Meet the loyal Newton fans who keep the device alive and kicking

Keeping the light on. A group of enthusiasts who keep their Apple Newtons aglow.
Keeping the light on. A group of enthusiasts who keep their Apple Newtons aglow.
Photo: Adam Tow

Cult of Mac 2.0 bugGrant Hutchinson has never owned an iPad. He does, however, own some 15-dozen Newton devices, a few of which he uses every day to help manage tasks, a schedule and software clients.

Why would Hutchinson cling to and even rely on a clunky obsolete digital message pad, an Apple failure so big it inspired f-bomb rage in Steve Jobs and a week’s worth of damning Doonesbury comic strips?

Hutchinson is just one of a few thousand people worldwide who collect and even use Apple’s first mobile computing device, discontinued in 1998 after a number of incarnations over a rocky five-year run.

How nerds make Apple Watch look even cooler

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watchOS 2.2 beta 3 is ready for your watch.
watchOS 2.2 beta 3 is ready for your watch.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch owners have had some time to play around with the wearable’s custom faces since the feature launched with watchOS 2, and some creative tech and sci-fi fans have come up with delightfully nerdy ways to spruce up their devices.

A few users have taken to making specially formatted faces that showcase their love of games, movies, and TV shows, but the really enterprising ones have found ways to include coordinated Apple Watch bands into their designs.

Here are some of the coolest ones we’ve tracked down.

Sculley: Steve & I Had A Terrific Relationship; If Anyone’s Going To Revolutionize TV, It’ll Be Apple

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1984 --- Steve Jobs and John Sculley --- Image by Ed Kashi/CORBIS
1984 --- Steve Jobs and John Sculley --- Image by Ed Kashi/CORBIS

John Sculley, a former Apple CEO who was at the helm of the Cupertino company between 1983 and 1993, has no doubts that it can revolutionize the television set. If anyone’s going to change the experience and the “first principles” of TV, Sculley told the BBC in a recent interview, it’s going to be Apple.

Ad Archeology: Apple’s First Tablet, The Newton

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post-27719-image-67ab71d96756cc55d0d340e5db49d276-jpg

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQhUEYvEl3c

It’s retro-future time again at Cult of Mac. These ads, circa 1993, for the ill-starred PDA the Newton sound a lot like the all-singing, all dancing expectations of portable computing expected at tomorrow’s tablet announcement.

Some of the salient claims from the  “Who is Newton?” ad:

“Newton talks to fax machines, laser printers to telephones  (NB – a landline) and computers!”

And remember, the Newton is for “All you mobile professionals who like cool stuff.”

While the “Where is Newton?” spot promised portability and connectivity on the go:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3ITn5LBU5A

“Newton can get you from the urban jungle to the nearest hamlet…You can send a letter or a memo and faxes from places where there are no fax machine. Newton is everywhere and that’s not a bad place to be.”

And when the Newton did not live up to expectations — handwriting recognition being one of the big flaws in attempting to send faxes from outpost gas stations as per the ad — here’s what one crystal-ball gazing analyst told the New York Times in 1995:

“In the long run there is no doubt people will carry around small computers much like pagers today,” said Amy Wohl, president of Wohl Associates, a Narberth, Pa., consulting group. “But it’s still not clear that Apple will be one of the major providers of these systems.”