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My commitment to Thaddeus
Your recent HP Palmtop Paper (PTP) article on the demise of EduCALC saddened me greatly. I have been purchasing from EduCALC since 1980, but lost track of it in recent years partly for the reasons set forth in your article and also because I was using some of the other advertisers in the PTP (ACE, Shier, Accurite, etc.). I agree with everything stated in the article except your view that the golden age of palmtops is passing. This is entirely within our control and it DOES NOT have to pass. I for one will not let it happen, even if it means giving up on HP. (I have been using HP products since 1978, including the HP22, 41, 71, 75, 48, 100 & 200.).
My suggestion for palmtop preservation centers around Thaddeus - you must survive - as well as some of your key advertisers. I hereby make the following commitment to you and your advertisers:
1. I will early renew my subscription to the PTP for as long as you allow.
2. I will upgrade my HP Palmtop Paper CD InfoBase and continue to buy your upgrades.
3. I will continue to purchase from your advertisers and mention the PTP when I do so.
4. When I use shareware provided in your articles I will register and mention PTP.
5. I will contribute articles and programs for the PTP.
6. I will shortly send you my spare HP200 for upgrading (doublespeed & memory) and when my HP200 4-mb machine goes out of warranty, I will do likewise.
7. When I need a new HP 200LX, I will buy it from you, not HP.
As you have indicated, the HP palmtop is dying technology, but the successors are poor substitutes at the present, and with Microsoft's involvement will NEVER surpass the HP 200LX. HPCalc, Solver, Lotus 1-2-3, the databases, hundreds of useful DOS programs, and the special PAL and EXM programs are too much to give up just to get a bigger, faster machine. Not even color can substitute for the total functionality of the palmtop.
The Connectivity Pack still offers the best PIM package for me. I have tried converting my databases to Lotus Approach, Sidekick, and Outlook, but I haven't had much success. I have had great success moving everything to my Windows 95 desktop computer, but I have met with only modest and intermittent success on my Dell notebook running OSR2 version of Windows 95 (my IS person tells me that this version is even less DOS-compatible).
I have the windows versions of the ApptBook, PhoneBook and HPCalc, but these do not compare to the real thing (Connectivity Pack) and do not support modified PhoneBooks or the other databases. I am seriously considering the purchase of a Libretto 70 and would not hesitate if I could get the Connectivity Pack running on it. While the size is not in keeping with the palmtop, it may be the best compromise for the future.
Another solution would be to develop a DOS emulator for the WIN CE machines. I have seen discussion of this, but nothing concrete. Much of what I value could be preserved with a DOS emulator. Perhaps Thaddeus could support such a project? It would hedge your bet, just as you are doing with the Handheld PC Magazine (I subscribe to that as well).
Since Thaddeus is obviously looking for new opportunities, why not take on the Libretto and WIN CE-DOS emulator projects? I would purchase either of these products from you if you could get the Connectivity Pack or its equivalent fully operational on them.
Thank you for all you've done to support the palmtop. I find it very interesting that your three most recent editions of The HP Palmtop Paper have been among the most helpful and informative. You are still taking your commitment to the palmtop and your subscribers most seriously! Only time will tell if we can make the same commitment to you.
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