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The Newton O.S. Creeps Toward New Hardware

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the hypothetically dept.

Portables (Apple) 278

GraWil writes "As previously reported, the Apple Newton refuses to die! The Worldwide Newton Conference 2004 has wrapped up (photos) and, thanks to Paul Guyot, there is real hope for an emulator. His talk, titled 'Newton never dies, It only gets new hardware,' describes and shows the Einstein Emulator, that will eventually allow the Newton OS to be built and run on top of Unix. Will your next Linux PDA boot Newton OS next year?"

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278 comments

t4c frosty (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435320)

Whenever I have any kind of sex, whether it's with a woman or by myself, I have a hard time achieving orgasm. I'm not sure if it's normal but the head of my penis burns and I have to strain, and I mean until I'm blue in the face, to see any semen come out. And when it does, it is in very small amounts. This greatly reduces the pleasure because the end of my orgasm feels like work. Is this normal? Is there a way to improve my situati

TEENS 4 CHRIST > *

My question is... (3, Insightful)

thegoogler (792786) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435349)

How much processing power does this need, i have an old palm IIIc and i like the newton OS... would that run it?(it WILL run some flavor of linux/unix IIRC)

Re:My question is... (4, Informative)

Megane (129182) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435542)

I wouldn't try running it on an old Palm.

The Newton used a 16-25 MHz or so ARM, and even then it lagged quite a bit. The final models (before Steve killed it) had 166 MHz or so CPUs. The Palm has a 16 MHz 68000, so there's no chance there. On the other hand, modern PDAs (PocketPC, Palm ARM, Zaurus) use 200+ MHz ARM CPUs, so they ought to run the Newton OS in an emulator environment with no trouble at all. The important part is the total lack of need for CPU emulation.

Re:My question is... (2, Funny)

BlowChunx (168122) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435964)

I think the ultimate irony would be running it on a Dell Axim. I hope that one thought keeps Michael Dell having dreams of men in jeans and black turtle necks chasing him...

Re:My question is... (2, Informative)

thegoogler (792786) | more than 9 years ago | (#10436114)

Actually the IIIc had a 25mhz processor, and it wasn't a 68000(some kind of custom chip) just FYI.

A serious question for you all... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435352)

WTF happened to Jon Katz?

Re:A serious question for you all... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435434)

Taco dismissed JonKatz with prejudice after this article [slashdot.org] made Slashdot [slashdot.org] more of a laughingstock than it usually is with the web community.

Re:A serious question for you all... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435555)

Thank you.

Re:A serious question for you all... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435599)

holy shit, i'm so glad i followed that link. that is quite possibly the funniest article EVER on slashdot.

seriously, read it [slashdot.org], it explains a lot about the katz fiasco.

heh, commodore 64.

Re:A serious question for you all... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435526)

I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti

Newton on Amiga (3, Funny)

Shaman (1148) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435360)

I'm holding out for a version of NewtonOS that runs under version 3.0 of AmigaOS running under emulation on my Atari ST.

Re:Newton on Amiga (1, Offtopic)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435836)

I'm holding out for a version of NewtonOS that runs under version 3.0 of AmigaOS running under emulation on my Atari ST.

I'm still waiting for my Timex-Sinclair 1000 emulator that runs on my Commodore 64.

There's so much that I've been planning to do and I'm been waiting for such a long time.

However, if you have Atari ST programs that you want to run on the Windows PC, the STeem emulator works quite well. There were a lot of MIDI synthesizer programs published only for the Atari ST. For example, voice editors for the various tone modules that were state-of-the-art twelve years ago and are still being bought and sold for moderate sums on eBay.

Still viable (5, Interesting)

TimmyDee (713324) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435371)

In spite of its detractors, the Newton continues to be a viable handheld platform (shortcomings of the hardware notwithstanding). As a current Newton user, I'm excited for a new lease on life. The genius of the Newton is the OS -- the HWR, the Assistant, and the soup method of data storage. Newton apps "see" each other's data and don't have to run any sort of conversion to use it as their own. You own the data, not the app. Plus, writing "10:00 meeting with lab group 10/14" in the Assistant and getting the proper entry in your calendar just rocks!

Damn. (4, Funny)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435375)

For a second I thought they meant a new Newton from Apple : (

Re:Damn. (3, Informative)

sploo22 (748838) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435407)

Not your fault, they just changed the title in the last few seconds. It was originally "The Apple Newton Gets New Hardware".

