Creativity is just connecting things.
— Steve Jobs

Tag Archives: Newton

50 Things About Me

This blog, founded on June 1, 2004, is written and produced by Matt Binkowski.

Matt and baby Elise

1. I have been happily married for 14 years to my best friend, partner in crime, and all around love of my life.

2. My daughter Elise is perfectly cute, funny and smart as a whip. My baby boy Miles crashed the party on November 29, 2008.

3. I collect old Apple hardware:
– 1 Apple Pippin (Developer’s Edition)
– 1 Emate
– 2 Newtons (130 and 2100)
– 1 Interactive TV Prototype.

4. I started playing guitar when I was age 15.

5. My hollow-body aluminum strat was hand-built by a gifter luthier, Tom Murray.

6. I’ve driven a Wrangler over log piles, shale beaches, large boulders, through flooded trails, on the Rubicon Trail and the Chrysler Proving Grounds.

7. I like to think I’m a good painter and draftsman.

8. My dog lives on a 20 acre ranch in California and I miss him every day.

9. I lost my home, job, friends and savings thanks to the financial collapse in 2009 but somehow we were rescued and my family is okay.

10. I need to be challenged wherever I work.

11. If I’m watching a band is playing at a bar, I get nervous because I’ll feel like I’m up next.

12. My favorite color was blue and now it’s red.

13. I am an Eagle Scout and once won the Summer Camp-wide Archery competition.

14. I think Flash is the least usable application a designer has to deal with.

15. I used to live in California during the big internet boom and I miss that optimistic culture.

16. I rarely use my iPod Newton.

17. I love my iPod iPhone.

18. I find my Newton iPhone more useful than my iPod Newton.

19. I once fell from the roof of my Mom and Dad’s house and I didn’t get hurt.

20. I’ve never broken or sprained anything.

21. I once camped outside for 24 hours while it was 10 degrees below 0.

22. I once played in a band described by the Metro Times as “Detroit’s most offensive hardcore band.”

23. I took that as a compliment.

24. I loved playing in that band because our live shows were so crazy.

25. I painted three life-size oil portraits of my friends for my senior thesis in art school.

26. My college band performed a show in front of AC/DC’s lead singer and 800 high school kids. (it was so odd to see Brian Johnson just 30 feet away from me watching us play.)

27. There’s something comforting to me about a buddy list that makes me think I’m able to keep up with friends.

28. I take other people’s old Macintosh computers when they mention throwing them out because in some weird way it feels wrong.

29. I am determined to create my own OS X iPhone app.

30. I bought a Jeep so I could learn how to take it apart.

31. I hate being bored.

32. I have a good way of being calm in hairy situations.

33. I can’t cook anything except Crazy Pancakes.

34. Even those don’t turn out very well every time.

35. I wish Google Maps was able to send info to my Newton.

36. I’m somewhat addicted to the news, especially during election years.

37. I can’t watch CNN for very long before it stresses me out.

38. I once hiked over 100 miles in 1 week in New Mexico while carrying a backpack that weighed over 40 pounds.

39. I only drive the speed limit when I drive with my family.

40. I can draw Dora the Explorer.

41. I really can’t stand Dora the Explorer. I’m really learning to like Dora now that my daughter is so caught up in the Disney princesses who need to be married in order to “be complete.”

42. I can do all of the Winnie the Pooh voices.

43. I drink too much coffee and not enough water. Too personal? Maybe…

44. My first guitar teacher taught me Puff the Magic Dragon. Then I quit and learned how to play by listening to the radio.

45. The first record I ever bought was Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger.

46. The last record I ever bought was Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger.

47. My favorite movie is Better Off Dead.

48. I have a bad habit of rejecting bands the first time I hear them…and then reject them again a few months later…eventually listening to them religiously about a year down the road.

49. I’ve taken over 8,000 photos and 300 movie clips of my family.

50. I am amazed you made it all the way to the end of this list.

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The Back of Steve’s Mind

From a NYTimes article:

The Apple development team worried constantly that the approach might fail during the years they were creating the iPhone, he said.

“We all had that Garry Trudeau cartoon that poked fun at the Newton in the back of our minds,” he said, citing Doonesbury comic strips that mocked an Apple handwriting-recognition system in 1993. “This thing had to work.”

I Love Local Advertising

The latest issue of X-OLOGY (Spring 2007) ran this ad and it caught my eye:

Not because of the repeating stock photo of the man but because the man at the top of the stack is holding a Newton:

HA! It’s hilarious to see references to Apple’s Newton well after the product was discontinued.

