Amazon A Go-Go

I love Amazon. They’re they way the world should do the online shopping experience. Then again, I hate Amazon. They keep recommending stuff I want so I buy it. But just now, I love them. I got my first two reviews published!

I love Amazon. They’re they way the world should do the online shopping experience.

Then again, I hate Amazon. They keep recommending stuff I want so I buy it.

But just now, I love them. I got my first two reviews published:

Start Up – Jerry Kaplan
Piloting Palm – Andrea Butter and David Pogue


Start Up – Jerry Kaplan

Jerry Kaplan & Mitch Kapor’s 1987 cross country flight seeded the idea of pen-based, hand-held computing that eventually meant Palm, iPaq & Treo would be household names.

Kaplan’s book, however, tells of a battle to raise finances to make these dreams come true – battles that force the company to change partner’s & direction with alarming regularity. What is clear, however, is the belief that pen-computing would change the way we use machines & that it was possible to take-on the might of Microsoft.

The name Silicon Valley Adventure doesn’t note the Wall Street games that had to be played to keep the company & the people, for whom Kaplan seems to have unwavering loyalty, afloat. For GO, effective handwriting recognition on small machines was unattainable but they started a process that spawned a revolution.

A truly fascinating insight into the business of computing.

Piloting Palm – Andrea Butter and David Pogue

You would have thought an idea as simple & revolutionary (at least, in computing terms) as the Palm would have been easy to bring to market. Butter & Pogue’s book shows that wasn’t the case. It appears only Jeff Hawkins & Donna Dubinsky (Palm’s visionaries) saw there was a need for hand-held computing after the failures of GO, Windows for Pen computing & Apple’s Newton.

The boardroom battles are as fascinating as Hawkins’ clarity of thought is compelling. Written with inside knowledge & an affection for Palm that doesn’t stop insightful critique, I couldn’t put this book down. I wonder if the future for hand-helds will be as riveting?

Author: jon

Jon Curnow writes on curnow.org about things that interest him. The site has been around for many years in various forms and he always wants to write much more here than he does.

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