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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Default Doonesbury sunk Newton

    I was just reading a slashdotted article about the biggest tech flops of all time.

    As usual, the Newton featured prominently. I never had a chance to use one, and my understanding is that they were about a decade before their time, but I found interesting the comment that the product's downfall was due in part to vicious lampooning by comedians and comic strips, particularly a certain Doonesbury sequence.

    I love reading Doonesbury and I was keen to see these strips which were so influentially detrimental to one of Apple's visionary products. So I went and found the links. For Mactalk members' interest I thought I'd post links to the sequence (from August 1993) here.

    http://images.ucomics.com/comics/db/1993/db930823.gif

    http://images.ucomics.com/comics/db/1993/db930824.gif

    http://images.ucomics.com/comics/db/1993/db930825.gif

    http://images.ucomics.com/comics/db/1993/db930826.gif

    http://images.ucomics.com/comics/db/1993/db930827.gif

    http://images.ucomics.com/comics/db/1993/db930828.gif

    PS: I upped the images to imageshack so that we're not stealing ucomics' bandwidth, but clicking on the image links to their pages. So we're not stealing bandwidth and we're giving copyright credit where it's due. Hopefully that means we're under the radar.

    PSII changed the images to just links, at Currawong's suggestion, to avoid copyright ninja retaliation.

  2. #2

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    Default

    hahaha thats funny.
    The newton wasn't that bad...
    My Macs: MacBook Pro 17", Powerbook Ti 867Mhz, Powermac 5500 Black, iBook G3 900Mhz, Powermac MDD, Powermac 8600 250Mhz, Intel Core Duo 1.66Ghz Mac Mini, iMac G4 17" 1Ghz, eMac 1Ghz, eMac 800Mhz,
    AppleCollector Sales Service/Sales/Support/Trade In's

  3. #3

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    Default

    In some ways Apple did it to themselves. Scully pushed the Newton out too early, as there were still issues with the original. The 110 was a much better model than the OMP.

    Unfortunately the media made more of a hoohar about the handwriting recognition, which was actually only a small part of what made the Newton so special. You can see part of the "Newton's Way" in OS X - in Services and with shared data. A well written OS X app can use data from Address Book and iCal. With "Soups", the Newton did this in 1993. The Services menu in OS X is similar to the Mail icon on the Newton, where you can send whatever you working on in a variety of ways.

    Its funny how people whinged about the size of it, but the 2000/2100 is the perfect size today for a sub-laptop computer. The PC Tablets are way to big. The Newt would have been a huge seller today. The 2000/2100 with the 162Mhz StrongARM was a jet for handwriting recognition, especially with the Print Recogniser that Apple themselves developed. What most people don't realise that the word recogniser from the early Newtons was a third party add-on.

    With a couple of third party add-ons, such as MoreInfo, the Newt became a very powerful Assistant, in the true sense that Scully and co first envisioned. Too bad Apple at the time didn't spin the unit off completely, rather than Newotn Inc just being a division of Apple. With the rate at which Newton OS 2.0/2.1 was advancing, it would have been a perfect OS to run your phone, entertainment system or other small device, rather than cut down versions of Mac OS X or Windows.

    I use my upgraded 2000 everyday, especially at work. I have almost eliminated the needed for a paper pad :-)

  4. #4

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    Default

    Upgraded 2000?
    How so please explain.
    I still use my Newton 130 at times. (ATM i have no idea where it is)
    But i need a way to link it to one of my macs!
    Any ideas? PM me... thanks.
    My Macs: MacBook Pro 17", Powerbook Ti 867Mhz, Powermac 5500 Black, iBook G3 900Mhz, Powermac MDD, Powermac 8600 250Mhz, Intel Core Duo 1.66Ghz Mac Mini, iMac G4 17" 1Ghz, eMac 1Ghz, eMac 800Mhz,
    AppleCollector Sales Service/Sales/Support/Trade In's

  5. #5

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    Default

    A 2000 with the 4mb upgrade to take it to the same specs as a 2100. There is a space on the motherboard to upgrade the ram. Other than a slightly different case and a .1 difference in the OS, that was the only difference between the 2000 and the 2100.

  6. #6

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    Default

    Good posting tintinaujapon. The Newt was indeed waaay aheads of its time and if released with a few more bugs ironed out would I am sure have been a winner. The handwriting recognition software was and still is one of the best ever made and formed the basis of 'Inkwell " the HRS that was intoduced with Panther ? . You do need a tablet like a Wacom to use it on a Mac though. Sadly the Newton did cop a hard time from a then Technophobic press back then which sure didn't help , and those same guys who were adverse to technology probably all have a PDA , mobile phone , laptop , digital camera and iPod now .
    I agree with lavo that given Apples high profile as an innovative tech company and the runaway success of the iPod , then if released today the Newton would have been another winner for Apple.
    Couple of links for you Applecollector although I think most of these relate to the Newton 2000 & 2100 so I'm not sure if you would be able to use your earlier one.
    http://www.jonathansblog.net/newton_...000_experience
    http://web.ukonline.co.uk/kieran.mil...wton/irda.html
    http://www.inventors-emporium.co.uk/pages/newton.html
    I don't use mine everyday now - probably once or twice a week - but everytime I open it up I smile to myself. Its just a great gadget !
    Stewie

  7. #7

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    Default

    tintin: I'd just post links to the original comics and not host the images anywhere. I guarantee you that you'll get a letter about hosting the images on imageshack (or they will, and take down the images) because of copyright.

    Because people click on the links from here, we may also get an email about it.

    Interesting to read the cartoons though - they are still kind of valid today.
    The discussion has continued at AppleTalk Australia.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Sydney Metropolitan
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    Default

    I wonder if the iPhone will turn out to have hidden features that make up for the death of the Newton...
    Should/Could/Would

  9. #9

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    Bris Vegas
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    Default

    The Simpsons dissed the Newton too ...

    VIDEO NO WORKY

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