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Apple Newton vs Samsung Q1 UMPC

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the ready-fight dept.

226

An anonymous reader writes "CNET has run a comparison between the 1997 Apple Newton and a modern Windows ultra mobile PC, the Samsung Q1. Remarkably, the Newton comes off as the winner. From the article: 'An operating system designed for a desktop computer will rarely shoehorn well into a portable device, yet that is exactly what Samsung has tried to do with the Q1. Very little consideration has been given to the differing priorities of desktop and small-form computer users. Windows is a one-size-fits-all solution, whereas the Newton OS is very specifically built for the efficient use of a small screen and stylus.'"

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226 comments

Not compared (4, Interesting)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798168)

I have always liked the Palm OS the most. I currently carry my LifeDrive with me everywhere I go and I am very happy with it. People need to learn that they cannot carry their desktop with them in the palm (had to) of their hand. Instead of scaling down desktop OS and apps, they need to start small.

Re:Not compared (2, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798261)

I loved my lifedrive until I had to start travelling and got an iQue. now my lifedrive sit's in a drawer unused.

I have a pda, a 4Gig SD card in it for storage and a full GPS with the best dataset I can get. Having the gps with not only road data but store, hotel and resturant data is far more valuableto a travelling schlep.

Re:Not compared (1)

Valthan (977851) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798339)

What version/How much do you want for said LifeDrive?

Re:Not compared (1)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798341)

"I loved my lifedrive until I had to start travelling and got an iQue. now my lifedrive sit's in a drawer unused."


You know, I could always use a spare! About your sig: after being an intern for a semester, I mostly agree with you.

Re:Not compared (2, Insightful)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798357)

How can the first post be redundant?


Anyway, I do not view the Newtown as the winner, the way that TFA is written it is more that the Q1 is the loser.

I've often thought that OSX would make a good (3, Interesting)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798176)

mobile OS. Having 1 set of menus and a dock for applications would work really well on a vertical screen.

Re:I've often thought that OSX would make a good (2, Informative)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798348)

ITYM the OSX interface. The OS itself is too heavy for a mobile device that won't cost $$$. It needs 512MB of RAM and a couple GB of hard drive space for the whole thing if you don't want it to crawl (granted, you wouldn't need /all/ that for a PDA).

Re:I've often thought that OSX would make a good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798879)

OK, I GU. WTF does ITYM mean?

Re:I've often thought that OSX would make a good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798919)

I Think You Mean WTF does ITYM mean.

Re:I've often thought that OSX would make a good (1)

DeafByBeheading (881815) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798952)

ITYM -> "I think you mean".

Wow, it's a review troll (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798177)

This smells fishy to me. If you were to run a Ferrari against a Model T, you'd expect the Ferrari to kick butt -- in fact, you'd receive some raised eyebrows for even testing the two together. I suspect there was some hanky-panky here from the start.

Ad man: We need some hits from the Mac community.
Edit: Easier done than said, my good man.

Re:Wow, it's a review troll (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798294)

This smells fishy to me. If you were to run a Ferrari against a Model T, you'd expect the Ferrari to kick butt -- in fact, you'd receive some raised eyebrows for even testing the two together. I suspect there was some hanky-panky here from the start.

not at all. In this comparison the Model T has a traditional steering wheel and gas/brake pedals. The Ferrari has a laptop trackpad for steering and a strange USB device for breaking and gas that seems to get disconnected at random times and at regular times the steering will either slam the wheels to the right hard for no reason or fail to accept input.

THAT is the difference between a Newton and XP Tablet. The newton was designed from the beginning to be a non keyboard/mouse device. XP is designed ot have a keyboard and mouse and then MSFT slapped some crud into it to work with the other hardware.

It does not work (I have 2 Xp tablets, I hate the XP tablet tools, they simply suck.) and is unreliable at best.

That seems to be a very fair comparison to me with no fishyness.

Re:Wow, it's a review troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798315)

Actually I wouldn't be at all surpised to find the Model T doing well in every condition but a perfectly smooth road. Run the test on a farm, rural road, or many allegedly "paved" highways in Pennsylvania, and the Model T will do favorably if not better.

As others have pointed out taking a desktop OS off the desktop doesn't equate to success. Similar to taking the Ferrari off a smooth road.

Re:Wow, it's a review troll (3, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798332)

This smells fishy to me. If you were to run a Ferrari against a Model T, you'd expect the Ferrari to kick butt

Unless the test included driving over a dirt road with ruts eight inches deep. The ability to go 200MPH is meaningless if your tires don't reach the ground.

Mobile coputing platform providers end up competing on features, because that's the only way to lock users into an upgrade cycle. And everybody likes a shiny new feature. But the truth is mobile computing users don't really need more features. What they need is basic capabilities, any time, any place.

The Newton got a lot of things right, and a few critical things wrong. One of the things it got right was battery. That satisifies the any time requirement. One of the things it got wrong was form factor. That fails the anywhere requirement.

It seems to me that creating a more powerful computer in the same form factor but with short battery life is a mistake.

In any case, the Newton is hardly a model T. It's more like a Stanley Steamer: an extraordinary and worthy piece of engineering that failed becuase it didn't meet a key user criterion. For the Stanley, it was the ability to hop in and go without having to literally build up a head of steam. For the Newton, it was the ability to carry it with you without constantly being aware you were lugging a computer around.

Re:Wow, it's a review troll (3, Insightful)

blamanj (253811) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798494)

For the Newton, it was the ability to carry it with you without constantly being aware you were lugging a computer around.

