Posts categorized “community”.

Fresh updates from the Newted Community

November 30th, 2009

Good news: Grant Hutchinson has posted updates to the Newton Community.

After some really bad news this past winter, things have been quiet at the Newted Community, a resource and gathering place of MessagePad-minded folks. But after moving to Bluehost and setting up a new look and feel thanks to WordPress, Hutchinson has been quietly making progress on restoring some of Newted’s services.

All in the midst of a giant NewtonTalk reboot.

The NewtonTalk server switch is keeping Hutchinson plenty busy, in fact, and has kept the Newted project on the backburner. But, he says, e-mail and web accounts have been restored for several members. Also on the to-do list: a new support FAQ and membership information.

“The nice thing about Bluehost, is that the service is consistent and offers a ton of tools and add-ons,” Hutchinson says, “such as webmail and optional serverside spam filtering.”

Unfortunately, everything in the Newted archives, stored on a local hard drive, was lost in the crash.

“I had the majority of the main site backed up locally, but all user files were lost,” Hutchinson says. “Any missing bits are accessable using the Internet Archive, for the most part.”

Some Newted users personally backed up their sites, too, he says.

I was a member of the Newted clan before the big crash. Since the crash, any news has been good news. And step by step, the good news is coming along.

During the Newted’s rebirth, Hutchinson’s list of priorities include membership information, updating the About and Support pages, a revamped “Newtons Around the World” gallery, and a few other projects.

“I’m guessing that by the end of January, things should be back up to relatively normal speed,” he says.

Existing members of the Newted Community can contact Hutchinson (admin at newted dot org) to get their membership information set up again. Newton users and fans will be able to register in the next few weeks, once Hutchinson sets up a payment system.

Hutchinson says membership benefits will include:

  • Your choice of using POP3, POP3S, IMAP, or IMAPS email
  • Outbound mail relaying via SMTP or authenticated SMTP
  • 250MB mailbox (size may be increased for a small one time fee)
  • A webmail interface
  • Optional email aliases (available for a small one time fee)
  • Optional Postini spam filtering (available for a small annual fee)
  • FTP access for web space or file storage
  • 5.0GB server space (size may be increased for a small one time fee)

It’s worth remembering, however, that Splorp does this stuff for “recreational web tinkering,” as he puts it. This being a hobby, and with all the NewtonTalk stuff going down, it’s understandable if he takes his time – especially to get it all done right.

“There are people who still care deeply about the Newted Community site,” Hutchinson says. “You need to pay attention to things that people depend on.”

The big lesson he learned was keeping a good backup of the Newted data. Hutchinson also learned one good lesson about hard drives.

“Act quickly,” he says. “As soon as a hard drive makes a funny sound, you almost too late.”

NewtonTalk list moving servers

November 2nd, 2009

Grant Hutchinson warns the good folks over at the NewtonTalk mailing list that, with a server switcheroo, some outages might creep up.

Says Splorp:

Bill Shamam and I will be migrating the NewtonTalk mailing list and website to a new server within the next several days. This move will also involve switching the mailing list to run on new software. This is a necessary change as the current list software (eCartis) has not been supported or actively developed for several years.

With any transition that involves technology, data and the aethernets, things are bound to break. We will be doing our best to keep the downtime to a mimimum, but there will be gaps in the availability of the list and the website.

The mighty list admins will be using Mailman to power the e-mail list from now on.

Right now is in fact down. Keep up-to-date on list happenings over at NewtonTalk’s Twitter account.

Fresh Newton porn on Flickr

October 15th, 2009

Apple Newton by oxymoronik, courtesy of Flickr

Grant Hutchinson has put together a fresh batch of great Newton photography at his Flickr gallery, Beautiful Newton, including the above shot courtesy of oxymoronik.

There are some fantastic shots in Splorp’s gallery, including an eMate-in-the-wild shot, and a submission from Sonny Hung’s Frozen Newton collection. Besides the eMate shot, my favorite has to be this simple MessagePad close-up.

[Via splorp.]

A box of junk, one geek at a time

September 9th, 2009

Grant Hutchinson is taking part in a clever project:

A box full of electronic junk? Most excellent. But, wait a minute … a box full of electronic junk that you are encouraged to take things out of, put things into, and then continually track on the interwebs? It sounded too good to be true, but that’s exactly what “The Great Internet Migratory Box of Electronic Junk” or TGIMBOEJ is all about. Loosely described on the project’s site as “… halfway between P2P zip archive sharing and a flea market …”, it was something I was destined to participate in.

What was in Hutchinson’s Great Internet Migratory Box of Electronic Junk (hereafter, the junk box)? Oh, some Newton and Mac peripherals, of course, like an original MessagePad stylus and an Apple Desktop Bus Mouse II.

Want to participate? Grab a sturdy cardboard box, some e-junk, and fill out a form. Then give the box to someone, and help move it along every two weeks while tracking its progress.

I know I’d love to pass along an old external hard drive casing and a few Apple mice myself.

Worldwide Newton Conference pics posted

September 3rd, 2009

WWNC 2009

Jeff Hohner posted pictures from this summer’s Worldwide Newton Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Above is event organizer Ryan Vetter introducing Larry Yaeger.

