Apple Newton fans keep platform alive

“This weekend, fans of Apple’s long-discontinued Newton will gather in Paris to celebrate the PDA that will never ever die. Six years after Apple Computer terminated the Newton, the Worldwide Newton Association is holding its first conference to determine the future of the platform,” Leander Kahney reports for Wired News. “Indeed, the Newton may be getting a new lease on life.”

“The first Newton hardware emulator will be unveiled at the show, which may allow the Newton operating system to run on other hardware, including full-color handhelds or Tablet PCs. Though likely to be a modest gathering, the Newton conference marks the remarkable transition of the Newton platform wholly into the hands of its users,” Kahney reports. “Apple discontinued the Newton in 1998. Without Apple’s support, the Newton should have floundered and died. But not only has the number of users remained more or less steady, but the Newton has even attracted new fans and has been kept remarkably current technologically.”

Full article here.


  1. I had a MP130 once upon a time, and yes it was too big and heavy, hw recognition kind a sucked, but it was a remarkable machine at the time. It’s cool that people keep using it and expanding it. I’d wish that Apple would make another PDA, I’d buy it in a heartbeat ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  2. I wish Apple would make a new PDA too. What was that Steve said? Some of the products he is most proud of are ones that never made it to market? Then I think he specifically mentioned a PDA. Somewhere in an Apple safe an AMAZING PDA is probably gathering dust right now. Wish they would release it.

  3. Yes NEW PDA’s from Apple with IR port, USB, InkWell enabled screen so you can write on it like a tablet, built in AirPort Extreme, FireWire, BlueTooth, and Mac OS X Tiger (Full verson and the option of a scaled down version). OO oo oo, and hot-swappable batteries, and built in DVD drive. If they took my PowerBook removed the keyboard, turn the screen around. And aloud me to be able to write on the screen, I’d be in heaven. But what does this have to do with the newton? Everything, Call it the iNewton. Or Newton X, Or the xNetwon, or Clll it the iNewt, or Tablet Newt, or something like Who knows! I’ll just keep dreaming.

  4. I have a pair of Newton MP 2000’s (one suffers from the ‘jaggies” a disease of aged Newtons which I haven’t yet had time to fix.) I use the healthy one to take notes at conferences and seminars (handwriting works very well in last generation of Newtons and this dedicated Newton community has written Newton sync software for OS 10…even an Airport driver!)

    I was quite amused one day when a colleague open up his spanking new tablet PC to take notes. While my Newton converted my handwriting on the fly, he tried to use some sort of kludgy ‘write in a box’ interface that he tried to demonstrate to me, but never quite got to work.

    By the end of the session, I had a few hundred words of notes. He had only an unrecognized three word scribble at the top of the tablet’s page.

  5. I still have a Newton MessagePad 100 in pristine condition sitting in a cupboard. Apple provided me with a replacement one when my original 100 died. However in the interim of waiting for it to be replaced, I purchased a 2000 and keyboard, so the ‘new’ MessagePad 100 has never been used, complete with two stylus’. Any offers????
    They are indeed a great piece of technology.

  6. The Newton was the baby of John Sculley- an therefore a “bastard child” in the scheme of theings in the Jobsian universe. The Newton was axed for very good financial reasons and will probably not ever be seen again. Maybe if Apple does a Tablet it could be called a “Newton” but the PDA is called a SmartPhone these days.

  7. My Newton 2100 surfs the internet via an old Lucent branded WiFi card via my airport network.

    Newton is still one of the best designed products Apple has ever made.

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see this crowd make it adaptable to a PC USB card allowing Bluetooth dongle connection.

    The ultimate is when I connect my Newton to my 20th Anniversay Macintosh, while having it connected to my 22″ Cinema Display, and listing to iTunes music over the Boze buit in system, and day trading stocks … all at once.

    It gets the job done.

    Piss on OSX.

  8. I had purchased the original Newton Message pad for $895 I think it was with the rechargable battery option.

    I used that thing rather religiously for a few years, even paid to upgrade it to the MP 100 feature set. I finally sold it about a year or so later through AOL for $100 I think it was.

    I actually got along with it’s handwriting recognition after a while. I used to write my call logs into it and then go back and put them into the computer before I got off shift. Then I took notes while I worked at Pizza Hut repairing Macintosh computers in the mid 90s.

    I always wanted to grab a 2000 series one off eBay but their so popular they go for $300 to $400 still.

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