The new Newton using a classic formula (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435970)

1. Dust off Newton
2. Charge double for the look.
3 Add Linux
4 ???
5 profit

bad apple (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435378)

apple should have kept making newtons and bought palm when they could

Re:bad apple (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435597)

Yeah, because PDAs and tablets are such a lucrative market. Dipshit.

Pictures (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435379)

Put the camera down!! When you have pictures of people taking pictures and getting directions you know that you have nothing worth shooting!!

GNUton Etc. (4, Interesting)

Feneric (765069) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435384)

It's good to hear about the Einstein Emulator. I wonder what happened to the GNUton project [sourceforge.net]; it seemed to be working in the same direction and as far as I know actually got a bootable system running through the magic of Python. Granted, there's been no status update since 2000, but I've certainly seen free software projects go dormant longer.

Recently Newton's Library [newtonslibrary.org] has gone live again; I'm one of the volunteer librarians. If anyone is interested in helping out, let me know. The Newton MessagePad is a great device for reading e-books, and the potential of new hardware certainly can't hurt.

One of the most underrated technological devices (5, Insightful)

curtlewis (662976) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435390)

The Newton got a bad rep in it's early days due to being released too soon. The handwriting recognition just didn't work well enough.

Unfortunately, people never gave it a second chance. The 2000 and 2100, the final models of the Newton had excellent handwriting recognition and a faster processor that was pretty darned fast for the applications the Newton ran.

I'm glad to see holdouts trying to keep the heart beating. With the technology available today, a screamingly fast Newton could be housed in something no larger than your typical Palm. And that mid-90s software is BETTER than today's PalmOS.

Oh, and Graffiti SUCKS!

Re:One of the most underrated technological device (1, Redundant)

sploo22 (748838) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435446)

Really? I found Graffiti to be so intuitive and efficient that I actually installed it on my eMate.

Re:One of the most underrated technological device (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435467)

I dissagree.... in '94/'95 I took ALL my univeristy CS notes on my Newton. While everone else was luggin around either texbooks or the odd Notebook computer. I had my trusty Newton. Saved as handwriting in class...coverted to text in the evenings... gave me extra incentive to re-read all my notes that day in the evening.

worked like a charm!

Re:One of the most underrated technological device (2, Interesting)

pnot (96038) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435978)

While everone else was luggin around either texbooks or the odd Notebook computer. I had my trusty Newton.

Uhm. Assuming you mean "textbooks", rather than "copies of Donald Knuth's manual for TeX"... how did your Newton replace textbooks? Did you transcribe whole books onto your Newton for easy reference?

I'd've thought that the old-tech equivalent of a Newton is a pen and a slim folder of writing paper, which probably weighs about as much as a Newton, *and* doesn't run out of battery power, *and* lets you make paper darts when the lecture gets slow ;-).

Re:One of the most underrated technological device (1)

Bob Davis, Retired (717968) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435487)

I'm sorry, but as a fan of the Newton, I can say that Graffiti is far faster than Newton's HWR. In fact, in the early days of PDAs (before Palm Pilots) Graffiti was available as an app for the Newton, and I and all 3 of my Newton buddies used it instead of the Newton's HWR.

NewtonOS Clone? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435391)

considering how "ancient" (in computer/pda terms) the Apple Newton PDAs were, why don't people try to essentially rewrite a clone of it. i understand the usefulness of an emulator, but an OS clone would be much more convenient. you can get the features, look, and feel of the Newton OS while also having the luxury of adding upgrades when the needs arise. Also, it could be ported to newer hardware (instead of the legacy/aging Newton one.)


i, not being a programmer myself, cannot fathom the complexity of writing such an OS, perhaps. but it makes more sense, to me atleast, to take what everyone seems to love about the old software and move on to a new one.

anyone care to explain how hard it would to write an entire new OS for a PDA (similar to that of Newton's) ?

Re:NewtonOS Clone? (-1, Troll)

Hobadee (787558) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435630)

i, not being a programmer myself, cannot fathom the complexity of writing such an OS...

It's easy, as Microsoft has proven again and again! Just throw 100 monkeys at 100 terminals for 100 hours, and TA-DA!

O wait, you wanted one that actually WORKS!? AND IS FUNCTIONAL!!?? I don't think modern programming languages can handle that!

Re:NewtonOS Clone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435737)

troll

Re:NewtonOS Clone? (1)

bursch-X (458146) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435941)

Just throw 100 monkeys at 100 terminals for 100 hours, and TA-DA!

I always thought you'd get Shakespeare's works by doing so...

