16 March 2008

Smug Newton Weenie

This past week I've been wallowing in nostalgia as I re-familiarize myself with the Newton's development environment and take a fresh look at code I wrote for the platform a dozen years ago. It's got me thinking more about the joys of small languages, and the clever hacks that enabled such an advanced GUI and applications to run on such a lightweight platform. Also, at the runtime implementation for dynamic language like this, compiled as byte codes.

I'm happy to say that I I have wireless e-mail working via my home wireless network on two MessagePad 2100s, using Simon Bell's excellent Mail V, an IMAP/POP client that integrates nicely with the Newton's built-in Inbox/Outbox program, and a couple of Lucent WaveLan cards running Hiroshi Noguchi's driver. I can even send myself big JPEG files. This is my extremely geeky equivalent of carrying around family photos in my wallet, although the 2100 only displays a few gray levels:

Interestingly, after ten days of experimentation the 4 AA batteries powering my 2100 unit still have juice left, although they are starting to fade. The 2000/2100 were a very interesting advance, because they were far faster than their predecessors the 110/120/130, yet lasted longer on the same batteries.

I hope you find this at least marginally interesting. Not everyone around me is as interested as I am in the joys of old technology, as this doodle illustrates...

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