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Where have all the 'puters gone?
Where have all the 'puters gone?

When I first played with an HP 35 calculator, I was blown away. It was amazing. There wasn't anything like it for years. Then I got an HP 65. It was light years ahead of the competition. Same thing for my HP 41C. No one ever matched the number and variety of the hardware add-ons you could get. When I got my HP 95, I scoffed at the poor saps who had to make the 1000 yard dash through the airport with a 15 pound computer that wasn't any more powerful than what I carried in my pocket. I upgraded to the HP 200LX when the paint started to wear off the keys on my '95.

Then I got the HP 360LX. The latest and greatest product in the Palmtop computer line. It has a backlight! Wonderful! But wait... Where is the Calculator? Where is the Database? Where are the tools that would let me write programs on this thing?

What happened to Hewlett-Packard? The HP 360 doesn't have any superior technology when compared to the other WinCE machines. Better materials and construction, maybe, but no new technology.

So here I am, using two Palmtop computers from the same company because each one has features that I use. Will HP ever produce a product that will be a true upgrade for the 200LX: something that will let me put it on the shelf and never need to bring it back from retirement? I'm afraid not. HP has become a "me too" producer of computer products. They have lost the vision.

Daniel McDonough


iPhone Life magazine

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