That and bad press as a result of a too-early release and a rocky start.

However, that makes the article's comparison that much more poignant, because it seems like the technology to build the Newton today would allow it to be about 1/2 the original weight and maybe 75% it's original size. Give it a color screen and WiFi and you'd have a killer machine.

Re:Wow, it's a review troll (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798678)

However, that makes the article's comparison that much more poignant, because it seems like the technology to build the Newton today would allow it to be about 1/2 the original weight and maybe 75% it's original size. Give it a color screen and WiFi and you'd have a killer machine.


I'm waiting for the next iPod revision.

Re:Wow, it's a review troll (3, Interesting)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798873)

<rant>

I really liked my Newton.

But, I use a Palm m505 now. Why? Mostly size. Color screen is almost not relevant (well, there is one application that I find it useful in - EasyCalc graphing calculator, where I can plot multiple functions, each with its own color.). I could lose the colour.

Speed? The m505 is a 32Mhz 68000, its slower than the Newton. Still gets the job done, and the battery life is good.

Handwriting? I initially thought that the lack of cursive, and graffiti was going to be a killer. Surprisingly, it only took a couple of days to become proficient with grafiti.

Organizer? Here, the Newton wins. Hands down. All information is magically correlated in a Newton. The palm is to... um... "application oriented". It does have cross application search, but it isn't as good. You also have to be IN the application to do something. No random scrawling of instructions, with the knowledge that the PDA will take care of it.

Connectivity? the palm wins (at least with stock Linux distributions).

In conclusion, I use the m505 for its size and linux connectivity (out-of-the-box). If a Newton device were released that brought the size down to m505, and had an "open connectivity" kit for standard linux apps (openoffice), I would switch. Oh -- one more thing. The "IR" feature would have to be standard and be able to beam contacts, notes, etc. to and from my phone (which my m505 does).

The Samsung Q1? Not even in the same league. It won't fit into my "manbag". Its battery life is WAY too short. And its a remarkably poor interface for doing quick PDA things. I don't need fancy, I need super-quick reliable interactions. Even the m505 fails here - it takes SECONDS to jump from calculator to address book. Blech. The Newton was superior. If I need to tell someone "please slow down, my PDA isn't keeping up", or have the urge to capture on scrap paper first, the PDA has failed. The only delay with the Newton was the handwriting recognition -- and the model I had didn't allow deferred recognition.

My perfect PDA:

- palm m505 form factor
- 8+ hours battery life
- newton style software
- linux connectivity
- very fast recognizer, perhaps deferred recognition
- sd slot expansion (two slots)
- wifi and/or bluetooth and IR (compatible)
- vibration

</rant>

Ratboy.

Re:Wow, it's a review troll (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798799)

If you were to run a Ferrari against a Model T

No, it's more like comparing a 1932 Reo Royale to a Ford Pinto.

Round 2 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798178)

Now that we have the winner, it's time for Round 2: Apple Newtons vs. Fig Newtons!

"Winner?" (4, Insightful)

Lord Grey (463613) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798182)

The summary makes it seem like the Newton technologically outperforms the Q1. Not so. "Winner," in this context, means "a better value." From TFA:
... the Newton has 12 times the battery life of the Q1, so ended up winning the fight with sheer stamina. Add to this the Q1's inflated price and it's a no-brainer ...
If you actually read the article, the Q1 includes much better technology and has a lot of features and capabilities that appeal to the majority of computer users -- Windows users. Since the Q1 would be someone's second (or third, or fourth) computer, it has much more appeal. The MessagePad's handwriting recognition and overall interface may be cleaner, but that's not as impressive to most people as running Microsoft Office on a tiny screen.

Re:"Winner?" (4, Interesting)

SpecTheIntro (951219) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798262)

Furthermore, get a load of this gem: "It would be easy to dismiss the Newton's greyscale screen as inferior to the Q1's full-colour display, but Apple's choice of a greyscale LCD is one of the reasons the Newton enjoys over 30 hours of continuous battery life, compared to the Q1's 2.5 hours." WTF? This is biased reviewing at its best. An LCD screen should be reviewed based on the qualities of the goddamned screen. Which display is sharper? Which is brighter? Which is clearer? Which screen allows more versatility? Battery life is a separate goddamned category. It should not be a factor in deciding which screen is better than another unless all other things are equal--which they clearly are not. The entire review is basically the reviewers saying: "Yeah, the Q1 is really nice, but we want a PDA, and that's not what the Q is, so Apple wins."

Re:"Winner?" (1)

DDLKermit007 (911046) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798368)

Actually 30 hours Vs 2.5 Hours means allot to those that are really on the go type people (hell I can get 6 hours with my REAL laptop!). Hell imo Treo 650/700p wins out against this monstrocity. Theres a fairly big problem many manufacturers are running into which is options Vs battery life and they are sacking battery life to the point that a regular laptop gets more time away from a wallsocket than these things. When it comes down to it though the Q1 really is not aimed at Joe Windows user. Joe Windows user can barely put up with $400 for some POS Emachines from Best Buy let alone the price of a Q1. This is aimed at the Professional/Prosumer with allot of cash to burn which are more likely to want something NON-Windows based.

They did make some very good points though in thier comparison though. For some reason I get this sneaking suspicion that your a Q1 user thats suffering from buyers defense of thier expensive gadget. That or your a PR troll. I could be wrong though.

