Re: [NTLK] More Newton goodies to clear

From: Jon Glass (
Date: Mon Dec 06 2004 - 23:09:59 PST

On Dec 7, 2004, at 6:19 AM, Martin Joseph wrote:

> Many of us paid BIG money for these kind of items to begin with, so I
> am not sure having everything for free or very inexpensive is actually
> good for the community. It seems to me, that people who get everything
> for free, get used to it and don't want to pay for anything...
> I especially see this with regard to for pay software. Quit different
> to spend 60$ on software when you spen $1000 on a MP2100, versus 60$ on
> software when the MP2100 cost $50?

Yes, there are multiple sides to this issue. I paid $600 for my first
Newton, ad 120 running OS 1.3. When the screen broke, it was worth it
to me, to spend another couple hundred to get the screen replaced and
upgrade the system. When that Newton got stolen several years later, it
was worth it to me to pay $250 to buy another 120 running OS 2. Later,
I bought a 130 for another $250. This was about 6 months before the
Newton was discontinued. During that time, I spent hundreds on software
and hardware. I didn't mind, however, because all this was cheaper than
a PowerBook or other laptop, and far more portable.

Imagine my surprise when I discover that I can buy a 2100 for less than
$200! And software I spent hundred for is suddenly free for the taking!
Am I glad? Yes! On the one hand, people who could never have afforded a
Newton can now afford one. Some of these people are _very_ talented,
and have contributed to the community by writing software, or hacking
hardware. Some people, even, are _still_ trying to eek out some sort of
a living from it! So now, we have a tension. On the one hand, I, as a
user, want to encourage everyone and anyone who is still developing for
the Newton, and pay fairly for any software/hardware I need (not
ignoring those _extremely_ kind souls who helped replace my stolen
equipment at no cost to myself--and I'm still extremely grateful to
Paul and Mark for their generosity, and all who offered!). By buying
what I need whenever possible, from these people, I help keep the
platform going in a small way. On the other hand, used Newton equipment
is both cheaper, and slowly becoming rarer. Thanks to the US tax laws,
we had a recent glut of hardware, which drove those prices into the
basement. However, this won't last for an eternity. The time will come
when hardware gets more expensive, and once again, the Newton will
become an elitist toy, or the last grasp of those of us who just can't
get used to anything else, or who need it! Or, like in my case, I both
need it, can't get used to anything else, _and_ I want to get the most
of my hundreds and hundreds of dollars of investment I have put into
the Newton. The more I think about that side, however, the more I
realize that the Newton has been the best computer "investment" I've
ever made! But the truth is, I have a lot invested in this thing (both
time and money) and I need to extract as much as possible from it. ;-)

So, now that I've meandered, let me return to my theme. On the one
hand, cheap hardware and software is essential to the survival of the
Newton, however, this makes a tension between those who wish to
develop/sell, and those who wish to buy/use. I don't see the person who
caused this poor tempest in a teapot by posting his prices as something
necessarily bad. If he gets his asking price, fine and good. If he gets
more--well, that just shows that maybe we were wrong in accusing him of
charging too much. ;-) If he doesn't sell for that price, then he
hopefully will learn a lesson and try again at lower prices.

In any case, his efforts to sell are _not_ IMO detrimental to NTLK, nor
the Newton community in general. In fact, one could look at it anther
way.... any economic activity in relation to the Newt is a good thing.

-Jon Glass
Krakow, Poland
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