Posts tagged “how to”.

NewtVid: Take apart your Newton

September 17th, 2009

PowerbookMedic takes apart a Newton MessagePad:

If the iPhone 3GS had parents, its father would be the iPhone 3G, and its mother would be the 1st Gen iPhone. If it had a Grandma, that would unequivocally have to be the Apple Newton. We’ve done teardown videos on all of the iPhone models, and so it seemed only logical (and respectful) to give the Newton the same honor.

A few things struck me about this video: the infomercial music, the rate of unscrewing screws (what, no fast forward?), and the brave use of a soldering iron. Maybe it’s early, but taking a red-hot poker to my Newton is a bit too advanced for me.

Anyway, a good how-to if you feel like getting your hands dirty.

[Via NewtonTalk.]

How to do stuff with your Newton

March 26th, 2009

Looking through the Newton Poetry archives, I realize that there are quite a few articles about how to do stuff – fax, connect with OS X, reset – that may have been lost in the shuffle.

Those articles are some of my favorites, because I’m learning how to do them at the same time you are. That’s what I like about writing Newton Poetry: getting my hands dirty with little projects. It’s a blast.

Connect your Newton with Mac OS X
One of the more popular features, this article explains how to use NCX to sync your 2.x Newton with a modern Mac running OS X. You can also learn how to connect with Escale and with NewTen.

Send a fax with your Newton
Faxing with your Newton is old school. The fax seems like an ancient technology, but with a 1.x or 2.x Newton and a simple modem, you can send faxes through the phone line.

Reset your Newton
Let’s say the worst happens, and your Newton somehow locks up or is frozen by a software error. There are different levels of restarting your Newton, and this post explains them all.

Take screenshots on your Newton
Recently, I learned how to take screenshots of my eMate using the Newton Toolkit. There are other, more complicated ways, but this one was the most immediately useful for my needs.

Install packages on your Newton
The Newton is kind of like the iPhone in that you can take it out of the box and it’s immediately useful and usable. But the fun part of owning one is installing cool apps that make it even more useful. That’s where installing .pkg files comes in handy.

Power your Newton with rechargeable batteries
This is more of a tip I learned when using my MP110. Instead of relying on my long-dead Apple battery pack, I bought some Eneloop batteries and used the heck out of them. Soon, I’ll be exploring more energy options with my eMate 300.

Read Newton eBooks
Not only is your Newton a pre-Amazon Kindle eBook reader, but there’s a plugin for Firefox that lets you read Newton eBooks in your web browser.

Getting to know you

March 10th, 2009

Trent over at The Simple Dollar got me thinking: who, exactly, reads Newton Poetry on a regular or semi-regular basis?

Since I switched away from WordPress.com and onto my own server, I have access to accurate numbers regarding visitors and page views. Even subtracting “robot” views from search engines, I learned that Newton Poetry has many more readers than I assumed. Many of you read via RSS feeds in Google Reader or some other subscription-based app.

Over time, I’ve heard from many readers on a regular basis. Quite a few of you are regular commentors, but that means even more of you are content to sit back and consume content. Which is cool.

But here’s your chance to be known. Use today’s post as a way to introduce yourself. Don’t feel obligated – I’d just like to know a bit more about Newton Poetry readers.

In the comments section, let me know:

  • Which MessagePad or Newton-based PDA you use regularly
  • Why you’re a regular reader
  • What Mac or PC you use as your main machine
  • What was the first Newton Poetry post you read
  • Location, age, career – any trivia-type stuff you’d like to share
  • Any ideas you have for future posts

Feel free to do all, some, or none of those, but at least think about it. If you don’t feel comfortable using the comments forum, drop me an e-mail at newtonpoetry at gmail dot com. I love hearing from readers.

Thanks, everyone, for visiting. This thing started as a joke of sorts, running random poems through my MessagePad 110 and posting the “Newton Poetry” that came out the other end. Eventually, it grew into a how-to guide, a Newton news outlet, and a look inside the quirky community that surrounds the Newton platform.

But I couldn’t do it without you.

