Retro-Tech Planning with the Newton

Apple NewtonI have a little confession to make. Now, most people that know me well have no doubt that I'm a gadget freak and a tinkerer, although I do try at every moment to curb those tendencies. For example, after all those years of using several generations of Palms, I gave them up to use a paper planner, and have been quite happy about that decision. To this day, I refuse to carry a cell phone unless I'm travelling in the middle of nowhere or have to be on call for an urgent project. I eschew a workshop of testosterone-fueled power tools if I can use my Leatherman instead. And, although I've read a few shelves' worth of books about automotive mechanics, I resist the urge to prop open the hood, lest something explodes or some sharp bits leave me digitally impaired. I know my weaknesses and limitations.

But I've harboured an urge for twelve years that's never been satisfied. Every now and then, a product comes along that changes the face of the computing industry, like the Altair or the Apple II, and my coming-of-age as an IT professional was marked --from afar-- by the emergence of another one. It was a brick-shaped thing, barely able to fit into a trenchcoat pocket, and which emitted a gorgeous green glow. It was a thing initially of ridicule, but that quickly set a precedent for portable computing before being unceremoniously axed by Steve Jobs upon his return to Apple, leaving legions of fans supporting the device for a decade after its last production run. I'm speaking, of course, about the Apple MessagePad, also known as the Newton.

A month or so, a friend of mine was rummaging through the tech graveyard of his company when he found a two lonely but unblemished 2100s (the last, and most powerful of the Newtons) buried in a pile of PCMCIA cards and serial cables. Of course, he kept one for himself, but --knowing my long-standing desire-- the other made its way to me in short order. (The anticipation was incredible... I peered into my mailbox as frequently as a child peering into an oven of chocolate chip cookies.) Soon, my beloved green brick had arrived, and within an hour I understood why so many people have been petitioning Apple for a Newton II since 1998.

While the Newton is often called the first true PDA, it's arguably also the first tablet computer. It's about the size of a mid-sized paperback book, and 22 oz in heft. The fact that it was made in 1997 belies the astounding fact that many of its capabilities are still considered current today. I can attest that its handwriting recognition (yes, with real cursive script) is unparalleled among all the other devices I've tried, and it has two PCMCIA card slots that can accommodate and use memory cards, fax modems, network cards, wireless network cards, and even Bluetooth. I'm constantly amazed by the way it functions -- completely unlike most computers and PDAs I've owned, but far more intelligently. A keyboard attachment allows fairly advanced word processing, a typical battery charge lasts from 12 to 25 hours, and the slew of software available (including new titles on a semi-regular basis) is mostly free from sites such as the United Network of Newton Archives. Meanwhile, the NewtonTalk mailing list is one of the most active lists I've joined in recent years.

So why am I writing about the Newton here? Well, the Newton is essentially a digital equivalent of my paper-based planner. Unlike my tiny Palm Tungsten E, it is large enough to write comfortable, and has few frills to distract me from my day-to-day usage. In fact, it's rather Zen-like in a way, affording me a focus that allows me to concentrate on my words, my lists, and even my sketches in a holistic fashion, wherein all are joined, and nothing external exerts an undue pressure upon my thoughts.

I've only just begun to explore what the Newt has to offer, but have fallen effortlessly into the way that notes flow easily, that hierarchical lists (even checkboxed products and tasks) are constructed without impediment, that the built-in microphone catches scattered verbal thoughts, and that sketches mix with text mix with drawings mix with inked jottings. The address book and calendar/to-do lists are more than adequate, providing the basics without the clutter that comes from too many options. And the Assistant that correctly interprets "Remind me to take out the garbage" or "Lunch with Mary at the club" allows me to manage my time and tasks no matter where I am in any program.

I've managed to scrounge up elsewhere some cables to sync the Newt with my MacBook Pro, a wireless network card to browse the web and collect news, and a keyboard to write with, and while I do look forward to those packages in the mail, in the meantime I've begun to truly enjoy this antiquated but far-from-obsolete bit of tech history. So, was it worth the twelve-year wait? An unqualified yes. While it'll never replace my paper planner, it'll be an integral part of my work life for the foreseeable future.

