Jon Rubinstein to Helm Palm

Former Apple VP Jon Rubinstein will be shifting from his role as Chairman at Palm to the company’s new CEO. As many Apple fans already know, Rubinstein has been a prominent member of Steve Jobs’ core team since his original founding of NeXT in the early 90’s.

Palm Pre: 3 Things We Like & 3 Things We Don’t

palm-pre-gigaomAfter six long months, Palm’s Pre is here. And I do mean here — I woke early and headed to a local Sprint (s S) store this morning. Availability reports vary by location; some stores have large lines and small quantities of stock, while others (like mine) have short lines and plenty of Pre to go around. Our early impressions are generally favorable: In what may be the bottom of the ninth, Palm has delivered the beginnings of a comeback with the Pre and WebOS. Here are three things we like and dislike about Palm Pre. Read More about Palm Pre: 3 Things We Like & 3 Things We Don’t

Intel X25-M SSD Shows Long-term Fragmentation Issue

mainstream_ssdsSaving up the $379 or so to get an 80GB Intel X25-M Solid State Disk drive? It’s great that you want to help the global economy with more spending, but you might want to hold up that purchase. PC Perspective has an extensive, longer-term review of the 2.5-inch SSD drive that’s worth a read. Just be sure you don’t have anything on the stove when you start reading; it took me a good 20-minutes to get through. Did I mention it was extensive?

Here’s the skinny from Ars: Intel’s (s INTC) wear-leveling algorithms and write combining approaches appear to cause nearly irreparable fragmentation. That bogs down performance over time on the MLC unit. I say “nearly” irreparable because you can fix the fragmentation issue: by completely wiping the drive. Yikes! How bad can performance get over time? Normal performance is a peppy 250MBps for reads and 80MBps for writes. Here’s a pic of the reads and writes over time:


That’s a huge performance hit. I highly recommend the PC Perspective article, even if you’re not in the market for Intel’s X25-M drive. And if you do plan to buy one, this is a must-read; Even if it is extensive.

Can Pre Save Palm From Being Put Out to Pasture?

Today, after a nearly year-long delay, Palm announced WebOS, a brand-new web-centric mobile operating system, and the Palm Pre, its first WebOS-powered device. With this twin release Palm hopes to stage a comeback in the mobile business. But while most gadget gurus seem to be quite taken with the newest shiniest object, I remain highly skeptical of Palm’s chance to succeed with this new effort.

Live blogging Palm Press event at CES


10:34-  admitted and seated waiting for Palm press event to kick off.  They have a giant screen showing traveling-related images.  Could be a forebear for the message?  Seating is very nice for a press event and there is a very strange bag on the stage about the size of a coconut.  Must be some gadget inside.  🙂

10:44-  Music is playing, Scoble is here.  It’s getting closer now.

10:46- will have to post pics later- bandwidth on the 3G is getting pretty saturated in here.

10:55- pre-event instructions going down now, it’s very close!

10:57-  so many netbooks in here!  I can see at least 20 from where I sit.  🙂

11:00- the atmosphere is very excited, speaks volumes about what folks think about Palm.  It’s showtime!  Wild applause from the crowd.  Jon Rubinstein, Exec CEO is speaking.

11:03-  next wave is clearly mobile devices.  Palm is positioned to create best mobile devices in the industry.

11:05- Take all the information from the cloud and put it in your hands.  Need the right phone to do that.  And the right forward-looking platform.  Powerful and flexible.

11:06- Ed Colligan Pres & CEO takes the stage.

11:07- How can we simplify people’s lives?  How can we make the technology invisible?  Mobile is in our DNA.

11:08- Colligan is giving history of Palm innovation now.

11:09- we have too many devices to carry on our belt.  We look like Batman.  Enter the smartphone that Palm built, the Treo.  Today we’re all on the internet and we must focus there.

11:10- We like keeping our work life separate from our home life.  Information is everywhere.  What if Palm could bring all this diverse information together into our pocket?

11:12- introducing the Palm web OS.  There are more than 10 million Palm app developers out there, they will all develop for the web OS.

11:13- we need a new device to use this Palm web OS.  Introducing the new device…  the Palm Pre.

