Friday, November 2, 2007

Nov. 1, 2007: Newton syncs with iMac

Sometimes, geek dreams really do come true.

First, some background: I bought an Apple Newton - the first PDA ever invented - almost a year ago, just to play around with it. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to sync it to my Macs. The Newton uses an old serial cable that no one uses anymore.

Then I found a serial-to-USB adapter, but then the Newton's batteries ran dead, with no hope of recharge. So I bought some Sanyo Eneloop pre-charged batteries, and have finally been having some fun with the MessagePad 110.

And for the past few days, I've dug the adapter out and tried syncing it with my laptop and my iMac - with no luck. Then, tonight...

Whala. There it was.

The technical stuff is a little complicated, but long-story-short, I messed around with the hookup settings late tonight and finally, my Newton and iMac are talking.

It's a shame I have to use OS 9 to do everything (my iBook doesn't like the adapter), but now I can do anything, like add events to my Newton calender:

Or names and contact info to my address book:

But the point is, now I have my circa-1993, pre-iPhone organizer up and running:

Now, what to do with it?

That's almost a non-issue. The point is, I got it running, and can control it with other means rather than the handwriting recognition software.

Who needs an iPhone?*

*Last sentence was a joke, totally not serious, made by author who was up too late working on his dorky, obsolete pet project while dreaming of midgets in rainbow jumpsuits doings lines of coke off iPod Nanos. Disregard. Carry on.

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