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Handhelds Hardware

Palm Offers Refund to m130 Owners 222

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the trading-colors-for-games dept.
EyesWideOpen writes "On Wednesday Palm began notifying registered m130 owners "that they were entitled to a full refund, including taxes paid on the PDA" for misleading them about the actual number of colors the product supports. The m130 was originally advertised as supporting 65,536 colors when in actuality it can only display 58,621. Owners who choose to forfeit the refund and keep the PDA could instead download a free version of the video game SimCity." Looks like a great deal for those who don't care about the bit depth of their PDA, and a way out for those who do.
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Palm Offers Refund to m130 Owners

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  • by MavEtJu (241979) <slashdot AT mavetju DOT org> on Thursday September 05, 2002 @07:00PM (#4203368) Homepage
    I would be shocked too if I would find out that I can't display all 65536 colours on a screen with 25600 pixels!
  • Woo Classic Maxis! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cyno01 (573917) <Cyno01@hotmail.com> on Thursday September 05, 2002 @07:00PM (#4203375) Homepage
    Why cant i find cool old games like this for my palm? Can anybody direct me to a site that offers cool games for palms pilots (preferably classic games, like that flash version of pitfall somebody posted the other day)?
  • Other than bragging rights what difference does the reduced amount of colours make?

    I presume people are not purchasing these to watch movies

    I think it will be interesting to see how many people ask for the refund...
  • Would you return your pda because it only displays 58000 colours instead of 65000? I mean, unless you are doing photo editing on it, it doesn't really matter. Besides, not having to display the extra 7000 colours saves energy.

    • by Target Drone (546651) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @07:09PM (#4203436)
      Would you return your pda because it only displays 58000 colours instead of 65000?

      Would you return your Pentium because it does almost all divisions correctly?

      Like the Pentium bug this isn't a cases of whether users will notice a difference. It's about a company owning up to its mistakes.

      • Why is this modded "insightful"? The analogy is horribly crippled. A display that has to approximate 10% of its colors is not going to make any material difference. A CPU that miscalculates things is going to cause *actual* problems.

        The odd part is, the last sentence ("Like the Pentium bug...") more or less contradicts the entire purpose of the analogy. I'm beginning to think Target Drone didn't say what he meant to say. The Pentium bug IS a case where users will notice a difference -- namely, incorrect results, weird crashes, etc. In the Palm case, most people wouldn't be able to tell a difference.

        Not that I'm saying that the company shouldn't own up, but let's not use false logic to make a point.
        • How about if you bought a 650 Mhz processor, but it turns out to be 580 Mhz? Well, the reality is that the m120 is actually 12-bit which displays 4096 colors and cheats to get the 58k magic colors. From seeing it myself, there's no mistake this is a 12-bit display, not a pseudo 15.5 bit display. Just compare it to other 12-bit displays and you'll easily see the difference (or similarities as the case may be). They lied once, and now they lie again. I suppose you could say my Pentium III is a 128 bit processor since it could do 128 bit calculations... right....
          • Yes, that's a much better analogy that I fully agree with :)

            I shouldn't have said that there's no material difference between 58k colors and 64k colors (or 12-bit vs. 16-bit, or however you want to characterize it); that was bad phrasing on my part, and I apologize. My point was that the analogy to the Pentium division bug was flawed, in that the two situations were not comparable.

            To put it another way... a division bug of that magnitude renders the CPU essentially unusable for everyone, but a MHz misclassification of that magnitude is simply annoying. Although I suppose you COULD argue that the color difference makes the Palm "unusable," but I still maintain that a majority of people would not consider the Palm unusable even if they DID know about the color difference, and ultimately that the Palm color difference is not fatal the way such a division bug would be.
            • Sorry, the division bug of the original Pentium does not "render the CPU essentially unusable". My P60 system is still going strong 6 years later. Way back when, when it was all I had, I even used the darn thing to do my taxes. I checked the math; the rounding problem did not affect the results. OTOH, I did use a test that showed the div bug was indeed there. I never replaced the CPU because the system was use in a critial fashion at the time and I couldn't afford the downtime. For the last few years it's been operating as a firewall, and barely done any FP.