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Like a lot of Apple's "failures,"

Like the Lisa, etc. They were advanced technology unappreciated in their time.

Walter

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Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.
B. Banzai

Welcome to the...

Green! I see you've already found the best Newton resources that exist. NTLK is composed of some of the best people on the internet! In fact, to attest to that, I can say that I stayed on NTLK long after I stopped using my Newton. However, I eventually got so overwhelmed with email I couldn't read that I dropped it from my mail--but still read it via the archive. ;-) Great group, and wonderful resource!

Re: the Newton, I've long said that the Newton is the ultimate paper planner (I believe I've even said it here on the DIYPlanner forums) ;-)

You will be amazed what you can do in the Notepad with proper extensions and stationery. The guys on NTLK can help with ideas, and it's all there on UNNA. One trick that may not come up immediately is DragNDrop Names. It allows you to write a name, address and tel in the Notepad, and then hilite it, and drop it onto your Names app to create an address card. This is so much better and more natural than the built-in method.

One other "hint"--learn to use the powerful Assist feature. Also, "Find" is your friend. While you can use expensive address book replacements to link items, simply making sure you write complete names in the various items (notes, phone log, calendar items, etc.), combined with the Find function, you will have a complete history of all you do.

I do hope you will share how well you get your Newton working with your intel MacBook. When I went to X, my Newton became a stand-alone computer, as I lost the ability to sync with my PowerBook. Supposedly, the situation has improved, but I have never gotten it to work. So, between that, and a busted screen around Christmas 2005, my Newton is now relegated to a toy and recall device of the decade of my life when it was my primary collection/note-taking tool.

So, we are looking forward to what further thoughts you have. ;-)

-Jon

Yes, Welcome!

As a longtime Newton user (my first was a $20 MP130 I ressurected), I'm glad to see more and more people recognizing this great PDA. I have quite a collection of them now (the aforementioned MP130, a practically new MP120, an eMate and an MP2000), I love them all.

Go Green!

-Terry

newton

wow. now i want one too. as a writer with atrocious handwriting and arthritic hands, digital is necessary for me, and i fell in love with my first mac in 1985 for its (relative!) portability and clean grey screen. Truly portable true wordprocessing is the holy grail as far as i'm concerned. the best i've had so far is a palm with keyboard, but this seems a far far better thing.

Apple need them too

I've visited the Apple shop in central London a couple of times recently to buy Mac equipment. No POS (point of sale) terminals to be seen. All the assistants carry PDAs on their belts with which they can charge your credit/debit card immediately. Communicates with the central sales system via infra-red. Problem is these PDAs are made by Fujitsu and run that idiotic WindowsCE abomination.

The Newton was a good idea but way way way before its time. Maybe with the success of iPod, and the possible commerical successes of both iTV and iPhone Apple might be persuaded to produce an iPDA but it probably won't be a patch on Newton.

iPhone will be it

I believe. I don't ever expect to see the likes of the Newton ever again. sigh... We'll have to suffer with an iPhone, Palm or, God forbid, a Wince or Winmo device! or even Symbian! ;-)

BTW, for all of you intending to still be using your Newtons in three years, you better find and download the 2010 patch. Otherwise, your Newton will "blow up" forcing a hard reset, losing all your info. Just thought I'd mention it while thinking about it...

-Jon

MoreInfo

MoreInfo from SilverWARE is the finest PIM I've ever used, on any platform, digital or paper. Linking literally any piece of information on the Newton to any other piece was so powerful. The little "At A Glance" app that came with it is infinitely superior to all those "Today" and "Dashboard" pages that we see these days.

My Newton was the last device, paper or digital, that I could honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed using. I loved tapping "Assist" and writing "Lunch with Dave on Thursday" and it would make the appointment, finding "Dave" in my address book, knowing that Lunch was at noon, and knowing when the next Thursday was. As much as I appreciate my binders, my MacBook Pro, and my Palm T3, everything pales next to my Newton.

I have a 130, a 2000, and a 2100, but, sadly, none of them seem to work anymore. When I was using my 2100 all the time, I did have the wireless card and keyboard as you describe. It was an excellent writing machine. I've been thinking about trolling through eBay for another working 2100 or even an eMate, just for writing.

