Posts categorized “eMate”.

Behold: the elusive orange Newton eMate

February 18th, 2010

orange prototype Newton eMate

Jim Abeles posted a few photos of the prototype (and highly elusive) orange eMate 300.

According to Abeles, who is chief executive officer at Pre1 Software,

This came from a GUI designer for the eMate who said it was shown to developers at the 1996 MacWorld. Apparently it was the first time Apple used “stereo lithography” to prototype a product. Jonathan Ives saw it in use in Amsterdam and was inspired to try it. Three pieces were made; the top, bottom and pen.

Apple was toying around with other eMate colors – and business-grade models. It could be that the translucent plastic and candy coating inspired the iMac and iBook G3 varieties.

He’s got a bunch of other great classic Apple hardware shots, with some more Newton prototypes like the Lizzy, at his Flickr gallery. I remember him getting some buzz for his prototype iPhone pics a while back.

[Via Morgan Aldridge.]

Starring the Computer: Newton goes Hollywood

February 1st, 2010

Newton stars in 'Fear'

The “which computer starred in which movie” site, Starring the Computer, has a handy list of Newton MessagePad appearances – and even a Batman movie where the eMate shows up.

Starring the Computer lets you browse through listings either by movie or by computer (or pioneering PDA). Finding iMac G4 appearances was a breeze. I just wish it appeared in more dignified films than “The Pacifier.”

The Apple Museum has a list of Apple sightings in general, but it seems like I’ve heard of a few more Newton sightings that aren’t listed.

[Via Matej Horvat in the Newtontalk list.]

eMate as wall clock

January 22nd, 2010

eMate wall clock

Genius: a Newton eMate serving as a light-up wall clock, using BigCountdown, naked as the day the screen was born.

Check out the photo gallery to see the nitty-gritty.

[Via The Unofficial Apple Weblog.]

Tackling the RetroChallenge with an eMate

January 4th, 2010

A few weeks ago, Morgan Aldridge wondered if going absolutely retro, with nothing but a Newton eMate 300 and an old Apple StyleWriter, would be possible.

Now, he’s testing himself – and the RetroChallenge – at his word:

The challenge is very open-ended, so I was content with setting a reasonable goal of repairing & updating an eMate 300 as a clean & simple environment for focused writing. It needs the hinge repaired, battery recelled, 2010 patch applied, and a few other issues addressed, so there’ll be more involved than merely clearing away desk detritus. If I manage all that with time to spare, then I’ll venture to craft a working modem script which allows me to get online with AT&T EDGE/GPRS via Bluetooth, but I’m not counting on it.

It’s a heckuva challenge, to use a mid-’90s-era Newton to manage your daily tasks and projects.

Aldridge is trying to use the simplified desk space to organize his life. What could be simpler than a monochrome proto-netbook? He says that being a Newton power user doesn’t make the RetroChallenge that challenging, but he gets two benefits: accomplishing a goal, and completing a contest.

“With less than an hour to go before the start of the challenge in my time zone, I’m very much looking forward to a clean, minimal, and usable Newton desk at the end of the month,” Aldridge says.

Can’t wait to see how it goes, and his results at the end of January.

Newton quote of the week: going retro

December 17th, 2009

“Sometimes I wonder just how “Newton” I could go. Clear off my desk and leave only an eMate and Color StyleWriter 2200? Would love it.”

- Morgan Aldridge

NewVid: Apple introduces the Newton eMate 300

December 8th, 2009

A great find from the Apple marketing archives, showing the target market for the eMate: education.

The video may have been produced before the eMate name was finalized, because you never heard it called an eMate through the whole thing. One teacher keeps calling it “the machine,” but no one comes out and says it’s a Newton product.

“It’s definitely ageless,” one of the teacher says.

Ruggedness, flexibility, tons of uses, usability – these were the eMate’s strengths, especially as it was carried around by fifth graders. Apple had that in mind, at least, when they put together the commercial.

eMate wins low-end writing battle

November 24th, 2009

alphasmart

Greg Pak at Pakbuzz was a dedicated AlphaSmart Dana user. It’s portability, small form factor, and battery life made the Dana his go-to writing machine.

