Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 6th Aug 2013 17:55 UTC, submitted by MOS6510
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

In product lore, high profile gadgets that get killed are often more interesting than the ones that succeed. The Kin, the HP TouchPad, and the Edsel are all case studies in failure - albeit for different reasons. Yet in the history of those killings, nothing compared to the Apple Newton MessagePad. The Newton wasn't just killed, it was violently murdered, dragged into a closet by its hair and kicked to death in its youth by one of technology’s great men. And yet it was a remarkable device, one whose influence is still with us today. The Ur tablet. The first computer designed to free us utterly from the desktop.

'First' is debatable, but this was definitely an interesting product. It was far too complex though, and the simpler, more focussed Palm Pilot then showed the market how mobile computing ought to work - something Apple took to heart a decade later with the iPhone.

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RE[3]: Comment by tupp
by tupp on Tue 6th Aug 2013 19:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by tupp"
tupp
Member since:
2006-11-12

Thank you for that link.

I went through the history time line on that page, and there seems to be some significant omissions.

Most notably, the Sony PTC series of PDAs is not included. Here is the Sony PTC-300, which preceded the Newton by 2 years (1991): http://www.sony.net/Fun/design/history/product/1990/ptc-300.html

I think that there was version prior to the PTC-300.

Here is a video of the later PTC-310: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NXttjc--Us

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE[4]: Comment by tupp
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 6th Aug 2013 19:15 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by tupp"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Yes, but it wasn't "successful".

Just pre-empting the response.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by tupp
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 6th Aug 2013 20:27 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by tupp"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Its wikipedia, if you feel its inaccurate, fix it.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by tupp
by MOS6510 on Wed 7th Aug 2013 06:04 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by tupp"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Sony themselves describe it as a precursor to the PDA.

What is claimed in the article is that the MessagePad was the first PDA, which it easily is because Apple coined the term themselves.

Sure, there were earlier devices we'd describe as PDA's, but then it was an unknown term.

It's just a name and this reveals where it came from.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by tupp
by TM99 on Wed 7th Aug 2013 06:54 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by tupp"
TM99 Member since:
2012-08-26

So really what you are saying is that others had created the PDA, but since Apple 'invented' the term PDA, then we must ignore the prior art & development. Instead we must acknowledge that he who invents the 'word' invents the 'object'.

This is the problem I continuously have with modern Apple fans. The 'Reality Distortion Field' concept describe perfectly this phenomena. Apple was and continues to be an expert at marketing and using words in such a way as to distort the actual reality of a situation and to make it seem like they were first, better, etc.

I know this to be truth because I have watched this behavior for a very long time. I was a preteen before the Apple I was even out. This was how Apple survived once the PC & Windows gained ascendancy. You can't compete on 'Mhz speed' so you distort this reality into things like the G4 being a super computer and use words like gigaflops (which by the way we all know the average Joe user has no idea what that is) but the faithful fell for it then and they fall for it now.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[5]: Comment by tupp
by puenktchen on Wed 7th Aug 2013 10:27 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by tupp"
puenktchen Member since:
2007-07-27

What is claimed in the article is that the MessagePad was the first PDA, which it easily is because Apple coined the term themselves.


That's not what the article claims, it just says "it was Apple's PDA" and that they coined that term. The claim is something quite different:

The Ur tablet. The first computer designed to free us utterly from the desktop.


And I'd say that's correct. I wouldn't even call the Newton a PDA because the success of the Palm Pilot defined what we expect from a PDA and the Newton is just to big to be a PDA from that perspective. But it is what we call a tablet today, not only the form factor but also the basic functionality. And I'm quite sure that no other product from that time is really comparable.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by tupp
by tupp on Wed 7th Aug 2013 17:44 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by tupp"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

What is claimed in the article is that the MessagePad was the first PDA, which it easily is because Apple coined the term themselves.

Really? Did Apple coin "PDA" before or after they coined the term "app?"

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by tupp
by RobG on Thu 8th Aug 2013 12:03 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by tupp"
RobG Member since:
2012-10-17

By that token Smalltalk was the first object-oriented language, because it was the first to use the term, even though Simula already has classes, instances, virtual methods, etc.

Coining a name for something does not imply invention.

Reply Parent Score: 2