Re: organizers

John Blanco-Losada (
Sat, 28 Dec 96 11:22:42 -0500

Ray Peck wrote:

>OK, so all this talk about checklists and stuff is converging with an
>intention I've had for a long time to get more organized. I tried a
>day-timer a couple years ago, but the limitations of paper just got me
>frustrated. So I'm looking for an electronic organizer, one that I
>can write into, and that will sync with my PowerMac at home and my NT
>PC at work.
>It looks like the two choices are the Newton (a friend loves his 130,
>and the upcoming 2000 (?) will kick it's ass), and the Pilot. These
>two are very different creatures. The Newton is big and heavy and can
>do everything (e.g., the new one will come with mail reader/web
>browser, and can use the Ricochet wireless Net modem). Since I'm soon
>to be spending lots of time driving around the Bay Area, having the
>GPS card option with navigation software would be a big win. The
>Pilot is tiny and limited but I could put it in my pocket and forget
>about it.
>The question is: if I buy the Newton, will I haul it around, and if I
>buy the Pilot, will it do everything I want?

I went through the same dilemma, and decided on the Pilot. I used one of
the Newton 100's when they first came out, and aside from the terrible
handwriting recognition (which has been substantially improved, I
understand) it was just a little too big to be convenient to carry
everywhere. There's also a substantial price difference, with the Pilot
1000 costing $250 while the Newton MessagePad 130 starts at around $700,
I believe. The Newton MessagePad 2000 will probably start at around

I've been using my new Pilot 1000 for the past few days (yes, it was an
Xmas gift) as a replacement for the Day Timer I've carried with me for
the past 3 years, and so far I'm very happy with it. It fits in my shirt
pocket, so I can easily take it everywhere. This alone makes it more
convenient and useful for me than the 8.5" x 11" Day Timer, plus I get
all the benefits of a digital device, such as search capabilities and
alarms. Finally, it comes with a "cradle" which allows me to sync up
with the Pilot Desktop application on my Mac and download new
applications to the Pilot. It uses the Graffiti handwriting system to
increase the recognition rate, so you have to train yourself to write the
way it wants you to, but most of the characters are intuitive. I'm
already at the point where I don't have to think about it too much.

While I would love, like you, to have a device the size of the Pilot that
does everything the Newton does, the unfortunate fact is that such a
device does not yet exist. The good news is that I'm hearing rumors that
the next generation of the Pilot will have communications capabilities
(which isn't surprising, since it's made by US Robotics). I only hope
that the first-generation models can be upgraded. Also, Pilot
applications are written in C and US Robotics seems eager to publish the
Palm OS specs, so in theory there may be more applications as time goes

One word of advice is to go ahead and purchase the 1MB memory upgrade for
an extra $99. I've already consumed 33% of the 256K of memory in my
Pilot, and I really haven't entered that much data. At least nowhere near
as much as I expect to...

John Blanco-Losada "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - M. Gandhi