Re: NTLK Bringing back the Newton?

Date: Thu Jan 13 2000 - 11:32:04 EST

On Thu, 13 Jan 2000, Bill Moser wrote:
> I think there's very little chance that this would happen. It is much more
> likely (and I think far more productive for anyone wanting to revive the
> technology) that Apple will use some of the better unique features of the
> Newton on a PalmOS based device.

_why_ base it on a PalmOS device? The entire system architecture of the
Newton, at a very low level, was one of its best unique features. A Palm
emulator would be useful, but I don't think the PalmOS provides enough
features for it to be a useful base. A good multi-tasking kernel would be
a good beginning...

> I like some of the Palm's features but I'd really be excited with a unit
> that used the Rosetta HWR system (and had the HWR as tightly integrated as
> the Newton does), had the ability to launch apps straight out of flash RAM
> (the TRG boards in Palms are clumsy alternatives to flash storage at best),
> and could do sound recording and text-to-speech. I suppose I could live
> without a word processor, but Newton Works is very handy.

Look at taht list, and think...are you adding Newton features to a Palm,
or Palm features to a Newton? PalmOS is incredibly simple; that was the
idea. Something that could be brought to market very quickly, without the
feeling of low performance and bloat of the original Newton.

> Apple has the expertise to do a SUPERB handheld, without the original
> clunkers that killed Newton (the -10061 bug, too large a form factor, bad
> desktop connectivity).

I don't really consider the Newton's form factor to be one of the
"clunkers that killed [it]". In fact, it's form factor is one of the
reaosns I still use it. Dual PCMCIA slots, big screen. I think the lack
of a small alternative was a problem, but even then the mp2k was selling
pretty reasonably from what I hear. It was definitely selling above
Apple's expectations.

THe Newton didn't compete directly against the palm IMHO; the feature set
of the two was so different that if you found one of them suited your
needs, you probably wouldn't want the other. This being said, a cheap
palm form factor Newton device would be very Itsy derivative
would be good. The Palm devices have very slow and underpowered
processors. the Itsy is a palm form factor devcie with a Newton
processor. It's a DEC research project...


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