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2000-06-30 15:23:58+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

So I'm running the test to see if my 8mb Palm has memory problems, but what concerns me about the state of the world are the lengths that Palm feels necessary to lead people through running software. For instance in figuring out the serial number of your Palm, they could have just said "applications/info/version, it's the first 12 digits of the ID", instead they wasted my time with a gazillion separate pages each with a full picture of the screen at that point. At the very least, an "I can breathe without reminders" path through the documentation would have saved me from reading through the idiot's version to make sure that I wasn't doing something foolish. There are far too many places where making the world accessible to the lowest common denominator drags the competent down. A few days ago Dave Winer said that he believed that his customers were the smartest people in the world because they'd chosen his software; I'd counter that finding the well does not necessarily qualify the drinkers, no matter how much effort you put into channeling the water.

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Web development Privacy Dave Winer ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:08+00 by: ebradway

That's odd. I followed the simple "the serial number is printed on the back of your Palm" instructions... Of course, you have a Palm V and I only have a lowly IIIxe. What's funny about the IIIxe info on the site is they have a circular set of links that you end up following to try to verify if your Palm is affected. Evidently they can't verify the serial numbers for the IIIxe, only the IIIc and V. What's worse is all the folks over at /. complaining that Palm should replace the defective units rather than issue a patch - likening the problem to the Pentium FDIV bug. I know Dan and I chased bugs in the 80386 that made the FDIV bug look as trivial as it actually was. And in those days the compiler vendors and OS makers weren't nice enough to publish patches to compensate. You had to hand edit the assembly that the compiler generated. The idea of Intel replacing the processor was ludicrous!

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:08+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think they print the serial number on the back of the Palm Vx in rub-on letters or something, they're long disappeared. I kinda agree, being a technology adopter sometimes the bugs bite ya. And if Microsoft is gonna keep issuing bug fix versions every 3 years or so and call 'em major revisions (and charging similarly), a software fix certainly seems acceptable for a glitch like this.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:08+00 by: Larry Burton

Maybe it's because I'm using a lowly Palm[Wiki] IIIx and I'm often checking what memory is available but I found that serial number shortly after installing the batteries for the first time on my own without any help from any website. ;-)