Posts tagged “splorp”.

20 Years Later, the Newton Lives

August 6th, 2013

Head over to for a lovely write-up on the 20-year-old Newton Community from Cade Metz:

After its debut in early August 1993 — twenty years ago — the Newton was widely derided as a flawed machine that no one wanted. The Simpsons made fun of its handwriting-recognition software, as did Gary Trudeau with a Doonesbury gag. In Trudeau’s cartoon world, the Newton recognized “Catching on?” as “Egg Freckles?” — and the die was cast.

The piece features some regulars in the Newton family, like Grant Hutchinson and Steve Capps.

You get a sense of the Newton’s continued usefulness from the story, like Ron Parker using his MessagePad on the hiking trails around Lake Tahoe.

(Also, check out how handsome all those Newton guys are.)

[Via @splorp]

I got your outage right here

December 6th, 2010

“Only 24 hours? If @tumblr had a real outage, it would have lasted longer than a fresh set of batteries in my Newton.”

Grant Hutchinson, during the Great Tumblr Drought of 2010.

Quote of the week: magic, indeed

July 27th, 2010

“What? No ‘Magic Stylus’ for my Newton? Lame.”

Grant Hutchinson, from Twitter, on the new Magic Trackpad. I’m excited about this, just because the trackpad on MacBook Pros are outstanding. The Magic Trackpad takes the Magic Mouse idea and flattens it, and that leaves all kinds of openings for new input methods on the Mac. We can’t touch our iMac screens yet, but this comes darn close.

Apple’s HTML5 showcase on the Newton

June 8th, 2010

HTML5 Showcase: VR by Splorp

Maybe there’s some chicanery surrounding Apple’s HTML5 showcase being “Safari only,” but Grant Hutchinson has proved one thing – the thing is still usable with the Newton MessagePad 2100’s ancient browsers.

His Flickr set, HTML5 vs. Newton, shows that the HTML5 examples render even on the Newton’s modest Courier and Newt’s Cape browsers.

Says Splorp:

Keep in mind that both browsers were developed prior to the existence of HTML5. While neither piece of software supports the advanced interaction or layout effects afforded by JavaScript and CSS3, the clean HTML5 markup is completely accessible.

That’s called gracefully degraded content.

There are no actual VR demos or typography playgrounds, of course, since the Newton is stuck in mostly a text-only, sliders-free environment. But still. The page they sit on looks just fine, with standard links and formatting.

As Darcy Norman says, web standards ensure a smooth transition from old to new:

Standards, especially ones that support graceful degradation of presentation by devices at runtime, ensure we have access to our content long after it’s built, on devices we didn’t have in mind when we built it.

If Grant were to try to view any of the content I built years ago using Director/Shockwave, or any of 47 terabytes of content built in Flash, the poor little Newton would have barfed violently.

And we don’t want to see any barfing Newtons now, do we?

The day may come when HTML is no longer supported by anything. But then there will always be the classic hobbyists, who ensure that everything gets backed up to something and that there’s a spare Mac around to read those old files.

[Photo courtesy of Splorp at Flickr under the Creative Common License, and link help via Newtontalk on Twitter.]

The hello Show, featuring Grant Hutchinson

March 11th, 2010

It was with tremendous pleasure that David and I got to speak with Grant Hutchinson, aka Splorp, during our show this week.

Since I first discovered the Newton, and in all the research afterward, Grant’s name kept popping up in all these different and helpful places. His FAQ, his Flickr library and group, his Newted Community – it was all kind of a “welcome to the party” for an up-and-coming Newton fan.

I’ve been lucky enough to talk with Grant about the Newted crash and resurrection, and David was wise enough to invite him on the show for a talk full of retro Mac and Newton goodness (among other things).

What’s neat is that Grant has been an Apple guy from the early days, when he got an Apple II in 1978, and saw his first OMP in Boston at a trade show. The clean, efficient Newton interface was appealing, and now here he is herding the cats of the Newton community, sharing his collection, and embarking on typography projects in his “free” time.

We should feel honored because Dan Benjamin and John Gruber of the thoughtful (and sporadic) podcast The Talk Show were going to invite him on. Grant, during some technical difficulties in recording our show, told us that he sent a spare Newton for Dan to try out. That’s pretty cool.