But then Pak grabbed a Newton eMate off eBay, for comparison’s sake, and has declared it the “greatest lo-tech writing machine on the planet!” The exclamation point means he’s serious.

In comparing the AlphaSmart Dana, AlphaSmart Neo (above), and the eMate, Pak found they had a lot of similarities:

Both the Dana and the eMate were designed with the educational market in mind. Both are solid state computers with no moving parts and incredibly sturdy plastic bodies. Both run on software originally designed for pocket organizers and feature a stylus rather than a mouse. Both have black and white screens with green backlights. Both use their own barebones but functional word processors that can export and import rtf files. Both turn on instantly and automatically save everything that you type. And both run for days on a full charge.

The difference is in the eMate’s syncing capabilities (thanks to the newest batch of Mac-to-Newton sync software), security, data safety, and geekiness.

The Dana and Neo win in terms of speed, weight, and long-term viability, since they’re still in production.

The fact that the AlphaSmart products both sync with USB out of the box make them attractive. Pak’s issues with document syncing seem like a killer, though. I love the ability to drop a NewtonWorks document onto my Mac desktop as a rich text document and be done with it.

Battery life on both AlphaSmart products, however, seems killer.

Newton connects with Snow Leopard

November 5th, 2009

Newton connects with Snow Leopard

Newton users may wonder, with the release of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, whether their MessagePads and eMates would still play nice with the new operating system. You get a new Mac (as I did) with the latest install, and you might worry – is it going to work?

I’m here to report: everything works fine.

Keyspan USA-28x

I started by download the Keyspan USA-28x driver to my new iMac for the serial-to-USB adapter. Things got weird when Snow Leopard recognized the Keyspan adapter as some sort of dial-up device (above). This wasn’t the case, obviously, but I pressed on just to see if it would work.

Newton Connection (NCX)

I went with Simon Bell’s excellent Newton Connection for Mac OS X (NCX) for the software connection, using a Newton eMate 300.

Since I’m working through the serial connection via USB, I select “serial” in the Newton’s Dock app and – whala. NCX and the Keyspan adapter give me a connection on Snow Leopard.

NCX screenshot function

First, I wanted to try the new screen shot function on NCX – something that was only possible before in a few roundabout ways, like with Newton Toolkit.

In NCX, head to File > Screen Shot, then press the little camera (above) and wait a few seconds.

eMate screen shot

And bam, you get a little window pop-up with a screen shot of your Newton. Pretty handy.

NCX package install

Next, I tried doing what every Newton user does at some point: install a package file. In this case, I picked a periodic table app from UNNA.

Newton package install

This worked exactly as before.

snowlep_keyboard

So everything, from the screen shots to the keyboard function – which, for me, worked faster than on previous Macs – works great with OS X 10.6.

Trying NewtSync on Snow Leopard

The real test, and the one I’ve had issues with on my eMate since forever, is syncing Address Book and iCal names and dates to the Newton. I’ve had no luck at all so far, besides a few to-do items syncing from iCal to the Newton’s Dates app, and I don’t guess it’ll get much better on Snow Leopard. I tried using NewtSync (above), but had no luck syncing anything.

The important message to take away is that, with software like NCX, it’s possible to connect your Newton, install packages, and do a few other tasks no matter which version of Mac OS X you’re using.

This may not always be the case. There could be some future OS X release that cripples any potential Newton-to-Mac connection. I would think it’d be in the areas of data syncing or unavailable drivers for serial adapters. But the newer MessagePads and eMates allow for Bluetooth compatibility, which shows no sign of going away.

Random error when syncing with NewtSync

November 2nd, 2009

newtsync4

Get this. An attempt to sync my Address Book contacts and my iCal dates with the eMate. I’m using NewtSync with a Serial-to-USB adapter over USB on my iMac G4. And everything’s going fine (above).

newtsync3

Then this. What gives?

The process never finishes before this error message pops up. My eMate, though, has a lot of the information from iCal loaded from the sync, including repeating appointments. Address Book contact info, however, never makes it over to the eMate.

I’ve had issues syncing my eMate with anything on OS X. Guess I’ll keep trying.

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.]