Posts tagged “free”.

The quest to save Geocities Newton sites

May 6th, 2009


When the news broke that Yahoo! was shutting down its free Geocities web-hosting service, Newton fans wondered: what about those MessagePad fan and software sites?

Tony Kan put out the call: save those web pages!

Morgan Aldridge offered to host any that could be saved on the United Newton Network Archives (UNNA) mirror site – and, one by one, the Newton community is doing just that.

Sites like Newtonium-62 and Newton Ressurection are all being saved from the Interweb trash heap. Without this effort, a lot of Newton history, stories, and knowledge would be lost forever.

A few of the sites I have up on my own Newton Sites page will have to be re-routed to the new, UNNA-hosted URL. But it’s so worth it.

If you find a Geocities Newton site out there, lost at sea, be sure to contact Morgan.

On being a member of the Newton ‘tribe’

October 22nd, 2008

Marketing guru Seth Godin has a new book out, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us. As a way to promote and brainstorm the book, he invited an online “triiibe” to make a book of their own. It’s available for free on Seth’s blog (which is great, and updated every day).

In the free, PDF version of the “Tribes” book, I couldn’t help but notice how many times Apple is brought up. On page 17, an author talks about the not-so-first-in-line Polish iPhone buyers. On page 51, the iPhone unlocker tribe gets its day. “Think Different” is listed as a War Cry on page 41. On page 60, Tom Bentley describes how he’ll be a Mac guy for life after his first experience:

The Mac tribe, of course, has been written about extensively, as has Appleís design magic. There have been some clunkers, but in the main, many are marvelous advances in computing and design. Iím not quite the zealot fanboy who would immediately flame online columnists who question any aspect of the Macintosh Creed, but I get where the fanatics are coming from. Iím in their tribe, after all.

“I am now part of the Newton tribe” sparked my interest at first glance, even if the actual article was about Newton running shoes. Even there, though, Marcus Galica talks about how Newton-wearing runners recognize each other out in the wild. Remember when that was true for iPods? How iPod wearers would give each other “the nod” or “the look”?

Apple’s relatively smaller user base than PCs gets a mention on page 63 (“I’m a Mac, I’m a PC”). Online groups and surfers and ethnic groups are all mentioned in this “Current Tribes Casebook,” but Apple gets its a big share (perhaps more than fair – is that my “tribal mind” talking?) of the attention.

I joined the Apple tribe three years ago in November, and I haven’t looked back. More recently, I joined the Newton tribe (and the jogging tribe and the local brewery tribe, and perhaps a few more), and it’s been a heckuva lot of fun.

What would be written about our little group of holders-on and our big green friend?

Retro Kindle: eBooks on Newton

June 26th, 2008

Newton was the original eBook reader

Depending on who you ask,’s Kindle is a either a hit or a waste of electronics. The free web and book browsing, where you can find it, is a good thing. The outrageously-priced electronic books, however, are not good. And some think the Kindle won’t actually make people read more books, but simply attract those already-book-readers that have been dying to clear some shelf space. At most, the Kindle is a handy “information device.”

For those who aren’t willing to shell out $399 for a eBook reader, you can rely on your Newton to do the same darned thing – for free.

You see, before there was e-ink or Wikipedia, there was the Newton eBook. Every Newton released has the ability to read an eBook: a Unicode-based, read-only electronic document that supports tables of contents, some images, and internal links.

Downloading Newton eBooks is as easy as downloading a “.pkg” file from a site that provides eBooks, like Newton’s Library or Matt Howe recently offered the Newtontalk list a free copy of Robert’s Rules of Order for anyone who asked. Even the venerable has a list of available books.

Applications like Newton Press allow you to make eBooks and package them as “.pkg” files for download (here’s a handy tip site).

Now you don’t even need a Newton MessagePad to read your eBooks. Newton’s Library has provided a Firefox extension that allows you to read them on your browser. The effect is pretty cool:

Newton\'s Library Firefox eBook reader

The Firefox extension lets you read Newton eBooks in a little window, and converts the “.pkg” files to readable text.

The Kindle has the ability to seek and find free eBooks as well, as Merlin Mann over at points out (after he did so on the terrific podcast, MacBreak Weekly). Plus Project Gutenberg is a worthy project that is putting its library of 100,000 eBooks (HTML or plain text) into the hands of readers. All they ask is for a donation.

So if you’re looking to dive into the world of eBooks, you have options. Yes, you can opt for the Kindle – a modern, capable book reader that has a steep up-front cost but freebie options available. But this is Newton Poetry, and for more of a “project” or unique feel to your eBook reading experience that’s sure to turn heads, opt for the MessagePad version.

Add holidays to Newton’s Dates

February 29th, 2008

A big thanks to Matt Howe, who created a holiday package to upload to Newton’s Dates application.

There are 11 different categories of holidays, including Polish, Australian, and Canadian holidays.

Pretty handy if you want your MessagePad to remember when Boxing Day is. “Holidays” is a free download.