When we all write our "10 Things We Hate About Apple" article, the loss of the Newton is the number one thing on my list. When I think of the technology it has in it, from 1997, and where it could be, ten years later…

I know you've wanted a Newton for a long time, Doug. I'm very happy for you.

Anyone want a Newton ?

I have one I got at a government surplus sale that I never did much with. It's collecting dust in my basement.

You want it ? All I'm asking is the cost to ship it.
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

did anybody bite?

Anybody bit on this yet? Just curious. I'm not sure if I would, having just gotten out of the Palm game myself, but I do remember when my dad brought that Newton home from work. Any device capable of reading my chicken scratch is worth it's weight in gold. Or at least nickles. : )

oooh, me?

ooh ygor, if no one's responded... i wouldn't mind taking it off your hands. i never got to play with one... it'd be interesting to see what i could use it form.

let me know,
/innowen

Newton

I would take a newton if it is 2100 I had one for years and lost it during a move few years ago I miss it and have not found a pda like this ever.

John
201 951 2084
jroman@codefab.com

Newton

Yes, if you're not using it. I'm a recent convert to the Macintosh (iMac 20" Core Duo), and I'm building my first Hipster PDA. I'd love to supplement it with a Newton.

Thanks,
Crazy Eddie

One very old Newton available

OK. First of all, Innowen was the first, so she gets the first option.

What I have is an Original Newton Message Pad -- the first model -- Link to Specs

It works, but the battery packs will not hold a charge. I have an AC "wall wart" for it that works along with assorted flotsam and jetsam (some floppy discs, a modem, and an external battery pack that takes 8-AA's)

Innowen, if you still want it, let me know. Otherwise, I'll offer it up to the next willing individual.

On a separate note: I have been trying to snag an eMate off of eBay. Individual eMates are difficult to get in a working condition that include an external power source. However, I do have a line on a quantity of them. If I can get this pile of eMates, I will share them with the DIY community for my cost. Any extras I will eBay. Any interested folks should send me a private message by clicking on my name and then clicking on the "Contact" tab.
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

I got eMates !! Who wants one ?

Posting in The Bazaar
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

I wanted an eMate

I knew some Newton fanatics back in the day, but what I was really hoping for was a professional version of the Apple eMate that I could slip into my work bag and use while commuting on the train, haul to meetings, etc.. They are readily available secondhand for hardly anything, though since they were designed for the educational market, some of them may have been beaten a bit by the kiddies.

I thought (and still think) that the integrated keyboard was a great idea, better than keyless entry or software-based keyboards, and for those of us with larger hands, a must compared to the you-must-be-kidding thumboards on the Blackberry and various upscale PDAs.

Aaaaaaa !! eMate !! eMate !!

You had to go and mention those little gems, didn't you ?

I went looking across eBay and found a bunch.

Anyone else itching for one ?
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

eMate 300

Mine came a few days ago. :-)

Did I mention I'm hooked?

dj

im dense

what would you do with an eMate that you wouldn't do with say a laptop or desktop computer? O.o

my artwork | my blog

No need to get rational

I thought this forum was about enabling bad habits, no?

Seriously, I thought a professional eMate would have been great for my hourlong commute -- I could toss it into my work bag and do note-taking, project notes, etc. on the train, haul it to meetings, take it out for coffee, a movie maybe, long walks on the beach...

Er, where was I?

Basically, I always thought the Newton was cool, but didn't have the $$$ to lay down for one, and I'm a much faster typist than a scribbler. But I still wanted one, darn it! Buying into the Palm line was a sorta-compromise, though I was happiest when I also bought a keyboard to go with it.

I still lust after the AlphaSmart line for much the same reasons, although I have less reasons to need one since a job change a few years ago.

If I was writing the Great American Novel, traveled a lot, and/or had to prepare a lot of text on a regular basis (blogging, for example), I would pick one up in a heartbeat.

Edited to add: the durability, low power requirements, and relative low cost were all big reasons for the geeklust. I would feel anxious about hauling my crummy old Mac laptop around and be paranoid about the hard drive getting jostled. No such fear with a solid-state device like the eMate or Alphasmart.

in college

Near my graduation, my friend invested in a PDA - I was so JEALOUS!!!

