Posts tagged “internet”.
Imagine, if you will, an Apple Computer before the Macintosh, before the iPod, before the iPhone – shucks, before Steve Jobs was kicked out and brought back for Apple’s sprint to success.
In any case, by 1983, Apple was in danger. Their competitors in the emerging PC industry had been joined by IBM. Purchasers who’d chosen Apple out of necessity were relieved to be able to turn now to Big Blue. Apple’s first attempt at a next-generation product that could re-establish the company’s pre-eminence was the Lisa. A $10,000 computer designed for the business market, it was a flop.
Steve Jobs gives a keynote that warns of the danger of IBM’s dominance. A former soda-pop president named John Sculley comes on board. Apple sells its millionth Apple II computer.
And then we all know what happens in 1984.
I’m fascinated by how Apple’s web site has changed over the years. And because it has that iconic design, often copied, I thought it’d be cool to use it as a time-traveling template to take a peek into the past.
So with some randomly-available product pics and a bit of PhotoShop, I crafted the above Apple.com mockup as it may have appeared in the year 1983. It’s not accurate, of course, because I took some embellishments on the iPhone prototype and the fact that some sort of World Wide Wide existed during the Reagan administration.
Whatever. It was me having a bit of fun with some Apple history.
What would be cool is if someone took a snapshot of Apple.com as it would appear throughout the years before it’s actual launch in 1996. For instance, I’d love to see what the homepage would’ve looked like on the Newton’s launch day, or the first PowerBook, or System 7.
In the meantime, enjoy what could have been.
Tony Kan put out the call: save those web pages!
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.
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.
2001 wasn’t all that long ago. Thanks to Google’s month-long anniversary project, we get to explore what the web was like seven years in the past.
Head over to Google (with an exclamation point!) as it was in 2001, and you can search the web as it was then. The results shown are pretty remarkable, considering the iMac G3 was the newest consumer Mac available, the iPod hadn’t been released yet (not until September of that year), and we had a brand new president.
Google provides archived versions of web sites, which allows us Newton users to explore some of the long-gone Newt web resources.
The Newton Source, above, is now a link squatting site. But back in the day, I’m sure it was a pretty handy resource for MessagePad software.
During my Newton links project, I’ve found so many sites that have disappeared. But thanks to Google’s 10-year anniversary search site, I can dig back in time and find out what the Newt web looked like only four years after development stopped.
On the big to-do list of Newton Poetry projects, we can check off the “Create page of still-live Newton site links” item.
After many, many months, lots of web surfing, a bit of HTML work, and a mish-mash organizational system, you can now view the Newton Sites page above to see a list of Newton-based web sites that are still viewable.
I found, long ago, that browsing through Newton sites was a hit-or-miss occupation. There were tons of “page not available” hits. In this post-iPhone world, not many web page creators or Newton enthusiasts want to spend the time and money to maintain a web presence. Who can blame them? Newton web traffic isn’t what it once was, not when the iPod and iPhone have demanded so much of the Apple news attention.
But with so many sites still out there, and few resources available to catalog and list them all, it was a project I had to take on before any more sites disappeared.
It was interesting to browse through the Newton sites Google’s 2001 search experiment offered up. Many sites that are long gone now were still around then, so I at least got a sneak peek at what they looked like. But I didn’t include any of those long-gone sites in this list.
There were several resources that were a tremendous help during this production. Splorp’s Newted site, when it was up, was a great list – though some of the links were dead-ends. The Newton Webring (remember those?), UNNA.org, and tons of ghost sites with “links” pages also helped point the way, and simple Google searches helped uncover hidden gems in the mines of the Internet. Luckily some Newton users have kept their sites alive, if not active, all these years later – allowing me to prowl through their pages and grab all the info I could.
If you’re interested in Newton MessagePads at all, some of the sites listed are “no-duh” sites. Everyone knows UNNA, Kallisys, and a few others. A few more, however, were listed out of a simple desire to remind us what a thriving, exciting project the Newton was. There are a few articles about the Newton Community after Steve Jobs killed the device, as well as a few random blogs and FAQs from the proto-days of the Internet.
The whole project was a hoot. I wish there was a way to keep some of this stuff from disappearing completely (maybe a simple copy-and-paste operation?). It would be a shame to lose any more resources, and the destructive effects of non-renewed domain names have already decimated tons of once-popular Newton sites out there.
In the meantime? Browse, link, enjoy. There are some sites that are absent, I know, so if I missed your favorite one, please let me know in the comments. I’ll give you lots and lots of credit for finding something I didn’t.
If you’re looking to…gulp…replace your Newton, Nokia’s N800 may just be the portable PC you’re looking for.
The modern Linux interface of the N800, however, is not without its drawbacks:
The handwriting recognition, printing and faxing, and battery life (themes we’ve all heard before) are superior on the MessagePad 2100, according to the author.
Check out the full review for another great fight between a modern tablet and our good friend, the Newton.
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.
Macenstein is hosting a great down-memory-lane look back at Apple.com – like here, where in 1997 you could still grab an eMate 300 that was “mobile, affordable, & smart.” No kidding?
I love stuff like this; a rare glimpse into Apple’s past. And I really dig the old marketing messages (“iBook: black tie optional”) and photos of all my favorite Macs.