Re:NewtonOS Clone? (1)

Hes Nikke (237581) | more than 9 years ago | (#10436170)

i wouldn't go as far as creating a whole new OS, maybe a new shell to run on something like the zaurus, but not a full blown OS doesn't make much sense to me when we already have a fully functional, 100% customizable OS like Linux.

Is it OpenSource? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435401)

I cannot find Einstein anywhere. I'm a newton user and dabble in coding apps. Is Einstein open source? If so, where is the code?

Re:Is it OpenSource? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435899)

NO - Einstien is NOT open source, and most likely will not be open source at any point. There are legal issues regarding licensing of the OS, the HWR input, etc. that the developers need to work out before they can truly finish a product. As such they can't realease the code, what would Microsoft do if you released all of winXP source code on the net? Probably a similar thing to what Apple would (and may still do) to these guys.

Also - they've seen other open source developments for the newton go south - too many hands, not enough direction. They intend to keep things to a core of dedicated developers, to decide a direction to take things and to FOCUS on a goal.

What link to I click on? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435402)

TooManyLinksException

Right, there's a picture of a dude pointing at a screen with a faded image on it ... is it relevant? What is it?

Re:What link to I click on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435424)

Its a screenshot showing the emulator running and NewtonOS booting under os x!

To be honest... (-1, Troll)

edrams (778721) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435437)

...I think the NewtOS is really bad. I own an original Newton and it has never done very much. It got that same, "OOOH! Made by Apple in Cupertino, California" feeling, but none of the usefulness. Seriously. Drop the Newton brick and buy a decent pda that you won't have to continually pour money in to get functionality out. You're probably risking a hernia anyway.

Re:To be honest... (4, Insightful)

Feneric (765069) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435462)

It's kind of unfair judging the entire Newton line based on the original model.

It's a little like saying that Windows XP sucks (not for all the obvious reasons) because you've used Windows 1.0 (or even 3.1) and dislike all its limitations.

Re:To be honest... (1)

edrams (778721) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435485)

You are right. This is unfair. However, there are many alternatives to the Newton that are much more practical in this day and age. I do know that the later models were quite an improvement over the old models, but it seems that the Newton's following has greatly to do with Apple Zealotry, not actual functionality. (Posted from a Mac, fyi)

I think the whole point is (5, Interesting)

St3phen (147601) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435484)

that you'll hopefully eventually be able to run the (brilliant) Newton OS on more modern & portable hardware.

Also, if your entire exposure to the Newton OS was on a 1.0 device, IMHO, you've missed out on what the real draw is vis-a-vis the capabilities of the later MessagePads & eMate.

Re:I think the whole point is (1)

edrams (778721) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435514)

I did actually get a chance to use an eMate a friend of mine used for school. I like apple and have no intention of starting a flame war, but it wasn't much more than a really cheap laptop with limited features. I have a watch that does the same stuff the Newton could do in its peak.

Your point on the eMate is valid, given (1)

St3phen (147601) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435601)

it's attempt at the laptop-style format. As such, I think it tended to hide the features of the Newton OS.

I doubt, however, that your watch can surf the web, telnet to a server, read a newsgroup, attach to an external keyboard, control entertainment devices via infrared, take notes in class, record & play sounds & lectures, send faxes, compose and receive email, do drawings, or have a built-in assistant (IMHO the coolest feature that really highlighted the Newt's capabilities).

Re:Your point on the eMate is valid, given (1)

edrams (778721) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435639)

"I doubt, however, that your watch can surf the web, telnet to a server, read a newsgroup, attach to an external keyboard, control entertainment devices via infrared, take notes in class, record & play sounds & lectures, send faxes, compose and receive email, do drawings, or have a built-in assistant (IMHO the coolest feature that really highlighted the Newt's capabilities)." It can control entertainment devices via infrared. You are right about the other things though. I just didn't see that the eMate really had a chance at breaking into the laptop market. It wasn't as powerful as laptops of that time, was abnormally shaped (something the world wasn't ready for quite yet), and bluey-green.

Re:Your point on the eMate is valid, given (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435688)

http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS6580187845.html

Why, yes it can, with the help of Bluetooth devices ;-)

http://www.40hz.org/ for bluetooth (1)

xtermin8 (719661) | more than 9 years ago | (#10436161)

There may be other projects out there, but Blunt works on newtons http://www.40hz.org/blunt

Re:I think the whole point is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10436145)

I did actually get a chance to use an eMate a friend of mine used for school. I like apple and have no intention of starting a flame war, but it wasn't much more than a really cheap laptop with limited features.
Yeah. A cheap laptop that ran for 30 hours on batteries. Oh, and it was well nigh indestructable as well -- spring protected and with no moving parts. Did we mention that it cost $800 in 1997? You do know what the typical laptop price was in 1997, right?
I have a watch that does the same stuff the Newton could do in its peak.
You have a watch which runs Java, interprets handwriting better than any current PDA, surfs the web on 802.11, runs word processors, spreadsheets, and drawing programs, and has a built-in bookreader which speaks books out loud as well? I gotta get me one of them watches.