I kept with my paper 3.75x6.75 inch planner and in the end... I am glad I did.

But I strongly agree with the phrase "To each, his own" :)

my artwork | my blog

Well....

For one thing, the eMate is purely solid state. This means no hard drive to crash on you. It means battery life measured in weeks, rather than years. It is also a lot lighter than your typical computer, even the lightest of laptops, and..... since it was made for kids, as someone else mentioned, just toss it around. No worries.

All that said, it is horribly untrustworthy connecting to modern computers. It's OS will blow up in 3 years when 2010 rolls around (make sure you install Avi Drissman's 2010 fix to solve that, though), and it doesn't connect well to modern computers--wai--I already said that--but I guess it's worth repeating. If you want a seamless and effortless connection to your computer, and don't want to fiddle with finding cables, and trying to find some way to "bootstrap" your connection, and then hacking software drivers to connect over Ethernet or Bluetooth, then the eMate and Newton is _not_ for you.

If, on the other hand, you _love_ tinkering, and even banging your head against the wall, trying to figure why you can't get your Newton to see your computer, then maybe a Newton or eMate is in your future! ;-)

So, while these are great computers, you need to remember their weak points, primarily connecting to your computer.

Actually, my personal recommendation would be to also buy yourself either an old Windows 98-based computer, or pre-Apple-iMac Macintosh computer with serial ports and Ethernet just to work with your Newton. They are typically dirt-cheap, and will have no problems connecting. I've got an old PowerComputing Mac clone that connects wonderfully with our Newtons. That's how we do it.

All that said, I'm eyeing an Allegro auction for an eMate right now. It's got a few days for me to decide. ;-)

-Jon

Connecting to modern OS's

Hi, all,

I enjoy this thread, and am an active Newton user. Right now, Simon Bell is working on a new "Connection Utility" that already works well enough to move information in and out of the Newton in ways that haven't been easy for a while. It simply works. Yay, Simon!

Also, Eckhart Koeppen has some tools that allow you to grab .ics files and subscribe to them on the Newton. Yes, it's one way, but hey, that's good enough for those of us chained to iCal files through work.

Finally, with bluetooth communication (again, Eckhart's work), you can easily move files in and out. It's not a PDA, then - it's more like a separate computer where you have to move files.

But, the tools are there...

Links would be nice -- and a hardware question

Links would be nice.

I found Eckhart Köppen here and Simon Bell here

Are these the ones you mean or are there others ?

Also, do you know of a good source for Newton/eMate campatible wireless cards ? Airport-type or bluetooth will do.
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Never tried one

I have nothing to add here, because I've never tried one, but I'd like the be the first to say...

Eat up Martha

Egg Freckles!

To you! That's all I have to say on that subject! ;-)

-Jon

if apple ever builds a slate...

I'm waiting for a slate from apple. About the thickness of the Palm V, can OCR, can do digital drawings, bluetooths to keyboard and MAC, ummm what else?

This is the only thing that would replace my work journal.

I can wish.
...dave

what about a modbook?

What about the Modbook from OtherWorld Computing?

it's been given good reviews :)

/innowen

... and costs under $200

As long as we are fantasizing... :)
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

My dream...

In fact, I'm still seriously considering this when my curretn Pismo dies, as I expected to pay $2000 for my replacement--but then the MacBooks came along... Tough call. BTW, the "Inkwell" technology that Apple uses in Mac OS X is the same "Rosetta" tech from the printed rec. on the Newton. But the interface isn't the same--the OS isn't built, ground-up, for pen, so it would be awkward, IMO... Hard call--but tempting. ;-)

-Jon

P.S. I got my Newton to fire up last night! Turns out my extension cord I was using to charge the batteries was unplugged, and my batteries were only drained. silly me. I needed it over the weekend, and felt "homeless" without it!

eMate Professional... if only they brought this out....

Hey Jon glad to hear you got your Newton to fire up ;-)

The eMate Professional would have probably been a great product...
Though only rumors were heard about the actual product which was suppose to come in Black.

I personally enjoy the eMate, I've got the OEM Green units for my kids which really is great because I think my daughter will enjoy it for journaling.

