February 27, 2023

An Eventual Apple Fan

25 years ago I was a very different Apple fan1. I was a Newton fan.

Before the PowerBook G3, iBook, iMac, OSX, iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc. Apple was, well, boring. The one thing that was cool for me, was the Newton MessagePad and the eMate. I wrote about my love for Newton, about a decade ago. And when I update my list of top Apple products, my Newton MessagePad 2100 will still be among the top products.

Going back to February 1998, I was a high-school senior then. The Matrix movie was still a year away from release, but already tech geeks had become a peculiar class in the social structure, specially in an all-male school like mine. I was the only one in my cohort, which made me extra peculiar. All this preface is to try to understand how I survived using an Apple Newton as my notebook in 1998.

Just like fans of Game of Thrones Books would find themselves alone without a tribe after reading about the Red Wedding in 2002, I was hurt when I read the news about Newton’s demise. And nobody — other than my Dad — could even make sense of my grief.

How could an amazing device such my Newton MessagePad 2100 be condemned to such a fate? Who the hell did Steve Jobs thought he was?

I now believe that by removing Newton as a distraction, the Apple resurgence was made possible. Which led to many other products I love. But none like that original love.

  1. In a way, I was actually a Newton Inc. fan , which had been spun-off in May 1997, before↩︎

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