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NewtonOS Running on Linux PDA 125

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the platforms-never-die dept.
Seb Payne writes "At the WWNC 2006, Adam Tow has reported that Einstein, the NewtonOS emulator is now working on a Sharp Zaurus Linux PDA, showing future for our favourite green friend. Although it is not production quality, could this bring a future to the Newton platform?"
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NewtonOS Running on Linux PDA

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  • In a word... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Seoulstriker (748895) on Sunday January 15, 2006 @10:37AM (#14475494)
    could this bring a future to the Newton platform?

    No.

    Newton has long been dead.

    • You're absolutely correct. My initial reaction was, "what a waste of time". After thinking about it a little more (sometimes I think before I post, usually when I'm stuffing my face full of cereal) I realized while the outcome is useless, the process wasn't. The guy is now smarter and more experienced for having done the work. Who knows? At some point in his career he may be working on a new product and the experience gained from writing a Newton emulator will mean the difference between success and fa
      • eh ... Adam Tow is experienced enough. He was one of the developers from day one on the Newton.

        And although I do not use a Newton anymore I would probably choose good user experience over linux. (And would choose linux over Windows any day)
    • from the platforms-never-die dept.

      Appearently CmdrTaco thinks otherwise.
    • No? Are you sure? (Score:3, Informative)

      by nurb432 (527695)
      If apple brought the Newt back ( updated of course, and a bit more reasonably priced ) you would find lots of people would flock to buy them.

      Not that i expect that ever to happen, but there is a market for the 'father' of the PDA to return too.

      if you doubt me, ever try to find a used Newt? They still bring a relatively high price, as they are well loved by their owners.
      • Re:No? Are you sure? (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        if you doubt me, ever try to find a used Newt? They still bring a relatively high price, as they are well loved by their owners.

        I did. I'm a new apple owner, just 18 months after switching, and had heard a great deal about newtons, and how awesome they could be. I just picked up a Trading Post, bought the cheapest 2100 I saw ($50 australian. More expensive than other PDAs from that era, but hardly high priced) and played with it.

        I sold it on to a friend after several months trying to use it productively, fi
        • I fully admit its old by todays standards. That is the reason i did say that updating would be needed if it was to be re-relased. Need to support modern networking, color, compatibility with current day mail systems, etc. It was/is a sound design, but hasnt been supported in many years so its bound to fall behind.

          Even with the old ones however, there is still a die-hard fanbase. And the OS is *still* better then winCE. NewtOS was designed from the ground up to be on a PDA, unlike CE, which is more of a de
          • I fully admit its old by todays standards. That is the reason i did say that updating would be needed if it was to be re-relased. Need to support modern networking, color, compatibility with current day mail systems, etc. It was/is a sound design, but hasnt been supported in many years so its bound to fall behind. Even with the old ones however, there is still a die-hard fanbase. And the OS is *still* better then winCE. NewtOS was designed from the ground up to be on a PDA, unlike CE, which is more of a de
        • I think the amazing thing is that this now-ancient device could still be useful as a wireless web server, or anything else.

          The Newton was WAY ahead of its time. It was bulky and ugly and difficult to use by today's standards - but god damn, that thing could do a lot.
      • I suspect the Ipod could be used to make inroads to the PDA market. Hell, it already has the memory, hard drive and screen. It just needs a stylus and perhaps 2 bootup modes.

        In any case, the hardware isn't too far away what's needed, it would be the software (Ipod OS) that needed to be developed....
    • I have heard over and over that *nix is dead as well. And yet, it keeps growing. I suspect that Apple may bring this back in combination with ipod to take over the wince market.
    • Re:In a word... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by feijai (898706) on Sunday January 15, 2006 @12:24PM (#14475887)
      The things they mod 5:insightful these days.

      If you don't mind, allow me (a former Newton developer, and current computer science professor) to provide a slightly more informed take on the situation.

      The reason everyone in the Newton community is excited about the emulator is not that it enables us to revive our Newtons, but that it gives us an easy migration mechanism. Newton owners have been frustrated as hell with the god-awful interfaces running on current PDAs. PalmOS is astonishingly profoundly primitive. And PocketPC is just about the worst interface I have ever seen on a platform. Generally it takes about twice to three times as many pen interactions to get a given action performed on the PocketPC as it does on the Newton.