Even though it was a great product it had a few weak points such as the connectivity issues you mentioned, the down grade in the processor used from the 162mHZ StrongARM to the 25mHZ version (IIRC). In addition it had only (1) PCMCIA Slot which prevents it's usefulness greatly.

My favorite eMate however is NOT the OEM Green but the Clear Case eMate 300 that I recenly got. http://flickr.com/photos/sonnyhung/405375250/in/set-72157594...

-Sonny

Hey Sonny!

What brings you to _this_ forum? I mean, you're all digital and all... Don't tell me _you're_ "falling"? ;-)

-Jon

Glad to see you're using your Newton again...

Hi Jon

Fancy seeing you over here. It was encouraging to see that your Newton is working.

A lot of us became aware of this site following an off-topic discussion on the joys of using fountain pens and writing on paper on the Newtontalk forum.

I must say that after reading the postings on this website I have been inspired to do some journaling on the Newton.

We haven't heard from you for a few months a Newtontalk so I hope everything is fine with you and your family.

Regards

Tony.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29509642@N00

I guess I'm coming back...

Hey Tony!

Yeah, I dropped off the list back when my Newton was dead, and I never had any hopes of it being resurrected, and I was very busy with moving back to Poland, and.... well, the heartbreak, to be honest, of losing my Newton made it difficult to hang around. I've been resisting jumping back onboard for a few months now, but I'll go re-subscribe right away. Thanks for writing!

-Jon

very cool, very cool

I'm checking my piggy bank...

...dave
insomnia cure

Any better Diary program for entry & display of long text Events

I'm having a problem using my Newton as a simple diary.

Does anybody know of an addon or software package for
the Newton (OS 2.x or 1.x if it exists) that will let
me both enter & display events.

I want to use my Newton as a diary. I'm not talking
appointments here, but simply recording the days
activities, as one might in a normal diary.

As it comes the Newton doesn't seem to have the ability
to enter long event lines or display them and I would
like to display long event lines with perhaps the odd
appointment or two during the day in either a 'day
view' or a 'week view'.

Anybody that has used a Psion will be familiar with its
'week view' and it pretty much came close to the way I
want to display my week.

But the input & display of event text on the Newton as
it stands is very lacking for me.

I have tried Dateman but it is still restricted in event
line length and it doesn't seem to be able to display
events over 2 or 3 lines.

Regards
Steve

MP2kx

I got my first MP120 in 1996 and the first MP2k one year after. Since these days I NEVER EVER used a paper agenda and all attempts to use something else than a Newton failed by any serious reasons. Not so with the Newton. I could manage during all these years to do back-ups and restores. I found how to get rid of jaggies and I improved the battery cage and killed the dongle. I'm still able to repair the MP2kx of anybody out there but I have to ask for a little bit of money beside S&H.

Not allowed to add comments or questions

Hi. Am I not allowed ot add comments or questions to this
group ?.

I wrote rather a long query regarding the pormlems I was
having with Newton Dates / Events but it doesn't seem
to have appeared on the comments list ?.

Please let me know

S. O'Neill

probably marked as spam

Be patient, somebody will get to it sometime soon, and we should see it show up.

-Jon

Cool Related Article

See:
My Newton
1996 – 2005
by Fletcher Lee Hartsell III
http://ambidextrousmag.org/issues/06/pdf/i6p52.pdf

Connecting a Newton to a MacBook Pro

You mention you're connecting your Newton 2100 to a MacBook Pro. Can you tell what cable(s) you found to enable you to do this?

Macs & Newt

hi there guys
just stumbled on your page trying to find out about the 2010 year thing for Newton
I have had my Messagepad 2000 for a few years now and I have been syncing it with osx fine using NoteThing (under Classic) and NewtSync and Newten (OSX) I'm running 10.3.9 tho i have Tiger I haven't upgraded I use a regular USB to Serial cable with the dongle adapter for Newton Had to search for a OS9 and X driver for the cable on the net and install both so it would work

2010 ?

What's this "2010 thing" about Newtons, please ?

Never mind.
Google is my friend
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

2010 is the doomsday

for Newtons--unless, as ygor mentioned, you have the 2010 fix installed.