Christ, it refuses to die. (-1, Troll)

Power Everywhere (778645) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435452)

Like the mildew in my shower.

What are the chances of porting the upper levels (API) to Darwin?

Re:Christ, it refuses to die. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435583)

I don't think I was mildew in my OS ... and how do you port mildew anyway?

let id die... (5, Funny)

toxickiwi (799307) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435495)

What do they mean? 'Newton never dies, It only gets new hardware,' mine always died after about an hour of use then I had to change batteries The only new hardware they could add is a solar panel..

Obligatory. . . (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435497)

"Beat up Martin"
"Eat up Martha"

Sorta Newton related... (1)

mrgreen4242 (759594) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435524)

I am looking for something that has about the power of a PDA, but is larger... like 5-6" screen type deal. I thought the Newton was a bigger piece of hardware than it actually is (people certainly complain about how big it is enough), so I was looking at it.

What I want is something that has some decent screen real estate so I can use it for document review (both text and - maybe - images), do basic internet stuff, like limited webbrowsing email and chat, and also some basic PDA type stuff like note taking/calendar/phone book; enough power and the hardware to play MP3's would be nice, too.

I don't need anything super powerful (doesn't need to play video or any games at all), touch screen would be good, but so would some sort of built in pointing device w/ external keyboard. Color screen is even optional (image review isn't a requirement, just would be nice).

Also, either a PCMCIA or CF slot would be good, for both data storage and I NEED to be able to put in a WiFi card and a modem card for connectivity. Battery life can be mediocre, only would NEED 2-3 hours between charges.

Now, I don't think that this is alot of requirements, a very old tablet PC would do he trick, if there is such a thing. The real difficulty comes into budget: I want to get this cheap. If it starts to get up to the $300 range I could get an old G3 iBook and be done with it... so anyone have any ideas?

Re:Sorta Newton related... (1)

dirkdidit (550955) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435581)

I was in the same boat as you about this time last year and I ended up settling with a smaller screen and went with the HP iPaq 5555. Good PDA, but the screen is a bit on the small side.

You might want to check out the old Fujitsu Stylistic [ebay.com] line of tablet PCs. I've heard good things about them from some of the people I work with. A fully loaded used one can be had for under $350 (450MHz range).

Re:Sorta Newton related... (1)

mrgreen4242 (759594) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435745)

Thanks for the suggestion, this looks alot like what I am in the market for... I had a Dell Axim up 'till earlier this year, so I know all about the PPCs, the screen is just to small for me to do what I want with it... both in size and resolution. Plus, I HATE the wince/pocketpc OS. blech!

I spose a P3 450 is quite a bit faster than a G3 400-500, plus its got a touch screen...

Re:Sorta Newton related... (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435608)

Keyboard and pointing device? You're looking at a Toshiba Libretto - VERY small, and the power of a Pentium laptop. There are very old tablet PCs that run 95 with Pen Extensions 2.0, and can actually run XP Tablet (someone hacked one into it).

Unfortunately, they're very rare, as one of the bigger retailers appears to have gone out.

Re:Sorta Newton related... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435811)

fujitsu stylistic LT.

pentium 233 mmx, touchscreen and it rocks with win95+penX

a tablet PC that cost's less than $180.00 with a new high capacity battery off ebay.

Re:Sorta Newton related... (3, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435948)

Well if you dropped the budget requirement you would seem to be a perfect candidate for an OQO [oqo.com] ultra compact PC. It's 4.9*3.4 inches, has a 800*480 display, has a full keyboard, thumb mouse, pen input, scroll wheel, etc. It has Firewire, Bluetooth, 802.11b, and USB built in. It lasts aprox 3 hours on battery. It has a 20GB HDD for storage. The biggest problem for you would be the price, I believe the first generation are around $1800.

Re:Sorta Newton related... (2, Interesting)

mrgreen4242 (759594) | more than 9 years ago | (#10436035)

I hate replying to my own post, but I have been looking around a bit more and I came across the Jornada 680/e and the 7xx (looks the same, seems to be more powerful, and more expensive)... anyways, the form factor is right, but I am not a huge fan of WinCE... So questions are: Anyone use these? what did you think? Are they upgradable (in terms of OS... to at least PocketPC2k or even, dare I dream, Linux)?

