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From:
Ross Olson <[log in to unmask]>
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Date:
Wed, 5 Jul 2000 13:53:18 -0700
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Stacey wrote:

> > Jared Spool wrote:
> >> Is the Palm Pilot more usable than the Newton?
> >>
> >> Had you put both units side-by-side, without any knowledge of market
> >> history, would people pick the Pilot as the more usable product?
> >
> > Yes. The Newton was big, not very portable, and too large to be truly
> > useful.
> I believe the newton was out before the Palm, and, like computers, was
> bigger before it became refined hardware-wise.

Sorry if this is a dead horse, but I just wanted to sort out some facts. The
Newton was introduced years ahead of the Palm, but also the second generation
of the Newton (2000) was actually larger than the first and both were smaller
than the original prototypes by an order of magnitude. The Newton MessagePad
2000 and 2100 had more screen space to write with, something that is at a
serious premium on a Palm.

I took my 2000 on a family vacation last week in order to collect some
genealogical info. It was a superstar for performing the regular tasks of
keeping track of names and birth dates, but then it pulled double duty by
keeping sketches of locations, family cattle brands, and other graphical info
that would have been more difficult to work with on the Palm. Here the added
size of the device was a blessing, not a curse.

Reducing it's thickness would have been nice, but the general size issue is
very debatable. Smaller isn't always better. Reducing the weight of the
'overhead' stuff: batteries, processors, memory is where we see the greatest
increase in 'usability' aka usefulness. What we're talking about is reducing
tools to just the interface. A hammer *is* the size it is because you need a
good handle and a strong head. All the parts in a hammer are part of the
'interface' and are directly related to the task. There's no battery pack, or
custom settings module.

Sorry, this is the chi-web list... Take from this... Ah: All the visible stuff
on a web page should be useful, unless you're giving some sort of 'experience',
and frame it in that experience sense.

...Ross...


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