Re: [NTLK] Ruggedize a MessagePad?

From: James Fraser <>
Date: Mon Aug 04 2008 - 09:27:42 EDT


--- SteveCraft <> wrote:

> What is the best way to "ruggedize" a 2100?

It all depends: are you looking to do this with
commonly/cheaply available materials? Or do you mean
you're interested in taking a Newton and reworking it
from the ground up (or designing a custom-fitted
Newton case)?

I ask this because the "best" way to do something is
wholly dependent on how much time and money you're
looking to spend achieving a given design goal. Is
this a long-term project you're looking to get ideas
on? Or something fairly cheap-yet-functional you're
hoping to crank out in an afternoon or two.

I'm guessing the latter, but thought I would ask.

>Let the screen input still work but let it take
>getting rained on

When you say "rained on," do you mean the unit is
going to be exposed to a few drops of water falling on
it here and there (e.g. using the Newton under an

Or are we talking about using the Newton outdoors
regularly during the monsoon season? The phrase
"rained on" covers a lot of territory.

>and dropped from 6' high.

An aluminum case with some sort of suspension system
for the Newton might be the way to go in terms of
making a Newton more impact-resistant. It all depends
on how much you're willing to add to the Newton in
terms of weight and bulk.

Also: are you looking to have the Newton survive a
six-foot fall in an indoor environment (onto, say,
carpeting)? Or an outdoor environment (onto, say,
concrete)? Or both? With the Newton's sizeable
screen real estate, a six-foot fall onto a hard
surface might be pretty hard to reliably protect
against without adding quite a bit of bulk and weight.

Rather than spending time attempting to impact-proof a
Newton, a better idea might be to come up with a
NewTether™ that would allow a user to retrofit their
Newton with a wrist strap/tether of some kind. You
*might* be able to get away with routing a strap
through the stylus holder, but someone from the list
with extensive Newton tear-down experience may want to
jump in here and educate us on just how securely that
stylus holder is anchored to the 2100's chassis.

I'm guessing that the stylus holder isn't that
securely attached to the Newton, (after all, it's only
meant to bear the weight of the stylus!) but I've
never really thought about it before. Anyone?

If you like the wrist strap idea, but want to go the
ready-made route, I believe there were some
play-through cases for the 2100 that offered wrist
straps, but someone else will need to chime in with
the makes and models of these.


James Fraser

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Received on Mon Aug 4 09:27:44 2008

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