Newton Knowledge Wiki launched

March 3rd, 2009

newtknowledgewiki

Thanks to Ryan Vetter from This Old Mac, we now have an up-and-running wiki for all things Newton: the Newton Knowledge Wiki.

Ryan’s heart is certainly in the right place:

The whole purpose of the site is to allow new users of the Newton to get going quickly, and to give experienced users a repository of useful information that may have been forgotten with time.

Instead of searching through the NewtonTalk list or the semi-available Wiki Wiki Newt, Ryan’s wiki can serve as a home base for how-to articles.

Writers have already started to post articles, such as how to connect your MessagePad with Windows, or making and reading eBooks. Ryan is looking for more articles and more writers, so if you’ve got some how-to in you, head to the wiki and start posting.

How to: connect your Newton to OS X with NCX

December 15th, 2008

NCX - Home screen

Of all the Newton connection utilities designed to sync your MessagePad or eMate with OS X, I looked forward to trying out the Newton Connection app the most.

NCX is an application designed by Simon Bell to mimic the original Newton Connection Utilities functionality in the pre-OS X days. As you can see from the home screen above, it offers tons of options for your Newton data, including backup, package installation, Newton Works import and export capabilities, and Mac keyboard functionality.

As with previous connection apps, you want to have a way to connect your Newton with your OS X Mac. NCX gives you the option of using Ethernet or serial-to-USB to connect. I opted for the serial option, using a Keyspan USA-28x serial-to-USB adapter. To get started, you need to download a Keyspan driver [Note: link updated] and restart your Mac.

Download NCX on Simon Bell’s page, and drop the NCX folder in your Applications folder on your Mac.

For this project, I’m using a Newton eMate 300 and an 800 Mhz iMac G4 running the latest install of OS X 10.4 Tiger.

More… »

More Mac users? Let’s embrace them.

September 11th, 2008

A ChangeWave survey of 4,000 Americans shows that more PC buyers are more likely to buy a Mac in the next 90 days than any other brand, which is great news for us Mac fans: more users, more Apple goodness, more switchers coming to the bright side of computing. This quote from a ChangeWave official is pretty telling:

“Apple’s reached the tipping point,” said Paul Carton, ChangeWave’s research director. “Where the early adopters and the discretionary spenders were leading the charge, now as we go into the 30 per cent range [for planned purchases], the change to Apple looks permanent. What we have in the end, actually we’re sort of there now, is that buying an Apple is as normal as buying a Dell or an HP [computer] in America.”

Buying an Apple considered “normal?” Wow. And with Apple selling record levels of Macs, this “tipping point” everyone’s talking about is seeming more and more likely.

Which means there’s a ton of new Mac users out there who may have never been faced with OS X or a single-button mouse or the Finder – rookies who, like me, will have to relearn a few things they’ve been pre-taught by Windows machines.

I think we, as the Mac community, should reach out with open, embracing arms and help out the switchers. Don’t leave it up to Apple, who only interfaces with customers at their retail locations, or on their web site (where I learned most of what I know about Mac operations). Let’s figure out a way to hand new Mac users the keys and help them learn how to drive their machines.

First, Mac users are a passionate bunch. No duh, right? But we ought to transfer that passion into a helpful coaching of recent Mac buyers. These are folks who probably bought an iPod, wondered how they lived without it, embraced the OS X gloss, and took a real risk by stepping away from something comfortable (Windows, Dells, HPs, etc.) and into something only vaguely familiar. Working an iPod is easy. Working a Mac is still intuitive, but a little more complicated – and we Mac veterans ought to be there to help them out.

I think back to my own Apple initiation in the winter of 2005. Two years out of college, into my first career, I started to shop for my first computer. At a graphic design conference, I remember asking a panelist about his 12″ iBook G4 – how he liked it, whether it was worth purchasing, the usual – and that was the first thought I remember having about making the switch.

I grew up with Macs in school, learning typing and Sim City on Macs in middle school, and eventually working on PowerMac G4s while working on my college newspaper – right when OS X was first coming out, and the new iMac, and my co-editor at the time made the switch. For a while, after graduation, I didn’t think much about Macs anymore.