I think about how much free time Grant spends on a 11-year-dead PDA platform, or dinking around in his retro tech collection, and it helps me to feel that maybe I’m not so crazy after all.

So thanks for that, Grant. And thanks for being on our show.

[Photo courtesy of one Sir David Kendal.]

Newton quote of the week: on the rocks

January 28th, 2010

“People want to know what I think about the iPad. I think I’ll keep using my Newton. I also think I’ll pour myself a scotch.”

Grant Hutchinson, who has posted some great prototype Newton photos over the week.

Batmobile Newton

January 18th, 2010

One of the prototype “Batmobile” Newtons. See the full version here.

The pic got some Gizmodo love yesterday.

And Splorp’s Twitter.]

Grab your Newton desktop wallpaper

December 21st, 2009

'Newt' by Grant Hutchinson

A little Christmas present for you: Grant Hutchinson has created a Newton-ized desktop wallpaper for your computer over at Simple Desktops.

Splorp has posted a few other simple desktops on the site, too – be sure to look for them.

Thanks Grant!

Fresh updates from the Newted Community

November 30th, 2009

Good news: Grant Hutchinson has posted updates to the Newton Community.

After some really bad news this past winter, things have been quiet at the Newted Community, a resource and gathering place of MessagePad-minded folks. But after moving to Bluehost and setting up a new look and feel thanks to WordPress, Hutchinson has been quietly making progress on restoring some of Newted’s services.

All in the midst of a giant NewtonTalk reboot.

The NewtonTalk server switch is keeping Hutchinson plenty busy, in fact, and has kept the Newted project on the backburner. But, he says, e-mail and web accounts have been restored for several members. Also on the to-do list: a new support FAQ and membership information.

“The nice thing about Bluehost, is that the service is consistent and offers a ton of tools and add-ons,” Hutchinson says, “such as webmail and optional serverside spam filtering.”

Unfortunately, everything in the Newted archives, stored on a local hard drive, was lost in the crash.

“I had the majority of the main site backed up locally, but all user files were lost,” Hutchinson says. “Any missing bits are accessable using the Internet Archive, for the most part.”

Some Newted users personally backed up their sites, too, he says.

I was a member of the Newted clan before the big crash. Since the crash, any news has been good news. And step by step, the good news is coming along.

During the Newted’s rebirth, Hutchinson’s list of priorities include membership information, updating the About and Support pages, a revamped “Newtons Around the World” gallery, and a few other projects.

“I’m guessing that by the end of January, things should be back up to relatively normal speed,” he says.

Existing members of the Newted Community can contact Hutchinson (admin at newted dot org) to get their membership information set up again. Newton users and fans will be able to register in the next few weeks, once Hutchinson sets up a payment system.

Hutchinson says membership benefits will include:

  • Your choice of using POP3, POP3S, IMAP, or IMAPS email
  • Outbound mail relaying via SMTP or authenticated SMTP
  • 250MB mailbox (size may be increased for a small one time fee)
  • A webmail interface
  • Optional email aliases (available for a small one time fee)
  • Optional Postini spam filtering (available for a small annual fee)
  • FTP access for web space or file storage
  • 5.0GB server space (size may be increased for a small one time fee)

It’s worth remembering, however, that Splorp does this stuff for “recreational web tinkering,” as he puts it. This being a hobby, and with all the NewtonTalk stuff going down, it’s understandable if he takes his time – especially to get it all done right.

“There are people who still care deeply about the Newted Community site,” Hutchinson says. “You need to pay attention to things that people depend on.”

The big lesson he learned was keeping a good backup of the Newted data. Hutchinson also learned one good lesson about hard drives.

“Act quickly,” he says. “As soon as a hard drive makes a funny sound, you almost too late.”

Fresh Newton porn on Flickr

October 15th, 2009

Apple Newton by oxymoronik, courtesy of Flickr

Grant Hutchinson has put together a fresh batch of great Newton photography at his Flickr gallery, Beautiful Newton, including the above shot courtesy of oxymoronik.

There are some fantastic shots in Splorp’s gallery, including an eMate-in-the-wild shot, and a submission from Sonny Hung’s Frozen Newton collection. Besides the eMate shot, my favorite has to be this simple MessagePad close-up.

[Via splorp.]