              Intel's mistake at the time was saying "this bug won't affect anyone". They didn't intentially create the problem, it was a bug in the chip design. They made a PR blunder by trying to sweep it under the rug, but they finally reversed themselves. It meant a huge earnings hit at the time (although it created a nice aftermarket for cheap Pentium-powered jewerly).

              Does the use of 12-bit color make the m130 unusable? No, of course not. It's probably a great 12-bit device -- even better because of the "special dithering" that gets an effective 58000 colors.

              The error here is Palm advertising it as a 16-bit device in the first place. The even greater error is Palm continuing to say "it can display 58000 colors, not 65536". They need to fess up with "it only REALLY displays 4096 colors". That they haven't said that is an example of their continued arrogance. I hope the market punishes them.

              Darn, I should've sold my Palm stock.

              [I was originally going to mod the parent down, but I felt like responding instead]
              • I don't think the parent actually alluded to the original Pentium bug; if you read more carefully his post is actually correcting the broken analogy from an earlier post. I think he was saying that _if_ a division bug in a processor was the _same magnitude_ as Palm's error in number of colors (12 vs. 16 bit), it would render a processor unusable. You might have inferred incorrectly because of other posts that do mention the infamous bug, so good thing you didn't mod down ;-).

        • Why is this modded "insightful"? The analogy is horribly crippled. A display that has to approximate 10% of its colors is not going to make any material difference

          Actually it has to approximate 93% of its colors (all but 4096 of its "58000").

          A CPU that miscalculates things is going to cause *actual* problems.

          The miscalculations were actually hard to come by; they only happenened in the FPU and only under rare circumstances. The vast majority of Pentium users never encountered the bug.

          let's not use false logic to make a point.

          Let's not use misrepresentation to make a counterpoint.
    • by Osty (16825) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @07:12PM (#4203456)

      Would you return your pda because it only displays 58000 colours instead of 65000? I mean, unless you are doing photo editing on it, it doesn't really matter. Besides, not having to display the extra 7000 colours saves energy.

      The problem is not that it can display only "58000" colors, but that it can really only display 4000 colors. That 58,000 number is arrived at by "using a variety of techniques--including turning pixels on and off and combining nearby pixels." (News.com article [com.com]) So yeah, if Palm advertised that the m130 could display 65536 (16bpp) and it can only do 4096 (12bpp), then I would be complaining. HP had the same problem [com.com] with earlier Jornadas they released, because they advertised 16bpp and only supported 12bpp (the crazy thing here is that they call the problem a "glitch", when it's a simple fact that the screens they used only supported 12bpp -- sounds like a glitch in the manufacturing process by choosing to use a cheaper screen). Compaq didn't have this problem, because they always advertised at 12bpp, not 16bpp.


      In other words, the issue here isn't that the PDA can only do 12bpp, but that Palm advertised it at 16bpp and was caught out in their lie.

      • LCDs have a slow refresh rate so it is possible to display more colors by turning the pixels on and off at a high rate. You need to combine this technique with dithering to avoid the appearance of flicker, so the fact that they mention dithering is NOT a cop-out. It doesn't mean they aren't displaying 58,000 possible color values with 1-pixel resolution.

        (I used the same technique to get 5-level greyscale on a 1-bit (black & white) Newton in a demo program called Time Domain Grey.)

        • Yes there is a difference...

          The difference is that you can the end result is different between true 64,000 and fake 58,000 colors made out of 4,000.

          See http://www.geocities.com/an0nym0vs when it's not slashdotted.

        • So by your logic, we can call any B&W display (meaning truly 1 bit) greyscale because I can dither or flash them on and off? The hardware can only display 12-bit (4096) color, so they should just advertise it as such.
          • So by your logic, we can call any B&W display (meaning truly 1 bit) greyscale because I can dither or flash them on and off?

