Apple Newton - A Personal Digital Assistant from 25 years ago

A brief guide by Adafruit on the Apple Newton. It includes info on getting an emulator up and running.

[Some] features of the Newton that were new at the time are common now. Data is stored in databases called soups and programs can access soups from other programs, so the calendar can see contacts in the address book or the notes app can see your calendar appointments. If you’re used to modern iOS or Android that seems like a basic thing, but it was new on the Newton.

The end of the Newton product line coincided with Steve Jobs return to Apple in 1997. Sales had been slow anyway, but Jobs didn’t like the device and famously hated the stylus. He killed it off but held onto the good parts for the iPhone 10 years later.

You can still find plenty of Newtons for sale, the earlier versions are more affordable but the later, more capable ones fetch a few hundred dollars. Luckily there’s an emulator so let’s install that and check it out!

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Not just the first Apple product to use ARM, but the force behind the spin out of ARM as a company, from Acorn:

1990 - ARM is founded as a spin-off from Acorn and Apple, after the two companies started collaborating on the ARM processor as part of the development of Apple’s new Newton computer system.

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