Re:Sorta Newton related... (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#10436160)

I am looking for something that has about the power of a PDA, but is larger... like 5-6" screen type deal.

Eh, still sounds a bit cramped to me...

Back when Go PenPoint was getting a lot of press, I thought it looked fairly cool, but I just couldn't get excited about pen-based computing on such a tiny surface. I was a draftsman many years ago, and the smallest surface I'd want to use would be a standard "D" sheet: 17"x22".

Forget notebook computers, I want a portfolio!

-jcr

Re:Sorta Newton related... (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#10436282)

You know, I want almost the same thing as you. What I want is identical to a PDA except that it would be the same size as a DVD case and have a higher resolution (at least 640x480) screen. Since it wouldn't have to have any more circuitry than a normal PDA, it should have plenty of extra space for PCMCIA, CF, and SD slots, as well as a larger (or 2nd) battery) or even perhaps a 1.8" or 2.5" hard drive. I don't want a Tablet PC -- they're all too heavy to hold in one hand. However, a version of a Sharp Actius MM20 with a swiveling touchscreen would be in the ballpark.

The Einstein Emulator (3, Funny)

tangent3 (449222) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435544)

...and in a few years the Einstein Emulator (also known as Einstein Emulator Special Version) will become obselete with bugs and head towards death only to be replaced by the Einstein Emulator General Version which solves most of the bugs. Some bugs remain, however, which were only resolved after the Quantum Plugin was released.

Re:The Einstein Emulator (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435664)

If you tell a bad joke from the centre of a forest will anybody mod it?

Lucas, Meet Jobs. Jobs, meet Lucas. (4, Insightful)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435545)

This is out of hand. Newton is 10 year old hardware that has an adamant user base that consistantly reaches over backwards to keep alive. Yet this hardware device is one that Jobs is staunchly against and has consistantly given the middle finger to.

What gives?
The only other person besides Jobs who so fearlessly tells a fan base to go collectively screw themselves is Lucas. Being a very technical user who has 2 mac laptops, a G5 desktop and an iPod, I could definitely put a Newton device to good use.

I can only hope that Apple current dealings with Motorola's cellular device division is working on an intigrated OS X compatable PDA for the iPhone to allow users to bluetooth and/or websynch (.mac account?) data from iTunes, Mail.app, Calandar and AddressBook.

Re:Lucas, Meet Jobs. Jobs, meet Lucas. (4, Informative)

MouseR (3264) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435655)

You have to catch up on your Apple folklore.

The reason, wich is widely regarded as truth, that Jobs killed the newton is pure retaliation against Scully.

John Scully invented the concept and drove the outcome as the Newton shortly after he had fired Jobs in their power feud of mid 80s. Scully had killed the Lisa and Jobs took over the Mac not to be empty-handed. When Jobs was back at the helm of Apple, he was just pleased at destroying the Newton rather than building on it. To this day, Jobs keep dismissing PDAs altogether while telling everyone that phones will inherit the futur. What does he do next? A frickin' music player.

Jobs has done a lot of good stuff for Apple since his come-back. But the Newton murder wasn't one of them. Marry Newton OS and the iPod and then you start having something interesting. But ego makes this product impossible. Or highly improbable.

Re:Lucas, Meet Jobs. Jobs, meet Lucas. (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435829)

Thank you for the reply.

However I never mentioned the Skully/Jobs adversity, though it did come to mind. However, being a high level contractor, I know how such petty drama takes life of it's own in a corporate atmosphere... lord knows, I've seen the demise of one director to be passed on to the next or on the extreme occassion I've gone from one CTO to the next. In all circumstances, most have tried to suplant the predecessors goals with their own (which can bring forth my contracts termination through no fault of my own). So I could always see the point to the lore of Jobs shitcanning Newton because it was a "Skullyism" but as a practical person, I never take sides unless I know the facts of the matter.

Hence, my neglect to bring up anything other than the facts, which is that Jobs has consistantly ignored an Apple PDA solution since re-taking a place at the helm despite a zealous and active user base.

My point was that there is a group that is both verbal and actionable in their support yet Jobs has consistantly chosen to ignore that group.

But to reference your point about "The future being in Phones" I did end my comment about my hopes that the iPhone synching with current OS X applications via bluetooth or .mac.

