A new Apple Newton wouldn’t be the same.

A good point about what makes the MessagePad so accessible, from the newtontalk.net mailing list:

A sudden nasty angle to any revival of the Newton came to my mind as I was thinking about how incredibly fortunate we are. The Newton that we know and love has survived the cruel rejection by its parent, Apple, because its construction is such that it’s relatively straightforward to dismantle and otherwise tinker with it. Even if such hardware tinkering isn’t to all our tastes, it’s doable for enough of us that all of us can benefit, and the results are a thriving user base a decade after Apple stopped supporting it, and a machine that’s stable even if it’s no longer cutting edge.

This is a good time to stop and thank all the Newtonians who comprise that hard-core of hardware (and software) fixers, modders and hackers, who help us all fight off Newton-entropy. I hope some day I get a chance to buy all you guys a drink — though perhaps I’ll need to do that a little at a time.

Christian, the smart guy who came up with all this, said a modern-day Newton would be a Mac Mini-style PDA: closed, non-upgradeable, and therefore less fun.

Smart stuff, and I think that’s what makes the Newton so fun to tinker with – namely, you can tinker with it!

Check out the NewtonTalk archives here.


  1. How would I go about changing my battery in my Newton 130? Since it’s out of battery the data is long gone right?

  2. That depends on if your Lithium backup battery is still good – that’s the circle, watch battery that’s above the regular batteries. If that’s still good, your data should be on the Newton. And those batteries you can find at any watch repairer or drug store – and the good news is they’re pretty cheap. Otherwise, see my rechargeable battery post. Thanks!

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