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comment by goobster

Apple Newton

In 1993 Slovakia separated from the Czech Republic to form two separate countries, while Bosnia and Serbia were at war, and Jurassic Park hit the theaters at the same time as Sleepless in Seattle, and the Hubble telescope got fixed by the Space Shuttle Endeavor crew.

NCSA Mosaic is released, and the very first web sites began to appear on the World Wide Web. Most people won't even have their first experience with the web until 1997, when AOL first allowed users out of their "walled garden", and would let them load web pages from other non-AOL web sites.

Meanwhile, Apple released a handheld computer with an enormous screen, handwriting recognition, and great battery life.

It was, in every way, a completely revolutionary product. The inevitable issues with any sort of handwriting recognition got overblown by a couple of high-profile detractors (Garry Trudeau of Doonesbury fame, for one), and the image of the product never recovered.

But it was amazing. And brilliant. It was a platform, with extensible capabilities, like electronic forms and email and open apps that allowed you to build stuff. I remember it being used in the medical field instead of doctors writing on clipboards, and it was transformative.

The wikipedia article I linked to above goes in to a bunch of detail about the legacy of the Newton... and how much of the technology we use in our smartphones today, either first appeared on the Newton, is built upon Newton tech, or built by the people who made the Newton happen.

Without the Newton, we would still be using Blackberries today, and thinking they were hot shit cutting edge tech.




bfv  ·  85 days ago  ·  link  ·  

If Newtonscript rather than Javascript had been enough people's introduction to prototype-instance, you might be able to say "prototype-instance" without everyone in the room shuddering.