[NTLK] First Newton

Joel M. Sciamma joel at inventors-emporium.co.uk
Thu Feb 4 14:03:58 PST 2021

As someone who longed for a better computer than existed in the 70s, the arrival of the Mac was like a huge boost and a massive relief that progress was finally being made. I sunk what was then a small fortune on the first Macs into the UK and was captivated by it.

That lead me to follow every move that Apple made and be an advocate for GUIs in a world of command lines. I was very interested in the stories that began to appear in the computing press about the Newton, before and when it was launched. However, it was pretty expensive and I had not yet been able to handle one to get any tangible impressions.

At that time I was working with a firm of solicitors in London developing FileMaker databases for them, something that is still at the core of my business. One such was commissioned to record the details of aircraft incidents and was the first to use multimedia as part of the records collected in support of legal investigations.

This database was entered, by the practice, for an IT award and, amazingly, it won and the prize was an OMP. Knowing my fascination for all things Apple, my colleague gave it to me, something I will always remember with fondness about her.

I was captivated all over again and I really desired to integrate it completely into my life. It became the focus of intense fascination and great affection. What a ride it has been for this little device to have connected me to this community and to expand my perceptions of what a computer can be and just how personal it can become.

The iPad Pro on which I am writing this message is a vastly superior machine in every measurable way but the charm and elegance of the Newton? This it does not have.


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