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Bring back the Newton as Apple PDA

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
The Newton 2100 is a great handheld computer. It's power still rivals the Pocket PC handhelds of today.

What Apple needs to do is add a color screen to the 2100, Airport wireless in place of a PCMCIA slot, and more onboard memory.

If Apple was able to sell this type of device with a price tag of under $800, it would be a major hit.
post #2 of 57
Agreed! I bought a non-upgraded MP2000 two months ago, and I absolutely love it!

BTW, great to see you around, Fran441!
post #3 of 57
Thread Starter 
Beats the heck out of the Palm, huh?
post #4 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by Fran441:
<strong>Beats the heck out of the Palm, huh? </strong><hr></blockquote>

maybe if they duked it out physically with all that mass behind it
post #5 of 57
As cool as that would be I do not think it would be in the best interest of apple, at least for now.

I just do not think there is a big enogh market for it right now. Like Steve jobs said "200 years ago people did not have orginizers, but they did have music, music is in ower DNA" I totaly agree, but that dose not mean we could not use a Great apple PDA. But I just think apple is going to wait on this and not take any big risks.
post #6 of 57
It's coming, eventually. It'll never be a Newton though, that's so Apple 10 years ago. It'll be like a decked-out iPod: the best combination of features, strikingly beautiful, and overpriced for mainstream. As well as Mac-only.
art may imitate life, but life imitates tv.
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art may imitate life, but life imitates tv.
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post #7 of 57
The coolest thing right now, is I can use the MP2000 to turn on six (yes, 6) Twentieth Anniversary Macs all at the same time. =)
post #8 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by Fran441:
<strong>The Newton 2100 is a great handheld computer. It's power still rivals the Pocket PC handhelds of today.

What Apple needs to do is add a color screen to the 2100, Airport wireless in place of a PCMCIA slot, and more onboard memory.

If Apple was able to sell this type of device with a price tag of under $800, it would be a major hit.</strong><hr></blockquote>

They might as well make it a tablet and compete head on with Microsoft rather than put it into thet overcrowded pda space. The size would be more suited for a tablet as well.
post #9 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by Michaelm8000:
<strong>...dose...</strong><hr></blockquote>

Does, Mike, does!
post #10 of 57
The Newton rocks!
Check out some of my work on Newton Movie Player and Newton Audio Player at <a href="http://www.handshakecompanies.com/newton/" target="_blank">http://www.handshakecompanies.com/newton/</a>
post #11 of 57
What made the Newton better than a Palm?

I have never used nor seen a Newton, this is not a troll.

What I do know is that for a PDA to be really sucessful it must sync with Mac, Windows and Linux. This is essential.

Many of us use a PC at the office and Mac at home, or visa-versa. My ageing Palm III is the only way I can keep the address book up-to-date on different machines etc.

In my opinion a Mac only soloution would limit the market for such a device to the small number of Mac users and may in fact not be attractive to them. If such a device was introduced it must be aimed at the biggest market possible.
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post #12 of 57
Awsome btober! That software kicks! As for a new Newton, nah, not until the economy bounces back.
"Its a good thing theres no law against a company having a monopoly of good ideas. Otherwise Apple would be in deep yogurt..."
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"Its a good thing theres no law against a company having a monopoly of good ideas. Otherwise Apple would be in deep yogurt..."
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post #13 of 57
The newton can sync with Macs and PCs but I don't know about Linux. Hmmm.
engrish.com, it's a hoot.
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engrish.com, it's a hoot.
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post #14 of 57
I liked the Newton (I bought the first one), but I really think that it is done.

Apple can't really add anything to a PDA that isn't already available. That's what they seem to like doing--giving their devices an extra edge over the competition.

There isn't really any ground left for a PDA. The OS, features, and form factors are pretty competitive.

However, fran411, I first read this topic back in 1999. I admire your tenacity and devotion to such a cool device.
post #15 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by Red Hot Ryan:
<strong>The newton can sync with Macs and PCs but I don't know about Linux. Hmmm.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Actually, you can do this. -snip-

EDIT: OK - link is messed up. Search on google for "Newton and Linux"

[ 11-12-2001: Message edited by: btober ]</p>
post #16 of 57
Thread Starter 
Wow. The Newton covers 2/5 of all topics right now on Future Hardware.
post #17 of 57
Can you believe it??? All these old faces. Michealm even learned to spell a little better. I still remember your thread about the "SLOAT LOADING iMACS"
IBL!
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IBL!
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post #18 of 57
[quote](via private message):

What do you mean about the newton turning on 6 computers?<hr></blockquote>

The Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh (TAM) has built-in Infrared sensors, like many Performas/Power Macs with built-in TV cards. So, by using "Sony Remote" on the Newton, and situating the TAMs in a semi-circle, I can press "Power" on the Newton and all the TAMs will simultaneously startup and play their wonderful startup sound fully synchronized.

