[NTLK] End of My Newton Era

From: David Deranian (deranian_at_mac.com)
Date: Mon Dec 27 2004 - 21:23:33 PST

Hello Gang-

Well it's been a long haul for me. I was lucky enough to live right in
Boston back in 1993, so when Apple introduced the Newton for the first
time at the Boston MacWorld show, I was all over it. I bought my first
Newton there, and never looked back.

 From that time, I guess I've been pretty fanatical, much like everyone
else in this group. I purchased every Newton that Apple came out with,
and when they killed it, I bought a couple of spare 2100s to back up my
trusty 2000U. Suffice it to say, I've been a loyal Newton user, for
going on 12 years, and have no regrets, other than the fact that Apple
dumped it in the first place. Since 1997, (like most of you) I've been
waiting and hoping that Apple would either re-introduce the Newton, or
come out with another similar appliance that we could all cherish. That
doesn't look like it's going to happen now.

So what did I do? I'm leaving one orphaned platform (Newton) to join
another semi-dead platform (Sony Clie). Why would I do such a terrible
and stupid thing you ask? Well, as much as I love the Newton (and I
really do) it just isn't doing the job for me anymore. Even with
everything working, and everyone's enormous and wonderful efforts to
bring the Newton into the 21st Century, there are still some features
missing that make it a "deal breaker" for me.

On top of that, some of my favorite software for the Newton is
available for the Palm OS, like TimeReporter and Pocket Money. The term
PDA "Personal Digital Assistant" means just that, with the operative
word being "personal". This message is simply an expression of my
thoughts and what got me to this decision, it's not intended to be
negative about the Newton in any way. I wish my PDA needs were still
being satisfied by the Newton, I'd be a happy guy!

So what's missing that has driven me to the Palm. First, it's the lack
of a PDF reader for the Newton. I could live without the color, but the
lack of a PDF reader is a tough one to overcome. I do a lot advertising
and graphics work, we send and receive dozens of PDF's back and forth
everyday. I used to manage nearly all my email on the Newton, but
without the PDF reader, the Newton email function became moot for me. I
also work with a lot of professional photography, so having no color
display was beginning to be a drawback also.

Finally, lack of a real solid sync program for OSX has also been an
issue. As good as NewSync is, it's still a bit "shaky" and there are
too many workarounds and compromises in general to make it totally
practical. We all know, even when Apple was developing and supporting
the Newton, desktop synchronization was a weak point. As a comparison,
with "The Missing Sync" from MarkSpace, I can sync photos to the Clie
from iPhoto and music from iTunes. Plus, I can mount the 512 memory
stick on my Mac desktop, and drag and drop files right onto the memory
card. Had Apple supported the Newton into the era of OSX, I'm sure the
Newton would have had this kind of intuitive functionality and

Anyway, this is getting long, so I'll stop here except to say that, I'm
not selling my Newton stuff, and I'll be hanging around the list for
awhile anyway. I suppose if I've made a terrible mistake, I'll find out
soon enough. But, at least I'll still have all my Newton stuff and I'll
put the Clie (which is the top of the line PEG-NZ90 with build in
camera) back on ebay for sale. May the better PDA win!

Peace to All!

David Deranian
Digital Arts & Sciences, Inc.
Communication Arts
for the Digital Age
This is the NewtonTalk list - http://www.newtontalk.net/ for all inquiries
Official Newton FAQ: http://www.chuma.org/newton/faq/
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