      I've used them all. A lot. And the Newton 2.1 OS is hands down the best PDA interface. And let's not kid ourselves: there still isn't a handwriting recognition system available that's as good as Rosetta. And the Newton UI is built around handwriting as a text entry mechanism along with a keyboard, unlike Palm and WinCE's traditional (and bad) character-entry-only event mechanism. And the Newton is fast. The MessagePad 2000 ran on a 167MHz StrongARM (predecessor to the XScale) in 1997.

      So Newton users are stuck with a great but aging OS trapped inside hardware that is breaking down and falling apart. Most of us have FrankenNewtons at this stage. What the emulator will do is allow us to move our environments to a new PDA and still be able to use our old software, data, and UI, while using the new PDA's OS for new things. That's a big deal.

      Plus, I might add, Einstein makes for a nice development environment.

      • I was with you for most of the post, then you mentioned that there's no hand-writing recognition better than Rosetta? I'm assuming thats the one that was built into Newton? I'm sorry, but I've tried the Newton, and it's hand-writing recognition is no way near the league of modern day devices (My experience would be coming from the P910).
        • Re:In a word... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by yppiz (574466)
          The early Newton MessagePads had bad handwriting recognition, in large part because the CPUs in these machines were too wimpy.

          By the MessagePad 2000 and 2100, however, handwriting recognition was excellent. I used to use one of these machines to take notes in meetings, and I could write fairly smoothly in my normal handwriting (a mix of cursive and print) and get decent performance.

          I have since tried several iterations of PocketPCs and Palms and, still, eight years after the MessagePad 2000 was introduced,
          • Re:In a word... (Score:4, Informative)

            by amper (33785) * on Sunday January 15, 2006 @04:50PM (#14477207) Journal
            Actually, it wasn't so much the CPU power, but the lack of available memory to store a large enough dictionary for the recognition engine. The early versions had a 10,000 word dictionary. The later versions increased this to 93,000 words. This, coupled with faster processors and a new recognition engine are what enabled the MessagePad 2100 to have a quite usable experience--but it was primarily the larger dictionary that did the trick.
            • Thanks for the clarification -- I thought the CPU was the big factor (I was dimly recalling a conversation with one of the three creators of the Rosetta software.)

              --Pat
          • Re:In a word... (Score:2, Interesting)

            by junkgui (69602)
            I'm not sure if the handwriting recognition was signifigantly better on NewtonOS then it is in todays iterations, such as windows tablet edition... but one thing is certain the applications/OS that windowsCE/PocketPC/windows tablet edition used isn't built around using a stylus. The gui is a traditional mouse gui with a small screen and a single clieck (for the most part) interface. Newtons were built to be written on, you could draw graphics that would be recognized as vectors and then move the handles a
            • NewtonOS reminds me more of squeek (the smalltalk platform) or hypercard or opendoc where applications can mix and match pieces together in a neat notepad like gui. I really wish that there was a newton like pda with a built in IDE, with ruby like syntax... I can imagine coding up software on the fly to do little things for me, but I digress.

              Funny you should say that... NewtonScript was based on the prototype object-model of Self, a language some describe as "like Smalltalk, but more so". Programming in

              • I wonder how hard it would be to build a newtonscript rip off that would run under a jvm (for the zareus)... Or just port squeek or eclipse, so it runs on a tiny screen, and works well with HWR. No matter what, with out really good open source handwriting recognition, it wouldn't be very cool...
        • Re:In a word... (Score:2, Interesting)

          by glebd (586769)
          You must have tried an early Newton, because the HW recognition on 2100 beats P910 (or anything else, for that matter) hands down. Compare clunky character-by-character Jot recogniser of P910 and new Palms with Rosetta on 2100 where you just write words wherever you want them to be recognised, not in just some area specially designated for writing. And the ancient thing learns your way to write!
      • Re:In a word... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Finally! An informed answer.