In reality, most Sony TV remotes will control the TAM and other Macs. Not only can you turn them on an off, but you can adjust the volume, launch Apple Video Player (if you have a TV tuner) and switch channels, etc.
post #19 of 57
Thread Starter 
The more important question is: "How do you have 6 TAMs?"
post #20 of 57
Michaelm8000,
I don't think the iPod was in Apple's particular best interests either! But there it it.

I think if they had someone as superbly efficient as Wozniak around it'd be just the right thing to assert Apple as the innovator of the new millenium.

A "Newton" of some sort able to run a highly optimized GUI, unlike Aqua, with upgradeable AirPort socket, a new-age handheld device socket, static hard disk, water-proof, digital-display support, cellular module and built in camera and/or firewire port.

Imagine, Apple Innovation....revolution of communication!
Tired of not being able to communicate your ideas? The ability to visualise by distance...instantly.

What is this thing missing...floppy drive! ah...no wait..
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post #21 of 57
I think there are a lot of newton owners who don't realize that Apple subsidized them having technology many years ahead of it's time. The things were not ever profitable. The sad reality is that there are truly great products that are just money pits for the company making them, and the Newton is a prime example. The best thing Apple can do is cannabalize the technology and put it into devices they CAN make a profit with.

If Apple (back in "the day") were to have scaled the Newton back to something they could have made a profit with, they would have had a Palm... and now you can't even profit with those. Frankly, I think Apple is much more likely to release a phone with Newton features, than to re-enter the handheld market. It seems much more reasonable that in a few years the iBook might morph into something smaller and tablet-like as components become cheaper and smaller... the price isn't too far off from what the Ùber-Newton would cost anyway. So in the end, if you own Apple stock you would be wise to applaud Apple's restraint.
post #22 of 57
Boy, Fran, the more things change, the more they stay the same....



Good to see the boards up and running again.

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Hope Springs Eternal,
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post #23 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by gordy:
<strong>I liked the Newton (I bought the first one), but I really think that it is done.

Apple can't really add anything to a PDA that isn't already available. ...
</strong><hr></blockquote>

There is lots that could be done. Add airport, add a hard drive, add a colr screen.

Make the dingus seamlessly sync with your desktop via airport. No need for cradles, special sync instructions or anything. You just have a PDA folder on your desktop machine. Anything in there (or aliases in there pointing to other files) appears on your PDA and vice versa. When you are out of range stuff gets stored to the HD. When you come back in range it auto-syncs. I think something like this would add more value than cameras or other gadgets. It is not as flashy but you would use it every day.

Make the PDA run OS X lite. The benefit is that you don't have to learn new applications, new interfaces. Simplify your life.

Have optional voice recognition. Great for turning short ideas into searchable text. You could even put in little tags via voice that would trigger Applescripts to store these properly for future access.
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post #24 of 57
I was recently at an Apple Store to check out the iPod, and when I brought out my Newton MP 2100, every employee in the place had to have a look at it. They'd never seen one, and I ended up spending more time demonstrating the Newt and answering questions than I did checking out the iPod. The Newton still impresses, and is so much easier to use than Pocket PCs or even Palms.
I don't think Apple will be bringing back the Newton any time soon, but if they did I'd only wish that it would auto-sync with a Mac like the new iPod can.
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post #25 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by neutrino23:
There is lots that could be done. Add airport,<hr></blockquote>
Bye-bye battery life.

[quote]add a hard drive,<hr></blockquote>
Yeah, that'll be novel for all the iPaq users with their IBM Microdrives (and Toshiba 5 Gbyte miniature drives like the iPod has...)

[quote]add a colr screen.<hr></blockquote>
Done many times over.

[quote]Make the dingus seamlessly sync with your desktop via airport. No need for cradles, special sync instructions or anything. You just have a PDA folder on your desktop machine. Anything in there (or aliases in there pointing to other files) appears on your PDA and vice versa. When you are out of range stuff gets stored to the HD.<hr></blockquote>
The bummer of the situation is that HDs kill the battery-life. Yeah, it's nice to be able to stick a bunch of MP3s on the thing and use it as a kind of iPod-alike device, but solid-state storage is better for longevity (and that's more important for a PDA).

[quote]When you come back in range it auto-syncs. I think something like this would add more value than cameras or other gadgets. It is not as flashy but you would use it every day.<hr></blockquote>
The downside is that you're heading dangerously towards making the device tethered to a power-point.

