Comments on: Piloting Palm Book Review

If you have ever wondered how a block of wood Jeff Hawkins used to carry around in his pocket became the handhelds you know and love today, you should read Piloting Palm: The Inside Story of Palm, Handspring, and the Billion-Dollar Handheld Industry, a new book from people who know where the bodies are buried, figuratively speaking of course. Mike Cane has this review.
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Full Disclosure

Ed @ 3/22/2002 11:14:09 AM #
I think I ought to point out that if you click on the link to the book in Mike Cane's review, you'll be taken to Amazon's site where, if you buy the book, PIC gets a small percentage of what you pay. Mike himself doesn't get anything (besides our gratitude) so that probably didn't have any effect on his opinion of the book.

News Editor
RE: Full Disclosure
mikecane @ 3/22/2002 4:38:03 PM #
Let me chime in on the amazon link -- since this might have been an issue that caused Ed to put up the start of this thread.

When Ed formatted the review, I got to see it before it was posted. I saw the amazon link and could have objected -- but this is Ryan & Ed's site and they are not getting rich from it (who is on the Net?). If they want to include that link, I have no objection.

But it is as Ed stated: that PIC might have an affiliate link to the book on amazon had no influence on my review. I asked them if I could review it, asked Wiley to provide a reviewer's copy, read it, wrote the review (all in Graffiti, for those who like such trivia! -- with the excerpts OCRed by the QizCom Tech QuickLink Pen -- there's *my* plug!), got permission from Wiley for the extensive excerpts, and now it's posted.

If the formatting of this message is funky, it's because I'm at
the NYPL and the branch I'm at is using that piece of crap,
Netscape, which does not handle the Net well at all. (Far be
it from me to tout MS, but MSIE is the superior browser.)

RE: Full Disclosure
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/23/2002 3:47:30 PM #
I cannot imagine anybody begrudging your making a few cents via the Amazon link. If I buy the book I will definitely do so via that route. It would be the least I could do to support this great site!


I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 11:22:03 AM #
I will get this book. Hopefully it will unite all PalmOS users.

RE: Great...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 11:25:19 AM #
Bought it last week, it's very hard to put down. Just a great inside story that is truly inspiring to everyone who feels the entrepreneurship vibe inside him-/herself.

RE: Great...
bookrats @ 3/22/2002 11:26:10 AM #
There is nothing on the face of God's green earth that could unite *all* Palm users.


Jeff Meyer

RE: Great...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/23/2002 9:17:18 AM #
I too downloaded the book after reading the review here. And, I too, can not put my m505 down! It's great. To echoe another reader, it's terrific to be reading the book on the device they invented. This is great reading.


I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 11:25:23 AM #

Copyright 2002 by JBH.

All Rights Reserved.

Exclusive to Palm Infocenter.

I respect rights of reproduction as much as the next guy, but does everything Mike Cane writes here really need to be copyrighted? Whatever.


RE: Copyright
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 11:41:41 AM #
Copyright 2002 by I.M. Anonymous

All Rights Reserved.

Exclusive to Palm Infocenter.

I think we should all retain copyright privleges to our postings. I hear Ed wants to rip us off and publish them all in his new compendium, "Wisdom From the Palm Infocenter Message Boards."

RE: Copyright
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 12:10:35 PM #
Copyright 2002 by JBH
All Rights Reserved.
Exclusive to Palm Infocenter.

Hey, Ed can do whatever he wants to do with my thoughts. Ed is cool.


(JBH is not affiliated with or endorsed by Ed in any way. Any use of the word "Ed" is for discussion purposes and is a registered trademark of Ed.)

RE: Copyright
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 12:26:43 PM #
Agree. Mike Cane relax. No one will steal your words, and, if they do, you'll only get more pub. This is not the Grapes of Wrath we're talking about here.

RE: Copyright
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 1:22:27 PM #
Actually, check out the ongoing stuff with Van's Hardware Guide and Tom's Hardware Guide regarding removing of copyright bylines.

RE: Copyright
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 2:05:25 PM #
> does everything Mike Cane writes here really need to be copyrighted? Whatever.

No, it's hubris.

RE: Copyright
mikecane @ 3/22/2002 5:00:01 PM #
For the children who don't think Copyright matters:

RE: Copyright
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 6:28:15 PM #
Copyright does matter, but only when the things covered by the copyright actually matter. JBH

RE: Copyright
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 7:42:05 PM #
Ooooh, look at how brave he is! He gives his initials.

JBH = Just Brainless and Hairy?