            If you can get decent greyscale out of it, why not? What matters is the system has sufficient power to display a decent greyscale and the manufacturer provides an API whereby application developers can use it. If developers can call an API to draw a 50% grey pixel at location (x,y) and that's what happens, I call that a device with a greyscale screen. Regardless of what voodoo the OS is doing to get that effect out of the hardware.

            (In the case of my Newton application the hires mode I created was hard on the battery and only worked really well in a small window, but with a faster CPU and support from the manufacturer, we could easily have called it a device with a greyscale display.)

            The hardware can only display 12-bit (4096) color, so they should just advertise it as such.

            What you can address at the hardware level is not the last word on the subject. Or should I have ignored what users saw on their screen and advertised Time Domain Grey as displaying 1-bit color? :-)

      • Actually, with HP, a different display chip was substituted in the manufacturing run by accident.
    • You don't really get 58K colors; that's from Palm counting colors you get when you dither, which doesn't really count. Only 4096 colors are actually available in hardware.

      And yes, if I had bought an m130 for viewing photos, I'd be infuriated, because that's blatant false advertisement. At least they're doing the honorable thing, if a bit late.

  • by EvilAlien (133134) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @07:01PM (#4203379) Journal
    What would I want SimCity for?

    "We lied to you, so here is a refund... oh, you like the product anyways? Well is is a crappy game for free. Oh, you already subscribe to alt.warez? Well... here... um. *click*"

  • Comparison (Score:3, Informative)

    by SiMac (409541) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @07:06PM (#4203416) Homepage
    For the lazy, the comparison between the Prism (real 16-bit) and m130 can be found here [geocities.com].

    However, by inspecting this picture, i think that Palm may actually be trying to cover up the fact that there are only 58000-some colors using the dithering technique and that in real life there are actually only 4096 colors.
    • Man... You actually expected a Geocities site to stand up to a mad rush of slashdotting??? Whoo boy, I wonder how long it took before that site exceeded the data-transfer amount?
  • what!? (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    you mean those registration cards actually might have purpose!?!?
  • Actually, (Score:5, Informative)

    by shepd (155729) <slashdot.org@ g m a i l . com> on Thursday September 05, 2002 @07:06PM (#4203419) Homepage Journal
    Its not even 58k colours for real. That's simluated from the hardware limited 12-bit (4k) colour depth. (Or at least that's what TechTV sez).

    Palm users were really ripped off, IMHO.
    • I know a few people who own the M130, the screens are fine. The color is great. This was a complete non-issue but Palm is doing the right thing by standing by their words anyways.

      How can you be ripped off if the company offers to buy the damn thing back from you if you don't like it?

      -- iCEBaLM
      • >How can you be ripped off if the company offers to buy the damn thing back from you if you don't like it?

        Cause they wasted my time should I have bought it and now I have to waste more time returning it?

        But hey, if they will pay the entire purchase price, I'd call it even by simply not buying misadvertised Palm produts (ie: Never again).

        Fortunately I don't own a Palm. I hate stylus based entry methods. :)

        But my mind might change on that when I see all sorts of super-cheap refurbished m130s on the market. ;)
  • Hey (Score:3, Informative)

    by mindstrm (20013) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @07:11PM (#4203445)
    It doesn't even display the 50,000 color number the claim.. it is 12 bit color.

    They claim that by 'color mixing' you can get more colors..
    • Re:Hey (Score:3, Interesting)

      by spongman (182339)
      (not trying to be palm advocte here, but...) that's technically true. most displays today (including regular CRTs) can only display 768 colors (256 red, 256 green and 256 blue), it's the 'merging' of those colors that gives the 2^24 combinations. it all comes down to what constitues 'pixel'.

      I guess the real problem is that it can't display 50K+ colors at the advertised resolution, since it needs to use several real pixels to make a high-color pixel.

      A pathalogical example: a 1024x768x24-bit display can display 1024x768x24 or 1x1x(the total number of different permutations of 24-bit pixels on a 1024x768 display). of course, you'd have to look at the 1x1 display from a long way off for the dithering take effect.

      • by Ark42 (522144)
        I bet this gets even more confusing when you look at LCD's where 4 "pixels" can be, say, represented by 2 red areas, 2 green areas, and 1 blue area.

