Wrestling with Thumbs

Miniature keyboards are muscling in on the Palm Pilot business. Is the stylus still mightier?

Late last year I watched in amazement as my mother took up Graffiti. (I'm talking about the system of entering text on digital organizers made by Palm, Handspring and Sony; she hasn't started spray-painting walls just yet.) Using a stylus on the screen, you are required to write characters the Graffiti way--an A without the horizontal line, and so on. It can be a daunting thing to learn, yet after watching my techno-challenged mom scribble happily on her new Handspring Visor, I felt certain it was the alphabet of the future.

Now my faith is collapsing, largely because Palm founder and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!