Kind of fitting...

fleegle @ 3/22/2002 11:28:47 AM #
It's also available as an ebook from Palm Digital Media (Peanut Press) for those who want to read it off their PDAs. :)

RE: Kind of Fitting
rldunn @ 3/22/2002 12:15:55 PM #
I'm just about done reading this book using Palm Reader. It's a great book and when they're discussing technical details, it's pretty cool to look at your own device and see exactly what they're referring to. If you're really into your PalmOS device, this is a great read.

An example of the kind of inside info that this book provides is the story behind the famous Taxi Easter Egg, which was created on the day that Palm decided that their first device would be called the Palm Taxi. The name had to change for trademark issues, but the taxi easter egg remains.

dwarchbold @ 3/22/2002 1:11:54 PM #
Hmmm, sale price on Peanut Press is $20.95. Amazon lists the book for $19.57.

I never purchased an eBook from Peanut Press before, but I thought they would be a LOT cheaper than the actual printed book.

Looks like Amazon wins my money. Glad to "donate" some to PIC too! :)

RE: Kind of fitting...
fleegle @ 3/22/2002 1:59:26 PM #
Yes. That was the debate about ebooks a while back. Price of the ebook vs. hard copy.

My preference is towards the ebook, regardless of price, because of the convenience of not carrying around the "bulky" book along with my PDA.

There's pros and cons of both.

RE: Kind of fitting...
mbgrayson @ 3/22/2002 2:55:40 PM #
H??|e is a regular Peanut Press reader, they will send you a FREE weekly news e-mail with a 10 % discount. With that discount, the electronic price is less than Amazon, plus NO SHIPPING charges.

"Punch in this week's Promo Code GENIUS to receive a 10% discount off each eBook that you purchase."

Thanks for the review. I am in the process of reading this on my m515.


Missing Content in the eBook
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 3:21:07 PM #
This may or may not matter to you, but if you get "Piloting Palm" in the eBook format, you'll miss out on some of the nice photographs that Pogue & Butter included in their book. They've got some great shots of the early days at Palm, including a nice pic of the balsa wood handheld that Jeff Hawkins carried around.

For those that would argue about file size getting too large with photos, remember that eBooks can now be stored on SD/MMC/MemorySticks, and they could always make two versions of the eBook available: one with full content, and one without.

It might be a minor item, but for a price that's identical to the hardcover, I'd at least expect the same content to be in both editions. For what it's worth, the eBook makes the following statement on "page" 6, "This title is also available in print as ISBN 0-471-08965-6. Some content that appears in the print edition of this book may not be available in this electronic edition."

Too bad you don't find that out until *after* you've purchased the eBook...

RE: Missing Content in the eBook
taxus @ 3/22/2002 6:31:43 PM #
Both FictionWise and Palm Digital Media/PeanutPress remove pictures from their eBooks, and that's a shame. The PalmReader format does allow pictures in PNG format, and that would not greatly add to the size of the eBook.

RE: eBook
taxus @ 3/22/2002 6:56:32 PM #
About the price: it depends on the ebook. Some are sold at hardcover price, while some are at paperback price. Often the ebook will first be sold at hardcover price, then at paperback price when the paperback version is released.

Don't forget that there are publishing costs, even for an ebook: it has to be reformated in the appropriate PDA formats.

RE: Missing Content in the eBook
taxus @ 3/22/2002 7:58:08 PM #
After writing my comment, I inquired by e-mail of Palm Digital Media (PeanutPress) about the lack of pictures in ebooks. I got this answer in less than 30 minutes:

"The decision on including pictures in the eBook version is made by the publisher. Some of the books that we sell include all of the pictures that were included in the print version, but other publishers choose not to include pictures or artwork. In some cases the publisher may not even have the rights to distribute electronic versions of the pictures. We always encourage publishers to include as many pictures as possible, and we have made it as easy as
possible for them to do so. In the future we expect more publishers to take advantage of this feature."

RE: Kind of fitting...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/24/2002 12:26:21 PM #
I just purchased this book from Peanut Press.
Can I use other ebook reader such as iSilo or CSpotRun?
I can't change the font size in Palm Reader, and the font is too small, I can't read at all.

RE: Kind of fitting...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/25/2002 4:47:45 AM #
You can easily change the font size: go to the Options menu and select Large Font (or something like that).

Palm Reader Pro also allows you to use custom fonts, apparently.

RE: Kind of fitting...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/25/2002 12:20:54 PM #
While it may be kind of fitting to read "Piloting Palm" on the very device that its written about, ebooks in general have a LONG way to go before being accepted by the general populace. A large part of that is the price. Face it folks, you're getting a good bit less for the same amount of money. Nothing solid, and less content.