I want a PDA that rivals the cellphone I'm gonna buy (Ericsson T39m) in battery-life (300-odd hours for the small battery, 700-odd hours (that's ~30 days) for the big one). There isn't any need for a Gbyte of disk-space on a PDA -- no-one has that many contacts or appointments.

If you want it to be more than a PDA, sure, go right ahead. Make it a bit bigger, give it lots of storage. Give it relatively power-hungry airport.

But don't be under the illusion that it's still a PDA -- it's too short-lived, too bulky, for that. It's a sub-miniature computer, and needs to be capable of computer-type things.

[quote]Make the PDA run OS X lite. The benefit is that you don't have to learn new applications, new interfaces. Simplify your life.<hr></blockquote>
On a fricking PDA?

PDAs need PDA interfaces. A dock that takes up 90% of the screen will /not/ be helpful.

[quote]Have optional voice recognition. Great for turning short ideas into searchable text. You could even put in little tags via voice that would trigger Applescripts to store these properly for future access.<hr></blockquote>
You're gonna, what, stick a G4 in this thing?

Are you wanting it to be a PDA, or a sub-miniature computer?

They are different markets, they have different needs, and different specifications. It sounds like you're trying to sell a sub-miniature computer as a PDA, and that won't work, because it won't do PDA things.
post #26 of 57
You know, Newton apps are only around 50 KB to 150 KB, and documents take up far less space, so huge storage isn't really an issue. The Newton OS and GUI are near perfect as they are, and it's still the easiest computer that I've ever used. One problem with the Newton, as far as Apple is concerned, is that it cut into laptop sales.
If I can do all of my work (wp, spreadsheet, emails, fax), voice record, read books and news sites, web browse (sort of), why would I need a laptop? In it's day, the Newton was a good replacement for an 8 lb laptop.
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post #27 of 57
My friend lent me his MP130 and it totally rocked my Palm Vx!

I seriously hope that apple releases something better, lighter, and cooler (as they have a habit of doing )

long live the newton!
post #28 of 57
I think some of you are missing it in terms of the question of novelty. Apple has just demonstrated with the iPod that groundbreakingly new is not necessarily where they want to go or even what is perhaps the most financially sound. By producing a device that is head and shoulders above what is currently available Apple thinks it can succeed. Let's hope that there is the market for it and that Apple one day will produce a neoNewton.
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post #29 of 57
Dr.Pizza you missed me sexy ideas...a GUI UNLIKE OSX becuase you're right, you need a PDA interface.

The PDA should be a self contained unit, and not need to be "synced". Networked people, network! Its a computer too!

All this hand held organizer crap is screwing everyone's perception. The handheld computer should be a self-contained unit and have an HFS+ compatible file system.
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post #30 of 57
Apple has no plans on releasing a PDA (Palm or Newton like) within the next few years. And if they do - I'll send each one of you guys who think they currently have a PDA in the works $5

Jobs, Schiller, and Rubinstein all have privately said, that 'they have no immediate plans to work with any type of PDA at this time' to workers at Apple. of course they could be lying, but if we knew for sure... where would the fun be?
post #31 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by DrPizza:
<strong>
Are you wanting it to be a PDA, or a sub-miniature computer?
</strong><hr></blockquote>

I want something familiar that takes care of me rather than adding demands to my time and attention. To me that means tearing off a piece of my familiar desktop and taking it with me.

If it could run Tex-Edit Plus and maybe a text based browser and do email that would be very nice.

Voice input doesn't have to be as robust as it can be on a desktop. It could store a one or two minute memo or note-to-myself and then chew on it. would love to have this available as searchable text but I can't be bothered to carry around a keyboard every minute of the day.

I think there are ways around most of your objections. True, the drive doesn't need to be 5GB, it could work with one of the smaller and less power hungry IBM microdrives. Also, the drive doesn't need to spin continuosly. Similarly with the Airport card, it needn't be powered all the time. It could be set to check in at regular intervals and if you are travelling you could turn that off altogether.

You could run a stripped down OS X without much of the UI things such as shading, antialiasing, live updates and such to reduce much of the demand on the processor. This could run on a low power G3 such as IBM just announced. As long as it gets more than 24 hours or so of battery life that should be enough for most application. It may not be practical this month or next but before long this technology will exist.

