Newton Blog
By Thomas Brand

Thu Aug/18 Extras

No. it doesn’t make much sense. Which is why the cartoonist Garry Trudeau coined this apt (or inept) bit of idiocy to lampoon the original hand-held Newton computer’s difficulty in deciphering handwriting.

After years of helping people with their computers I have found that, like the comic, human expectations and technological capabilities rarely coincide. I started writing Egg Freckles to share my experiences with technology.

Who are you?

My name is Thomas Brand. I dropped out of art school to spend time behind the Genius Bar. Today I work at MIT, and run up hills for fun.

Why an Apple Newton?

Apple’s dud from the 90’s may not seem like an exciting theme for a blog, but the Newton still has a lot to teach us about technology.

  • Newton OS is a document centric operating system that values your data over your apps. When you boot a Newton the first thing you see is last note you wrote and not a screen full of app icons the way most computers work today.
  • The Newton’s handwriting recognition got better and some say matches technology made by Microsoft more than a decade later.
  • Despite being a device developed before its time, the Newton is still beloved and supported by a small community of dedicated users. Thanks to their efforts advancements such as wireless networking made there way onto the Newton long after Apple turned off the lights.

The small print?