Re:"Winner?" (1)

SpecTheIntro (951219) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798642)

No, I don't own a Q1. I just think that the reviewing method was bad at best, and outright biased at worst. I've no doubt that the Newton is a fantastic machine. But to argue that it has a better LCD screen based solely on battery life is outright stupid. Battery life is a separate category altogether, one that the Q1 loses terribly, no questions asked. But what is the review trying to accomplish here? It doesn't seem clear to me. What are the standards by which a ultra-mobile PC should be judged? If you're going to say: "the display is an important factor," then judge the display independently of other things, unless the two are functionally equivalent. It seems very clear to me that the Q1 has a much nicer display, hands-down. Its pathetic battery life is a different issue altogether.

Frankly, Microsoft has yet to make an impressive mobile machine. Like many here have noted, the Windows OS isn't suited for stylus navigation--it was designed with a mouse and keyboard in mind. Therefore, any portable machine based on a Windows OS is going to be inherently flawed. I'm not a big fan of styluses myself, and I hope in the future someone can figure out a way of making a truly intuitive OS that doesn't rely on one.

Re:"Winner?" (4, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798374)

Newton enjoys over 30 hours of continuous battery life, compared to the Q1's 2.5 hours.

Actually this is a really important. You don't want to be finding yourself a power socket to charge your PDA every two and half hours. Gray scale screens are usually very high quality in commparison to colour screens, with the omission of colour.

The entire revue is probably biased, but the general gist is that if you think of how your device will be used you will be better off. Trying to fudge a solution may provide a working solution, but not necessarily one which is worth using. The fact that the Newton is still being using by people today is a testiment to how well it was thought out - what was against it were: size, price and the fact it was too early to market for most.

Re:"Winner?" (4, Interesting)

hpavc (129350) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798386)

Well the apple screen is clearer, sharper, more vibrant when the other model has no battery and isn't able to compete. The devices are all about utility and ease of use. You cannot use something that cannot be counted on to work. The time of 2.5 hours seems insanely short to me, I couldnt use that during a ten hour work day as a tool. If its really really cool looking, that isn't going to help.

Re:"Winner?" (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798414)

I like this bit It's not just guess-work either -- the Q1 uses a neural net, which means that it uses several information sources to determine what you want to write, rather than trying to translate ink strokes into letters and words.
 
That is not the definition of a neural net (don't let me stop you from making up your own definitions for things, CNET), and I would be very surprised if it does use an actual neural net. Very cpu intensive.

Re:"Winner?" (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798449)

And this... "Though it's easy to argue the Newton has security through obscurity, you do have to question whether it was wise to bring all the overheads of Windows to a small portable device like the Q1."
 
It is not security through obscurity that is keeping the Newton safe. It is the fact that it has a well protected OS, is not as common as Windows, and has limited connectivity.

Re:"Winner?" (2, Insightful)

SCPRedMage (838040) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798746)

It is the fact that it has a well protected OS, is not as common as Windows, and has limited connectivity.
Psst... that second one IS "security through obscurity"...

Re:"Winner?" (-1, Flamebait)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798627)

I liked the part about the low resolution screen being "100dpi" therefore ideal for document editing. Mac lovers have a constant stream of excuses for their low resolution displays.

Loved the pitiful networking and connectivity arguments as well. Irda is superior to bluetooth because it's not as buggy. Right. It's got a RS-422 port!

How about the newton's design is better because it's not cluttered with all those functional buttons?

Since when would I ever want to use a newton for 30 hours? 30 hours of crap is still crap. Newtons sucked when they were new and that's why they failed. Perhaps UMPC's suck just as bad but at least they'll only suck 2.5 hours at a time ;-) This was a shootout of 2 very undesirable products by a biased, overstylized publication.

Re:"Winner?" (3, Interesting)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798373)

The Q1 is just a differently windows shaped notebook computer. If what you want to do is write a document, check your email, check the web, then the Newton is perfect for that - and it lasts 30 hours. This was made 10 years ago, the Q1 only lasts 2.5 - because is is a full on pc. Sure, you can watch videos, play music and so much more, but if you want to do something simple, you still only get that pathetic battery life!

Re:"Winner?" (4, Insightful)

duffel (779835) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798475)

not as impressive to most people as running Microsoft Office on a tiny screen.

It's a tiny screen and fully half the screen is toolbars.

This article is really about the modern portables industry going off-mission, and sacrificing core features of portables in favour of gimmicks. The Samsung machine tries to be a swiss army knife of portable computing, and it does everything it claims, but it lacks the most important aspects of such a mini toolkit: portability. 2.5 hours isn't portable, that won't even last you a flight of any distance, and it actually places an upper limit on the length of movies you can watch with it's much praised video playing capabilities (chances are it's more like 2 hours with something as processor intensive anyway). The prime advantage of this is that you can amend, for example, powerpoint presentations last minute. But then you could already do it much better and faster on an ordinary laptop.

Remember those swiss army knifes? On the one hand you get the ones with 6 or 7 fold out tools... A mini toolkit in your pocket, very useful. Then you get the one with 150 tools that's so bulky you wouldn't want to carry it around in your pocket, and so it sits unused in your toolbox where you have better tools anyway.

Odd evaluations (2, Insightful)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798680)

The Cnet article gushes over the Q1 a lot actually -- for a lot of bizarre reasons. Under part 1, design:

"The Samsung logo at the bottom of the unit, the SRS surround-sound logo ... hint at the device's massive potential."

So the Q1 wins for having lots of prominent logos? Logos = massive potential? I'm sure glad this guy doesn't design iPods.

