How Palm screwed up the Palm m505

Thursday, May 17th, 2001 at 12:00 am | 1,506 views | trackback url

New Toy

I picked up a new Palm m505 handheld the other day at the local CompUSA for a nice cheap price of $449.00 USD.

I can only say I am totally unimpressed.

The screen is the dimmest screen I have ever seen. Yes, it’s transflective, but there’s no white, and it’s incredibly hard to see unless you’re in a dark closet with the backlight on. It is dimmer than my girlfriend’s Palm IIIc with the brightness setting all the way down.

It looks incredible in direct sunlight though.

Why the heck did they feel the need to decrease the diameter of the left side stylus rail hole (leaving the right side stylus rail hole intact)?

Contrary to popular (Palm) belief, there are still some left-handed people remaining in the free world. Even some right-handed people like myself prefer left-handed orientation on their PDA. Not only can you not put a stylus in there now, you can no longer use their included “leatherette” cover in the right side rail slot because the diameter of the rail which holds it in place is only about 1mm wide. Renders every single clip-on case enclosure for the Vx useless now. Great thinking.

Speaking of incompatibility, why did Palm feel it was necessary to turn a completely functional clip-on slot in the back of the device into two separate holes now?

Great, now my PalmVx GPS’ (2 of them) and my Minstrel clip-on wireless modem are useless as well, as is my regular modem. Every third-party clip-on and hardware add-on now needs to have a new version built to support this new device.

And what’s the deal with making the stylus itself being 2mm shorter in the m505?

Now I can’t go to the store and buy a pack of replacement stylii without getting a set for my Vx, and another set for my m505. They are identical stylii, except the m505 is 2mm shorter, and the Vx one will not fit in the m505 slot now. Wonderful.

Yes, the connector is different now as well. They needed to go to USB, and I can understand that, but what the hell is with those little hooks on the cradle, and the little “eyelet holes” in the back of the Palm? Who thought of that? Those things will probably fatigue into slots instead of holes in 1,000 cradlings of the Palm, rendering the hooks in the cradle itself useless.

Lastly, why is a device with a higher bit depth (16bpp) by an order of magnitude still being shipped with the same amount of memory as the 2bpp devices (8MB)?

Color applications which will work on this device will be larger for no other reason than they have color support, even if no new features are added to the app. Yes, the added colors look beautiful, and are appreciated, but please give us a platform that we can use to take advantage of them.


I don’t have the energy to continue to rant on and on here, but I believe this is the beginning of their demise. They’ve planned this road map, but it leads right into a wall.

They’re pissing a lot of people off, from hardware manufacturers to developers to commercial partners to third-party conduit developers and maintainers like myself. They may want to take two steps back and look at who supported whom here.

Palm, please remember that your product would be dead if it wasn’t for third party support, both in applications and in software/hardware/user support. That is a statistically-proven fact. I hope your numbers this quarter reflect these decisions of yours.

I can’t continue to be the voice box for those who can’t or won’t speak up about these things.

I’m exhausted.

Last Modified: Thursday, May 17th, 2001 @ 00:00

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