        On the other hand, this reminds me of a old ModeX resolution trick for VGA-only boards. You could actually set the screen to 320x600 to simulate 18-bit color at 320x200. It works very well, using every 3rd line as R, G, B with 6 bits per color (64 shades of each, leaving you with 64 unused palette entries)

      • Umm, no. Pixels are made up of subpixels. A red subpixel, a blue one and a green one. All pixels are equal, therefore you can't have a red pixel and a blue and a green one.

        Anyway, if you're telling me that my monitor really has 3 times as many pixels as I thought, then yes, you're right. Dithering gets more and more effective the higher the resolution is. But the fact is, the standard is not to call subpixels pixels. They are subpixels. If they really considered them pixels, then they should've advertised that they have 76,800 pixels and not 25,600 (160x160). But according to standard definitions of "pixel" and "resolution" they were being fraudulent.

        It's like saying, yeah, this car has 600 horsepower. But our definition of horse power is that 4HP = 1 of what most people call horsepower. We have very strong horses.
        • Heh, you mean you have really weak horses if you need four times more of them to get the same power.
      • Re:Hey (Score:3, Insightful)

        by RedWizzard (192002)
        Well if you want to redefine the definition of pixel, then fine. A CRT driven at 32bit color can manage only 768 colors measured at the subpixel level. And Palm's M130 can only manage 48 and not the 128 they claimed. Which is the point - they lied about the color capabilities and now they're still distorting the truth so they don't look quite so bad. Offering refunds for 58K colors instead of 65K sounds like Palm are great. Refunds for 4K colors instead of 65K sounds justified, nothing more.
      • but only if we re-define what is commonly understood on LCD screens to be a 'pixel'.

        My 1600x1200 laptop screen has 1600 red, 1600 green, and 1600 blue sub-pixels across.We don't call it a 4800x1200 screen, though.

        So when they say it can display 16 bit color on the color LCD screen, the consumer has a right to assume that means they are using a 656 display... six bits for red, five for green, and 6 for blue (or whatever it is..). saying that you can use more pixels to get more color.. that's just bad advertising.

      • Re:Hey (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Webmonger (24302)
        In the first place, CRTs are analog, so they aren't limited in the number of colours they display. Or rather, they are limited, but only if you start counting each individual electron. That's right: a CRT can display far more than 16.7M colours using only, say, its green electron gun.

        The 256-bit-per-channel limitation you describe is in the video adapter hardware, not in the monitor. And video adapters address pixels, not subpixels.

        CRTs don't even have subpixels, because subpixels are addressable, and the red/green/blue subcomponents of CRT display (phosphor dots) are not addressable.

        So the monitor supports an infinite number of colours. The video card supports 16.7M colours per pixel.

        Yes, there is colour mixing going on. No one wants to see 16.7M shades of spectral green. Shove a magnifying glass up against your monitor, and you'll see those red, blue and green phosphor dots.

        But the same thing happens with colour photographs, and printing, and pretty well anything that uses a pigment to produce different shades of colour. Everyone agrees that when the mixing below addressable resolution, it's called "a colour", and when mixing at addresable resolution, it's called "a dither pattern".

        I have no problem with Palm's original mistake. They happen. But Palm's way of dealing with it has been absolutely atrocious. If they had originally advertised the device as supporting 937,936 colours, they might be justified in claiming its true colour depth was 58,621.

        But no one advertises a 16-bit display as supporting 937,936 colours, because it's nonsense. The only reason Palm cares about these "colour mixing" numbers is because Palm's trying to spin this as a 10% reduction in colour depth, instead of a 94% reduction.

        That's the "real problem", IMHO.
    • by unicron (20286)
      I can make over 16 million colors using only red, green, and blue, so I'd say they're telling the truth.
      • by Osty (16825)

        I can make over 16 million colors using only red, green, and blue, so I'd say they're telling the truth.

