Re: [NTLK] How do you use your Newton?

From: SteveCraft <>
Date: Sat Mar 07 2009 - 00:45:22 EST

Hi. Just cleaning out my inbox - did you ever have any success with the
"backlight LED/CCFL" experiments?

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Doug
Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 2:46 PM
Subject: [NTLK] How do you use your Newton?

NAME: Doug Parker
AGE: 47. 47?...when did that happen...!
OCCUPATION: Independent. Creative. Inventor. Teacher.
NEWTON COLLECTION: Sharp ExpertPad, a dozen or more 2100s


I can't remember when the bug hit, or when I first touched a Newton,
or even where I bought it from, but by 1995 I had my OMP with me every
day. I was working for Lockheed Martin in Orlando, and I carried mine
with me all the time--mostly because I was just a geek. I kept
addresses, phone contacts, repair information, some scheduling items,
but lots and lots of personal notes to myself. Being a creative, I
like to be able to write down what I want to write down when I get the
inspiration, and Newton lets me do that. Need a new piece of
electronic paper? Just tap New...and there you are. It's elegant.

Sometime around the holidays in '96 or so, I was doing my usual tech
support work at Lockheed Martin, when I set my Newton down in a
hallway on top of some boxes I was unpacking. I left for 30 seconds,
and returned to find my Newton gone, but nobody around to point
fingers at. I was devastated.

I made the usual police report, and quickly printed up a few dozen
fliers stating, "To the thief who stole my Newton today--have a happy
holiday!" with little Newtons speckled like small lights on a
Christmas tree in the background. In less than an hour, I blanketed
the campus I was on, making sure every exit received one of my couched
greetings. I finished an hour before quitting time, so I was pretty
sure the thief received my personal holiday greeting on their way out
of the building that day. I never got the Newton back, but I did get a
call from security asking me to stop posting my fliers around the
building. I guess I needed permission from facilities before
I...could...yeah, right!

I didn't get back into the Newton scene until some time after 2000--I
really can't say when. Little by little I picked up a 2100, then one
more, then a few more. I was considering a little Newton repair shop
on the side, but plans changed and the Newt dreams were shelved,
though I still love the platform and develop for it when I can.

I kept trying to integrate my calendar info into the Newton, but I
could never get a calendar that worked for me. The only reason I keep
one with me now is so that I can make notes anywhere and at any time.

Here's a little side story on the Newtway. Version 1 was really labor
intensive. By the time I decided to upgrade to v2, the company that I
had been buying parts from had gone out of business. Enter the Wayback
Machine. Using **, I was able to locate the principles
of the business, looked them up using a whois search, found that both
worked at one time at Cummins, and was able to USPS mail them both.
One USPS letter was returned "no forwarding address", and the other
was appropriately forwarded to the former VP of the now defunct
company. He called me a few weeks later and I was able to get the
parts I needed from him. Persistence pays off. Winners never quit.

As for the name, "Newtway", I was sure I wanted to have the word NEWT
in the name somewhere, and when I rattled off the phrase "Newt-blank
Stowaway Keyboard Connector" the phrase easily suggested the name on
its own, and the Newtway had its moniker.

Finally, I'm going to get a 2100 working with high intensity LEDs or
CCFL (cold cathode fluorescent lamps--the same thing that backlights
laptops), I've got the concept, I just need a little more time and a
little more money.

Doug Parker

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Received on Sat Mar 7 00:45:34 2009

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