Re:"Winner?" (1, Redundant)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798780)

There's a massive difference between saying "wow, it has Word" and actually writing notes in a meeting on the thing.

I've yet to see someone do so successfully with a Windows device and not hate it within a month whereas I've done so for years with my Newton MessagePads with no problems. Most important are shape recognition (for doodles), delayed handwriting recognition with auto-scroll (screen moves up to give you more writing room automatically) and easy note creation (just draw a line across the screen).

The filing system is eminently better too; just click the file button, pick a folder name and click ok. Everything is already saved as a file permanently, you have just to file things in their own folders after creation.

Only one thing I can say (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798186)

"Eat up Martha"

Re:Only one thing I can say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798493)

gets ranked offtopic; noone gets the joke. kudos my friend, i got it :)

Re:Only one thing I can say (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798904)

gets ranked offtopic; noone gets the joke. kudos my friend, i got it :)

Right, because nobody on Slashdot has ever watched The Simpsons. You and that other guy were the only ones in the whole damn world that remember that reference.

Or maybe, just maybe, it could be that it's not really as funny as it used to be, seeing as the Newton is a long-dead technology (which actually had the handwriting recognition down really well shortly before it was killed off.)

anything (3, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798193)

just about anything would beat the q1 in my book on battery life alone. 2.5 hours? That's just not going to cut it. Throw in the price on top of that and I just can't see it. I can get a nice laptop for less. This isn't that much smaller than one anyway-- they recommend carrying it in a bag.

Re:anything (1)

Sexc0w (195116) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798454)

they recommend carrying it in a bag.
No problem! Just tuck it into your manbag!

http://news.cnet.co.uk/gadgets/0,39029672,49281766 ,00.htm [cnet.co.uk]

Re:anything (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798664)

I used a Camelbak Zoid [adventureshop.co.uk] for a while, for carrying around my various gadgets (as well as some handy water!). It worked perfectly, but I got a lot of funny looks.

Re:anything (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798959)

I used a Camelbak Zoid for a while, for carrying around my various gadgets (as well as some handy water!). It worked perfectly, but I got a lot of funny looks.

If you carried a pink clutch purse with a big heart made of rhinestones on it, you would still look slightly less gay than you probably did when using that thing.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

You could just do what most healthy, homophobic guys do when they have too many gadgets for their pockets: Carry a laptop everywhere, whether you need it or not, just for the sake of the side compartments.

Or cave in and buy the man-purse (a.k.a. "belt pouch", "belly bag", "fanny pack", etc.)

Re:anything (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798810)

Yeah, I laughed at that, too, but then I started to wonder . . .

Does the Q1 warranty cover tea bagging?

Re:anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798843)

Well, that's people's addiction to colour working it's magic..

UMPC = Stupid Idea (5, Insightful)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798195)

I have no idea what M$ was thinking with these "ultra-mobile PCs." They manage to combine the speed of a PDA with the lean-ness of a full Windows with the spaciousness of a small screen, and the result is pathetic. They seem to be trying to doom themselves to a flop far bigger then that of the Newton.

Re:UMPC = Stupid Idea (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798312)

They might be stupid, but they are the future. Think of it less as a computer and more as a memory stick with a screen and operating system so you can poke at the data when you don't have a better computer and screen around. Besides, the processing power of a PDA is sufficient for some large, increasing percentage of computing tasks.

Re:UMPC = Stupid Idea (1)

Deathlizard (115856) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798771)

The idea is sound, it's the hardware thats the problem.

MS is trying to start a market based on hardware that will basicially doom it. PDA's work because their designed to run for long periods of time using almost no battery life. The Hardware industry just isn't equipped to produce a x86 based device that can even remotely compete with a PDA's power curve.

Eventually, you'll see better screens, hybrid or even flash hard drives and more efficient processors that can make this market more viable if not desirable, especially if they can get in that price range they want, but these current generation models won't be able to compete against a full blown laptop any time soon.

I love my Newton (4, Insightful)

Boccaccio (762644) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798210)

I love my Newton 2100. I so wish Apple would release a new version. I'd buy it in a second.

Re:I love my Newton (3, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798399)

I love my Newton 2100. I so wish Apple would release a new version. I'd buy it in a second.

Why? How could the Newton be made better and still be a Newton? Color? Don't need it. Memory and processor? Got beacoup for a PDA. Wifi and bluetooth would be nice, but with two PCMCIA card slots, that's not a big problem.

All we really need is updated software.

The two things that Newton got wrong were price and form factor. I'll be a bit heretical here and say that price was probably the bigger issue in its market failure. People aren't going to snap up any mobile computing platform for $1000 unless it's a laptop.

Form factor is a two edged sword. The Newton was far to big for a address book and calendar device. But it is far better for viewing text and entering data than any pocket PDA.

If the Newtwon were available today for less than $200, it would create its own application niches.

Re:I love my Newton (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798701)

How could the Newton be made better and still be a Newton?

It could be made thinner, and the borders around the screen could be made smaller. The handwriting recognition could probably be improved slightly.

Using the Newton UI is a kind of Zen. Everything it does is so obvious you wonder how anyone could possibly conceive of any other way of doing things. You write some text on the screen, and the text is added there. You draw a square, and you get a square. The only way I can see some someone being surprised at a Newton beating a Windows machine is if they had never used a Newton.

