Posts tagged “retro”.

Apple.com, circa never (but we can wish)

March 7th, 2011

Apple.com, circa never

It was soon after the iPad 2 announcement that the trouble started brewing.

Thomas Brand on Twitter: “If you think the white iPad 2 looks cheap you should see the Bondie Blue model with pinstripes.”

Neat, I thought – I’d take a Bondi Blue one any day. So Thomas made one. And then another. And then more.

We had so much fun watching all of Thomas’s retro iPads come through that, shucks, why not make a retro Apple.com page again? So there you have it: Apple.com, circa never.

This time, I used the OS X 10.2 Jaguar-era Apple.com, with a fun iPhone fake mockup and an announcement that will never, ever come.

As far as the iPad goes: the white iPad 2 is the first time I’ve actually considered wanting an iPad. I still don’t have an iPad-shaped hole in my life, and the $499 could be used more productively in a lot of other places, but who knows. It’s a wonderful-looking product, and put me down as a fan of the white versions of Apple’s mobile devices.

Another side note: Thomas has been on fire over at Egg Freckles. Not only is his the best-looking blog on the web, but he’s cranking out great stuff lately.

1983 Apple.com – on the web

March 1st, 2010

Hilarious. Someone who saw my 1983 Apple.com mockup made the spoof as an actual, working web site.

As of now, the links all say “Coming Soon!” But man, wouldn’t it be cool to work out all the Apple Lisa or BASIC copy for a functioning (albeit fake) retro Apple.com?

More retro Apple.coms

January 20th, 2010

In my original retro Apple.com post, I asked for others to take memorable moments in Apple’s history and mockup a web site.

Matt Pearce did just that, as you can see, making five total Apple.com homepages at different points in history. Particularly notable: an Apple I version with the original Apple Computer logo.

[Via Retro Maccast.]

Tackling the RetroChallenge with an eMate

January 4th, 2010

A few weeks ago, Morgan Aldridge wondered if going absolutely retro, with nothing but a Newton eMate 300 and an old Apple StyleWriter, would be possible.

Now, he’s testing himself – and the RetroChallenge – at his word:

The challenge is very open-ended, so I was content with setting a reasonable goal of repairing & updating an eMate 300 as a clean & simple environment for focused writing. It needs the hinge repaired, battery recelled, 2010 patch applied, and a few other issues addressed, so there’ll be more involved than merely clearing away desk detritus. If I manage all that with time to spare, then I’ll venture to craft a working modem script which allows me to get online with AT&T EDGE/GPRS via Bluetooth, but I’m not counting on it.

It’s a heckuva challenge, to use a mid-’90s-era Newton to manage your daily tasks and projects.

Aldridge is trying to use the simplified desk space to organize his life. What could be simpler than a monochrome proto-netbook? He says that being a Newton power user doesn’t make the RetroChallenge that challenging, but he gets two benefits: accomplishing a goal, and completing a contest.

“With less than an hour to go before the start of the challenge in my time zone, I’m very much looking forward to a clean, minimal, and usable Newton desk at the end of the month,” Aldridge says.

Can’t wait to see how it goes, and his results at the end of January.

Newton quote of the week: going retro

December 17th, 2009

“Sometimes I wonder just how “Newton” I could go. Clear off my desk and leave only an eMate and Color StyleWriter 2200? Would love it.”

- Morgan Aldridge

Other Newton bloggers out there

December 16th, 2009

It’s rough writing about the Newton. There are only a few things that pop up, here and there, that are considered “news” in the MessagePad community. Like fans of the Amiga or Commodore, Newton users try to relive the glory days and make their devices applicable to modern times.

Though with the Newton, it’s fun. It’s such a sweet platform.

As far as I knew, there was only me and Tony Kan out there blogging at least semi-regularly about the Newton. But sometimes other sites pop up on the radar.

The Unofficial Apple Weblog often posts news and updates on happenings in the Newton community – more than the regular, echo-chamber type posts that appear every where else.

Every once in a while, something random will pop up. Like High Caffeine Content, a blog from Irish iPhone developer Steven Troughton-Smith, creator of Lights Off and Chalk, an upcoming Twitter client.

There’s also Johs Burker and his Blog of Musings. Burker works in education and uses his MP2100 and eMate for real life stuff, like calculating gas mileage and computing on the road. His post on getting RemoteCam working on his eMate is amazing.

As for blogs that look like Newtons, you can’t beat Thomas Brand’s excellent Egg Freckles blog. It really speaks for itself.

The Newton platform attracts die-hards, hobbyists, and everyone in between. It’s nice to see some of those folks writing about their experiences. As more new technologies are released, leave it to the MessagePad user to figure out a way to make it work with Apple’s PDA.

If you’re a Newton blogger, or you know of someone who is, let me know.

Last Year’s Model

November 19th, 2009

New iMac - New vs. Apple Extended II

Here’s a novel concept: use what you’ve got until you can’t use it anymore.

For Newton users, the concept isn’t new or novel. We do it every time we see our green screens glow.

