duct tape was the missing ingredient...
but it was part of the initial explanation!
second palm-pilot (TM and all
that) model arrived with it's backlit screen
and that made it cool.
a drawback was it was not connected to anything.
one day a visit was paid to a company that made industrial wireless modems. when the president handed me one of their modems, i indicated my impressedness (no fake) and then reached into my pocket and took out my palm-pilot, saying "get me some duct tape because these two things belong together..let's do it!"