If ebooks were half the price of a paperback then they'd be good value for the money, but until then they're playthings for people with too much money to spend in the first place.

The publishing industry needs follow the recording industry in getting their heads out of their asses and start producing something of value for money instead of simply looking at ways of making money for money's sake. And these people wonder why piracy is "rampant" in their industry. 8-(

interesting questions

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 12:02:14 PM #
- The rumors of the offer from Bill Gates to acquire Palm
- Why there's no Flash ROM in Visors
- The successes and failures of Springboard licensees
- How and why Sony chose PalmOS
- The machinations of the purchase of Be Inc's assets
- Who invested $50 million in Palm and why

ok can someone answer these questions so I can save some money buying the book ?

RE: interesting questions
montyburns @ 3/22/2002 12:07:56 PM #
No, no, no. Those questions were NOT answered in the book!

I like my Palm!

RE: interesting questions
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 12:12:25 PM #
The simple answer to why there is no Flash ROM in the Handspring Visor is that at the time of conception there was an extreme shortage of flash ROM. The flash ROM shortage was causing some delays in the production of Palms. This for a feature that a clear minority ever used (upgrading their Palm). So Handspring at one swoop managed to prevent any production delays and certainly not using any flash ROM gave Handspring a price advantage versus the Palm products (even with paying the license fee).

RE: interesting questions
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 12:12:47 PM #
Ooppss ... damn, I swear I have problems with my eyes. Oh well so I guess I don't need to buy the book then. :)

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 12:13:23 PM #
RTA = Read the Article

"Items that are not covered but which cry out for elaboration include: "

... everything you asked.

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 12:15:55 PM #
ITANCBWCOFEI = Items that are not covered but which cry out for elaboration include

honestly your RTA comment is very annoying. you could choose to shut up if you don't feel like replying.

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 12:50:51 PM #
It's supposed to be very annoying. I'm trying to embarrass the people who ask questions that are answered in the articles. You have to admit, there is an epidemic of this on this site. They were making fun of this site on SlashDot the other day for this exact reason. Maybe next time the people I embarrass will read over the article carefully before asking another question. I don't think this is unreasonable. I don't swear at people. I only point out that they would know the answer to their question if they had read the article instead of skimming it.

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 1:15:55 PM #
LoL I don't know if you are embarassed or the original poster here, the original poster just want to know answer of the questions.

RTQ = Read the Question

RTP = Read the Post

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 1:16:01 PM #
He'd already been embarrassed and apologized by the time you posted your comment. Besides being very annoying, your comment was totally superfluous. Next time read the whole thread before you comment.

RE: interesting questions
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 1:24:49 PM #
He didn't apologize. He gave an excuse why he made the mistake but that's not "I'm sorry". Notice that his excuse is from about 30 seconds before mine. He hadn't posted it yet when I wrote mine. Still, I'll be nice and say I'm sorry.

RE: interesting questions
Ed @ 3/22/2002 1:30:06 PM #
Guys, this doesn't have anything to do with the book or its review. Drop it and move on, OK?

News Editor

Not a bad review...

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 12:04:35 PM #
Umm - I think the review is good but I do have a problem with the statement "The design decisions that resulted in the criminally-ugly i705 ".

I think the i705 is pretty cool looking.

But then again, this is a REVIEW, so you have to take the opinions expressed in it with a grain of salt.

RE: Not a bad review...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 1:21:42 PM #
> Sony is now perceived as a "better Palm than Palm."

Perceived by YOU maybe. Not by a majority of handheld buyers.

RE: Not a bad review...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 1:52:16 PM #
Hey - you guys are in violation of Mike Cane's copyright! Make sure you footnote those quotations next time...


RE: i705 story
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 7:20:36 PM #
I would be interested in hearing the i705 story. From what I already know it is a gem:

- Getting sued by Lucas for codenaming it "Skywalker".
- Not renaming it to "i700" because the manual had already been printed before management figured out that people might associate "05" with color.
- Yankowski creating a company wide mandate to get it out on time after firing 1/4 of the company ( it ended up shipping 3 months later than his deadline -- 8 months later than orignal target date ).
- Delaying the release of the product past Christmas ( a consumer holiday ) because because it didn't do enterprise ( non-consumer related ) email as well as the competetors (?).
- Yankowski offending the design team by yelling at them ( not firing them, mind you ).

This story needs to be told!

RE: Not a bad review...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/23/2002 4:34:26 PM #
> Perceived by YOU maybe. Not by a majority of handheld buyers.

Admit it,Palm zealot, SONY is the winner already.

