Geekspeak: January 22, 2001

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2001-01-22 Print this article Print

Talk About 'Backward Compatibility'

Add one more item to the list of problems that youll never have with a pen-and-paper personal digital assistant. Its unlikely that youll ever open your Day-Timer to find that all of your notes have been mirror-imaged to read from right to left—but thats exactly what one eWeek Corporate Partner advisory board member found his iPaq handheld doing on his flight to our most recent board meeting in Las Vegas during the Consumer Electronics Show.

A light squeeze restored normal viewing, but only as long as pressure was applied.

Our board member called this the Da Vinci mode, after the famous Italian artist and inventor who was known for his habit of mirror writing—but he plans to have the unit fixed, regardless of the "Renaissance man" associations.

Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developers' technical requirements on the company's evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter company's first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.

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