The simple explanation is that the Newton counts up (minutes, I think) from a certain day in the past. In 2010, the "odometer" rolls over, creating havoc. When Avi first put out the fix, I tested it for him. First i created a date sometime in 2010, and then set my Newton's clock to (whatever date it was in) 2010. My Newton went berzerk, going into a reset loop. I was forced, in the end, to do a "brain wipe" removing everything from my Newton. I was glad I had made multiple backups. :-) In any case, I then restored my Newton, installed the fix, and repeated the experiment. It worked fine. I also kept forward-dating my Newton a few more years into the future, and then used it for a few days using a year that matched the current year day-wise. No problems. Yes, it is a hack, but it seems to work. And you will want to be installing it. (So far, between Avi and me, I don't know anybody else who has stress-tested the "fix." If you would like to try it, feel free!)

I'll tell you what makes me feel weird is that when Avi did this, everybody, including myself, figured we would all be using something else by then, and that it wouldn't really be needed! But 2010 is coming, and my Newton sits behind me charging away, waiting to be picked up and used.... weird...

-Jon

You are using NoteThing with

You are using NoteThing with Classic? That's awesome! I doubted anyone was still using it.

BTW: I wrote NoteThing.

To the author: Why will it

To the author:

Why will it never replace your paper-based organizer? This is what I can never understand about people. They tout some digital device, but, when it comes down to it, they stick with their paper-based solutions. Going digital is an all or nothing accord. There is no turning back, and no hesitation. Yes, there are negatives to going all digital, just like their are negatives to going all paper. I can proudly say that my business is 100% digital. There are times when customers push us for paper invoices, but we just say that we are digital, and it is not really possible.

The Newton is meant for someone like me that is willing to commit to going all digital. After working in a government office, I had had enough of paper, and all the waste an ridiculousness it entails. There is no need for paper, for the most part. And for scheduling, please, you can honestly tell me that even something so simple as a calender, in this day, is not replaceable with a digital device?

Paper will survive

Why will it never replace your paper-based organizer?

Don't know about "the author's" answer to that question but mine would be because paper will survive the EMP (electromagnetic pulse) from a nuclear blast. Nothing, of course, will survive at ground zero be it digital or paper but EMP goes out a very long way and knock out digital devices while paper will be unaffected. The WikiPedia entry for EMP has several maps fromthe US goverment/army of the area affected by EMP; pretty much all of continental north America!

Though my fundamental reason for commiting to paper is ease of use. Never had a Newton but I did use a Psion Series 3 and later a Palm 501c for several years each. I always went back to paper. Much like my present car has an automatic gearbox when I replace it I'll be return to a manual.

Good point

A question: Would an EMP destroy optical media ? CD and CD-R ? That might be a convenient loophole in the issue.

The anonymous comment reeks of Troll, but I like the responses. Very thoughtful. Complements to Jon and Reep
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Optical Media

A question: Would an EMP destroy optical media ? CD and CD-R ? That might be a convenient loophole in the issue.

The media might survive but the pulse will probably reduce the electronics in the players to silicon. So your data is safe, 'til the silver oxidises, but you'd be unable to retrieve it.

No, not really...

Going digital is an all or nothing accord.

It would only be so for someone approaching it from an ideological perspective, rather than for practical considerations. If you wish to approach "going digital" from an ideological framework, you are free to do so, but to attempt to force this on other people is to fail to see that not everybody sees things the same way you do.

For myself, and I've been using Newtons since some time in 1995 or 1996, the Newton is great at many things--and I've been known to say that the best paper planner I've ever used was my Newton--but it's not an end-all, be-all. And, to be frank, while a digital calendar has many benefits, immediacy is not one of them. When I'm talking on the phone with someone or standing somewhere, trying to schedule a date, the limitations of digital quickly come into play. For me, the best way to schedule is with paper. I print out dates such that I can fit a year, or maybe more, on a sheet of paper, with my whole schedule fitting on a couple/three sheets. I have an immediate overview of open and closed dates, and also have a framework of _where_ those meetings are (I don't want to schedule a meeting in Alabama between two in Michigan, for instance). On a computer screen (and specifically, a PDA/Newton's screen), such overviews, together with relationship are much more difficult to discern, thus taking my attention away from the caller, to the technology at hand, and thus creating a barrier to communication. Sorry, but communication trumps "going digital" in this circumstance.

