Apple Newton

It was 1993 - the notion of "organizer" or "PDA" wasn't invented yet - when Apple introduced the Newton Message Pad. As usual, the Newton was ahead of the time and really had style.

Umm... if there hadn't been this price tag of $699. In Germany (and France) Apple offered Newtons with native language for 1499 Deutsche Mark.

picture (126kByte): Newton front view

This Newton is localized for Germany. It was sold by Siemens. Remarkable: the missing Apple logo.

The original Newton Message Pad (short OMP) had the following features:

You write on the Newton with a special pen which rests in a sheath at the side if not in use. The handwriting recognition was exceptionally for the times and the processing power of the Newton. After less than one hour of training the Newton could reasonably recognize my dreadful scrawl. It helped a lot to enter longer words and names into the dictionary.

picture (155kByte): Newton rear view

A look into the battery compartment and at the filler for the PCMCIA slot.

The Newton is powered by four AAA batteries or rechargeables. With four high energy alcalines it runs since several days. Fifteen years ago users bitterly complained about the mediocre runtime; obviously batteries have improved since.

A button cell of type CR-2032 fuels the memory during battery change. Too bad, if it has lost power after years in the left upper drawer. Of course the user would've been informed immediately about a low battery power, if he'd have flipped the power switch.

picture (131kByte): Newton with cable

The PC cable does have a DB-25 connector on one side and an 8-pin mini-DIN connector on the other side.

To replicate the notes and appointments with a computer, the Newton can be plugged into a PC or a Mac via serial cable (38400 baud). The software called Newton Connection Kit was shipped on CD. Since i don't have a PC with Windows 95/98 anymore, an old PowerMac 6100/66 with MacOS 7.5.5 had to serve as receiver. The connection kit was swiftly installed and making a connection and moving the data to the Mac was a breeze.

If you need software for the Newton, simply go to the United Network of Newton Archives.

As my next step i'll install some usefull utilities: Tetris, Solitaire, Minesweeper, ...


Copyright 2008 Peter Koch