Live from the Web: Newton sites rediscovered

On the big to-do list of Newton Poetry projects, we can check off the “Create page of still-live Newton site links” item.

After many, many months, lots of web surfing, a bit of HTML work, and a mish-mash organizational system, you can now view the Newton Sites page above to see a list of Newton-based web sites that are still viewable.

I found, long ago, that browsing through Newton sites was a hit-or-miss occupation. There were tons of “page not available” hits. In this post-iPhone world, not many web page creators or Newton enthusiasts want to spend the time and money to maintain a web presence. Who can blame them? Newton web traffic isn’t what it once was, not when the iPod and iPhone have demanded so much of the Apple news attention.

But with so many sites still out there, and few resources available to catalog and list them all, it was a project I had to take on before any more sites disappeared.

It was interesting to browse through the Newton sites Google’s 2001 search experiment offered up. Many sites that are long gone now were still around then, so I at least got a sneak peek at what they looked like. But I didn’t include any of those long-gone sites in this list.

There were several resources that were a tremendous help during this production. Splorp’s Newted site, when it was up, was a great list – though some of the links were dead-ends. The Newton Webring (remember those?), UNNA.org, and tons of ghost sites with “links” pages also helped point the way, and simple Google searches helped uncover hidden gems in the mines of the Internet. Luckily some Newton users have kept their sites alive, if not active, all these years later – allowing me to prowl through their pages and grab all the info I could.

If you’re interested in Newton MessagePads at all, some of the sites listed are “no-duh” sites. Everyone knows UNNA, Kallisys, and a few others. A few more, however, were listed out of a simple desire to remind us what a thriving, exciting project the Newton was. There are a few articles about the Newton Community after Steve Jobs killed the device, as well as a few random blogs and FAQs from the proto-days of the Internet.

The whole project was a hoot. I wish there was a way to keep some of this stuff from disappearing completely (maybe a simple copy-and-paste operation?). It would be a shame to lose any more resources, and the destructive effects of non-renewed domain names have already decimated tons of once-popular Newton sites out there.

In the meantime? Browse, link, enjoy. There are some sites that are absent, I know, so if I missed your favorite one, please let me know in the comments. I’ll give you lots and lots of credit for finding something I didn’t.

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