As for the 100s of hours of life on the cell phone, I suspect that is in a kind of sleep mode. It can't last that long if it is always transmitting.
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post #32 of 57
finally, the rok has come back to....

ah, forget it.

nice to be back. feels like home. smells like it, too.
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post #33 of 57
I, too, have wondered whether I really want a PDA or a subnotebook. Escher has pointed out one of the obvious differences between the 2 before: that a subnotebook should run the full Mac OS whereas a PDA would run a pared down or alternative OS that would match its size and function. For me, the PDA would have to more than just a planner, it would have to be some sort of pocketMac and if so, even running a pared down OS, I wonder if I could get away with doing what I need to do with a pocketMac. Maybe I'm just greedy: I'd like to see a pocketMac and a 3lb subnotebook!
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post #34 of 57
KAKA I actually remember Fran441 ...

after like 5 years there's still no NEWTON replacement (as promised in 1997)... the touchscreen of my newton is dead already .. probably coz I discharged it for too long ...

well actually if you look at Mac OS X closely u'll see that newton and OS X really looks similiar in some ways. so my request is a subnotebook that could SYNC with a desktop, ibook or powerbook..... is that too much to ask ?? ~~

Spec:
G3 processor (whatever clockspeed)
qwerty keyboard
about 8-9 inch screen
it could use the harddrive in ipod (it's freaking FAST)
USB X 1
Firewire X 1

Well that's pretty much everything I need so far .. I'll add stuff like builtin microwave or stuff like that later .
post #35 of 57
Perhaps Palm will bring you the device you are looking for now it's bought out Be? I'd be much happier seeing Palm killed attempting such a project at this time than Apple.
[quote]after like 5 years there's still no NEWTON replacement (as promised in 1997)...<hr></blockquote>
Who made this promise? Can you post the text?
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post #36 of 57
Not exactly a promise but...

<a href="http://www.msu.edu/~luckie/jobslet.htm" target="_blank">http://www.msu.edu/~luckie/jobslet.htm</a>

Tow:
"I emailed Steve Jobs this past weekend and received the following
response from him concerning the future of Newton:"


Jobs:
"Adam,

The Emate has a bright future - and it is for this reason
that I am pulling it back into Apple -which has the resouces
to market and sell it much more broadly. You can imagine
that a small spin-off company would not have such a large
sales force or marketing budget. With the appropriate
investments in sales and marketing, we hope that the Emate
can become a great success.

We are a little more confused about the MessagePad. Since
it costs more ($1K or more vs $700-799 for the Emate) and
has no keyboard, its market seems more limited than the
Emate. However, sales of the current MessagePad are brisk,
so who knows... What do you think?

Don't worry - we are pulling this group back into Apple so
that we can invest even more sales and marketing resources
into these products, rather than dumping the products into a
small spin-off which lacks such resources.

Best,
Steve"
Matvei


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Matvei


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post #37 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by Matvei:
<strong>Not exactly a promise but...

...
</strong><hr></blockquote>
As you say, not exactly a promise.
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post #38 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by JW Pepper:
<strong>What made the Newton better than a Palm?

I have never used nor seen a Newton, this is not a troll.

What I do know is that for a PDA to be really sucessful it must sync with Mac, Windows and Linux. This is essential.
</strong><hr></blockquote>

The difference between Newton and Palm is that a Palm is useless without a PC or a Mac in everyday work. You can't even put data into the device in an elegant and easy way. The Newton can stand for itself. Of cource with the sync with applications on Mac, Win or Linux it's even more useful. The Newton is a brilliant concept which could have been everything. From MP3 Player, Game Console, Webdevice, Remote Control, endless...
Now a Casio Cassiopeia is (after 4 Years) from the hardware in some areas on the same level like the Newton was. The Palm is still a Newton 1.0 from 1993. (Only a bit smaller)
post #39 of 57
What about this:

A device that's just slightly longer and wider than an iBook keyboard, and somewhat thicker than an iPod.

Why are the dimensions based on an iBook keyboard and an iPod? Because it has an iBook keyboard, and the same drive used in an iPod. It also has a fold-down touch-screen LCD that's the same size as the iBook keyboard allowing it to close into a sleek iBook like package only much much smaller. With the diminutive dimensions necessary to accomodate the drive and keyboard there'd still be plenty of room for a generous battery and a low-power mobo that could be much more capable than your standard PDA. Add in a FireWire port for charging the battery and transfering files, and optional AirPort and you've got one hell of a sub-notebook that's small enough to be used as a PDA and is still a fully functional computer with plenty power for any of the tasks required by anyone from a gradeschool student to CEO (photoshop and games are not necessary...).

It would probably be a little pricy, but I think it would be feasable, and the higher price would keep it from competing with the iBook.
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post #40 of 57
<a href="http://www.tmug.org/~smythe/Apple_eMate_Replacement_St.html" target="_blank">http://www.tmug.org/~smythe/Apple_eMate_Replacement_St.html</a>

"Apple has still not made good on the promise they made in early 1998 when they promised a replacement for the Newton in about a year."

They did make a promise (not in 1997 though ) anyways I think most newton users will remember that promise, because it's that promise that made so mant newton users posting on AI about apple's future PDA ...
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