How to improve Newton (4, Interesting)

metamatic (202216) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798704)

1. Lose the PCMCIA, replace with SD.

2. Built in WiFi and Bluetooth.

3. Make it slightly smaller and lighter. May require shift to AAA instead of AA. I'd settle for any size larger than any current Palm OS PDA but smaller than the 2100.

4. Give it USB instead of serial.

5. Make it work with iSync and define an open communications protocol.

6. Maybe a higher resolution grayscale screen.

7. Faster CPU.

8. PDF support and web browser in the core OS.

I'd buy the result for pretty much any amount of money up to $1000, seriously. I don't care if people in general want it to be less than $200, I don't see anything on the market that competes so I'm prepared to pay more.

It's a damn tragedy that the Newton was killed by Jobs. It's the one thing he's done that I'm still bitter about.

Re:I love my Newton (1)

sirinek (41507) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798480)

I've still got a Newton 120 sitting on a dock next to me. I havent used it in forever though, just trying to charge up the original rechargables from 1995.

Re:I love my Newton (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798619)

I have a couple of 2000s and a 130. Amazing how the rush to get the "New Thing" leaves behind such interesting and useful tools. Back a decade ago I could not afford a Newton, today, I use them more then the common PDAs Now that a TCP/IP stack, and various Net (Browser, News reader, telent, etc) tools have been developed, as well as expanded storage , the Newton has just grown in usefulness. The form factor? well, Chinos are perfect for pocketing a Newton!

Re:I love my Newton (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798725)

I have an MP 100, MP 110, a couple of MP 120s, MP2000, and an eMate 300. I used to be a professional Newton developer. I have all kinds of Newton stuff.

I sure wish the Newton was still around because it was a really nice system.

Newton in a red shirt (1, Funny)

general scruff (938598) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798214)

"Its dead Jim"

It's the usability, stupid! (5, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798223)

Of course the Newton won -- considering that it runs software custom-designed for mobile PIM use, while the Q1 is more-or-less running normal desktop Windows (tablet edition, whoop-de-do), was there ever any doubt?

Newton Advantages (5, Insightful)

Feneric (765069) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798227)

I wrote a bit about this before [blogspot.com] . The Newton does a lot of things well as it was designed from the ground up to be a hand-held device. As a consequence it's still seeing use, still seeing third-party development, and still more usable than some devices currently getting produced.

It's not ideal, either; it could definitely use a diet to shed some weight, and these days features like wireless, bluetooth, etc. shouldn't have to be added via cards. An evolutionary development of the Newton platform could easily beat almost any other device on the market today, though.

Re:Newton Advantages (3, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798291)

Funny thing is, that Apple could still pick this up again and use it inconjunction with ipod and the desktop. This is the one place that I believe that jobs is missing.

Re:Newton Advantages (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798643)

Funny thing is, that Apple could still pick this up again and use it inconjunction with ipod and the desktop. This is the one place that I believe that jobs is missing.

Nah - I think that the whole PDA/Desktop concept will be squeezed out between laptops, media players and phones.

A MacBook (or similar form factor Windows PC) is now more than sufficient as a main computer for most "office" users, and eminently portable. Desktop systems are looking increasingly niche (important niches, maybe, but niches). The logical ergonomic place for "portable" contacts/diary/email is on a phone (which can be synced to your laptop). Having a separate media player (a) means that you don't run down the batteries on your "mission-critical" gadgets and (b) keeps business separate from pleasure (if your 'phone and laptop belong to your employer) - and iPods can act as a backup contact/calendar device.

Re:Newton Advantages (4, Interesting)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798763)

The story I heard was that they actually lost the source code for many of the key components needed to do anything with the Newton. Possibly they lost the source to the OS itself. This had to do with the mass exodus of everyone in the Newton group during the chaotic period of transition between Gil Amelio as CEO and Steve Jobs.

Re:Newton Advantages (2, Funny)

MrFlibbs (945469) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798331)

This reminds me of my favorite Newton joke. I first saw this a few months after the Newton release:

Q: What's two plus two?
A: Farm

Oblig. Simpsons (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798859)

Eat up Martha

Re:Newton Advantages (1)

linj (891019) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798437)

An evolutionary development of the Newton platform could easily beat almost any other device on the market today, though.


Oh noes! How many Newtons will have to die for the perfect Newton to be complete? Think of the children! (:

MS falls victim to one of the classic blunders (4, Informative)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798287)

The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is "Never use a desktop OS, when your device isn't a desktop." (maniacal laughter)

How many situations do you know of where something that was a good solution to one problem has now become the default solution to every problem? It's the old saw about when your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

When you choose Windows as your OS, every device works like a desktop. It doesnt' matter that the screen is tiny, you use the "desktop" metaphor and the "Start" menu. It doesn't matter that there's limited memory and a slow processor, you use the Windows applications (lite versions, but still bloatware). This is why I've never seriously considered a WinCE device, even though I've owned a PDA since 2000 and a phone/PDA combo since 2004, and two of the computers in my house run Windows.

I want something that's designed for the use it's being put to -- fit for purpose, we used to call it. If Microsoft's vaunted usability expertise were real, they would have abandoned the "Mini Windows" metaphor on mobile devices long ago.

Never get involved in a land war in Asia? (2, Funny)

Tuirn (717203) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798471)

or was it: Never go in against a Sicilian, when death is on the line?

Re:MS falls victim to one of the classic blunders (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798476)

How many situations do you know of where something that was a good solution to one problem has now become the default solution to every problem?


Obligatory:

When was Windows a good solution for anything?