        Uh ... no. You can make over 16 million colors for a single pixel using varying levels of red, green, and blue in that single pixel (16777216 colors, to be exact, with a 24-bit display, giving 8 bits per red, green, and blue, or 256 shades of each merged together using the color properties of light to blend a new color). Palm has 12bpp to work with for a single pixel, or 4 bits per red, green, and blue. That's 16 shades of each, for a combinatorial total of 4096 different, unique colors. Their "blending" involves dithering (if I have a block of four pixels, and set the top left and bottom right to blue, and the top right and bottom left to white, then from a far enough distance, it looks like I have a blue that's 50% lighter than normal blue ...), or using various sub-pixel techniques (if I want a brighter red, I could adjust the red subpixels next to the pixel I'm dealing with and it will look brighter, but it will also be blurrier and could sacrifice the colors in the adjacent pixels), and such (I don't know what else they could do, really). In other words, your "mixing" of red, green, and blue is different than the "mixing" they're doing.

  • Its most recent decision also follows a class-action lawsuit filed last week in California's Superior Court in Santa Clara County.

    I know it's a little off-topic but regardless of how Palm decided to handle this situation, we should all be glad that a class action lawsuit wasn't filed. In Madison County IL. there is a group called ILAW (Illinois Lawyer Abuse Watch (I think))investigating class action lawsuits and some of their findings are scary.

    Verizon went through a class action lawsuit and all the participants were awarded some trivial $20 refund, or some voucher for a free month of service while the lawyers raked in millions of dollars.

    These 'millions' get written off by the company and get passed to us. Not to say all Class-Action lawsuits are bad, but some are down right scary.

    I know off-topic a tad. Oh well.

  • In the last slashdot article [slashdot.org] about this it was plainly stated that the difference is actually 4-bit (16 bit advertised, 12 bit really) which in actuality means the difference between 60k some odd colors and 4096 colors...
  • Thats ok... (Score:5, Funny)

    by dr_dank (472072) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @07:31PM (#4203553) Homepage Journal
    I'll just wait for them to send me the extra 6,915 colors in the mail.
  • Well, if you felt like you were getting hosed, this deal is for you. Everyone wins, even those who didn't care.

    Acquiring SimCity for PDA without this deal is rather ridiculous. $30 for a game that you can fit on 1 floppy, compared to a regular massive PC game is sad. Sure it's smaller and you can play in class and stuff, but why not just have a Game Boy Advance? Cheaper, and you're not fooling anyone anyway.
  • I can only relate to this vicariously through you. Hell, you think Twister is tough for you! "What do you mean left foot red?

  • Protected from the elements and able to withstand 4 foot drops drops is what I am looking for [microsoft.com]! Wher the Hell do you want to go today!
  • I'd be supprised if there was any actual, noticable diffrence between 64k and 58,261.

    I mean, there are only 25k pixles on the thing.
  • Never mind that (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by Salsaman (141471)
    I am still employing Cowboy Neal with crayons and a sketch pad. I thought everybody else was too...
  • by Andre060 (99353) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @07:55PM (#4203650)
    Unless you live in Greece... ;-)
  • IIRC, the original game boy used black and white strobing to create the four color effect. I've seen calculator programs (for the ti-8x and 9x calcs) that could display color images as well.

    Of course, the contrast wasn't as good or anything. It would be interesting to see comparisons between the two. Someone posted a link, but it was to geocities, and obviously it's dead now.

    Does anyone have the details on how this supposed color increasing worked? I think it would be intresting to see.
    • With the calcs, you can only get 2 colors, blue, by overvolting the display, or brown, by undervolting the display. This involved a lot of work because you had to over/undervolt each pixle on the thing. With greyscale, we got 16 shades of grey on the 89 without a problem, so greyscale was fine, but color was a major problem...
  • by guttentag (313541) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @07:59PM (#4203674) Journal
    1. Advertise that your product offers much more than it really does.
    2. If anyone complains about your false advertising (which is against the law), wait until after the product has secured its place in the market (and in people's homes/offices) before admitting anything.
    3. Offer a full refund for the 12 people who would actually rather have their money back than live with their underperforming machines. Placate the rest with a downloadable version of a software product that's over a decade old (after all, the company's only cost-per-download is for the used bandwidth... it's not like they're giving away physical items)
    4. Result:
      • the 12 people who knew they were ripped off shut up because get their money back
      • the FTC will never get involved over false advertising charges
      • the company still sells (number of units that would have been sold if its claims had been true - 12) units
      • the vast majority of consumers think they got something for nothing (software) and laud the company
    5. Repeat with next product release.
    Looks like a great deal for those who don't care about the bit depth of their PDA, and a way out for those who do my a$$... looks like a great marketing/disinformation strategy for Palm.

