Newton

What did you think about Newton Technology?

in
Question from E-mail

What did you think about Newton Technology? I would like to know that.

Woz

I always thought that computing devices should be smart and do things for us. The Newton has the smarts to read normal handwriting and to figure out handwritten commands like "Sara dentist tomorrow 11 AM". It's also more like a computer in a small package. Maybe PDA's aren't worth enough in people's lives to need a mini-computer. The pocketable Palm Pilot is more a modern Sharp Wizard, but it came at the right time, when everyone who'd want it had a computer. It's big step was easy synchronization. Too bad the Newton didn't have this. The eMate did have easy file transfer over IR.

I loved taking notes for hours on my Newton. I'll miss that the most. It's screen was large enough for this. It will probably be a long time before I have that good a notetaking tool based on handwriting.

There are probably many more things to say. I tried the Newton 3 times througout it's life and it only stuck at the end, with the MessagePad 2100. It was finally good enough in some ways that had bothered me before.

The Newton eMate

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Question from E-mail

Is is true that you were a big fan of the Newton eMate?

What's your opinion regarding the discontinuation of the Newton platform?

Woz

The eMate solved a lot of problems that I had for years teaching 5th graders with PowerBooks. It survived rough treatment and drops, the way a laptop shoud. It didn't have constant hardware and sofware failures. It was easy to do many of the things students have to do in class. It was even easier than any computer to transfer files between students and teachers, with "Send" and "Receive" buttons that worked. Sort of like the simple syncronization of the Palm Pilot that made it so accepted.

Thinking about the prior customers as part of our loyal family, we should have been more loyal to them. Apple should not have discontinued the slightly profitable line until someone was found to license the technology to, even if for free. That way, some other company or companies could support it and provide replacements for the future, even if the Newton and it's great technologies weren't right for Apple to continue with.

Did Steve Get Along with...

in
Question from E-mail

In the Pirates of Silicon Valley it appeared that Mike and Steve didnt get along too well.... What was their relationship in real life like??? Same question for Steve and John Sculley.

Woz

Mike and Steve got along very well, up until Steve was demoted and the board, including Mike, supported John Sculley. They conversed well and shared similar and constructive thoughts about ways to change the world and to do important things. Mike was the portrayed in the movie in a very inaccurate and unfair way, making it look like he was financially shrewd. Actually, he was intellectually open and contributing and, more than anyone else, he ran and structured the company in the early days, while Steve floated around getting his feet wet at running a company and learning to be a top executive. John Sculley was like Mike in the sense that Steve saw him open to great thoughts, although not as astute in our business. But John was largely Steve's shadow in areas of where we should go with products. Eventually, John was more concerned with the total company operation and keeping things going while Steve wanted to keep advancing on the future, company and profits or not, in his own internally conceived directions. Actually, John Sculley promoted technologies like AppleTalk and PowerTalk and QuickTime and PlainTalk and the Newton. He was very supportive of the rare technical geniuses in the company. He was not just a "marketeer" who dressed things up in colors. Any downfalls in the company that weren't coincidence were probably due more to his marketing mishaps (like not licensing the Macintosh technology in early days) than to hardware ones. This is only my opinion and is based largely on only a few indirect contacts.