(Sorry, couldn't resist. :)

Re:MS falls victim to one of the classic blunders (1)

supremegeekoverlord (787205) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798500)

This is why I've never seriously considered a WinCE device, even though I've owned a PDA since 2000 and a phone/PDA combo since 2004, and two of the computers in my house run Windows


Your post probably holds up for this particular case, or even a plain old Windows CE device, but I hope you didn't mean that Pocket PC/Windows Mobile is just as bad. In that case they did mostly abandon the "'mini Windows' metaphor," ditching the desktop and minimalizing the start menu. Maybe that's still too much for you, but they did modify it enough for some serious bloat reduction & screen conservation while still keeping Windows users at home.

I'm not a Microsoft fanboy, and looking at Hotmail/"Windows Live Mail"'s usability makes me want to puke, but I do own an old PPC 2002, and I had to comment.

Re:MS falls victim to one of the classic blunders (2, Interesting)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798753)

I've been using a PDA since 1994 when I got my first Apple Newton (later replaced by my Newton MessagePad 120) and I must say I've never found a suitable replacement since. Its quite sad, really.

Re:MS falls victim to one of the classic blunders (2, Insightful)

Spokehedz (599285) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798869)

When all you have is a hammer, all of your problems start to look like nails.

Microsoft has poured a lot... a LOT... Of money into it's OS. They want to re-use as much as possible on it, because they want to:

1. Keep costs down.
2. Keep the interface as similar as possible, to minimize learning curve
3. Introduce as few new bugs as possible, and to keep bug hunting down to a minimum when they do crop up.

So Microsoft's hammer is its OS. And it is a very big hammer. Its not even suited to hammer out the nails that it was designed for anymore. So now to justify the existance of it, they have to invent new ways to use it. They also have to force existing users to buy the hammer over and over again, which just makes it even more of a problem.

The Newton Already Lives On... (5, Informative)

mattybinks (619554) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798304)

just in segmented form. It's sprinkled throughout OS X and the iPod. One can only hope that an iPhone would bring the bulk of that functionality and organizational power back in one device. And if you're really obsessive about using a Newton on newer technology, check out the Einstein project [kallisys.com] . It's moving along at a good pace.

Re:The Newton Already Lives On... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798785)

Other bits of its technology are still around in other places, too... the Newton book reader for Firefox [newtonslibrary.org] is one pretty neat example.

Whatever? (1)

Aeomer (990057) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798324)

So the historically bias C-NET declares Apple Newton the winner - wow didn't see that coming. (Sarcastic tone intended) Ok, I think the Newton was better, too. But, C-Net is not the place to read such things - they think the iPod has good sound quality when actually the SNR is around 83db.

Newton still beating them long after it died (3, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798338)

I have gone through a number of palm, handspring, and Win Moble devices and my eMate despite it's size is still probably the best one out there. For a device thats been dead for ages I can go wireless, use it as a email device, type a report without distractions, pull up index cards, and just about everything else a moble platform should do without being flashy and running faster than any of the devices I have used since. Quite frankly the MIT laptop SHOULD have been a redesigned eMate. 99% of what they are trying to do with it is exactly what the eMate did except was expensive at the time.

Not a Cookie ... Fruit and Cake (2, Funny)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798343)

I've always thought the "Apple Newton" [wikipedia.org] was an unfortunate name choice. I prefer the Nabisco product myself, though the "apple"-types appear to have been discontinued in favor of Strawberry and Raspberry. There's a new "Caramel Apple Newtons" [taquitos.net] on the market, though.

Is this the right comparison? (3, Insightful)

LS (57954) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798355)

Should they be comparing the Newton with a minaturized desktop PC, or should they be comparing it with a Palm Pilot or Windows Mobile? It seems like the comparison is really between *cough* uhh apples and oranges. The Q1 device is clearly targeted at a market that wants power and functionality in a handheld, while Windows Mobile devices are aimed at efficient usability (or at least that's the goal). Anyway, this comparison is a non sequitur of sorts...

LS

Re:Is this the right comparison? (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798698)

I think the point is that "functionality" is a little more complicated than how much you can actually cram inside a particular sized box.

The Q1 technically can do all of these bullet points that it has listed, but in every day use, the limitations in the design make those bullet points infeasible in real, everyday use. The battery life being the most significant example. It sounds to me like the Q1 needs to spend half its time plugged in to the wall, which basically kills the whole "handheld" aspect of it.

I'm sure there are a handful of people who have particular computing needs that the Q1 fits perfectly into. But that doesn't mean that it's any less flawed for the rest of us, nor does it mean there's nothing that it can't learn from the Newton. As for Newton vs. palm pilot/windows mobile, I'm sure you can find plenty of those comparisons already done. In this case, the newton was compared with the Q1 because the Q1 is the new hotness, looks a whole lot like the Netwon, and many of the comparisons are obvious.

Handwriting Input (0)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798356)

I heve a nevt0n amd th3 h&ndvritin9 rec0gwiti0n i5 reallg g00b. It rock5!

Re:Handwriting Input (1)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798707)

An interesting joke, clickclickdrone. FYI, the Newton would not have made those kinds of mistakes!
It used a combination of strategies, including dictionary lookup. "rock5" would not have been found in the dictionary, so "rocks" would have been chosen. Same thing for "reallg". Interestingly, if the Newton recognizer would have come up with your sample, it would have fixed it into the correct sentence.

Of course, it may have gotten the context completely wrong, "have" may be "haven", "haste", "nave", whatever, because grammar was not incorporated.

