close this bookVolume 3: No. 38
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View the documentApple Newton
View the documentProgramming environments
View the documentSoftware risks
View the documentCI group rate

Newton programmers can tune in on comp.sys.newton.announce, comp.sys.newton.misc, and comp.sys.newton.programmer. It has been reported that Newton word recognition improves to 90% after a week of training -- partly Newton's learning, partly the user learning how to write for Newton. ("Call John" is often recognized as "Kill John," which looks a bit odd on your to-do list.) Cursive works better than block printing. Apple is distributing upgraded software (1.04); Sharp's clone -- at $100 less -- is shipping with current software but may be updated less frequently. MessagePad sales have been strong, at 10,000 units plus back orders. AST, Compaq, and others are planning to offer PDAs, and EO is sharply cutting the price of its bulky unit. One view of Newton is that it will provide a single interface to all kinds of scientific and consumer electronics, including pagers, digital cameras, map databases, and global position locators. (Microsoft is targeting Windows for the same niche.) Dataquest estimates sales at 70K this year, then 350K and 850K in 1994-5. Others worry that the market will collapse until in-the-store handwriting recognition improves. [Bill Park, 9/16/93. Also Kathy Rebello, BW, 9/27/93, p. 48.]

Over 25 developers have announced applications and databases for the Newton MessagePad. Products include wireless communications, email, teleprompting and presentation aids, outlining, drawing, special-purpose calculators and spreadsheets, scheduling, contact management, time/expense tracking and billing, sports analysis, health care, sales force automation, finance, office productivity, education, real estate, and travel. Over 2,000 developers have expressed interest. [Alan Coopersmith (, comp.sys.newton.announce, 9/14/93.]

Bill Park has been asking Apple developers about the claimed intelligence in Newton's operating system. Fred Tou says that Newton has a template-matching engine and arbitration mechanism for deciding what actions to take. Rule-based programming can be done declaratively. [, 9/15/93.]

A Newton FTP/Gopher archive is available at ( Free and shareware applications are in /pub/newton/software/app and /pub/newton/source/code; commercial announcements are in /pub/newton/thirdparty; and user help is in /pub/newton/helpline. Send submissions to /pub/incoming or to Rob Bruce ( [Newton Archive Digest, comp.sys.newton.announce, 9/16/93.]

A WWW server for Newton documents has been implemented at: [Chuck Shotton (, comp.sys.newton.announce, 9/15/93.]