Mobile pen-based computing

Robert Carr, GO Corp.

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University October 21, 1992


Mobile pen computing represents a new market which is distinct from the existing desktop computer market. Many of the users and applications will also be different from the desktop environment. By virtue of their form and lack of keyboard, mobile pen computers can be used in new settings where desktop or portable computers have, in the past, been inappropriate or impractical. They are particularly suitable for face-to-face activities, such as meetings and customer visits, where keyboards can be disruptive or socially unacceptable.

Because of the way in which mobile pen computers will be used, a general purpose operating system for pen computing must meet two key requirements: It must provide unparalleled ease of use, and it must provide support for mobile connectivity so that users can move from one work site to another without restrictions. In addition, it must provide a rich development environment suitable for supporting a wide range of vertical and horizontal applications.

PenPoint is a general purpose operating system uniquely designed for mobile pen computers. PenPoint delivers major new innovations to users and developers of pen-based applications including the Pen and Paper Interface; simple, practical applications; features to support mobile connectivity and a flexible design. All of these innovations are enabled by a rich, object-oriented design.


Mr. Carr is Vice President of Software Development at GO, a startup company headquartered in Foster City, California. Founded in September, 1987, GO provides pen computing technology for mobile professionals. The company's mission is to expand the accessibility and utility of portable computers by establishing the PenPoint operating system in the emerging pen computing market.

>From 1986 to 1987, Carr was Chief Scientist at Ashton-Tate Corporation, located in Torrance, California. He joined Ashton-Tate in 1985 when it acquired Forefront Corporation. Carr was co-founder of Forefront in 1983, and the designer and principal developer of its award-winning product, Framework, an integrated software package. He holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in computer engineering from Stanford University.


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