Merry Christmas, TeleReaders!

Odd as it might seem, there are some people who would probably not care to find a shiny new iPhone or iPod Touch under their Christmas tree. Even if the rest of the world might consider them obsolete, there is a small but devoted cadre of Apple Newton fans who continue to use and upgrade their Newtons in their day-to-day life ten years after it stopped being made.

The Gadgeteer has an interview with Marisa Giancarla, who runs the pulp fiction e-book site (redirects to She continues to use the Newton in her daily life for such tasks as “checking email, making sketches and taking notes. She is also working on a Newtonscript-based e-book reader for the Newton, but notes that “the fact that connectivity software is so spotty [makes it] quite a project.”

When asked how she would compare the Newton to the iPhone, she says that a comparison between two tablet-like devices from the same company is a natural temptation—but since the iPhone does not include a stylus and handwriting recognition, the basis for comparison is actually fairly slim.

My ideal device would be something like an iPhone or G1 but with a screen the size of the Newton 2100 or slightly larger. It is a testament to the design of the Newton that 10 years later it is still a useful device…

Related: TeleRead also looked briefly at Newton nostalgia 5 years ago. In July of this year, David Rothman compared Apple tablet rumors to the Newton of yore, and in November I mentioned Ars Technica‘s look at an Apple tablet patent (which Ars called a “neo-Newton”). More recently, Charlie Stross brought up the Newton in his journal entry on literary closure and the death of the PDA.

(And contrast this post wherein Paul Biba complained that Palm’s plan to introduce a new operating system renders the Palms of the last 3 or 4 years “obsolete".)

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TeleRead Editor Chris Meadows has been writing for us--except for a brief interruption--since 2006. Son of two librarians, he has worked on a third-party help line for Best Buy and holds degrees in computer science and communications. He clearly personifies TeleRead's motto: "For geeks who love books--and book-lovers who love gadgets." Chris lives in Indianapolis and is active in the gamer community.


  1. This may have been covered in teh reviews, but I really enjoyed the fact that someone praising the Newton mentioned that a friend on his put batteries in a newton years after he put it in a drawer and the meeting notices were still there…. and the palm and MS equivlants were obviously erased.

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