[NTLK] General Magic on Showtime

Maury Estabrooks maurye at gmail.com
Tue Jul 9 14:07:56 EDT 2019

Spoiler Alert - This is my opinion of the General Magic Documentary. 

You can watch the General Magic Documentary on Showtime between 7/9/2019 through 8/5/2019. In other words, ‘free’ as to avoiding having to pay for the doc.

The Showtime description is:

General Magic — The Silicon Valley startup built by the brightest minds of the 1980s — becomes a complete failure when launched in 1994. 

My description is:

This documentary becomes a complete failure for allowing it to become too focused on Tony Fadell. While Fadell tells a good story, he tells too much of HIS story. He becomes gloried by the end of the documentary. 

I have seen Love Notes to Newton. I own Love Notes to Newton. The General Magic Movie is a love note to Tony Fadell, Andy Hertzfeld, Tony Fadell, General Magic the story arc, Megan Smith, Tony Fadell and Tony Fadell. It is no Love Notes to General Magic. The climax is the failure of the company while failing to address the failure of the magicians themselves to ship on time and on focus. 

Yes, it’s a coalescence of young brilliance. No denying this. Unfortunately, Marc Porat is more visionary and mouth piece than a leader of people. Instead they follow Andy Hertzfeld who while brilliant himself, is not shown employing his Macintosh time spend on the need to SHIP the product. 

What you will not see is that both Sony and Motorola bailed on the partnership having received MagicCap 2.x with a promise that 3.x would be much better. Enter the DataRover. 

General Magic moves on to Oki who built the DataRover 840 which ironically uses the same battery which Sony used. Sony allowed their interest in General Magic to run low on energy after low sales and or over inflated sales expectations. The Motorola device is never seen and barely mentioned

The film glorifies certain magicians while ignoring their obvious failures. Bill Atkinson made a wise choice not to have been interviewed for this film.

Judge for yourself. Which was the better platform. Which was the better depiction of each platform in documentary form. Noah created a Love Note to Newton. Kerruish created a love note to a group of millionaires while they struggled as thousandaires.

With all that said...I prefer the DataRover 840 over the Newton 130 and 2000 both of which I also own. 

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