Saturday, July 30, 2005

Palm - a fiasco in many acts

There are many fiascos in the history of personal computing, but Palm, Inc. formerly palmOne, Inc has a special place in my heart. There's nothing quite like a beer with a fellow geeky Palm veteran, who saw the PalmPilot scale the heights, and fall short so disastrously. There are so many wrong moves, from Grafitti 2 to the Outlook/Exchange data models to the failure to support home/work sync workflows to the quality issues to ...

I think of this tonight as I try to sync my wife's Palm to my XP box (her old PC has been replaced by an iMac). Of course she has a user account (non-admin) and I have a user account (admin -- I can't run XP except as an admin, on OS X I'm not admin).

Well .... the Palm Desktop (version I have, which I think is fairly current) doesn't understand user accounts. There's one set of conduits and one conduit settings. There's one Palm directory, which must be in the Palm application directory if there's more than one user. There's no "standard" way to have me sync to Outlook and her sync to Palm desktop -- and this is with us both using identical devices. Imagine if we had different Palm brands ...

I believe that towards the end of the Palm world, there was an analyst in a dungeon cubicle at Palm banging her head on the cube as Palm piled kludge upon kludge while senior execs cashed in -- knowing that the fundamental issues were festering. My regards, whever you are today (hopefully not at Palm!).

PS. I'll try the Mac Palm desktop and see how that works for my wife.

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