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Need more technical information in The HP Palmtop Paper
I am a technically savvy user and am not satisfied with the lack of technical data provided by The HP Palmtop Paper. I am familiar with computer languages and can learn general information about them from other sources. I'd like to see the HP Palmtop Paper give me knowledge concerning the peculiarities of the HP Palmtops, such as non-standard interrupt services and their functions.
I am not a professional developer, so the HP Developers Program is not an option. CompuServe is a good source of information, but it's expensive here in Argentina. Internet has just been established here and the Internet comp.sys.palmtops newsgroup is not available to me yet. Maybe in a month or two I will be able to join this newsgroup, but I don't know if it has the kind of technical information I seek.
The material you already published is excellent for the beginner. But with the exception of some wonderful tips and articles (mainly by Ed Keefe), I don't find much in the Palmtop Paper that I could not get elsewhere.
I liked your reports on batteries, modems, connectivity and PC cards, the first time they are published. Unfortunately, subsequent articles seem to repeat much of the same information.
I also like your Comdex and HP reports, giving a special insight into the future of the Palmtops. I like some of the User Profiles, since they give insights on how other people use their Palmtops. I like Programmer's Corner a lot, but I'd like to see more articles on high-level programming languages such as C, Pascal or Basic. I like the New Third Party Products section and Quick Tips (when they have not been published in other issues already). I like Through the Looking Glass mainly because of its examples. The HP Palmtop Paper On Disk adds some useful tools, but I can do without most of its files.
I hope you take my comments as constructive criticism. I think it's fair to expect your magazine to provide its readers with technical information not available otherwise.
Consider including a new section (call it "Power user's Corner"). This section might include information on non-standard BIOS and DOS interruption services; non-standard system and BIOS data bytes with their addresses and common values; non-standard ports and meaning of their values; the structure of a .EXM file, its header, interrupts associated and memory manage requirements; etc.
Next December I will have to decide again whether to renew or not. Pay a little more attention to the technically savvy user. Please ease my choice!
Ariel Leonardo Dembling
[Thank you for your challenging letter. I appreciate the time and thought that went into it. Having said that you probably will not like my response. I'll try to be as honest as I can.
PTP space is limited. My criteria for articles is that articles should be of interest to at least a significant segment of the readership. Unfortunately, the technical information that you desire probably would be appreciated by about 5% of our audience.
Although I have not aggressively pursued it, I do not have anyone who would spend the time to regularly write the technical articles you desire.
I appreciate that CompuServe is expensive for you, but the information you require is available in the Programmers section of CompuServe. There is a 2nd programmers section for Palmtop developers. Log in, ask the questions you want and quickly log out.
As time goes on we have put more emphasis on the 100LX and 200LX, since more of our readers are 100/200LX users.
We try not to repeat too much, but we do pick up new readers all the time. When we can update important old information, restating the old info, we do so.
I think your points were well-taken. I wish I could have given you a response that you would have appreciated more -- Hal.]
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