Posts tagged “stanford”.

Newton helped contribute to ‘Silicon Valley Syndrome’

June 18th, 2009

From Stanford’s Ethical Issues in Engineering:

In some fields of contemporary engineering in some countries, engineers work extremely long days and weeks, often under deadlines. Such engineers are often under immense pressure to achieve often-unrealistic project goals, as was the case from 1989 to 1992 during the development of the original Apple Newton. Psychiatrists coined the phrase “Silicon Valley Syndrome” to refer to the fact that the divorce rate and levels of alcohol and drug abuse are much higher in Silicon Valley than in the U.S. as a whole.

The “immense pressure” claimed one victim during the Newton’s development: programmer Ko Isono, who committed suicide on December 12, 1992.

Isono was said to have succumbed to the extreme pressure and deadlines while working on the first Newton MessagePad.

HowTo: Find a Newton Users Group

March 24th, 2008

Stanford’s Newton Users Group (SNUG)

Looking for loonies like yourself who enjoy low-end technology, outdated PDAs, and a knack for shaking their fist at Apple’s decisions?

Join a Newton User Group!’s Newton FAQ has a listing of user groups, including where they’re at and their web site.

A few have since disbanded, but groups like Stanford’s (above) are die-hards, and I’m sure would love a visitor (visit their site here).  SNUG meets on the third Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. (right before the iPhone group) at Printer’s Inc. Café (320 S. California Avenue in Palo Alto).  Be sure to check out the group’s “gripe list.”

There’s a Michigan State group that’s just a bit north of me. I may check to see if they still meet. If they do, I’ll be sure to report back.

By the way, the Tennessee Valley Newton Users Group (TVNUG) meets the first Wednesday of each month at 5 p.m. Central at the Barnes & Nobel coffee shop, located on University Drive in Huntsville, AL, says George S. Hamilton.  The store is closing, however, so stay tuned for the new location.

If you want to do some research, check out’s list of Newton User Group cities.