    And no, this is not "the way business is done," this is "false advertising." Unfortunately, false advertising is only against the law if people complain.

  • Ok, so its 15.83913 bit color. That's only .16087 bits short of what they advertised. Now if you convert bits to dollars (2 bits = 25 cents) they've only shorted you 2 cents. They're giving you a game that's worth $29.99 retail. So what are you complaining about?

    Shave and a hair cut, two bits.

    http://www.chrisgagne.com/hosting
    • If you read the previous /. article [slashdot.org], you'll see that the m130 can only display 4096 colors (12 bit). However, they play some dithering tricks to claim the 58621 colors. Of course, if you did the same thing with real 16 bit color, you could probably claim millions of colors.

      The bottom line is that they are quite a ways off. Now, they are saying, "well, we didn't quite give you the full 64k colors, and we're offering a refund even though we're just a few percent off." They look like they are going out of their way for people who wouldn't notice the difference between 65536 and 58621. But in fact they are trying to make sure no one calls them on the fact that they lied - big time, and can only deliver 4096 colors.

  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday September 05, 2002 @08:31PM (#4203804) Homepage Journal
    Even though the Palm can only display 4096 colors without resorting to ugly hacks (like pixel flickering), I don't see what the big deal is.

    Ok, they lied in their marketing, that's bad. But they seem to be trying to do the honorable thing here. If the color depth is that important do you just get the refund and buy yourself a Handspring.

    But lets work the numbers here: A 160x160 pixel screen has 25600 pixels total. The 12 bits per pixel can only display 4096 unique colors. This means that in the worst case scenario, every color will have to be spread across 6.25 pixels. This doesn't seem all that bad to me. In fact it sounds like just the sort of design tradeoff I might have made. Going all the way up to 65536 unique colors is kind of a waste since you'll never be able to get all of those on the screen at once.

    Of course Palm should have advertised it as a 12bit screen right from the start, but I'm not ready to hang them out to dry for this. On the contrary, offering Sim City (which is still a fine game, despite what the vitriol filled posts on here might say) seems like a nice gesture to me. Palm certainly could have done worse.

    Does anybody remember IOmega and the Click of Death? Years in lawsuits that just make the scum sucking lawyers richer and richer and what do we get? A coupon from IOmega for some paltry sum off of our next purchase of an IOmega product, long after most of us had swarn off IOmega forever. Would you guys have preferred that?
    • by topham (32406) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @08:53PM (#4203889) Homepage

      The 12bit colour isn't a PALLET of 16.7 million (or 65K) with only 4096 displayed at a time.

      It's only 4096 colours total. You don't get to choose which colours are in the pallet.

      You get 16 shades of red, 16 shades of green and 16 shades of blue. You get to mix them as well, but thats it.

      So, yeah, even though there are only 25,600 pixels on the screen you could still display an image, via scrolling with the full 65K colours. Now your left we fudge tricks to get the same colour range.

      I think this move by Palm is a good move though.
      Many people are probably more than happy with the display.
    • This means that in the worst case scenario, every color will have to be spread across 6.25 pixels.
      >>>>>>>>
      I have no idea what kind of LSD induced images you're looking at, but the real problem is full-color images use lots of one shade, not a little bit of lots of shades. Thus, worst case, you have something like a gradient, with the 16! values of each shade spread out over 10 pixels. Not a good tradeoff for a machine that's supposed to view photos and whatnot. And p0rn will look terrible with all the skin-tones all stratified like that!
  • First a points:
    Face it: The palm m130 is a cheap 160x160 pixels handheld. 16bit colout on a 160x160 cheap screen is _not_ that much different than a 12bit colour screen. What are you going to do? Run photoshop on your palm or show your vacation pictures to others on a frikin 160x160 screen?