Also, twice in my Newton experience, I've had my Newton suddenly go blank on me, leaving me dataless. It isn't pretty, to be 800 miles away from home, where your backup is located. If it weren't for my paper schedule, I would have been sunk. And actually, I like to not only have that quickie list, but also a printout of the meeting details, together with directions. That goes into a planner. I have yet to find a decent way to electronify that. I've tried it on my Palm, but the Palm screen is even _more_ cramped than my Newton screen was. Oh, and more frequently, my Palm has fritzed on me, leaving me dataless--although I have a solution for that finally--I back up to a card nightly, so I lose no more than a day's info, but again, paper has an immediacy that electronic lacks, as well as not needing batteries, etc. Although, digital wins in the dark--no need for light. ;-)

Which brings me to _my_ point to your ideological framework--you actually said it yourself--"Yes, there are negatives to going all digital, just like their are negatives to going all paper." So, since this is true, why force a false dichotomy? Let's let paper do what it does best, and digital do what it does best, and let them work together, thus negating or canceling their negatives? That seems to me to be the best path.

BTW, I think of your customers that you've "forced" digital--I wonder how many of them print out your "digital" forms to paper, thus negating your hoped-for benefits? Just a curiosity...

-Jon

Need help connecting to my MP2k

Surfing the net at midnight, looking for help, I found someone who loves this green brick as much as I do. I have had three so far, a 120 a MP2000 and an MP2100. The 120 was easiest by far to connect to. I spent a lot of time using NCU2 on the 2000, but my 2100 is giving me fits. Only very rarely in the past five years have I been able to connect long enough to transfer a few packages and photos. This was effected using a Windows XP laptop.

I have since jettisoned the PC laptop and purchased two Apple computers, a Powermac G5 and an iMac Core Duo, running Leopard and Tiger respectively.
I am trying to connect using a Keyspan USB to serial adapter and a variety of OS X software ranging from NCX to Escale. I know the cable connection works because autodock lit up the TCP/IP Dock package I had previously installed. But my bete noire is that both the default Dock program and the TCP/IP Dock both timeout with the error message "The connection was stopped because there was no response." I had experienced the identical problem when I was using the PC, but I remember having success only after running an utility called Slowdown, which literally reduced the CPU heart beat to a snails pace. I have been searching the net for a similar program that would run on my iMac.

I have some other, less critical problems I could use help with also, if you don't mind. Again several years ago, I found a fellow in Canada who did Message Pad repairs. I sent my 2100 to him to install a serial port, a sound card and a new backlight. My query to you is concerning this last item. Your 2100 seemed to be in pristine condition, hardly used. I bought mine on eBay, and the backlight was all but exhausted. However, even after replacing my backlight, there was only minimal improvement, it had none of the green glow I remembered from my 120. This is probably the most disappointing part of my experience with this Newton, it is difficult to read. Was your backlight obvious?

I realize this is an unsollicited request for help, but if you have any suggestions I would be grateful.

Thanks

BB

Newtontalk

Bob-

I heartily recommend that you go to www.newtontalk.net and subscribe to the mailing list there. This list is full of experienced users who will be able to help you, and the email format is much easier to respond to, and track than here.

As to your connection. If you are using the Keyspan adapter, you need to choose the Serial connection, not the TCP connection in the Dock app on your Newton. Also, you will need to open your Mac app, and make sure that the Keyspan option is selected or even visible. I don't remember if NCX allows serial connections, but I believe that Escale does. I've never done a serial connection in OS X, only wifi and wired Ethernet. (I have an older OS9 box for if I need a serial connection to "bootstrap" a wiped 2K Newton).

In any case, join the list, and ask away. I suspect that all your questions will be answered there---See you on-list. ;-)

-Jon

How do you change the date?

I have the Message Pad 2100.

How do you change the date on it?

Also, where can I get a serial adapter so I can attach the Newton to the Mac?

Does it matter what OS I am using on the Mac?

Thanks so much