Re: NTLK Palm vs. Newton: A Metaphor

From: Bill Davis (
Date: Tue Jun 06 2000 - 22:29:57 CDT

On 6/6/00 2:29 PM, T.M. Camp [] wrote:

>Talking with a friend earlier today, I came up with the following thought.
>He used an eMate at work off and on for a few months, so he's familiar with
>the Newton OS. To get ready for grad school, he bought a Visor this past
>weekend and really likes it. The eMate couldn't persuade him to give up his
>Franklin Planner, but the Visor has. We were discussing various features of
>each and I came up with this...
>Newtons are the LPs of the PDA world. They're good, but their time is done.
>Yet people hang on to them, and users seem to be fiercely loyal to them even
>after they've bought something else.
>But the Palm is an 8-track or a cassette. It's a stopgap created by an
>industry without a real innovation to fill the need. Sure they're
>everywhere, but not for long. No one will miss it once the CD player shows
>And I can't imagine what the DVD equivalent of a PDA will be.
>Just a thought,

I can imagine:

The DVD equivalent of a PDA (the 2100 is already the CD equivalent ;-)
would be a slimmed down Newton 2100 (which with today's more improved PDA
tech and newer battery tech COULD be made about the size of the present
PALM units, only ALL SCREEN with only a slim bezel. The Palm IIIx units
are almost exactly the same size as the 2100's screen...but with a LOT of
wasted space for the bezel, hardware buttons, Graffiti writing area...get
rid of all that junk and use it for the SCREEN!

Add a color screen viewable in any light, with a good backlight like the
Newton's (white, not green, though), add support for either PCMCIA or
Compact Flash cards (2 or 3 of them; no less than 2). If you can use CF
and get FOUR slots in, or a combo of 2 CF and 1 PCMCIA (with support for
CF cards via existing PCMCIA to CF adapters), do it. Build in AirPort
(WaveLAN/IEEE 802.11) networking (or just use a CF or PCMCIA card) and
(again via CF or PCMCIA card) wireless wide-area Internet connectivity
(like Palm VII). Also support USB or firewire and Ethernet (either
built-in or thru a card). Keep Infrared. Lose the "dongle" thing the
2100's had ;-).

Put it in a magnesium metal case for sturdiness, with rubber side grips
(important! A Palm III is VERY slippery compared to a Newton's rubberized
case). Put a scroll wheel and 2 or 3 user-programmable buttons on the
sides like the WinCE machines and digital cameras.

Make sure the IBM CF card hard disks work in it.

Add an optional version of the cool detachable, foldable keyboard Palm
and Targus just released (from ThinkOutside), and there you go.

This should be doable TODAY...and would be, if Steve hadn't axed the
Newton. Price: $400-$500 for the base unit (maybe without wireless or
networking stuff; let the user decide what networking they need (Airport,
Ether, wireless WAN, whatever) if any. It should have a built-in USB
port at minimum. Get the base price down LOW.

And then scale up the screen a bit and you have your Internet Applicance
that everyone's going on about today (AOL, Thinknic, epod, netpliance
i-opener, etc, etc,etc.). Basically the "slate" Newton that they were
thinking about releasing.

I agree and am thankful for most of what he did when he came back to
Apple....but axing the Newton just when it had been pretty much perfected
('cept for synching) was one REALLY, REALLY, REALLY BIG MISTAKE.

Of course, if they made something like the above, but instead running
MacOS X.....perhaps even slate sized or hardcover book sized....sign me
up! The Newton HWR engine (the printed one, not the cursive one they
bought from Paragraph) originally ran (in some form) on the Mac - I've
seen it at a World Wide Developers Conference in the early '90's (before
the Newton came out, probably 91 or 92).
 - Bill

 \\ /, "Ink Different" at Info-Newt, the site for Newton PDAs
`( Info-Newt Newton news & info web site:
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