November 24th, 2010
Newton wizard Eckhart Köppen on developing for the Newton OS post-OS X 10.5 Leopard:
I’ve been trying to put together simple compiler based on NEWT/0 and the DCL to allow at least some sort of text based development.
So far my experiments are actually quite successful, and it seems that developing Newton applications with just a text editor is not that impractical. It is in fact easier when it comes down to version control management. Some things are still missing for developing larger apps, like the ability to split the code into multiple source files, and a way to embed resources into the final package, but for simple applications (and even auto parts), we might have a way forward.
He’s wrapping up a compiler project, with scraps up on SourceForge right now. Pretty sweet.
NEWT/0 is an open source NewtonScript compiler for Windows, Linux, or OS X 10.3 and above. So Köppen’s version will be a compiler for newer versions of OS X. Can’t wait to see it.
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.
December 14th, 2009
Andy Galluzzi, developer of Newton Connection Tools for Windows, is now giving the full $45 registration cost of his software to support the United Network of Newton Archives (UNNA).
The Newton Connection Tools license key and the donation to UNNA are intertwined, Galluzzi says on his web site:
The first time you connect, the software will disconnect immediately and you will see the newton information screen. Here you have to export your newton information data (a file nwi will be created) and send me that file . Morgan (administrator of UNNA) gonna tell me who has donated money, and with your newton information data and Morgan confirmation of the donation, I will send you the license code.
A bit complicated, but at least it’s in support of a site we all need and rely on.
Newton Connection Tools is much like NCX, but for Windows, allowing for Outlook syncs, package installation, and backups. Newton users with Macs have a few options to sync their MessagePads with their computer, everything from Apple’s original Newton Connection to NCX, Escale, and more. Windows users, from what I understand, have fewer options with their Newtons – especially with the newer versions of Windows. There doesn’t seem to be a bit support base, at least developer-wise, on Windows – as opposed to the Mac, where enthusiasts are everywhere.
Taking all that into consideration, Galluzzi’s efforts are even more appreciated.
[Via NewtonTalk mailing list.]
September 28th, 2009
[Via John from NewtonTalk.]
September 14th, 2009
For probably one of the most fascinating explorations of every day uses for your Newton, visit the conversation kicked off by Chris C. at the NewtonTalk list (hit the “Next in thread” link to go from e-mail to e-mail), called “A Day in the life of…”
For a down-and-dirty view, see Don Zahniser’s story. He talks about running a small farm and using Dateman (for to-dos), Notes (grocery lists and garden yields), Works, and more.
Morgan Aldridge has a good breakdown, too, showing which apps he uses throughout the day – everything from PocketMoney to Bills To Pay.
The entire thread is great for discovering apps you’ve never tried out, and practical uses for them in day-to-day life. I found a few I want to try. Browse around the United Network of Newton Archives (UNNA.org) to download some of the apps.
Back when I used my Newton for personal information management (PIM) and notes management, I stuck to the basics like Notes, Dates, To-Dos, and a few games here and there. That’s what is nice about the Newton: you can pick it up and use it as-is.
July 23rd, 2009
“Since the tablet market is already somewhat established, Apple doesn’t have to create a market. They just have to release something like the iPhone in terms of a device far ahead of what the competition has been making available. In this case, that shouldn’t be too hard…”
- Ryan Vetter on the Newtontalk list, in the midst of a giant discussion on Apple’s rumored tablet.
While I would argue that the tablet market is “established,” I’ll agree that it’s just like Apple to take a so-so idea and turn it on its head into something insanely great.
July 15th, 2009
The on-again, off-again nature of this year’s Worldwide Newton Conference seems to be resolved, as event organizer Ryan Vetter pieces together details of the upcoming Newtonpalooza.
There were serious doubts as to whether the conference was going to happen. I had asked Vetter for details about the event several months in advance so I could prepare for a continent-wide road trip to Vancouver, British Columbia to attend. After not hearing anything back, I assumed the whole deal was kaput.
Finally, at the beginning of July, Vetter responded to the calls for details and sent out a message that WWNC was, in fact, still a go.
Since then, Vetter has gone on the Retro Maccast to give more details, and has updated the WWNC page with more specifics on available lodging locations in Vancouver.
As it stands, I will be unable to attend. The late notice and lack of specifics was enough to kill the trip for me. For one, I would have wanted to plan my road trip months ago. Two, the cost of a few night’s stay in downtown Vancouver is prohibitive.
I do wish everyone who attends a good and productive conference, and I’ll post updates as I see them. But sadly, because of all the WWNC start and stops, you’ll have to count me out.
July 9th, 2009
I really do appreciate it. It’s probably the highest, most gracious compliment Newton Poetry has received so far.
Well, besides all the cuss words in the comment section.
By the way, you can follow Newtontalk on Twitter, or head to the only full-powered, highly-specialized e-mail list that discusses all things MessagePad, eMate, handwriting recognition, and poutine.
The gang at Newtontalk have provided me with tons of advice, articles, helpful leads, and loads of laughs. They’re quick to respond when you have a Newton-related issue, and their encyclopedic knowledge of the platform is staggering.
As a relative newcomer, I bow to their collective wisdom.
July 1st, 2009
Chris Foresman over at Ars Technica does a great job of covering the Newton’s 2010 Patch:
If you are the sort of person who would just as soon have your Newton pried from your cold, dead hand, Köppen’s solution should keep your trusty device in operating condition at least until you or your Newton biodegrades—whichever comes first.
Heed NewtonTalk’s Twitter feed, however, because there are always a few trolls under the bridge.
In fact, these days, I avoid comment sections all together unless the blog or site has a reputation for civil conversation.
March 12th, 2009
Does the Newton’s 2010 bug got you down? Eckhart Köppen, the same Newton developer who created a Wiki on the 2010 bug, has issued a Y2010 Diagnostic application to help relieve some of the symptoms.
Köppen told the NewtonTalk list:
This small application lets you diagnose the content of your soups, and check which kind of alarms you have set. It should clarify what exactly might go wrong in the future instead of second guessing and brain wiping the Newton without proper reason…If you’re hit by an infinite alarm loop, you can if you’re lucky launch the Y2010 Diagnostic app and use it to clear the alarms.
Köppen suggests anyone who installed the problematic Fix2010 patch should remove it, and says that a fix to the whole issue should be out “well in time before 2010.”
[Thanks to NewtonTalk on Twitter.]