Macworld 2008: Tablet? Mac Touch? Let’s pay homage to the Apple Newton

Next week sees Steve Jobs on stage giving his Macworld 2008 keynote. Some things are obvious (new Mac Pro announcement this week shows machines starting at $2,798 so there’s a huge gap to be filled below it, probably with a midlevel, headless machine) and rumor speculation is rampant with an ultraportable Mac near the top of the list.

I still have an Apple Newton with an Apple fixed asset tag on it (they didn’t want it back when I left the company in 1999). While I didn’t like it well enough to have paid money for it (even with my employee discount), the handwriting recognition in the 2.0 software was excellent and not rivaled for several years until Microsoft debuted the Tablet PC.

In the spirit of yesterday’s post of how slooowly things move — and that each of us should be grateful and amazed by how far we’ve come in such a short time — let’s pay a little homage to the Newton by viewing this getting started video for the device. Seeing how archaic it seems today will surely make you appreciate the ease-of-use of a touch-enabled iPhone or iPod Touch all the more and get you ready for whatever “one more thing” happens next Tuesday.

I bet it will be “touchy”.

Getting Started with Apple Newton

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  1. Tim Elliott on January 11, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    I was one of the customers who actually paid money for a Newton… a MessagePad 100, no less (yes, I was an uber-early adopter back then). Still have it on my desk and it still works.

    I didn’t get a later model as I met with former Apple CEO John Sculley at a German trade fair in the summer of 1995. He had a Palm Pilot. Probably should have had him sign that Newton as I’d get more than $20 on eBay today 😉

    Thanks for the walk down geek memory lane, Steve.

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.