        As an electical engineer, I can tell you the Newton was the BEST PDA to have ever been. I managed an entire project from the Newton, and people were astonished I was pretty much a one-man band, because of all I kept up with, and the speed with which I was able to recall information about the most minute of details I had recorded in the Newton. People have often panned the Newton for poor handwriting recognition, but this was because they did not TRAIN the Newton to understand the
        • The Newton died due to the naivity of the users who didn't train it the way they were supposed to, and all the bad press that the people who didn't know (let's call them the agnostics) the proper way to use such an advanced tool.

          no, i imagine that the Newton died because you couldn't take the time to train it in the store, so it looked to any prospective buyer as though the handwriting recognition was always going to be bad. i remember spending 5 minutes trying to write my name to no avail, because it

      • And the Newton 2.1 OS is hands down the best PDA interface

        Ok, professor, I own a Zaurus, I've written some code for it, I've read ebooks on it, I've even commented to slashdot on it.

        What makes the Newton interface so much better? Can you point me to a site or sites that explains this?

        I'm convincable; convince me. ;)

        Thanks.
        • The Newton interface is easy to use, easy to learn. The soup database can be searched from any program to find anything that relates to what you are searching for. If you want to copy and paste something from one program to another, it's a simple draw circle around it, drag it over to other program. The handwriting recognition when setup properly makes it easy to enter information into the system. Also, with the assist button, tasks such as setting up an appointment in the date book is as easy as saying, "L
      • I'm confused. Is Einstein a hardware emulator for the ARM CPU and Newton hardware (vaguely similar to, say, arcem [sourceforge.net]), which requires a copy of the Newton ROM image to run?

        Or is it something like Wine, a reimplementation of the Newton OS letting you run existing apps, but only on ARM hardware?

        Unless there is work happening on a free reimplementation of the Newton OS, I'd say the platform is pretty much dead.
        • I'm confused. Is Einstein a hardware emulator for the ARM CPU and Newton hardware (vaguely similar to, say, arcem), which requires a copy of the Newton ROM image to run?
          Yes.
          Unless there is work happening on a free reimplementation of the Newton OS, I'd say the platform is pretty much dead.
          Presuming Apple would pursue litigation, yes.
      • Newton fell off the Apple tree a long time ago for a reason - consolodation of product lines for higher profitability. Is there any chance in hades that Newton would get a renewed? Sure would have made a a great cell phone platform!

      • You do realize the Newton's handwriting recognition was not built by Apple but by a company that later released that SAME exact code for the Pocket PC which was then licensed as "Transcriber" and also as a commercial app called "Calligrapher" from Phatware.com?

        And since then its been refined and improved dramatically. But its the same engine deep down inside. So if you're using a Pocket PC today and using Calligrapher, you are getting the same engine as the Newton for HWR, but better.

        Granted the UI on the
        • Actually, it's not completely true. The first HWR engine was, indeed, from that russian company that does calligrapher now. But there was another HWR engine on NewtonOS 2.0 that was developped in-house at apple (you can choose which one you want). It works wonderfully, and many people talks about this one, not the original calligrapher one.
        • Caligrapher is the software you're talking about. That was the early, embarassing HWR system for the Newton. Apple supplanted that in NewtonOS 2.0 with an Apple-designed HWR system called "Rosetta" which is still the best anywhere. You can play with Rosetta on the Mac by the way, if you have a graphics tablet. On OS X it's called "Inkwell".
      • OK, so Newton has a great interface etc. And now it runs on LINUX based PDA's.

        Linux. An open source OS...

        If Newton is so good, and Linux is OS. Why not develop a version of Linux that has the interface that you love so much?
  • Gravity (Score:2, Funny)

    by HugePedlar (900427)
    So will anyone make any droll jokes about Newton and Apples?
  • No (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NitsujTPU (19263) on Sunday January 15, 2006 @10:40AM (#14475504)
    Although it is not production quality, could this bring a future to the Newton platform?

    No, I see no reason why emulating an OS under Linux on a PDA would bring that platform a future. I think that the best thing to do would be to incorporate those features that you liked from the Newton into an existing platform, rather than emulating it under Linux on a Zaurus, which seems more like a "fun and geeky thing to do" than a practical solution to anything.
    • by kfg (145172)
      No, I see no reason why emulating an OS under Linux on a PDA would bring that platform a future.