However, if they choose bluetooth (the obvious choice) I fear having to leave Verizon, my carrier for several years (and the best quality of service IMO) for another such as AT&T or *cough* Sprint (whom I despise) ... So I can only hope and pray that Verizon recants their opposition to Bluetooth. Because a phone that integrates with my Macs is something that I would *HAVE* to have, carrier be damned. ...But my faith in that is practically non-existant because they dont even advertise the merlin CDMA PDMCIA card that is the only Mac compatable CDMA card for cellular data access (since WiMAx is yet to be a reality) ... So while Jobs flips off the Newton, Verizon flips off the entire Macintosh user base. So, I'm pretty certain that if the iPhone is ever released I'll have to switch carriers.

Re:Lucas, Meet Jobs. Jobs, meet Lucas. (2, Interesting)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435949)

This is pretty simplistic reasoning. Apple was losing a ton of money at the time and there was the real need to cut down on the speculative projects and concentrate on the "core markets" (if even just to make Wall Street happy). Apple also cut dozens of Macintosh models at the same time.

Not to mention that the Newton brandname was pretty much dirt at that point. Even though the later models were nice, people though of the thing as a big joke. A Palm Pilot was the cool thing to have, not a Newton.

Plus you had the huge psychological impact of Microsoft entering the market with Windows CE and getting a ton of licensees (which Apple couldn't get). I suspect Apple had no desire to play the Second Fiddle Minority Platform game in two different markets. (WinCE turned out to be a bit of a dud, but that's what Apple thought was going to happen to Windows 3.1 as well.)

After you consider all those business reasons, I suppose you could make the personality argument.

more to the point (1)

jbellis (142590) | more than 9 years ago | (#10436174)

by the time Jobs killed Newton, almost all the engineers that knew anything about either the hardware OR software had ALREADY LEFT.

Re:Lucas, Meet Jobs. Jobs, meet Lucas. (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 9 years ago | (#10436304)

Oh, I can... but as I said to another poster, the tact Jobs has taken is harsh.

And while I agree with all your point, and can even give small link to validate your comment [depaul.edu], would it be so hard for Apple to Open Source the entire Newton OS and not just the toolkit??? Or is that asking too much? Sounds like Jobs just hedging the bet at everyones expense.

Re:Lucas, Meet Jobs. Jobs, meet Lucas. (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#10436182)

The reason, wich is widely regarded as truth, that Jobs killed the newton is pure retaliation against Scully.

Umm, Sculley also introduced color displays and expansion slots to the Macintosh line, and Apple didn't abandon those.

Seriously though, this is a bit of a stretch. When Steve returned to Apple, the company was having a near-death experience, and anything that detracted from the core business (like the printers, or the newton, and an awful lot of the Macintosh models of the time) had to go.

-jcr

Re:Lucas, Meet Jobs. Jobs, meet Lucas. (1)

mxpengin (516866) | more than 9 years ago | (#10436203)

Jobs keep dismissing PDAs altogether while telling everyone that phones will inherit the future...

Well , I agree with Jobs in that point , and sony as well [washingtonpost.com] . I have been living in japan for the last six months and I arrived here with my palm assistant , but after a week with my new cell phone (Toshiba a5504t) I dumped the palm , I just have everything on the phone ( I download apps/games, internet , email , GPS , camera , a place to put my appointments ). I have to admit that Im still slow writing with the keyboard in english , but if you know japanese this little toys let you write really fast once you "train" the phone.

Re:Lucas, Meet Jobs. Jobs, meet Lucas. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435713)

time and time again, steve jobs has said that the PDA market is headed towards a convergance. several years ago, he said you will see the market go from purely PDA to PDA/Phone combo to god knows what other combo the market is going to create. guess what, Steve Jobs was right. convergence is what has happened and is still happening in the PDA market. he has been smart enough to not jump onto the bandwagon, so to say, and persue different routes.

the iPod for instance is a different route. they have included very limited PDA functionality (so far text/calendar-function/address book). this used to be the basic needs for a majority of people.

does apple really have a chance against all the other PDA manufacturers? perhaps, but the market is very slim right now (with many reports that I have read suggesting it is not perceived to grow) and apple does not have anything innovative enough to capture a reasonable size of it. why waste their time, money, and spread the resources too thin?

Re:Lucas, Meet Jobs. Jobs, meet Lucas. (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435947)

As I responed to another poster commenting on my parent post, I covered my hopes for the iPhone.

And I should add that the iPod will never be a full PDA since the "pad" is a very limited point of user input.

I hate to sound condescening, but please read the entire post and put it into context.