Newton OS Theme

Ok, even though I’m not done with it yet (and have not touched it for months), I figured I might as well put it out there for my pals who use ShapeShifter so you can give me feedback. Maybe when the weather gets cold again, I’ll continue working on it. Hey, it’s not like the Newton OS is gonna get an update any time soon, right? :-) Once I get the hang of using WordPress, I’ll put a permanent link in the nav somewhere.

I would just normally put a direct link to the file but I do not want to exceed my bandwidth limitations. If you want to get a copy of the theme, just click this link and I’ll hook you up with a link to get it.

Shapeshifter Is Addictive

About six months ago, I had a client project that required me to document a system on a PC. Well, being the ultra mac snob that I am, I just couldn’t bear the thought of spending a month sitting in front of a PC for 8-9 hours a day. So, I bought a copy of Shapeshifter and got to work.

If you aren’t familiar with that app, it is very similar to the old OS 9 app Kaleidoscope. It allows you to download free themes and apply them to your entire system in OS X. This means that I was able to make my Mac look like a PC without people being able to notice.

Ever since then, I have been working here and there on my own theme. Who knew it was so time consuming? My theme is based on the Newton interface. I have had some challenges making the Newton theme look convincing under X because the Newton UI just didn’t have as many interface widgets as X does now.

I thought I’d post a few screenshots to show how it is coming along. The main window controls in the System Prefs window are not final…just placeholders. Enjoy.

Safari Bookmarks Menus | Finder menu | System Preferences window | Form Elements | Application Window

The Newton Has Infinite Lives

The WorldWide Newton Conference wrapped up a few days ago and one piece of surprising news came from it. Paul Guyot trotted out a highly cool chunk of the future called Project Einstein.

The Newton platform still rules the roost, but the hardware, while seriously ahead of its time, is becoming too difficult to maintain. Apple no longer supports it and there are literally only one or two people in the entire world who have enough repair knowledge to keep the things going.

Paul is leading the charge to create the first Newton emulator that runs on a Linux/Unix platform. This way, the Newton OS, which is highly object oriented code in C++ can live on using newer hardware. It seems that the Newton 2.1 OS was built to be distributed with third party products, therefore, it is more willing to work with other hardware and add-ons.

I’ve been pretty bad about using my Newt lately. Not because I don’t like it, but because it got to be too much of a hassle carrying the thing around with my laptop bag. If Paul and his team can pull this off, I’d definitely put the OS on a smaller form factor. Go PAUL!

Here are some screenshots of his Newton OS emulator running under OS X:

Einstein 1

Einstein 2

Einstein 3

Under the Newton Microscope

It seems that someone has been doing a little snooping on the small but hearty Newton enthusiasts. The Wired Article basically says that the Newton community has done a better job of extending and shepherding the Newton platform and products better than when it was a supported Apple product.

I have to agree on that one. The NewtonTalk community is surprisingly knowledgeable and organized…so much so that they have created new hardware and software add-ons/hacks to integrate the latest consumer facing technologies like Bluetooth and blog integration.

Another Great Reason to Visit Paris

From hardware repair demonstrations to Bluetooth and XML-RPC connectivity to old school geek-out, the Worldwide Newton Conference is taking place this September in Paris, France.

I really wish I could go but I honestly feel like I’d be quite inferior to other attendees because I’m just not that much of a Newton freak to make the trip. That and the fact that my wife is pregnant. 😉 It should be a cool event. I wonder if anyone will release any new software or hardware hacks for my old green friend.

Just in case you’re wondering, I regularly use my MP2100 and have a MP130. They’re just waiting to be displayed next to my developer’s edition Pippin and eMate 300 in a sweet glass display case (with backlighting for the eMate of course).

Official Worldwide Newton Conference Website

Newtons are SICK

Everyone loves to rag on the old Apple Newton, but some people, including myself, still find it to be worth defending from those rickety Palm Pilot lovers out there. 😉

Today, an ingenious Newton developer released two cool pieces of software for the ‘ol Newt. One is called IC/VC. It allows you to sync your iCal calendar and VCards with your Newton. The other is called Blunt. Blunt is a Bluetooth protocol stack. What does that mean? Now your Newton can wireless communicate with your Bluetooth enabled Mac. It also means that you can have wireless internet access for your Newton using your Mac.