Posts categorized “messagepad”.

The Register tears apart an MP120

August 2nd, 2010

Courtesy of The Register UK

Rik Myslewski at The Register takes a look back at the Newton MessagePad 120 in his “Before the iPad there was Newton” article:

The 120 was also the first MessagePad to be upgraded to Newton OS 2.0 (up from 1.3), in late 1995. This significant improvement over the first OS’s iterations was sadly ignored by most of the gadget-buying populace, whose minds had already been made up by the media Scheiße-storm over the shortcomings of the original Newton OS.

Myslewski takes the MP120 apart, exposing all its hard-wired innards, and explaining how the IRD, recharging station, and flash memory cards work.

It’s a good look-back at a turning point in the MessagePad hardware line, though – as Newtontalk wondered – Myslewski offers some arm-chair criticism at the eMate: “The less said about that Giger-inspired oddity, the better.”

Right. Well, thanks for the pictures at least.

No bumper needed: Newton Y2008 bug fixed

July 19th, 2010

The Newton community received good news this weekend from wunderkind Eckhart Köppen:

No duct tape of bumper case required here: Paul Guyot has come up with a way to prevent the reset to January 1st, 2008 with patch 71J059 after rebooting or power loss. I merged his changes into the next version of the Y2010 patch, version 711000.

This “Y2008” bug hit back in January, soon after Newtpocalypse was averted. This issue hasn’t made Newtons unusable, but it put the brakes on the overall Y2010 fix.

Köppen credits Grant Hutchinson, Tony Kan, and Don Zahniser for helping with testing. Paul Guyot, who developed the patch that prevents the reset to 2008, is responsible for all the fun Kallisys software, including Escale and the Einstein project.

Köppen says German Newtons and all eMates will be fixed soon. This patch only fixes U.S.-based 2×00 Newtons.

As Newton users, we’re lucky to have such hard-working minds. They continue to develop fixes for all these issues, allowing us to keep using our MessagePads and eMates here in 2010 and beyond. The wait for this latest patch has been worth it.

Now I’ll sit tight until my eMate patch comes along.

UPDATE: Morgan Aldridge is doing some digging on the Adam Tow’s Alarms issue.

[Via NewtonTalk.]

Newton color palette

June 21st, 2010

Newton color palette

Thomas Brand has created a Newton MessagePad color palette – an creative mix of hexidecimal codes, early ’90s shades of green, and blog design.

Thomas used the palette for Egg Freckles, his awesomely-designed Newton blog, based on Grant Hutchinson’s Batmobile Newton prototype.

I always think of the Newton in olive-toned colors – but my own MP110 is flaking along the edges, exposing a brighter green under that grippy surface layer.

Quote of the week: prohibitively expensive

May 18th, 2010

MP120 at CrunchGear

I never owned one back when they first came out. They were prohibitively expensive and they were generally too incredible for me to fathom a use for them. Why would you need an address book? A calendar? I had paper versions of those. I didn’t really need to remember a lot of phone numbers and all of my friends emails were in Pine and I’d never send an email by plugging a small handheld device into a telephone port and making a call let alone wirelessly. Right?

John Biggs at CrunchGear, looking back at the Newton MessagePad 120.

[Courtesy of D.R. over at NewtonTalk.]

NewtVid: Newton MessagePad 2000 review

May 13th, 2010

“Actually, it is solid.”

“Here’s that place where you put in your stylus.”

Golly, it’s amazing the power that YouTube gives its users, isn’t it?

Installing a 2 GB hard drive into a Newton

April 21st, 2010

Courtesy of Riccardo Mori

Riccardo Mori over at System Folder (which gets better with every post) tried a fun experiment: installing a 2 GB PCMCIA Toshiba hard drive in his MP2100:

I don’t think I’ll ever need 2 gigabytes with my Newtons — my biggest flash card is 32 MB, and it’s more than enough for my needs — nevertheless I wanted to try a little experiment to see to what extent such PCMCIA hard drive is actually usable.