Letting a user base hang for years on end without any support it a very harsh tact to take. But not one I find surprising from Apple. But since when does a little sympathy for the neglected mean failure to see the path of corporate decision? And as the topic stated, "Lucas, meet Jobs. Jobs, meet Lucas" both Lucas and Jobs have their minds made up on their ideals, consumer be damned. A valid point or no?

Re:Lucas, Meet Jobs. Jobs, meet Lucas. (5, Informative)

lesv (258710) | more than 9 years ago | (#10436007)

This is out of hand. Newton is 10 year old hardware that has an adamant user base that consistantly reaches over backwards to keep alive. Yet this hardware device is one that Jobs is staunchly against and has consistantly given the middle finger to.

That is just untrue. Steve has said that he could have saved Newton, but that he didn't have the management talent to do it. I believe that was just part of the story. The Newton group was working on StrongArm based products before things were killed. The StrongArm was a part of DEC that was acquired by Intel (When they picked up the Alpha technology & Engineers), at that point in time, Intel wasn't really sure what they wanted to do with it. It would have been insane for Apple to spend time rebuilding a business when they didn't know if it's major supplier was going to keep manufacturing. I was the last person hired into the Newton team.

Re:Lucas, Meet Jobs. Jobs, meet Lucas. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#10436167)

Newton is 10 year old hardware that has an adamant user base that ... barely reaches into triple digits.

It's great that people love their newtons, but the economics just aren't there to revive it.

-jcr

A much better link (4, Informative)

jbellis (142590) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435562)

http://wwnc.newtontalk.net/program/paulguyot/slide s-paulguyot.pdf

Turns out to be quite the interesting talk.

more from the conference:

http://wwnc.newtontalk.net/program/

Simpsons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435572)

"Eat up Martha"

Sniff, whats that I smell? (2, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435592)

I smell NERDS! [tow.com]

Good to hear the Newton isn't dead yet, I still have my 130 and 110s, sold my 2100 a while back however (the things where selling used for as much as a notebook PC, I just couldn't resist).

obsimp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10435656)

eat up martha?

NewtonScript & memory management (5, Interesting)

pete_yandell (211045) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435743)

Putting my nerd hat on, the really cool thing about developing for the Newton was the programming language that it used, called (unimaginatively) NewtonScript. Don't let the "Script" fool you...it was a serious language: bytecode interpreted, garbage collected, fast, compact. Pretty impressive for something running on a handheld back in the early 90s! I spent a while tinkering around with writing a NewtonScript emulator, and the internals of the language were beautifully designed. (I still struggle with Java today because it just feels so incredibly clunky in comparison.)

One thing which would make emulating a Newton difficult is the memory management. It used an incredibly fine-grained MMU. I can't remember the page size, but basically it did mark-compact garbage collection, and did the compact bit by just shuffling page mappings in the MMU! Very neat, but difficult to fake efficiently on other hardware.

Re:NewtonScript (Lisp?) (2, Interesting)

xtermin8 (719661) | more than 9 years ago | (#10436096)

I've heard rumor that NewtonScript was a dialect of Scheme- just how lispish is it?

Re:NewtonScript (Lisp?) (2, Informative)

The Ego (244645) | more than 9 years ago | (#10436202)

The "dialect of Scheme" was not NewtonScript but the _intended_ language for the Newton, Dylan [gwydiondylan.org]. The project did not deliver quickly enough, and NewtonScript replaced it.

NewtonScript is based on templates rather than the traditional class-based object protocol derived from Simula (the one model many C++/Java/C# programmers associate with "object orientation").

Practicing those alternative language make you feel very restricted when you come back to more mainstream languages. I really encourage you to look at Dylan. I never had the opportunity to use NewtonScript but I intend to find out someday.

Re:NewtonScript (Lisp?) (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#10436239)

NewtonScript is based on templates

*cringe*

Please, call them prototypes, not templates. The word "template" has acquired a horrible amount of C++ baggage.

-jcr

Data soup (2, Interesting)

steveha (103154) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435858)

I'm wondering whether the "Data Soup" concept will be adopted by any major free, open source software (FOSS) system.

The Newton, the Canon Cat, the shareware word processor Yeah Write, all had some kind of system where the user didn't need to worry about files. (I don't really know enough about the Newton data soup to comment on how similar or dissimilar these all were to it.)

