Apple's Newton Just Won't Drop

by Volker Weber

newton3.gifIn January, Jonathan Wise's Handspring Visor organizer died, so he decided to get a different handheld. After shopping around, he found a machine that did it all: Web, e-mail, calendar and address book, but it could also recognize ordinary, cursive handwriting that wasn't as awkward as graffiti. Wise, a Web developer from Ontario, Canada, was impressed by the handheld's hardware: a big, clear screen; two PC card slots; external memory support; and long battery life.

It can connect to Macs, PCs and Unix machines, as well as all kinds of networks, from wireless WiFi networks to the new, always-on GPRS cell-phone nets. It streams MP3s off the Net and can read headlines aloud that have been automatically fetched from online news sites.

What is this amazing machine? The latest sleek Clié from Sony, or a skunkworks Pocket PC yet to hit the market? No, it's the granddaddy of them all: Apple's Newton, which is still going strong despite being discontinued by Apple in 1998.

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