11:15- the Palm Pre has EVDO Rev A, WiFi b/g, GPS, Bluetooth, 8 GB storage, TI OMAP latest fast processor.

Touch screen, multi-touch capable.  320-x480 resolution.  separate gesture area at bottom a la Grafitti.

3 MP camera W/ flash.  REMOVABLE BATTERY.

Micro-USB 2.0, mass storage capable, 3.5 mm jack

Slide-up QWERTY keyboard!

11:20- Mattias Duerte demos the Pre…

One button, create new contact

Tap a contact, it opens…Gesture area at bottom, flick left move back.  All navigation just gestures in this area, no buttons.

All designed to be done one-handed.  Swipe up and get launcher, a la Android.  Operation seems smooth but not too fast.

Push the center button- all open tasks become cards that can be flipped, moved, etc.

All data is always saved automatically, no save function needed in any app.  Apps are just “cards” and when you’re done just throw them away by flicking up.

11:28- introducing Synergy- all your information is in a single place, contacts can be linked to multiple sources: work, home, web, Facebook, etc.  Calendar app works much like iCal.

11:33- email always looks across all your email accounts for contact information.  If it can’t find it then it will search the corporate database for them.  Palm web OS is multi-tasking, you can stop an activity an return to it later, no worries.

The QWERTY keyboard looks pretty narrow to me.

Threaded SMS are included.  IM conversations can be continued across communication methods (they are offline e. g.)

11:37- you can search EVERYTHING on the phone via the keyboard.  This includes apps, contacts, etc.  And the web.  You just start typing to find ANYTHING and the Pre will find it, on or off the phone.

Now the web- you can pinch and zoom in the browser.  Full HTML browser.  Bookmarks are page thumbnails.  Double-tap column, auto fills screen.  Auto-rotation.  Live demo showed web page about sex.  🙂

Gestures in the gesture bar don’t block the screen while browsing.  Very smooth and fast.  Web pages “cards” work just like other app cards.  Can be flicked out of the way to return to later from the “desktop”.

11:45- Notifications appear at very bottom of screen, out of your way.  Music player is also a notificaton tab, very well implemented.

All apps are just CSS, HTML and JavaScript.  ALL OF THEM.

11:48- demo over.  Very impressive OS.

Jon is back to wind down.

Pre uses wireless charging- put it on the puck (Touchstone) and it charges sitting there!

11:51- Ed Colligan is back.  Pre is first device to help automatically navigate through your stuff.  Pre will be launched on Sprint.

Dan Hesse- CEO of Sprint.  Pre is launching on Sprint exclusively in the US. Sitting through boring “commercial” about Sprint network.  Not the place for this.

11:59- Pre-sales open now on  No word on pricing, handset nor plans.

Available first 1/2 of 2009.  Not ready yet.

Facebook is partner with Palm on the Pre.  Facebook COO is on-stage now.  Who cares?

Launching Facebook Connect for Mobile this year.  Who cares?

12:05- Ed’s back wrapping up.  Recap, web OS, Palm Pre, one phone for life.

Third party apps from TealPoint announced for Palm Foleo


Some of the first third-party applications are appearing for the Palm Foleo. The company jointly announced several upcoming Foleo titles from TealPoint including:

  • TealPaint for Foleo: Paint, sketch, or draw with TealPaint, the all-in-one mobile graphics paint program.
  • TealSafe for Foleo: Store your passwords, credit cards, PIN numbers, and bank accounts inthe TealSafe encrypted data wallet. Maximum security and encryption.
  • TealDiet for Foleo: Shape up your life with TealDiet, the diet, exercise, and personal tracking application for mobile devices.
  • SudokuAddict for Foleo: Sudoku (aka Su Doku) is the addictive number puzzle craze sweeping Great Britain and Japan.
  • ShortCircuit for Foleo: Connect falling conduit game pieces into explosive loops in this frantic race against the clock.

In a separate but related Palm press release, SixApart announced full Palm Foleo support for their various blogging tools such as Vox, TypePad and Moveable Type. Since all of those are browser-based, I’m not sure I see the signficance of that particular announcement, but to be fair: it’s good to see some positive news around the Foleo. In fact, the SixApart news causes me to think that the Foleo would be a nice mobile blogging platform….