The only project along these lines that I know of is Gnome Storage [gnome.org].

steveha

Re:Data soup (3, Informative)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435945)

Soups are just relational databases. Their relational aspect is what made them so useful on the Newton. If you stored an entry in your contacts it wouldn't end up steveha.vcf or something of that sort, instead the data would be added atomically to the Names soup. Later when you go to send an e-mail or fax to the contact (yourself for the sake of explanation) you would simply pick the steveha entry in your names to send it to and all of the appropriate information would be filled in because it would all be related in the database to the steveha entry. A note you wrote would be associated with its creation date and if you decided to file it in a group letting you not worry where it was and what it was called.

This system is incredibly powerful because all sorts of data ends up linked to other sorts of data. It is possible to find all of the e-mails that have been sent to you by a particular person or a bit of text stored in a note you got passed by someone. The Newton through its soups had content searches far before things like Sherlock or Spotlight.

I'd love to see Apple PDAs (4, Interesting)

adolfojp (730818) | more than 9 years ago | (#10435966)

Apple should join the PDA market. If they stick to their current trends, their PDA would be super stylish, super user friendly, and compatible with iCal and such. Mac fans would buy them just because... Many others would buy them because of the statement (if not perhaps fashion statement) they would make. Call it a iNewton with old Newton emulation and you would get many loyal Newton advocates to buy them also.


Cheers,

Adolfo

Re:I'd love to see Apple PDAs (2, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#10436219)

Apple should join the PDA market.

Been there, done that. The question is: is the PDA market a place where a company like Apple can produce a device so compelling that people flock to it like they did to the iPod?

Personally, I doubt it. Palm's already got a pretty good product, and from where I sit, the margins on PDAs really aren't able to support the kind of R&D expense that Apple would have to take on to be able to significantly exceed what's already out there.

-jcr

I'll keep posting this until I have one!!! (3, Interesting)

Bodhammer (559311) | more than 9 years ago | (#10436106)

Take: 1 Newton 2100 for handwriting

CompactFlash for Music and Storage (microdrive)

1 Zaurus SL-C860 for touchscree display, keyboard, Linux (Or FreeBsd/OsX)

add Ethernet, Bluetooth, and 802.11b/g

Full day battery(8 hrs) battery life with user replacable, standard AA NiMH batteries

Support and a vendor supported dev. community

Stir Vigoriously, pour into a sub $600 package

Sell hundreds of thousands of units!!!

What's that smell (3, Funny)

LS (57954) | more than 9 years ago | (#10436177)

I'm not big on toilet humor, but while flipping through the Newton Conference photos, I'm just wondering who farted... [tow.com]

LS

Missing the Point (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10436179)

Einstein is crucial to the Newton community. The problem we're stuck with is pretty straightforward: our machines are aging and slowly falling apart, but the software contained therein is still better than anything on the market. We'd like to jump to a new platform. Honest. We really would. But the existing offerings (software-wise) blow chunks compared to the big clunky Newtons we've got in our hands.

Einstein, if we're lucky, will give us the chance to have our cake and eat it too. And trust me, the Linux-on-a-PDA folks would be very very lucky to have the myriad of high-quallity Newton apps running on their boxen. Beats the snot out of the crap running on Yopis right now, that's fore sure.

a milestone! (1)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 9 years ago | (#10436190)

"and shows the Einstein Emulator, that will eventually allow the Newton OS to be built and run on top of Unix."

Cool. Classical, Modern, and the Strong Force... Looks like we're upon proving Grand Unification Theory [salavon.com]. Now all we need is solve the weak force issue (*cough* XP) issue.

Sign me up! (3, Insightful)

fritter (27792) | more than 9 years ago | (#10436230)

I really hope somebody is able to put something together based on this. The only reason I don't still use my 2100 today is the size, a tiny Palm was just too good to pass up. But a lot of the reasons the Newton was so big back then don't apply today - we've got Secure Digital cards instead of PCMCIA, my Tungsten's screen is quarter-VGA like the Newt's, and it uses a similar but even more powerful ARM processor. On top of this, Palm completely dropped the ball with their insultingly lame Tungsten 5, and there's still a market for people who want a sleek, streamlined PDA instead of an "I can't decide if I'm a bloated PDA or a crappy computer" PocketPC.

But you know what would be enough for me? If somebody would port something like the Newton's notepad to PalmOS. I haven't used a notepad app that even comes close. I really liked the whole application suite on NewtonOS, but in particular the way you could switch between handwriting recognition, sketches, outlines, and checklists so easily really got me hooked on PDAs.

To answer directly - "no" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10436256)

No new applications. EOM.

Message from the dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10436262)

Does anyone think, since Newton is coming back from the dead, that it will bring us a message from Gentoo and BSD?
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