[NTLK] First Newton

Forrest Buffenmyer newton_phoenix at mindspring.com
Wed Feb 3 02:25:07 PST 2021

My first Newton was an OMP, and sadly my time with it was brief.

It was 1995 and I was traveling to Las Vegas and all over Arizona with a Route Sales job I had. There was a daily need for a way to schedule dates that also included phone numbers and addresses, and personal notes. I carried around many scraps of paper with this information scribbled on it in my wallet, making it look like George Costanza’s wallet (from the TV show “Seinfeld”— http://images.smh.com.au/2011/09/20/2637229/vid-thumb-wallet.jpg ). Eventually every week or so I would copy this information into an small address book I had.

This was tedious. One day I was in an office supply store and happened to see a Royal “Personal organizer”, bundled with a calculator. This thing was great! I could put all my numbers in there, plus it had a scheduler and even an alarm clock for my hotel rooms!

A friend saw me using it and asked what it was. I replied and showed it to him. He commented, “My wife got me something like that a couple of years ago. I tried using it for awhile but the display got all messed up. It supposedly does far more than that thing. You can have it, maybe you can fix it.”

It was a Newton OMP with a bad case of the “Jaggies”. Somehow I seemed to instinctively know that the problem lie in the case’s contact with the display, and soon I had it apart, cleaned it, and got it to power up properly.

I did not have a lot of time on the weekends to copy all the information from the Royal to the OMP—the Royal, being a simple tool, had no way to connect to a computer, so direct sync was not possible. So I would spend an hour each night in my hotel room manually copying over the information. I did not get to spend much other time with it.

I had some paid time off from work, and a co-worker who was running my route asked if he could borrow it, since it had information that he could use while traveling there. Turns out, he was having girlfriend problems, and he never came back to work, subsequently also moving out of his apartment. In our last communication he said he was convinced that she was “stalking” him. I did not realize that would mean he would cut ties with everyone to escape her. So, there went my OMP.

Years went by and I grew infatuated with a Sharp Zaurus ZX5800. (Of course I did not know it was a mere shadow of the OMP, but since I had not more fully explored it I could not have known that. And, the pain of the loss of the OMP and how it all happened endured.) This continued for several years until I grew enamored with an HP iPaq rx3715. I really liked this little guy, even though it had WinCE on it—ugh.

Finally, in 2009, I was browsing through eBay when I happened upon a listing for a MessagePad 2100. It looked much different than I remembered the OMP’s appearance. I was no longer traveling so I didn’t need a “constant companion”, but I was intrigued. After just a little thought I made that purchase. I did not realize it would include—surprise!—another OMP.

(The person who sold me those Newtons might be reading this right now. If so, thank you so much.)

Naturally it soon became almost a part of my right hand. So much inside, to learn and to explore! Since then I got a few more—modified the crystal on one for the Overclocked Newton, others are spares.

Thanks to Noah’s excellent film (and this List) I was able express my love and joy of Newton ownership, and to see and “meet” others who loved the Newton as I did, have, and do.


Sent from my iPad Pro 9.7"

> On Feb 3, 2021, at 12:13 AM, B <kosmicdollop at saber.net> wrote:
> Well said, INDEED!
> B
> Dan wrote:
>> [2100..] Still the best after all these years later…  It is sad no one can come up with something similar these days.  The hardware is vastly better, but the software is no where close (Moreinfo, DateMan, or Alarm Pack for example).  And all the great additions for the notepad or Names.
>> -Dan
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