[NTLK] First Newton

Jeff Sheldon jeffsheldon at gmail.com
Tue Feb 2 06:38:53 PST 2021

My original Newton, an OMP later upgraded via Apple (over a series of
months) to a 100, was one I picked up from a guy in 1994 and which was
advertised in the newspaper.  He alleged that he had bought two, one for
him and one for his girlfriend, and that his girlfriend wasn't interested
in it.  I went to to pick it up with a friend and still somewhat recall how
odd the situation was.

We arrived at an apartment and the guy who opened the door was dressed in a
very early-90s US business outfit (slacks, button-down, odd pattern).  His
trophy girlfriend with high-volume hair was present and stayed quiet the
entire time, but nearby and watchful.  A "Tommy Gun" machine was propped
against the wall in one corner.  I had never seen a Newton up close before,
but it was a good deal for a still-boxed unit and I couldn't wait to buy it
and take it home.  He was pretty insistent to step through everything to
show nothing was missing, etc., even though I had already committed to
paying for it.

When I returned home with it, I think I stayed up all night tapping and
navigating through this very new experience.  By morning it felt very
natural and understandable.  I recall performing system updates over modem
and downloading software via eWorld at the time.  When Apple had a
promotional offer for a free metal-cast stylus, I jumped on that as well.
A really magical time in computing for me and one I was fully engulfed in.

About a year ago, I came across the OMP in a box of Newton equipment I had
in storage and everything came to a stop.  I took the moment to remove it
from its faux-leather pouch and what should have been a moment of nostalgia
turned into one of disappointment.  Even being in storage and climate
control, the stress points of the pouch against the Newton rubber-ish
coating led to blemishing all over.

Sometimes you can't go back, but the memories remain.


On Tue, Feb 2, 2021 at 7:52 AM Noah Leon <moosefuel at gmail.com> wrote:

> Today a friend of mine sent me a special tracking number.
> The very first Newton that I ever had, and which started it all, I
> received around 1997. I purchased it from a college professor (not my
> professor, since I was in high school or junior high, my memory is a bit
> foggy) for $15 (to this day I have no clue why he sold it so cheap). He had
> listed it in the Playstation games section of the local (paper)
> classifieds. I couldn’t drive yet, so my dad had to drive me out to pick it
> up in Calgary, where we lived. I used to play games and attempt to write on
> it long into the night (with a good reading light, since it didn’t have a
> backlight). We didn’t have internet at the time so I would have to download
> packages at my grandmother’s house over 14.4 dialup.
> I later gave the Newton, an OMP, to a friend, who just recently found it
> in a box. He’s sending it back to me.
> That got me thinking, does anyone else have a special Newton that got them
> “hooked”?
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