But then that ’05 winter came and, while shopping for a laptop, I kept coming back to Apple. The Dells and the HPs and the Toughbooks (I was worried about sturdiness in my first PC) were nice, but they all seemed the same. The clean, white iBook kept calling out to me. I take forever to make big financial decisions, so after weeks of agonizing over which laptop model to purchase, I lept into the Apple pool and bought my 14″ G4 iBook.

I remember the day it landed on my apartment doorstep, and how excited I was to tear open the box and start fiddling around with it. It was so new, and so fresh, and yet so easy to grasp. I was hooked.

When I take on a new hobby or interest, my tendency is to take it as far as I can go. I bought Apple Confidential and read up on the history of the company, I soaked up all the how-to articles on Apple’s web site, and – that December – I stumbled on a working Bondi Blue iMac at my recycling organization’s electronic waste site. That’s when my passion for classic Macs began. My G3 clamshell iBook goes everywhere I do, my Newton 110 ignited a whole new world for me, and my Mac SEs let me play that old classic, “Oregon Trail.”

I said all that to say this: Macs hook you. Macs give you something to talk about with other Apple fans. They’re an automatic hobby, and they inspire a dedication that, soon, a whole new group of Mac switchers will adopt for themselves.

This is our chance, then, to reach out to these newcomers and welcome them to the fold. A site like MyAppleSpace is a good way to connect with new Mac owners, and there are plenty of up-and-coming blogs and sites that can help guide Mac newbies. Apple users give gracious answers to even seemingly silly questions, and we should strive to help even more folks learn to love their new machines. Especially these days when, as we hear more and more, Apple products are having a hard time living up to the high expectations ascribed to them.

Strike while the iron is hot, as they say, and friends – the iron has never been hotter.

The most searched for post on Newton Poetry has been my tutorial on how to install a classic Airport card in a clamshell iBook. The comment section of that article gets a new post even months after I posted it, and I think it’s because people need to know more nuts-and-bolts information about how to make their Macs their own. And God bless ‘em, even little things like a non-working router doesn’t get the DIYers down. These are the folks we can help, and once they accomplish their first DIY Mac project, they’ll be hooked for life.

So that’s what Newton Poetry is going to help with. We all have our interests, and things we’re good at – let’s use them to help spread the Apple virus.

HowTo: Reset your Newton

March 31st, 2008

So your Newton MessagePad is giving your problems. Either software is gumming it up, or its running a bit slow, or maybe the screen is acting funny. Much like a computer, the first thing to try out is a simple reset. But with Newtons, there are several reset options available: the soft reset, the power reset, and the ominous cold boot. Let’s explore each of these to find out which one could be best for you, depending on the severity of your situation. More… »

HowTo: Make a ‘Newton Poem’

February 28th, 2008

“What the heck is this site all about, anyway?” you may ask yourself.

Others have. Misspelled words, an abandoned piece of hardware, and a green screen – what does it all add up to?

I got the idea for Newton Poetry after hearing the term used to describe the gibberish MessagePads spit out from time to time when the handwriting recognition software falls short of its ideal. Then I saw someone had written the entirety of Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” poem into a Newton, and I though, “boy, there’s an idea.”

So let’s see how I do it. More… »

HowTo: Fax with a Newton

February 21st, 2008

The lowly, dependable Newton fax modem.

How much fun can faxing yourself be? Try doing it with a Newton!

I tested the Newton’s faxing capabilities last week, to great success. It’s doggone easy. Here’s how.

First, get yourself a Newton external fax. I grabbed mine off eBay for about $1, plus shipping, which was very affordable. With the 100 series Newtons, there’s no fax card or extra software required. Everything you need is right there.

Batteries go here.

The Newton fax takes two AA batteries (in the slot pictured above), or it has an AC input for 7 voltz. I had two spare AAs around, so I used those. Next, I unplugged my phone from the cord and plugged the end into the fax. That’s all you need to do to set up the fax part. More… »