderstanding
tompi @ 12/10/2004 4:06:16 PM #
"What’s the point...does the world really need another embedded RTOS? Motorola and others have spend enormous amounts on Linux for mobile. Have you seen any results"

You bet. Linux is everywhere in embedded and mobile device already. You probably have several Linux devices in your home and office.

Linux is by far the safest bet for any company building embedded and mobile devices right now. The real question is whether there are going to be any other embedded operating systems a few years from now.

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