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Year five of The HP Palmtop Paper begins!

Handheld computing, wireless computing, and online computing were in their infancy when we began publishing in the Fall of 1991. We look at these topics this issue and it is a little surprising we haven't come further technologically. Its 1996, and everyone isn't carrying Palmtops, PDA's, or organizers. Few of us use wireless services. The Internet has taken the world by storm but still a very small percentage of the worlds population, and maybe not even a majority of our readership, are online.

Maybe I'm expecting too much and five years isn't long enough. Everybody knows or at least pays lip service to the popular theories about why these technologies haven't been more universally adopted -- end users want "user friendly" tools they can use right way, they don't want to have to become computer experts. However, computers aren't toasters, they have many functions and are by nature complex. Windows and the Geoworks operating system for the new HP OmniGo 100 are examples of attempts to simplify things for the end user. However, user friendliness requires more complex software and support and the usual result is less flexibility for the end user.

It is fun from our vantage point as Palmtop visionaries to see the industry take shape. As Palmtop users we enjoy a competitive advantage- take a look at our profile of Alex Arancio, a real estate professional, as an example. For those who want to get up to speed with 1-2-3 check out Carl Merkle's latest Lotus tutorial installment and for technical types frustrated by batch file limitations, see Ed Keefe's ECHO article.

This issue is crammed with bite-sized chunks of useable information. Take a look at Letters, Frequently Asked Questions, Quick Tips, Best Tips, and Palmtop Wisdom to see what I mean.

Have a great 1996!

iPhone Life magazine

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