Re: [NTLK] Newton reclassification

From: <>
Date: Thu Apr 26 2007 - 15:50:27 EDT

> Hi there.
> I've been giving some thought as to what the Newton really is.
> Most say it's a PDA but it does more than that, a lot more.
> So I say that it is a pen/tablet computer. Esp. with the keyboard.
> What do others think?

To me, more than anything, the Newton is an aging piece of good technology.
I love great old stuff. If cost were no object and I wanted to purchase a
camera, I'd have a hard time choosing between a brand new Nikon digital SLR
and a thirty year old Nikon F. Make it a working Nikon SP rangefinder
<> and it would be a no-brainer.

Both Apple and Nikon have had success pushing the technology envelope while
following the market. The Newton was a commercial failure because it failed
to give enough people what they wanted. The Palm Pilot was a success
because it was small, inexpensive, and provided the critical PDA
applications. Its HWR was odd, but it worked, while the Newton would not
get its HWR working until too late. In the commercial world, follow the
market or die. Perhaps I should say "stay in touch" with the market,
because "follow" implies a lack of invention and I do not mean that.

Here is what I mean by following the market. Nikon noticed a lot of
professionals switching from large format to 35MM, especially to cover
sports. The reason was less time between shots. The early Nikon
rangefinders followed the designs set down by market leader Leica, using a
modest sized knurled knob to advance the film and cock the shutter. Nikon
introduced a larger knob, geared so that the winding action could be done
in a single twist. In the S2 they introduced the advance lever and a crank
operated rewind. In the SP they added an optional motor drive, the first in
a professional grade camera. These advances, and many more like them,
demonstrate Nikon's uncanny ability to follow their market while staying
out in front. This is no easy trick.

Nikon has played to its fans with limited editions of some of its most
successful old cameras. Here is a long page describing a 2005 remake of a
1957 Nikon SP. <> I think we
would all love to see Apple do this with the Newton. I doubt that it will
ever happen because the original Nikon SP was a fabulous success, and the
Newton was a flop.

Even so, I love my Newton.

Gary Dunn

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Received on Thu Apr 26 15:50:29 2007

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