    That being said, I own an m130 and have been insanely pleased with it. However, this offer puts me into temptation.. Do i return the m130 and use the money (+£100) to buy the much sexier m515? I might be a righteous person and not do it. But others?

    This might be an economical disaster for palm...

    • Myabe you should get a Sony Clie PEG-SJ30. It really has a nice screen, 320 x 320, with proper backlighting and everything. Here in USA, the Palm m130 is like $250 and the Sony PEG-SJ30 is $300. Definitely worth the extra 50 bucks if you ask me.

      Tech plummets in value so fast, I would return the m130 and reinvest in something newer.
    • There are 25,600 total pixels on a 160x160 display. 12 bit color means you cannot have a scenario with each pixel being a different color. More importantly, it's not so much about simultaneous color, but the total palette. With 12 bit precision, each color has 16 levels. If there is a pure red gradient, it would look like crap, for example. The difference is non-trivial for those who intend to view images on it.

      That being said, I have an m130 and don't care about the refund. I don't use my palm to view images, no matter how many colors it could display, the 160x160 restriction is too much to deal with. Even with a 320x320 display, images don't look good enough.
  • 58,621 colors? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Alsee (515537) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @08:59PM (#4203915) Homepage
    If they want to say it has 58,621 colors then they have to say the screen isn't 160x160 anymore, it's 80x160 or 80x80. The only way to get the 58,621 colors is by DITHERING which kills your resolution.

    -
    • In following the time-honored /. tradition, I have not read the article, but there is a way to simulate more colors than you actually have besides dithering. What you do is to alternate rapidly between two slightly different images. The pixels will appear to be a mixture of them, so you can have halfway in between or whatever. This does not reduce your resulution, but it does introduce some flickering.
      • Ok, but if they use that method then they have to annoce that the screen refresh rate is only half (or worse) as high as advertized.

        -
      • Used a palm? The displays are so low end that redraws should be avoided like the plague. Full motion rapid image changes would just give a blurry mess, the ghosting on those displays is too bad to acheive the described effect.
  • 4096 is not 58,621 (Score:3, Informative)

    by frovingslosh (582462) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @09:34PM (#4204040)
    The m130 was originally advertised as supporting 65,536 colors when in actuality it can only display 58,621.

    Lets be accurate here. It can only display 4096 colors. It's a 12 bit color display, not 16. However Palm marketing wants to twist things, it does not serve the user to repeat marketing hype. They sold this thing as a 16 bit display and it was a 12 bit display. Matters a lot if you want to view photos or color images, and that's the reason many paid for a color toy. The problem is more serious than the "only 58,621 colors as contrasted to 64k" marketing hype.

  • In this business ethic-bashing time we've come to, it's nice to see a company that actually cares about its customers and treats them fairly.
  • Your company was once at the top of its field. Now it's being crushed by competition and you've just been forced to admit to an incredibly stupid blunder, and apologizing is going to be costly as hell.

    How do you pull your company out of its rut?
  • I beleive the lie that got Palm in trouble was that it claimed the M130 had "16 bit color" when in fact it has 12 bit color. Dithering has never counted in the past when discussing the number of bitplanes, and it shouldn't really count when discussing the number of colors -- especially on a display with so few pixels. A CGA display is STILL 2-bit color, even if you dither the pixels!
  • by brad3378 (155304) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @10:41PM (#4204256)
    I can respect a company that can admit it screwed up.
    This is going to cost them tons of money, but unlike the actions other companies, Palm may have just earned my trust.
  • I purchased a refurbished Palm Vx. The device kept losing its calibration which required me to re-run the digitizer. Sometimes it wasn't reachable and required a hard reset. Called Palm, gave them my S/N, a replacement arrived in the mail.

    Painless and awesome. Thanks guys.

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