Lloyd's Newton

Newton lightbulb logo - Apple took down their Newton website, the bastards I own a Newton. You know, one of those funny little black portable Apple thingies that were launched in 1993 as the greatest thing since sliced bread, that became available incredibly cheaply from a number of vendors who just couldn't get rid of the damn things, and which then got Steved just as the market was taking off. www.newton.apple.com no longer even exists. Charming.

(Strictly speaking, I should say that I own a MessagePad. A MessagePad 100, at that. Well, an upgraded original MessagePad, anyway. But no-one cares, least of all you. Unless, of course, you're a raving Acorn fanatic, in which case the Newton offered the only chance for mass-market acceptance of the ARM processor.)

Why do I own a Newton? Good question. (It was cheap, and I was stupid.) What can I do with it? Okay, what did I once do with it, back when I switched it on, back when I knew where I'd last put it? So, here's a list of things I used to use my Newton for:

And a list of things the Newton is completely useless for:

Of course, I haven't mentioned the continual out-of-memory errors and the ever-decreasing 'rechargeable' battery life. Until now.

original MessaPad But I'll probably stick with it, simply because I can't find anyone to sell it to. It's classier than the original Gameboy (play patience anywhere without dropping the cards), a chess program might appear sometime (but not written in NewtonScript - it needs a C compiler), and I keep reminding myself that the original 128K Mac was useless, too.

Even more useless than the Lisa that preceded it, in fact. And then I remember that no-one ever did anything useful with a 128K Mac, and that it's only useful these days as a doorstop. And the Newton, though too big and heavy to fit comfortably in a pocket, is not big enough or heavy enough to do that.

really really really hideously awful Newton icon Perhaps, one day, if I find where I put it, I'll be able to sell it as an antique to some sucker on eBay. Any offers?

Lloyd Wood (L.Wood@society.surrey.ac.uk)
this page last updated 21 October 2002