Eckhart Köppen talks Newton with NY Times

August 20th, 2009

The New York Times’s Tech Talk podcast talked with Newton savior and Y2010 bug squasher Eckhart Köppen on avoiding Newtpocalypse, how the Newton stays relevant, and how to find a MessagePad or eMate.

It’s a great (but short) interview, and helps spread the Newton virus into the world at large.

“It is a device that does what it has to do. I keep most of my information on there,” Köppen says of his Newton. “It’s always there, and it’s really practical.”

Köppen brags about the Newton’s battery life, which is excellent, and about its data reliability.

“You don’t have to worry about your stuff when it’s on the Newton,” he says. “It keeps track of your stuff as you need it, when you need it.”

And hey, I learned that Köppen works for Nokia.

Check out the July 29 episode (iTunes link) for the full interview.

[Via System Folder.]

Newton added to

July 29th, 2009

Morgan Aldridge has added the Newton MessagePad 2100 and eMate 200 to, “a place to get to know your gadgets even better.” is a gadget social site, allowing users to “own” or “want” different gadgets, as well as rate them, give tips, and share their device collection.

The lineup also includes the OMP, MP110-130, and MP2000 models.

Biggest day ever

July 21st, 2009's 1983 success wave

What you’re looking at is the high crest of some Mac appreciation wave that is only now breaking.

I posted my, circa 1983 picture on June 29 – three days after sharing it on Flickr. Since then, the image has been shared on numerous blogs (including one of my daily reads), and has spread around the world. It’s been an honor to see how this little project took off.

To give you an idea, Newton Poetry typically earns anywhere from 300-700 hits on an average day. For those days that I publish something to Macsurfer, that number can reach into 1,000 or so. But that’s only happened a few times.

Hitting 3,600 hits in a day, however, is unheard of for this blog. It’s madness. And it’s humbling.

The funny thing is, I had a feeling it was coming. Something told me that drafting a snapshot of Apple’s make-believe 1983 web site, something I hadn’t seen anyone tackle before, would be something people could enjoy. But 43,000 views and 30 comments on Flickr (and counting) tells me it reached those Mac fans, like myself, that love the retro kitsch stuff.

Here I thought the first day’s traffic, that little spike you see on the left, was big news. Then things creeped down back to normal, when Cult of Mac wrote about it and – BOOM – off it went. My biggest source of traffic has come from some German web sharing service Swedish blog network that I’ve never heard of. Amazing.

Looking at it almost a month later, there’s some things that I would change about the mockup. For one, someone pointed out that I had the wrong Apple II at the bottom. I’d like to mess with the kerning a bit on the headlines.

Also, some have suggested that I should have used Apple’s old serif font (what would become a modified version of Garamond) for the typeface. But I hate that typeface, and I wanted to keep things simple and more modern. Besides, the picture was thrown together on a Thursday night, the product of an idea and some Google Image searching, and is by no means an accurate representation. It only shows what one could do with Apple’s iconic web site design.

Most of all, my little project has shown the power of the share-able web. After I posted the mockup and Twittered it, the thing spread immediately to blogs and re-Tweets, and started generating unheard-of levels of traffic to this site.

So thanks to everyone who chimed in, shared the picture, and visited this site. I hope some of you will stick around, because I do love me some classic Macintosh, and Newton, and am willing to do more of this kind of thing.

I have a Newton launch day version of swimming in my head as I type.

Worldwide Newton Conference updates

July 15th, 2009

The on-again, off-again nature of this year’s Worldwide Newton Conference seems to be resolved, as event organizer Ryan Vetter pieces together details of the upcoming Newtonpalooza.

There were serious doubts as to whether the conference was going to happen. I had asked Vetter for details about the event several months in advance so I could prepare for a continent-wide road trip to Vancouver, British Columbia to attend. After not hearing anything back, I assumed the whole deal was kaput.

Finally, at the beginning of July, Vetter responded to the calls for details and sent out a message that WWNC was, in fact, still a go.

Since then, Vetter has gone on the Retro Maccast to give more details, and has updated the WWNC page with more specifics on available lodging locations in Vancouver.

As it stands, I will be unable to attend. The late notice and lack of specifics was enough to kill the trip for me. For one, I would have wanted to plan my road trip months ago. Two, the cost of a few night’s stay in downtown Vancouver is prohibitive.

I do wish everyone who attends a good and productive conference, and I’ll post updates as I see them. But sadly, because of all the WWNC start and stops, you’ll have to count me out.

Thanks, Newtontalk

July 9th, 2009


I really do appreciate it. It’s probably the highest, most gracious compliment Newton Poetry has received so far.

Well, besides all the cuss words in the comment section.

By the way, you can follow Newtontalk on Twitter, or head to the only full-powered, highly-specialized e-mail list that discusses all things MessagePad, eMate, handwriting recognition, and poutine.

The gang at Newtontalk have provided me with tons of advice, articles, helpful leads, and loads of laughs. They’re quick to respond when you have a Newton-related issue, and their encyclopedic knowledge of the platform is staggering.

As a relative newcomer, I bow to their collective wisdom.