[SATLUG] Re: mobile devices with linux
brad at shub-internet.org
Wed Jul 30 01:18:43 CDT 2008
On 7/29/08, pixelnate at gmail.com wrote:
> I was only able to purchase one a couple of years after it was
I've still got a couple of Newtons, and I bought them when they were
new. They were damn bloody expensive. Too expensive. That was one
of their biggest faults -- Apple could never have sold them at
anything remotely resembling any kind of reasonable production
numbers, or with anything resembling any kind of profit.
> They were hella expensive when new. They were game
> changing devices that El Capitan killed when he was brought back into
> the fold. He has made *many* good decisions since returning to Apple,
> but killing the Newton was not one of them.
I disagree. The Newton was much too expensive, and much too large.
You couldn't get the kind of functionality they wanted in a pocket
device at the time, so you had to go with a tablet size instead.
Tablet size electronic devices didn't work for the general market
then, and they don't work for the general market today.
Moreover, Apple was not in the position to be able to go into
vertical markets like healthcare, where thousands of hospitals across
the world could afford to buy hundreds of units at thousands or tens
of thousands of dollars each, all to run their critical custom
software that has to be implemented on portable clipboard-like
Palm was able to prove that you could do a smaller and simpler device
that would do the easy 80%, and cost a hell of a lot less to boot.
That harder 20% just had to wait a few years, until mobile CPUs got
fast enough and batteries advanced to the point where they could
deliver a lot more power over time.
I don't think Apple would ever have tried to go that direction,
precisely because it meant throwing away most of what had been
developed for the Newton. So, their option was to kill the Newton or
to keep it alive, but they couldn't have made the kind of radical
changes that Palm showed were actually the way that things needed to
go at the time.
> Contrary to what he says,
> the stylus is not dead and handwriting recognition (the good kind like
> on the Newton, not all attempts since) is the killer app. Crappy
> onscreen keyboards are a major step backwards from natural handwriting.
Styluses get lost, and they get screwed up. They actually are a bad
physical interface for humans, and you're much better off being able
to completely change the electronic interface so that you can get a
better paradigm for a physical interface that works much better for
Apple has been able to do a lot of that so far (because they own the
OS and the hardware), and everyone else in the business is continuing
to try to chase Apple's tail.
Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>
LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>
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