According to PalmInfoCenter, the long-expected EOL’ing of the Palm LifeDrive has just happened. The LifeDrive was a significant development for (Palm powered) PDA’s, I originally wanted to buy it when it first leaked. However, the final version had a few lethal quirks – this obituary is my personal ‘goodbye’ to the LifeDrive.
The LifeDrive was a great idea, but it was hampered by the catastrophic implementation(which had no reason whatsoever). Palm’s experience with the Tungsten T5 showed that users accept “internal external VFS” memory. The LifeDrive was originally rumored to ship with 32MB of RAM and a 4GB internal VFS partition – which was a useful and good idea.
However, Palm decided to go the ‘cheap’ route and decided to use a hard drive as RAM replacement media(!!!). Palm probably didn’t expect the harsh reaction, but the prototyping phase should have clarified matters.
But the LifeDrive concept wasn’t dead when the LifeDrive 1 shipped – first generation products often have eekers that get fixed over time. Hitachi ‘leaked’ information on Palm’s plans to release a second LifeDrive with 6GB of internal memory, and when the 4GB CF card mod came out, Palm should have finally accepted that internal hard drives are not a good RAM replacement.
By this time, however, Palm probably had already given up on the LifeDrive market segment – their not-releasing of the Wifi patch for LifeDrive(while it was available for Palm TX) showed that they didn’t really care about the LifeDrive’s fate anymore.
If Palm still has a LifeDrive2 ready for release, it will still make a nice PDA – if the hdd lag problems have been fixed. It will, however, be no longer a novel and unique item…Palm lost this opportunity back in 2005!
P.s. I wouldn’t wonder if the LifeDrive gets covered inn the third edition of in Search of Stupidity – review of the second edition(without LifeDrive) coming soon!