Palm’s trade show an overview

My spin: PC World gives a peek into Palm’s trade show, held in Califoronia at their developers conference.
In short:
Most of the booths were manned by the usual suspects. On the hardware side, Sony showed off three brand-new Clies, which just keep getting slimmer, trimmer, and cheaper. (I wish the company would work on those boring alphanumeric model names.)…..
…With any luck, I’ll soon get some hands-on time with Sony’s newcomers. But meanwhile, around the corner from Sony’s booth, I saw a strange sight: a woman kneeling on the floor, bent over something that looked a lot like a sheep but was covered with clear plastic sheeting dotted with strange markings.
Moving closer, I saw that it was a close-to-life-size sheep doll, and that the markings on the plastic were bar codes. The woman was scanning the bar codes on the sheep with a scanner attached to a blue ruggedized Palm that in turn hooked up with a computer running software that turned the bar-code scanning into sheep shearing: As the woman successfully scanned a bar code, a display showed a sheep (okay, an image of a sheep) being sheared in the corresponding location…..
One of my favorite stops at PalmSource is the booth run by Astraware, a company located in the industrial heartland of Great Britain that happens to be one of the top game developers for handhelds.
I thought the new Sony Clies were small until I noticed a booth touting what has to be the teensy-weensiest Palm-based cell phone I’ve ever seen, Group Sense PDA’s XPlore G18, formerly code-named Zircon.
Finally, every trade show has its duds; this one was no exception. A rep for PalmGear, one of the big online handheld stores, gave me a copy of Power By Hand’s video training disc that’s designed for people who’ve never used a Palm. I stuck it in my PC’s DVD drive and was astonished by how little instruction and how much feel-good babble and blatant promotion of PalmGear the teacher managed to convey in the first 10 minutes.