Also, Newton tried to be a "personal assistant" -- so it tried to interpret what you had written as instructions. Famously, it was elvis centric: asking it where elvis was would bring up the world map, with an elvis sighting. This, coupled with the context issue, could make for funny results.

And now you know the source of the Newton joke "What is two plus two?".

Ratboy

Re:Handwriting Input (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798908)

Jeez. Let it never be said American's have no sense of humour. Even the mods are having a hard time with it - the mod bonuses have been going up and down like a yoyo since I posted it and now it's back to zero having had everything from +2 to -1 applied.

Review is meaningless, victory was purely emotiona (4, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798362)

"Although the Q1 won more points, the Newton was declared the overall winner of the battle and was crowned by CNET.co.uk in an emotional ceremony."

In other words, the Q1 beat the Newton 5 to 3. Although I personally think the Q1 should have won the Price point also as you can not buy a new Newton like the one they tested. So it just comes down to the editor being a Mac fan or Windows hater.

-Rick

Re:Review is meaningless, victory was purely emoti (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798712)

not to mention that the newton won on the highly subjective design category with one of the arguments being that it's uncluttered with buttons. kind of like the ipod not being cluttered with an on/off button when it can't ever be turned off (it only pretends to be off). Apple has a history of sacrificing function for form yet always gets credit for it.

Re:Review is meaningless, victory was purely emoti (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798738)

The only functional buttons I can think of on a PDA include volume, brightness and a scroll wheel (I liked the jog wheel on the Sonys).

I don't want buttons on the front of my PDA -- that's what the screen is for.

For people too lazy to RTFA (2, Insightful)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798388)

(and I don't blame them, it's crap)

Here's an analogy: Q1 = PSP, Newton = 1989 Game Boy.

Apt comparison! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798720)

Flamebait? This makes perfect sense.

Is this a surprise? (2, Insightful)

Weasel5053 (910174) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798398)

Of course the whole point of the Samsung Q1 is that it runs regular Windows XP and therefore Windows XP compatible applications. Obviously an OS specifically developed for a mobile format would be superior in some areas on a mobile device.

Current devices lose site of simplicity (1)

jbarr (2233) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798411)

I wrote an article [jimstips.com] a few months back on my attempt at simplifying my PDA use, and after a couple months, I really prefer the PDA simplicity over the bloated complexity of handheld PC's.

You see, the problem with so many current handheld devices is that they simply try to do everything, and they end up doing nothing well. The new handheld devices (Windows-based or otherwise) completely miss the point of handheld efficiency and productivity. I had a chance to play around with an oQo for a week, and once I got over the "wow" factor, it turns out that using it was simply a nuisance--I longed for my Palm PDA. The allure and success of Newton and PalmOS PDA's was that you could simply and quickly store and retrieve information in a pocketable or portable device. The designs were simple yet powerful, and they were elegant. Yes, there were many slams against the HWR, but the fact remains that these devices were extremely useful, and they did exactly what they were designed to do.

Now, over a decade later, where are we? Yes, we have convergent devices that can do a myriad of tasks, but really, how truely functional are they? Getting text data INTO the devices is still tedious at best, and synchronizing the data is often hit-or-miss. OK, so MANY people have great success (myself included) but the "perfect PDA/handheld" simply doesn't yet exist.

Re:Current devices lose site of simplicity (2, Funny)

dingen (958134) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798478)

The allure and success of Newton...

I'm sorry, "the success of the Newton"? Are you on crack?

Reality check. (3, Interesting)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798469)

The Newton is essentially a big PDA.

The Q1 is a small tablet (laptop).

The article seemed most interested in their roles as PDAs. OF COURSE the PDA will win.

Let's compare the Newton with some good CE-based handhelds and see what we find.

Biased? Never! (1)

BumpyCarrot (775949) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798486)

Anyone comparing a modern machine with a 10 year old one obviously has an agenda.

From TFA (1)

jrobinson5 (974354) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798491)

"So whether you're a 1337 Windows haxx0r..." Is there such a thing?

suggest a doodle-ing PDA / wifi / software??? (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798573)

I've been using Palm since 1997.

For the past few years its been a Sony CLIE, PEG-SJ22. Nice simple unit, good form factor (Palm always makes its smaller Palms skinny and long, rather than reducing the width), good everything, though the touchscreen is very "noisy".

I've had a few ok doodle/sketch programs for it over the years, including some that used smoothing algorithms, but nothing that was A. color B. smoothing and C. transfering a doodle to PC via IR or over a network

Right now I'm jonesing for a Fujitsu P1510D [tabletpcreviewspot.com] , which has a touch sensitive screen (I like that better I think than the weird floating sensor of most Tablet PCs) but it seeems likely to cost me at least $1300... I like the idea of a truly (stow it and forget it PC) as well, but it seems steep for just a little art pad, given my doodle-nature.

Any suggestions for something with a really good doodle program on a touch sensitive screen, where I can easily get the resulting sketch up to my website?

Review misses the point (4, Interesting)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798662)

The USP of the Newton was the way its applications worked together. The ability to write 'lunch John' and have the system guess the time and which person you were referring to is what sets it apart from most information managers.
The fact that this feature still is this rare is mindboggling, by the way. What have the world's application developers been doing for the last decade? The future's there for the copying, but instead we get more crap shoveled down our throats.

Boxing glove photos (1)

the_tsi (19767) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798691)

The boxing photos at the top of each section sorta scared me. Did anyone else get the feeling the two dudes were gonna start making out?