      Ah, but what if you could get NewtonOS to run Linux in a VM? I hear this Linux stuff is the wave of the future.

      I see systems, inside of systems, inside of systems, inside of . . .

      You don't think maybe they were right about that brown acid, do you?

      KFG
      • There's a big difference between a VM and emulation. I think that virtual machine monitors and their associated virtues are the future. I just don't see what that has to do with this (because it has nothing to do with it :-) )
      • Wow, I was sleepy when I posted that. I thought that you were suggesting that Linux run NewtonOS in a VM, which made more sense than emulating it if you were going to do it all of the time, but still, not a lot of a point.
  • Odd Obsession? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Why some people is so obsessed reviving old (if it's not dead) technology? I'm just out from my desperation for hope the continuity of BeOS. I think mainstream public project such as Linux based or FreeBSD have better future than expecting a future from a dead or dying OS(es) other than for the sake of nostalgia. If the hardware dead, it's dead man. get an iPod if you're obsessed with everything apple (yeah I know, no input possible, so it's not a pda replacement)
    • I think it has to do with something along the line of Darwin's evolutions theory with a twist. if it is not fit it will not survive. but if it still has a little something in it. it will go on. eventualy if the time comes it will be resurected ;)
    • mainstream public project such as Linux based or FreeBSD have better future

      How old do you think UNIX technology is?

  • NewtonOS? C'mon, this fetish needs to stop. It's like watching Bryant Gumble looking at the donut stand. NewtonOS making news, it's all good, but a Technology ComeBack? That's pathetic.
  • Newton Hardware (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday January 15, 2006 @11:01AM (#14475570) Homepage Journal
    The OS was only part of the puzzle.

    Yes, its great that the OS may live again in some useable form, but its not quite the same with out the larger formfactor and apple quality behind it.

    If by some miracle and Jobs got a clue so Apple would bring it back, i know id be in line to buy another one..
  • yeah, but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jpellino (202698) on Sunday January 15, 2006 @11:12AM (#14475598)
    aside from the early handwriting recognition woes and their dissing of graffitti,

    the newton OS did some amazing things for a handheld, things others till haven't tried to do with the power of a decent laptop.

    i'd love to see what they could do with it updated and with ten more years of evolution in how we think about imfo and OSs
  • My Messagepad 2100 with a wireless card installs is fantastic for e-mailing+IMing from the couch :)

  • Production... of what?

    ~jeff
  • by streetwise (524948) on Sunday January 15, 2006 @11:25AM (#14475642)
    The goal here is not just being able to run decade-old apps from the Newton. It is extending what was so good about the Newton to new platforms. No pda has yet to come close to the best features of the Newton. Furthermore, palm os has stagnated, and there are lots of gadgets, from cell phones to "internet tablets" appearing that run on linux that are crying out for better user interfaces (especially decent handwriting recognition). Check out http://www.internettablettalk.com/forums/showthrea d.php?p=7287#post7287 [internettablettalk.com] over on the Nokia 770 forum as an example of how this might play out.
  • With the iPod now running video, and 3G networks streaming TV shows to mobile phones, and Apple linking up with Motorola one question around the Newton experience is whether iPods will start to gain WiFi or Cellphone type facilties (e.g. for buying tunes on the move) and hence become more multi-modal devices. Clearly the PDA market isn't a growth sector as the smart-phone revolution is fully underway, but is there a market in which Apple start extending the iPod or building on ROKR to move into smartphones
  • by Feneric (765069) on Sunday January 15, 2006 @11:31AM (#14475659) Homepage

    There were lots of new Newton-related technology at the show. It's a pity it's not covered anywhere.

    One little thing I worked on was a Newton book reader extension for Firefox [newtonslibrary.org] that can read Newton books from within Firefox on Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, WinXP, etc. It's now in its second public version.

    The reason that people still work with Newtons is simple -- Newtons still do things that nothing else on the market seem capable of doing. There are some really good, solid ideas in that OS.

    • Everyone keeps saying that the Newton could do things that no other PDA can. Could we get some examples?
      • by Feneric (765069) on Sunday January 15, 2006 @11:59AM (#14475782) Homepage
        Everyone keeps saying that the Newton could do things that no other PDA can. Could we get some examples?