Listen to an interview with David Pogue here ...

scottmag @ 3/22/2002 12:57:22 PM #
David Pogue was on NPR's Todd Mundt show this Thursday. It was a 30 minute interview with some interesting annecdotes from the book. You can probably still catch the RealAudio stream here:


RE: Listen to an interview with David Pogue here ...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 2:08:12 PM #
you know if you have pocketPC you can listen to this real-audio stream. mwahahahaha.............

RE: Listen to an interview with David Pogue here ...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 2:27:41 PM #
Scott, thanks for the pointer!

What did Yankowski wear?

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 2:58:05 PM #
Ok, someone has to spill the beans on that one. What was the scandelous thing he wore to the IPO???

RE: What did Yankowski wear?
mikecane @ 3/22/2002 4:47:50 PM #
I'll give a hint: see page 289 in the printed book.

(Thanks to earlier posters for answering the question I had
about whether the electronic editions contained the photos
or not. The photos add a lot to the book. Too bad they're
not in the digital editions.)

RE: What did Yankowski wear?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 6:43:00 PM #
I believe it was a really ugly blue and white suit with a black shirt. He supposedly had it specially made for the IPO day.

RE: What did Yankowski wear?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 8:22:50 PM #
Hey was wearing a pinstripe suite and he announced on live TV that the stripes were made of REAL GOLD thread. What an A-hole. He also tried to motivate to the demoralized Palm employees that he took a $400,000 pay cut to come to Palm because it was such a great company. Boo hoo you only make $600,000 per year while the engineers cube mates are getting axed daily.

Loved the book, amazed by Jeff and Donna, hated 3COM and Yanker. Now I can't look at my ageing IIIX without wanting to scratch off the 3COM logo. Those Sony NR's can't get here soon enough!


I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 4:24:36 PM #
Unbelieveable. Take any story, any story at all, and it becomes about Sony. Sony created the PalmPilot. Of course! Of all the interesting things in the book, you can only bring yourself to note the little tidbits about Sony? Sony is still in 3rd, folks. 3rd. I know they're great and all, and they'll probably move up to 2nd pretty quick here--but the book ISN'T ABOUT SONY. Some things Palm-related AREN'T ABOUT SONY.

PITA PITA, ow, it hurts.

RE: SonyInfoCenter
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 4:34:57 PM #
LoL the funny thing is, according to the article (book) they got the conecpt of Palm OS from Sony, so basically without Sony you won't have Palm, without Palm you won't have Clie.

No PIC didn't turn this story into a Sony story, but it's a fact that Sony was mentioned in the book.

RE: SonyInfoCenter
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 7:59:51 PM #
what are you talking about?
your obsession against Sony is killing you.
Ha ha poor idiot

RE: SonyInfoCenter
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/23/2002 4:40:35 PM #
> Unbelieveable. ....

lol, Palm zealots's automatic defense system is ON again.

RE: SonyInfoCenter
AzureGuy @ 3/24/2002 12:36:41 AM #

RE: SonyInfoCenter
AzureGuy @ 3/24/2002 12:37:22 AM #
Let's just give up on the Sony vs. Palm thing, k guys

Let's just be grateful they inspired the OS we've all come to love! :)


Not from Amazon

LarryGarfield @ 3/22/2002 9:51:14 PM #
I'd definitely buy this book online and give PIC a little donation in the process, if it were not for the fact that it's a deal with Amazon. I refuse to buy from Amazon due to their abuse of the Patent system. (One-click shopping, this sort of partnership program, etc.) I'll have to track down some other store selling it. Thanks for the great review anyway!

This post is ROT26 encrypted. Reading it is a violation of the DMCA
RE: Not from Amazon
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/23/2002 5:12:54 PM #
I buy 90% of my stuff from Barnes & Noble If you buy two or more books the shipping is free.

RE: Not from Amazon
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/25/2002 8:02:40 AM #
Why can't they capitalize on the concept that they developed? Yes, it seems so simply that we all should over thought of it first, but we didn't. There thousands of patents out there that people think is not fair because they didn't think of it first or act first to ge the patent. I think Amazon does a great job with customer service and delivery, as well as merchadise selection.

"circuit court of appeals has overturned's preliminary injunction against Barnes & Noble, stating that's patent is likely to be found too obvious to deserve legal protection"

They were one of the Online risktakers (going totally virtual) and now that others are ready to play online they want Amazon to hand over the one-click buy patent for free so they can use it.

"We aren't going after those developers. There are lots of people using 1-click purchasing on their sites whom we aren't suing. We're just going after the big guys who are going after us, the guys who are not innovating themselves but just copying us and working to crush us. "

Carl Brooks

RE: Not from Amazon
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/25/2002 3:32:18 PM #

And, it's a Union shop, too! How many online bookstores do you know who pay a family wage?

