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User To User: The 1999 CD InfoBase and New Website PamtopPaper.com
This year marks the seventh year of publishing The HP Palmtop Paper -- 42 issues plus 9 bonus issues. Who would have thought it possible?
By Hal Goldstein
At the beginning of the year I was quite pessimistic about the future of The HP Palmtop Paper. EduCALC, ACE, and other HP Palmtop vendors had gone out of business. The number of new subscribers to the Paper had dropped significantly and advertising support had evaporated. We have always had a small but select readership for a computer magazine. However, without advertising and with fewer subscribers, the alternative of becoming a very expensive newsletter did not seem realistic.
At the same time I continued to be an avid and enthusiastic HP 200LX user even though I could have had my pick of any WinCE product available: one of the perks of publishing a Windows CE magazine.
Based on your email and on my participation in online palmtop communities, I knew I was in good company. Furthermore, D&A Software (Avi Meshar and Andreas Garzotto), Times2 Tech (Mack Baggette), Shier Systems (David Shier), the One Stop Palmtop Shop (Arild Mellembakken), a myriad of freeware and shareware authors, www.palmtop.net (Mitch Hamm), www.hplx.net (David Sargeant), the HPLX mailing list (Al Kind), and others were doing a great job keeping the HP 200LX alive and thriving.
Based on this continued enthusiasm for the HP 200LX, I felt that losing income from fewer subscribers and few advertisers for The HP Palmtop Paper might be offset by selling products and services themselves, especially as other vendors dropped out of the Palmtop market. Some skepticism within Thaddeus Computing greeted my concept of The Ultimate Palmtop Catalog. It meant changing the operations of the Palmtop side of our business significantly. A refurbished basement became our upgrade and repair center. Our order entry people had to become more Palmtop savvy to answer customers questions. Tying up cash in inventory became an issue. The whole logistics of shipping products in a timely fashion had to be developed.
Thanks to a great internal staff and strong HP Palmtop user support, the catalog has proved quite successful.
Furthermore, we have been fortunate enough to acquire the services of long-time contributor, Ed Keefe, as editor. This issue is the first that he edited from start to finish. In 1999 The HP Palmtop Paper should be the best yet. What a change a year makes.
Things should get even better. Our eighth year of The HP Palmtop Paper will be tied closely to our new web site www.PalmtopPaper.com. The Web sites secure shopping cart system will handle your Palmtop product needs online. Our goal is for the site to drive both The HP Palmtop Paper and our Ultimate Palmtop Catalog. In other words Palmtop tips, new product announcements, some articles, and news will be found at PalmtopPaper.com and in our new HP Palmtop free email newsletter. (See sidebar for more details). Specials not in the catalog and new palmtop products will be available in our shopping cart system before they appear in the catalog.
In short, PalmtopPaper.com and our free email newsletter will provide you with timely information and instant ordering. At the same time most of us grew up enjoying the pleasure of print media. In bed, in the bathtub, or at the beach you will still be able to enjoy a carefully edited and in-depth paper catalog and The Palmtop Paper. A magazine and catalog gives a kind of flexibility and enjoyment that the electronic media simply cannot provide. So don't throw away your highlighting markers yet.
The 1999 CD InfoBase
Our new 1999 CD InfoBase will be worth the upgrade. I feel that it will be a "must-have" product for anyone who uses the HP Palmtop on a regular basis.
In the 1999 edition of the CD InfoBase we will continue our tradition of integrating all the 1991-1998 Palmtop Papers along with the HP User Manual, HP Technical Reference Manual, and Lotus and DOS reference manuals. That means that virtually any Palmtop question you have can be answered by typing in a few search words. Alternatively, you can just browse going through tips and articles that interest you.
We will also update our Gutenberg collection with more e-text from great literature to historical documents. There is so much material that we once again will devote a separate CD to it. For those who like to read on their Palmtop or desktop and who like having documents and great literature available for research, this second CD is invaluable in and of itself. It would be hard to place a retail value on this product. Whether you want to read Dickens or Lincoln or Lao Tsu you can print out the text, read it on your desktop, or carry it with you on your Palmtop.
With up to 64 Meg palmtops and less expensive memory cards there is now more room to carry references. Further, Hypertext Viewer (HV) designed for the Palmtop, makes reading web-based documents on the Palmtop a snap. This year we are expanding the readable material on the CD by providing a number of HTML (web-browser readable) documents. Again, you can print these documents, use your desktop browser, or carry these documents with you in your Palmtop.
First, we will include Ed Keefe's book, PC In Your Pocket: How The Organizing Power of the Hewlett-Packard Palmtop PC Will Make You More Effective as an HTML document. That means you can read the book at your desktop or load chapters onto your Palmtop to read at your leisure.
We are looking into providing other relevant or topical HTML documents. For example, a lot of work is being done to convert the HP Technical Reference Manual into HTML so it can be accessed from the Palmtop. We expect this second copy of the manual designed with the palmtop in mind, to be done in time to make the CD.
Finally, last and probably most, we are packing the CD with more freeware and shareware. This edition is devoted to many of the new pieces of software that have come to our attention, including new software from Japan, great DOS finds, and new PAL software. In addition many of the great Palmtop classics that we have put on previous CDs have been updated. We are continually looking for the most recent versions of these classics. Also, some very powerful and useful DOS commercial software has been released to the public domain and will go on the CD.
We are planning to release the CD in December, but please be patient in case it slips (as it usually does) to January.
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