        Well, off the top of my head, picture a single hand-held platform that offers a free development environment with a choice of a few relatively modern (in at least two cases, solidly object-oriented; I'm not familiar enough with the other available languages to comment on them though) programming languages; support for direct wired ethernet; support for Bluetooth; support for 802.11b (and I think these days 802.11g); various techy sorts of apps like Telnet in addition to the more typical hand-held fare like address books, notepads, spreadsheets, and e-mail (and it actually has the best such client I've seen on a hand-held device); a word processor good enough that people have actually used it to write novels; a keyboard option that can actually be used for touch-typing but which is still portable; a decent graphing calculator; a full graphical web browser; a basic AI interface that can turn commands like "call Darren" into a sequence that'll actually dial your brother's telephone number, placing in all the appropriate prefixes / area codes / etc. for your current location; a free-form text-edit system that works (the early versions were rough -- the MP2000 & 2100 were both solid); a fast RISC processor that still gets excellent battery life; a grayscale display with enough resolution to be useful; Unicode support; it goes on. All of the regular add-ons for hand-helds like astronomy software, interactive fiction software, etc. are also available for the Newton.

        That's just a quick list. Sure, you can get lots of these things in other packages, but you can't get them all in one package except on a Newton.

        If you were to ask me on a different day I'd probably come up with a completely different list... and I'm sure other Newton users will come up with additional items that I overlooked at the moment.

        The big thing is the convenience of this combination with a rock-solid multi-tasking OS in a portable form-factor. It's a little hard to explain to someone who's never used such a thing. All the same reasons that people are buying and using tablets today support the Newton, although the Newton tends to be smaller and lighter than most tablets, and never crashes...

        • Except for direct wired Ethernet, not a single one of those features can't be obtained on (even faster) Palm devices. And unlike the Newton, 802.11b doesn't need to be hacked in, some of those Palms come with it built in.

          The only recent Palm device that requires any hacks to get 802.11b running are the Treos, and the service providers (Verizon, etc) have to be blamed for that.

          That said, even my dad's old Palm Professional blew away the Newton we had before it. The Newton was a monstrous anemic brick with
          • I've always found the Newton's handwriting recognition to be stellar after a short training period. Unlike the early Palms, it actually does real handwriting recognition, either printed or cursive. However, for me the main advantages were that it had an enormous screen (larger than the entire casing of a Palm) for me to work on, and that the entire screen was touch-sensitive unlike the early Palms, which only had a tiny touch area that was not capable of display. This made it the correct platform to take no
          • Except for direct wired Ethernet, not a single one of those features can't be obtained on (even faster) Palm devices.
            He mentioned a "multi-tasking OS." Palms don't have that.
            • PalmOS is just as multitasking as anything Apple made before 2001. Which is to say, not very, but basically good enough for practical use on a device that has a 4" screen, little memory, and limited input methods.
              • PalmOS is just as multitasking as anything Apple made before 2001.
                Um. The Newton has a preemptive multitasking operating system written in C++. On top of that, the NewtonScript apps are in an event-driven cooperative single-thread environment; but a C++ thread can and does poke through. For example, handwriting scribbling still runs even when the NewtonScript layer is completely hung.

                Compared to this, PalmOS is pittiful.

        • by commodoresloat (172735) on Sunday January 15, 2006 @04:22PM (#14477057)
          a basic AI interface that can turn commands like "call Darren" into a sequence that'll actually dial your brother's telephone number

          Must be the crappy handwriting recognition everyone talks about. My brother's name is "Victor."

        • Ethernet, Bluetooth and 802.11, hey? Bzzt, no. None of those were "supported" by a stock Newton actually, only PCMCIA memory cards.

          I've tried various third-party addons to get 802.11 capability on my Newton 2100 and they generally suck. Literally. Battery life on a wireless-enabled Newton suddenly becomes 1 hour or less, regardless of which of about six 802.11 cards I use. You need to start using an AC adaptor, which defeats the purpose of installing the wireless card in the first place.

          I'd definitely l

        • The big thing is the convenience of this combination with a rock-solid multi-tasking OS in a portable form-factor.
          The Newton had multi-tasking before Mac OS did? That's kinda weird...
          • The Newton had multi-tasking before Mac OS did?

