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:
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.
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?