A few ATA drivers and a fresh set of batteries, and what do you know – it worked. Mori is experiencing some battery drain and slower read/write speeds.

“The only way to make good use of this PCMCIA hard drive, I guess, is by putting a rechargeable battery pack and leaving the Newton connected to the AC adapter,” Mori says.

ThinkGeek’s Newton giveaway

April 1st, 2010

Think Geek's Newton prize

So to heck with the iPad – you’ve dreamed of someday winning an Apple Newton MessagePad in some random site’s giveaway.

Well, ThinkGeek has heard your plea. They’re giving away an MP100 and a $1,000 shopping spree from now, April 1, until midnight.

I know, I know – it’s probably a joke, right? Especially considering second prize is an iPad. But Think Geek says, “And while the Newton may seem impossibly awesome, we promise it’s true–this contest is NOT a joke.” Who am I to doubt them? Besides the $1,000 grand prize, the bundled Newton is a heckuva money saver.

When you click through to enter, ThinkGeek asks if you want to receive their updates and promotions, so it could be a genius marketing scheme. Just don’t get me wrong: by “scheme” I mean “I’d love to have one.”

And here I had thought of doing something like this as an anniversary prize or something…

[Via Splorp.]

The tablet era

March 31st, 2010

Steven Levy’s concise, polished view of the tablet revolution in this month’s Wired (I’m a magazine subscriber) gives a nod to the Newton in one of the “tablets through the ages” sidebar. It was the polite thing to do after talking about Apple’s iPad, the failed Windows Tablet, and the possibility of a Google Chrome OS tablet in the near future.

What’s amazing is that Apple has released some high-tech dopamine in tech pundit’s pleasure zones. Some connection has been made between the iPad, the future of computing, and the hypothalamus – and Levy says the victim will be the graphical user interface we know and (perhaps) love:

One thing we do know is that a heated battle is breaking out over the grave site of the GUI. While unveiling the most heralded Apple product since the iPhone, Jobs presented a powerful and compelling vision of what comes next.

This is the fascinating part of this whole storyline: that now, at the crux of touchscreens and cloud computing and the gee-whiz interface Apple has created, we’ve reached Nirvana.Wired's Newton graphic

Which makes me wonder about other visions of the future, particularly Google’s. After playing around with a few Android devices, I can imagine some powerful tablets featuring Google’s mobile operating system. Forget Chrome OS; Android, to me, offers a much more compelling option if you want to pit the iPad against a true rival.

The open app system, the configurability, the relative polish, the touchscreen interface. It’s all there. For some, the iPad’s computing appliance metaphor is what they’ve always wanted. Less details, less trouble.

But for geeks, an Android-powered tablet is a something to think about.

In any case, it’s nice that the editors at Wired gave the Newton a bit of credit for helping to usher in this Tablet Era – and rightfully so. Rarely is a technology born in the water fully-formed. There are incremental steps along the way. The plow led to the horse-drawn plow led to the John Deere A (that my father, and many farmers, collect) to the modern giant thresher. And just like farmers like to admire and appreciate the classic John Deeres (my dad used to drive one in our town’s Independence Day parade), we can appreciate the quirks and personality of the Newton.

Also, those classic tractors are still useful and running well, with some maintenance. We keep our MessagePads and eMates chugging along as well, even when iPads have passed them by.

Newton travels the world

February 22nd, 2010

Dr. Adrian Marsh takes his Newton on the road, and around the globe, in My Newton Life – a travelog often updated with an MP2100.

Dr. Marsh makes updates with nBlog from Europe and Turkey, and especially from in and around Istanbul. Lately, however, Dr. Marsh has been posting from his iPhone.

[Image via Dr. Marsh.]

NewtVid: Another Newton unboxing

February 17th, 2010

This time, Jon Rettinger promises more reviews of the actual Newton OS features, which should be fun.