            No. Mac OS had the multifinder hack in the System 6 days, but really became a full-fledged multitasking OS with System 7 in 1991. Newton was introduced in 1993.
      • by metamatic (202216) on Sunday January 15, 2006 @01:54PM (#14476241) Homepage Journal
        Write text directly on the screen where you want it.

        Draw a diagram under the text. Have the Newton automatically clean up your circles, rectangles and lines into vector graphics.

        Write some more directly under that. Select the text and have your handwriting converted to text.

        One gesture to start a new page.

        In other words, the thing the Newton did which no other PDA has achieved that I've seen, is act enough like a notepad that you can actually use it for taking notes.
        • Another nice feature is the delete. To delete something on the Newton, you scribble it out. This is far, far more intuitive than any other system I've seen. You can also, as I recall, draw a circle around a group of shapes you've just drawn, and then drag them somewhere else. Oh, and it even recognised arrow heads on lines you drew when converting them to vectors...
      • Well, it was more the general philosophy than any particular example. I mean, you can always show a cool thing that the Newton is doing, and you'll say "oh but I can do that on my pocketpc using this or that 3rd party software !". So what's the big deal ?

        Well, firstly, the User Interface is excellent. It's the best UI of all the PDA I owned (PalmOS, PocketPC, Nokia 770). Why ? because it's really MEANT to be used with a pen. You can write everywhere on the screen, not just in a small part; you scribble to

  • the only way (Score:3, Insightful)

    by penguin-collective (932038) on Sunday January 15, 2006 @11:49AM (#14475740)
    The only ways Newton OS will live again is if someone actually develops the OS. Otherwise, it's just a dead piece of code. Developing it requires that either (1) Apple open sources it, or (2) Apple makes another product out of it, or (3) Apple sells it. I don't see any of those happening.
  • Great OS but No... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wackymacs (865437)
    Although it is not production quality, could this bring a future to the Newton platform? No, as everyone else has been saying. Just because an old OS is being emulated on new hardware doesn't mean it will bring a future to it. Other dead OSes, such as System 7, have been emulated on the PSP,Macs and PCs but I don't see that having any 'future'. Isn't it a but of a stupid question? The Newton OS is great - I have two Newtons and an eMate which all run the Newton OS, but its been dead ever since Apple disco
  • The only way to bring such an OS to life, is either to make it be re-deved by Apple, like Amiga re-deved AmigaOS after about 10 years of death, or have a company to start developping an OS based on NewtonOS, just like Zeta did with BeOS.

    Otherwise, how could an outdated OS come back to life like this? When was the last time that an emulator brought an OS "back to life"? You can argue that such emulators as Mini vMac or Basilisk II or even SheepShaver brought back some interest and even some use to pre-X Ma

  • I'm sorry.. but one dead PDA (the Zaurus) emulating another dead PDA (the Newton)? This is technological necrophilia at it's worst. The Newton is dead and so is the Sharp Zaurus. What we need is the features of the Newton that we liked put into a new hardware platform at an affordable price. Linux still has some growing to do before it really becomes a solid PDA platform - and the fact that there is no major company backing that any more won't help it's cause. And Newton died because of the overenginee
  • What kind of resources does this take? Like, in terms of RAM, CPU, how much space the whole package takes up.

    I'm basically asking because I'm wondering whether the next step could be to port this same emulator to the Nintendo DS.
  • Yeah, but will it run Newton?
  • by _vSyncBomb (50710) on Sunday January 15, 2006 @03:51PM (#14476869) Journal
    I think people who don't actually know much/anything about the Newton are missing the point here.

    Of course the Newton is not "coming back". Its fate was sealed when Apple shut it down but refused to sell the technology.

    But at the Newton conference [newtontalk.net] yesterday one speaker said, "I've been trying to replace my Newton for almost ten years now." The audience agreed. But the design philosophies behind the Newton (continued in Mac OS X) have kept it ahead of unambitious crap like the moribund Palm OS (talk about dead--*that* OS sure won't remain in use for a decade after it gets discontinued). And in these intervening years Newtons have remained in service and the data on these things has even continued to accumulate.