The Q1 has 25-bit color, too! (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798703)

If you want to bask in the glory of 17.6 million colours while browsing still images and watching movies, grab yourself a Q1.

Last time I checked, 24-bit color = 16.7M colors, not 17.6M. Hey, don't look at me, this is a typical Slashdot comment! :p

Why? (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798730)

I can't really see a purpose for the Q1. With a 2.5 hour battery life (probably more like 2hrs in real usage) it's no good as a media player and it's too big to be a PDA. It's not going to replace a laptop without an add on keyboard and stand, which would make it even harder to carry around and increases the price further.

Why compare an orange to a 747? (3, Insightful)

OfNoAccount (906368) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798762)

The whole point of the UMPC is that it's a real x86 PC that fits in your, admittedly rather large, pocket.

The Newton is a PDA. Can you run Photoshop on it? No. Watch video? Not really. Store all your pr0n^C^C holiday snaps? No. If you want to do any of those things (like I do) then the Newton scores -1, the UMPC is +5

At the moment they're good at different tasks. If you want a PDA, buy a PDA. If you're after a PC that fits on your pocket, buy a UMPC (or a Vaio UX, or OQO, or...)

I used my Vaio C1F for many years, I also used a variety of Psion/PocketPC/Palm devices. The C1F I upgraded and want a replacement for, the PDAs were gathering dust pretty much as soon as they arrived home - for me a simple pocket diary works better than a PDA, as it doesn't require batteries, doesn't erase all your data, is smaller, and way cheaper. At the end of the day though, everyone's different.

Having owned many PDAs over the years ... (1)

Sonic McTails (700139) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798781)

I've used PalmOS since 1998-9 (can't remember which), when the Palm VIIx was released. Every one of the palm devices has had wireless internet in some form, and I later owned a Treo 600 and 650 before abandoning both for the T-Mobile MDA/HTC Wizard and Windows Mobile. I never had the joy of owning a Newton, but I did get to try one out (an eMate), and I must say I was extremely convienced. It was like an iBook expect light, turn on type, turn it off, etc. I almost dropped 300 for it then and there for it. Unfortunity, nothing really compares anymore to that. Entering data on the 600 and 650 is tedious because I got big fingers, and that keypad is very small. Syncing worked nicely, and its probably one of the nicest sync packages ever put together (it blows M$ ActiveSync and RIM's desktop sync out of the water). That being said, Windows Mobile probably could beat the Newton. Microsoft tuned it heavily for 5.0, and it runs smoothly, and does extactly what it's susposed to. Entering data on the MDA is easy and quick to do.
 
In regards to the 700p which vasty ups the key size, I would like to say that it was also due to PalmOS's design of only having one app running at any given time was one of the major reasons I abandoned it for Windows Mobile.

Former Newton Developer agrees (4, Insightful)

bsandersen (835481) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798800)

As a former Newton developer, I am not surprised by the comparisons made today. I've carried Palms, Psions, Blackberrys and everything in-between all the while wishing for some of the very nice features my various flavors of Newton MessagePad had.

The point made that a desktop OS cannot be easily shoehorned into a smaller place cannot be overstated. Software designs, all software designs, have a "design center" that is the embodiment of the environment the original developers envisioned when they made their design decisions. Go too far from that vision and you find some of the tradeoffs those designers made are no longer best, and now possibly may be very bad indeed.

The Newton's programming environment, based on SELF, was augmented with lots of supporting functionality that made creating high-quality applications for the device pretty easy. But, the MessagePads themselves (and remember: this was about 13 year ago now) had insufficient processor power for the really good stuff. Then again, think back about the kinds of junk that infested Palm Pilots and other hand-helds back then! If the MessagePad had been allowed to grow as a platform as all other surviving brands had done, it would have been a powerhouse.

Finally, as a developer, I must point out that one of the problems that all devices like this face is that developers hate investing time learning a new platform. The Newton faced an extra challenge in that you had to learn a whole new programming language and programming model, too. For those of us who gave it a chance, we found the learning curve to be reasonable and the results satisfying. For many programmers, though, inertia and sheer laziness precludes anything that ventures out of their comfort zone.

This last problem, the lazy programmer problem, has cast shadows on much more than just Newton MessagePad sales.

This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798887)

According to a new review Lisa OS outperforms Windows Vista!

It looks like we've been wrong all along with this upgrading stuff. I'm going back to the good old days... I can still get to slashdot on a 1200 baud modem, right?

Lets see more relevent compitition (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798901)

I would much rather see how the Newton stacks up against an oqo, a Nokia 770, or a palm device. I have been really thinking of getting a Nokia 770, when a few more apps get ported to the new OS I might pick one up.

It's about the user's requirements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798944)

Who wins is dependant on the users requirements, if a user requires color then the Q1 would win for that user. If another user required long battery life the newton would win for that user...

How much is the battery life degraded if two cards are being used in the newton at the same time?

Not that remarkable (3, Interesting)

penguinstorm (575341) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798989)

Ask anyone who owned a Newton -- ok, maybe not the FIRST generation but the later ones -- and this is not remarkable. Newton's worked extremely well, and functioned as my only "personal" computer when I had my First Real Job(tm)

It's a shame really, because Steve killed them as much -- I think -- out of spite for John Sculley as anything else. I'm not saying I *blame* him -- I can only BUY a Mac because Steve did what he did -- but the motivation was very clearly personal on some level.
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