Palm's Dark Ages

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 10:00:00 PM #
Finally, a book that shows what Palm was, Sony is and what Palm can be.

Whether you take what Andrea says as verbatim or not, it is probably a story that will come out closest to the truth for most of us here. The emotions shown by readers here are amazing with two distinctive wars going on: Palm vs Sony; Palm vs PPC.

I "used" to love Palm (the hardware); and despite some cool tricks on the PPC I still love the Palm software. I just got really frustrated with their hardware. Really, after the Palm V I cannot see what innovation, reliablity nor value has Palm brought into the hardware space with their offerings. They didn't do well for cultivating that relationship thing either when they were going after their supporters at one time insisting that websites like this remove the "Palm" name from their sites!

So, some truths have come out and of course, Yankowski not only damaged the morality of its employees, the Palm brandname and company but also very nearly its customers. In that period, Sony has taken up the mantle for the Palm OS and whether you like them or not, marketshare or no marketshare they carried the torch for Palm when Palm was trying to find their lightswitch.

I am waiting for Palm to come out of its dark ages and though they have done quite well financially, I am waiting to see if they can take back the leadership role when it comes to innovation. And until that time comes, readers, Sony deserves the respect here.

RE: Palm's Dark Ages
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 11:03:30 PM #
Couldn't have said it better myself. Nice post.

- pg

RE: Palm's Dark Ages
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/23/2002 2:44:49 AM #
By the way, Yankowski is now heading some smaller technology firm called Phoenix-something-something. Would be interesting to see if he messes up there as well.

What an incompetent has-been!

RE: Palm's Dark Ages
mikecane @ 3/23/2002 3:22:36 PM #
I'd forgotten all about that controversy over sites using
"Palm" in their names. Add that to the list of things that
aren't covered in the book. That alone was a huge PR mess
for Palm.

Thanks for reminding everyone.

Great great book

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/22/2002 10:50:53 PM #
Like many of you, I am someone who has kept up with Palm for years, reading all of the daily websites (of which PIC is the best) etc., so I was afraid that I would know a lot of the stories in the book. Boy, was I wrong. The few stories I knew were fleshed out with much greater detail, and the book was full of great stories I had never heard before. Once I started, it was difficult to put this book down. Anyone who takes the time to read PIC is, by definition, someone who would love this book. Buy it; you'll love it.

Overly Hawkins-friendly?

Scott @ 3/23/2002 10:13:48 AM #
From what I've heard this book seems pretty Hawkins-friendly. I have a great deal of respect for him and his team, but I must admit I'm skeptical of them inventing Graffiti all on their own. After doing a good deal of research on this subject on the web over the last few months, my opinion of him has dropped significantly because of this.


RE: Overly Hawkins-friendly?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/23/2002 10:32:23 AM #
The weird thing is he's doubting what he so called "invented", he's thinking about making only Treo with the only Keyboard version.

I think he got brain washed by some evil force, or maybe he's not that brilliant to start with.

Springboards rock
dwarchbold @ 3/23/2002 12:59:22 PM #
If Handspring releases a keyboard-only Treo, then that's because the market demands it. Rememeber, the Treo is competing more against the Blackberry than anything else (yes, even the i705 to a large extent).

It appears that the mono Treo is their "test market". If the keyboard version significantly outsells the graffiti one, it would be pretty clear which one they should target. Having one version of a model instead of two would no doubt lower their production costs.

Of course, if they both appear to be equally popular I'm sure we'll see a keyboard and graffiti version of the color Treo.

Subject Line
dwarchbold @ 3/23/2002 1:08:04 PM #
Doh! Forgot to change the cached subject line!

RE: Overly Hawkins-friendly?
mikecane @ 3/23/2002 3:24:08 PM #
The issue of why there's keyboard and Graffiti versions of
the Treo is actually covered in the book.

Virtual Graffiti
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/23/2002 3:44:30 PM #
I can't believe he didn't mention Virtual Graffiti once in the review.

Whatever :(

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/23/2002 10:39:36 AM #
whatever... next story.

Sony is daddy!
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/23/2002 4:17:49 PM #

RE: Whatever :(
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/23/2002 5:16:57 PM #
Ah, daddy to what? Oh yeah, I love my PlayStation 2

On the Firing Line: My 500 Days at Apple

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/24/2002 9:49:27 AM #
If you liked the Palm book, you'll probably also love this one. Lots of past/present Palm execs are mentioned in this book. Very interesting inside info revealed. Ed - feel free to post the link to Amazon for some PIC credit.



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