    Is the Newton coming back? No, it is not. But what Einstein means is that it may be able to STAY AROUND for a couple (several?) more years until the industry can come up with something good enough to actually replace it fro the people still using them.

    It's cool to be able to emulate old systems

  • A few months back, I got a gig working for a school district. They provide all their techs with Dell Axims runnning the PocketPC OS. I took it with me out on my first runs, and started using it's Notepad to scribble down some things I needed to remember - like IP numbers, teacher names and room numbers, computers that I had to fix - the same way I used to use my dear old Newt2100. No resolving, just straight "ink" scribbbles. I opened my notes later, and found that my scribbles had been re-arranged on the p
  • Anything would be better than the Zaurus' native PIM applications.
  • by mseidl (828824)
    but will it run windows?
  • .... I thought it said that Linux had been ported to the Newton. Damn,
  • I went to the WWNC yesterday just for an hour to see the Einstein session (NewtonOS on ARM Linux) and I must admit, that I was highly impressed. I used the Newton from before the beginning (Sharp Newton!) up to the Newton Messagepad 2100. Then I switched to PalmOS, because I wanted a smaller form factor and now to PocketPC (Windows Mobile 2003 and 5) for the VGA screen and possibility of running VoIP clients (Skype, SIP). But every day I use PalmOS and PocketPC, I wonder how it is possible that a 10 year ol
  • by wernst (536414) on Sunday January 15, 2006 @06:56PM (#14477934) Homepage

    "...could this bring a future to the Newton platform?"

    No.

    You know, I can (and do) emulate the Apple IIGS and IIe on my PC (and Mac, for that matter) with production-quality emulation software. So?

    Would anyone be stupid enough to suggest that a dead platform like the Apple II, even well emulated, gives it a future beyond that of a "novelty project?" I think not.

    Emulated NewtonOS is no different.

  • by rbanffy (584143)
    It will just make Newton's past longer.

    Would an Amiga emulator give Amiga a future? Would an MSX emulator give MSX one? Oops.. There are already Amiga and MSX emulators...

    Sorry, Newton-ers. Life is not fair.
  • When I bought it I knew there would always be plenty of good free software for it because of the huge open source linux community that would be writing apps for it.

    I got to try a Newton a few years ago and I was very impressed with how accurately it could figure out my bad handwriting. I've heard some people say the newton was not good at this, but the one I tried did a hell of a job.

    Now there's an emulator for it I wont have to buy one off ebay just to play around with it some more.
  • I don't know how well the Newt OS compares to modern Zaurus OS, but Newton OS was very good, and it is most likely still suitable to today's needs. The handwriting recognition was good, as were all the pda features. You could record (lots of) voice into it. It would have been useful to people like attorneys organizing recorded testimony. It supported pictures and internet via modem. It had a book reader, which I enjoyed using. Games. Lots of other stuff too.

    The OS is not the reason the product failed
  • People,

    I often recall a commercial about the Totsie Roll Lollipop.
    Kid asks the Owl, 'how many licks does it take to get to the middle of a Totsie Roll Lollipop?'
    And the Owl offers to try it out, he counts"
    (licks lollipop once) One,
    (licks lollipop once) Two,
    (bites lollipop once) Three,

    Now those of you who have reported the death of the Newton OS, or Stated as a fact that the Newton OS is dead are like this Owl...

    Within your finite understanding (everyone including myself fall under this statement - just some
  • Q: How many Newtons does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    A: Foux! There to eat lemons, axe gravy soup.
  • That's a cool hack. Here's another, speaking of the Newton, from an interesting e-mail about porting [umd.edu] one of the early versions of Java to the Newton. See the last paragraph.
  • The way I see things, a system is not dead unless 0 people are using it. Its relative. If 1 person is using a system (I do mean using it... as in not just keeping it around to look at it from time to time), then that system is not dead to that person.

    It makes a lot more sense to say a system or community for a system is dying than that it is dead.

    Newton as a platform has not yet died. It is dying, I feel, in that the size of the community is shrinking (slowly mind you). But there is no pre-determined date o

Last yeer I kudn't spel Engineer. Now I are won.

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