Posts tagged “community”.

Newton quote of the week: userbase

February 24th, 2010

“Part of what makes the Newton so great are groups like these. I certainly would never have bought my two Newts if there wasn’t such an active community out there. Working with retro-tech like the Emate or MP130 can be a wonderful challenge.

Newton fans certainly seem to some of the most active and vocal user groups. The fact that we’re still developing for a platform that’s been ‘dead’ for over a decade is impressive.”

- Bjorn Keizers, a newbie to the Newtontalk list in December.

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.”

On Newton and Apple’s eWorld

March 23rd, 2009

eworldspring

Former Apple developer Chris Christensen has a lot to say about the beginnings of Apple’s former online community, eWorld, and how it grew parallel to the Newton.

Apple’s eWorld was an America Online-like online hub that was created in the early days of the Internet. Since its creation, AOL has worked closely with Apple (ever wonder why iChat automatically uses AIM accounts?), including on NewtonMail. The relationship wasn’t always beneficial to both parties, says Christensen:

[AOL] also had two engineers on their side assigned to develop a new registration system that would be appropriate for the Newton. eWorld systems engineering resources also had to be redirected to NewtonMail instead of the eWorld launch to meet the NewtonMail schedule. Thus by doing my job of adding email to the Newton I helped slow down the eWorld launch.

Christensen goes into more detail about how missed deadlines and the growth of the World Wide Web spelled doom for the fledgling eWorld community.

AOL has since declined dramatically in popularity. It was the first Internet service I used, in 1995 or 1996, back when those annoying and wasteful CD-ROMs with the AOL start-up software were mailed to everyone in America. Remember those? They made great coasters.

It’s interesting that the development of eWorld and the Newton platform were from the same division at Apple, and running pretty much side-by-side before their launch.

For nostalgia’s sake, you can download eWorld’s sound files for your Newton, or have fun with an eWorld emulator.

[Via Newtontalk.]

See you in Vancouver

February 5th, 2009

As if I wasn’t excited enough, this photo from the Big Picture helps me to look forward to the Worldwide Newton Developers Conference, taking place July 31-August 2 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

I plan on driving across Canada from Michigan to get there. It’s a trip I wanted to take in 2007, when I drove across the northern U.S. to Seattle (I planned to cross Canada on my way back, but flew instead). Now I have an excuse to see it all.

The Pacific Northwest is the most beautiful area I’ve been to yet, and images like the Big Picture’s make me look forward to seeing another part of this beautiful territory.

Apple Design Awards makes Splorp famous

June 12th, 2008

Well, kind of. It helps if you know who he is.

“Splorp”" is actually Grant Hutchinson, a big Newton MessagePad fan and keeper of the Newtontalk list (which seems to be down as of this posting – here’s the Twitter feed), the Newted Community, and his own personal site (and, above, his Twitter feed).

Anyway, one of the 2008 Apple Design Award winner for “Best iPhone Social Networking Application” was Twitterrific for the iPhone, and his picture is right there on Apple’s web site. Kind of cool.

He might not even know it yet, but I’ll let him know right now. Because, you know, us Newton users need all the help we can get, right?

When I first got my iBook, back in November 2005, I saw a Celldweller CD sitting on one of the desktops on Apple’s “Get to know your Mac” tutorial sites. Being a fan, I let him know, and he seemed to appreciate it. “I know we have some fans over at Apple,” Clayton told me.

MyAppleSpace – Apple social networking?

May 27th, 2008

MyAppleSpace is the Apple-inspired MySpace

It was bound to happen. Now there’s a social networking site – like Myspace or Facebook – dedicated to Apple users.

It’s called MyAppleSpace, and according to Brian Floe, it’s the networking site “for the rest of us”:

iPhone, iPod, Mac or even AppleTV users now have a common home to explore the everything Apple, share experiences, network with other users, create usergroups within the community, create their own profile with their own private blog, upload Apple related video, photos and even music.

MyAppleSpace is pretty simple to start out. It has some customization features (my profile is “Bondi”) and the ability to comment and blog and share videos. All pretty standard stuff. I created a group called “Newton Users” (nach), and it was a snap. Now we’ll see if anyone joins.

Because that’s the power of social networks: the bigger, the better. But an Apple-themed site can stay just small enough to be comfy and familiar.

Check it out, and join my Newton group. I’ll see you on MyAppleSpace.

[UPDATE: Read my interview with MyAppleSpace creator Brian Flow.]

Looking for Newton-based links.

April 15th, 2008

This is how many Newton pages look now

On the web, the Newton community used to be a very vibrant one. Before Newted crashed, Grant Hutchinson was able to post tons of web pages of MessagePad developers, modders, and tweakers.

Now? Most of those pages are gone. Dead links are everywhere.

So I’ve started a project of sorts: keep a list of actual, working Newton web sites that are still maintained. Barring that, they have to at least be functional.

I’ll probably post another page to this blog (next to the “About” one, above), and add to the list when I discover new sites.

So here’s the call: if you have a site, blog, or community online, I’d love to see it. I’d love for Newton fans and newbies to be able to check out sites that are still up and running.

I’ve got the standards, like UNNA.org and Kallisys and Grant’s Newted site (hopefully it gets up and running again), but I’m sure I’m missing tons of others out there – lost in Internet Land.

With death comes a crash @ Newted

February 28th, 2008

Sad that, on the day the Newton died, Splorp’s Newted community went “deep toast.”

The system that has maintained the community for nine years crashed today, although the signs were starting to appear.

Already, the Newton community has responded by offering replacement hardware.

What’s “deep toast?” Says Hutchinson:

By the way, if you’re a Newton geek of any measure, you will have understood the nod to our little green friend in the title of this post. For everyone else, “deep toast” refers to a alert message indicating that some piece of Newton hardware (generally the rechargeable battery) can no longer be reliably used. An arguably fitting salute.

Among the Newted.

February 6th, 2008

Just got accepted as a member of the Newted Newton community. Thanks to Grant for accepting my associate membership. He’s still taking members, which is good to hear.

My membership gets me 10 MB of server space for e-mails and web stuff, a free web site (under construction, of course), FTP access, and the ability to hunt through members-only message boards. Right now I’m just finding my way around the place, but it’s pretty cool. Sadly I get the feeling I’m in an abandoned part of town, because the message boards haven’t had many new topics posted, but the info I did find was pretty cool.

Grant is, of course, kind of famous around the Newton community for all he does and the help he provides.

More to come as I play around some more.