Daily Giz Wiz 590: Palm Pilot

Episode 590 of the podcast

Palm Pilot
Subject: Review of Palm Pilot
Released:Friday 13 June 2008
Length:about 20 minutes
Download file:dgw0590.mp3 (9.3 MB)

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Short info

From the Gadget Warehouse: The Palm Pilot.

Detailed information

On this Friday 13th, Dick and Leo are not afraid to talk, and talk they did.  The original Palm was the Palm Pilot 1000, with a higher model called Pilot 5000, released in March 1996.  In March 1997, the Palm Pilot Personal and PalmPilot Professional were launched.  Later the word "Pilot" was dropped from Palm's devices after Pilot Pen's trademark lawsuit.

Palm Computing was originally a division of US Robotics and then it became part of 3Com.  Among Palm's early developers was Donna Dubinsky, Leo's classmate at Yale.

The screen was monochrome, not backlit, with a serial port.  Among Palm's features were Graffitti (which was the subject of an extended patent lawsuit by Xerox) and Graffitti 2, handwriitng recognition software, and its synchronisation features.

Although there had been PDAs before the Palm, such as the Psion and Apple's Newton, it was the Palm which really put PDAs on the map.

Palm is not in such great shape these days, just as Hayes (Episode 245) which had the modem market cornered lost its way.  Dick thinks that if there are still listeners using the Okidata dot matrix printer (Epiosde 280), there may well be people still using the Pilot 1000.


More obscure words from Leo.  A triskaidekaphobe is someone who is afraid of the number 13.  A fear of Friday 13th specifically is paraskavedekatriaphobia, or friggatriskaidekaphobia.  Fear of the number 4 (which sounds like "death" in some Asian countries), is tetraphobia.

When Bill Gaines was looking for offices for Mad, he insisted on the 13th floor, just as a lark.

Margot ...

Virgilio from Toronto, Canada fills in the blank for the last name of the female sidekick of The Shadow, an old time radio show (Episode 579, Audible section).  It's Margot Lane.  Leo goes on to play "The Shadow" from Internet Archives.

A Prediction-Come-True for Year 2000

Dick and Leo laughed at the prediction in Weekend Magazine (Episode 580) that by the year 2000, people would be travelling at 1,000 mph at pennies per mile.  Paul Vladuchick (we can call him Vladdy) flew from San Diego to Baltimore at 600 mph for about 10 cents per mile.  Close.

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