[NTLK] Newton comment on LATimes (resend to add this)

Robert Stewart robertdylanstewart at gmail.com
Sun Dec 25 00:49:33 EST 2011

People like you seem to frequently forget that iOS is also leaps and bounds ahead of NewtonOS in most ways. It supports SSL, for one thing. An inbuilt, highly capable web browser. A decent inbuilt mail client. Bluetooth, WiFi, a pair of decent cameras in current devices, all powered by a screaming-fast processor and more RAM and storage than most *desktop* computers had ten years ago.

You code for it just like you code for a desktop. It's remarkably fully-featured for developers. You get static analysis. High-performance computing libraries like LAPack. A powerful GPU with OpenGL ES support. Grand Central Dispatch. All of this stuff makes developing complicated software much faster than it ever was with NewtonScript, and the results are higher-quality for less effort.

Further, the community is thriving and so is Apple, so there's not too much danger of it being axed in the next decade. The Newton developer community was never particularly large. During its active life, Apple was surviving comfortably (nowhere near bankruptcy), but they were stagnant.

Then there's my personal bugbear. It's much easier to back up an iOS device to a modern machine (especially with iOS 5 and iCloud) than it is to do the same with a Newton. My Newton 2100 was stolen in mid-2008 (burglars suck; I'm in favor of adding that to crimes allowing the death penalty). I had been using it since early 2001 in much the same way you use yours. Unfortunately, I never had a chance to get proper network drivers on it, so I couldn't back it up to a modern computer, and I didn't have any computers old enough to have a serial port. I lost all of my data. Sure, that's my fault for not fixing the backup problem. It's still frustrating that the device in its stock state simply cannot talk to a modern computer. You can't get the packages needed to talk with modern gear onto the device without an old computer or a bootstrap card. That's kind of ridiculous, and I would have to be an idiot to go back to that situation after losing all of my data to it once.


Robert D. Stewart - AC5ZH
Sent from my phone

On Dec 24, 2011, at 22:19, "Bob Carls Dudney" <kosmicdollop at saber.net> wrote:

> [sorry, using webmail, forgot subject]
> Of the many reasons I love this list and my fellow Newton addicts, to my
> mind we're exceptional in tolerating and even appreciating lots of diverse
> views and even passionate differences at times.
> Knowing I tend to be odd man out, some of you might appreciate this
> comment I made referencing our dear PDA to an LATimes article on iPad
> shortcomings:
> "The temperature of many of these comments is not surprising. Passions are
> fodder to CorpoRape America.
> "As a long-time Apple fan whose 15 y/o Newton is my primary professional
> database (all sorts of data in tens of thousands of records), touch
> computing is something I have experience with.--Yes, I often use my
> fingernail on the Newton, even to write briefly, and never a keyboard. I
> much prefer writing with Newt's incomparable HWR to any other data entry
> method; it's also my journal. Since within hours of obtaining a Newton
> I've hated keyboards and all varieties of e-rodents ever since.
> "The moment iPad pages appeared I pored over the specs and pics trying to
> see how it could help me. A couple of my fellow NewtonTalk addicts raved.
> I shook my fist at Steve Jobs once again for failing to even come close to
> Newton in so many ways.
> "Since most of my ancient Newtons no longer operate, a (discontinued)
> ModBook is in transit so I can install a Newton emulator to keep alive the
> (comparatively) sublime elegance Apple aborted a decade-and-a-half ago.
> "For some a so-called smartcar is fine, others need considerably more.
> "And a few love moving retrograde at warp speed, especially when $Billions
> are at stake.
> "Thank you, Mr. Hiltzik, for speaking up.
> "And rotten eggs to your publisher for labeling your article
> entertainment. Although.. I suppose that's the best category for iPad."
> <http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/music/la-fi-hiltzik-20111225,0,871615.column>
> Cheers!
> B
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