[Fwd: Palm is bigger than Apple, CMGi, and its parent 3Com...]

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From: Jeff Bone (jbone@jump.net)
Date: Sun Mar 05 2000 - 10:14:21 PST

Woops, thought you trivia mavens out there might be interested in

attached mail follows:

Here's the dirty laundry, as I recall: Palm's first "big win" was Graffiti on
Newton / Magic Cap. The backstory --- this is all hearsay, I'm not vouching for its
accuracy --- is as follows. Graffiti is essentially very similar to "Unistrokes," a
special-alphabet based handwriting recognition scheme that was invented at and
patented by Xerox. There was a company called "Nimble" up in Seattle that had
originally been set up to build PenPoint software who, like many of us, made the
rounds through the early pen platforms. They had an exclusive (?) license from
Xerox to the Unistrokes tech and patents. I caught up with them while they were
focused on GenMagic. According to their founder, Jeff Hawkins saw their handwriting
recognition scheme at Comdex, and that was the conceptual seed behind Graffiti. The
competition was pretty bitter, there was even talk of a lawsuit. I lost track of
the Nimble guys after Active Paper bailed on the whole PDA market, back in late '95
/ early '96 and morphed into Activerse.

One interesting but totally trivial thing that the Nimble guys pointed out to me:
with Unistrokes and, to a lesser extent, Graffiti, you can read things written down
in the alphabet whether written upside down or rightside-up, much more easily than
normal block printing. :-/ :-) Try it, it really does work.



Shekhar Mahadevan wrote:

> > PS - bonus points: what did Palm originally rip off in order to establish its
> > first position in palmtops? Hint: fumbling the future redux. For the Big
> Would it be the Apple Newton perhaps?
> -sm

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