But the good folks at Last Year’s Model are spreading the good word that new isn’t always better. The “need” to upgrade to the newest and shiniest (and I’m as guilty as anyone) isn’t always the best policy, especially when what you’ve got works just fine.

I’ve loved the idea behind Last Year’s Model since I stumbled on my iMac G3 at a recycling event. The best Macs (ahem) are often the ones that are quote-unquote obsolete.

And hey, there’s a whole group of productive, sane, intelligent human beings who use a last-decade’s-model PDA. Sometimes good enough is good enough.

There’s not a lot of oomph behind Last Year’s Model. It’s really a place to share stories and spread the word, with Facebook and Myspace groups along with a Twitter hashtag. The site doesn’t ask you to share videos or spam your friends’ inboxes. The aim is to simply raise awareness that, say, your eMate is just fine banging out the latest novel project you’re working on.

NewtVid: Newton stars in iPhone commercial

April 29th, 2008

Funny. I like how the Newton talks in the old Mac OS’s Mr. Roboto voice.

Nice dig at the Zune, too.

Top 12 uses for your Newton in the iPhone age

April 21st, 2008

Paper iPhone and my Newton

I wonder what the heck I’ll do with my MessagePad when I finally purchase my iPhone, and I’m sure I’m not the only one to wonder. Some still use their Newtons everyday even after Apple has given up on it. But what are some modern, practical applications for the MessagePad? Let’s take a look.

  1. Get GTD with it. Pardon the ghetto talk, but the first thing I used my Newton for was a getting-things-done gadget. I use my calendar, my to-do list (although I still haven’t quite got the hang of it), and the Notepad to keep tons and tons of lists and reminders. There are Newton applications out there to help you get started, too, no matter what Newton version you use. I refer to my MessagePad 110 as my “memory box” because it really helps to keep my brain organized.
  2. Take control of your finances. Apps like Pocket Quicken and ProCalc can take your financial information on the go. Spend, save, and track all with your Newton. Since it’s always with you, your MessagePad may help you finally slay the balanced checkbook dragon. If you don’t yet have a financial system in place, here’s your chance.
  3. Read a book. Who needs a Kindle? Reading is possible with an eBook on the Newton using solutions like PaperBack or Newton Press. War and Peace, anyone?
  4. Take inventory. In March, I got started on a big, nasty home inventory project – logging all my possessions for insurance purposes. Put your Newton to work by jotting down book ISBNs, music collection titles, or even comic books. Take a backlit MessagePad into the attic and finally get those dust-collecting collectibles under control, and use a program like QuickFigure Pro to organize all the data.
  5. Keep a travel log. I’ve been thinking about this since I’ve started planning my big New England trip. What better use for a Newton than to store directions, sites-to-see, and helpful reminders as you travel on some adventure. With its faxing capabilities, I’ve even thought of using my Newton to keep co-workers up-to-date on where I’m at and what I’m doing.
  6. Play a game (or two). Retro gaming is all the rage now – why not fire up your Newton to play some Newtendo or the tried-and-true games like chess. MessagePads are like a GameBoy, without the buttons!
  7. Dig out your OS 7+ Mac. I’m a low-end Mac geek, and I look for any excuse to play around on my Mac SEs or Bondi iMac. There are tons of Macs in the world collecting dust; why not break yours out and hook up the MessagePad’s serial cable and relive days of yore? Gather the kids around and show them how good they have it now. Show them the MessagePad’s recharging station, and let them know how the iPod dock idea came to be.
  8. Impress your co-workers. I’ve seen this one in action first hand. If you’re having trouble talking to a co-worker, start scribbling on your Newton. Questions are bound to come up.
  9. Write your own Newton Poem. Break out that English Lit 101 textbook, or Perrine’s Sound and Sense, and see how your favorite poem looks all garbled and mistranslated.
  10. Rescue yourself during emergencies. Just imagine: boxes of something fall on top of you. You’re stranded in your office or garage, and you can’t reach your phone. But you have your Newton on you, and a fax, and access to a phone line. Fax for help! Use your Names database to fax off a SOS, and relax knowing those fire trucks will be arriving any minute now.
  11. Hold keyboard vs. handwriting recognition Olympics. If you can’t make it to Beijing to watch this summer’s games, hold your own competitions with keyboard fans. This thread in Newtontalk inspired an idea: set up a keyboard and a Newton, and race to see who can write a certain amount of words – say, a Shakespearian sonnet – the fastest. Then see which one has the most errors. Cut out tin foil medals for the winner.
  12. Study! Someone recently asked the Newtontalk list about flash card-style apps for the Newton. A, B, or C?

The possibilities are almost endless. The point is that the Newton is a viable monochrome platform in today’s millions-of-colors world. Think of something I forgot? Let me know in the comments!

NewtVid: Apple’s ‘Getting Started’ video

January 30th, 2008

There it is. The video that launched a green revolution. Well…not that green revolution. The earlier one.

Love the haircuts.