From Pen Computing Magazine, August 1995

Newton Notes

©Copyright 1995 David MacNeill

Lithium batteries
If you use a MessagePad 110 or 120, you must try Eveready lithium AA cells. They cost twice a much as alkalines but last three times longer. I used a set in my MP120 and got five weeks of heavy use out of them. They are also very light compared to alkalines or nicads, making your Newton noticeably easier to carry. Two drawbacks: They can sometimes be hard to find when you need them in a hurry except at camera counters, and when lithium cells finally die the Newton gives you very little notice before total shutdown into backup battery mode. You can solve both problems by carrying an extra set. I have been unable to locate AAA versions of lithium batteries for users of MessagePad Classic and MP100 users. If you find a source please contact me at the email address above and I will print the information here.

Bigger NewtonMail message size
Apple’s eWorld has upped the size of email messages coming from the Internet and routed to your Newton device via NewtonMail. Until recently any message over 6K in size was chopped up into small, inconvenient chunks to conserve memory in older MessagePads and ExperPads. Apple claims that now very few of the NewtonMail messages you receive from the Internet will be split into multiple messages. The new size limit is a relief for those of us who use the Newton as an email communicator. They said that users who do not receive all their incoming messages can still retrieve them via the Macintosh eWorld client application in the Opened Mail box in the eWorld Mail Center.

Newton Supported Printers
From the Apple Tech Info Library

What printers are supported by current Newton MessagePad, Sharp ExpertPad, MessagePad 100, MessagePad 110, Apple MessagePad 120, Motorola Marco? With the purchase of the Newton Print Pack, hundreds of popular parallel printers are supported. The following Apple printers are directly supported without the Print Pack:

Non-Apple, networkable laser printers may work with the Newton, however these have not been tested by Apple Computer. The following Apple printers are not supported:

Non-Apple printers used with the Macintosh computer that require a serial connection, or are not laser printers, such as the Hewlett-Packard DeskWriter are not supported.

Cool Newton Shareware
by Innovative Computer Solutions is a neat little hack for users of the excellent Graffiti recognizer. It places a little "G" button next to the close box on the standard floating keyboard that calls up Graffiti. It also modifies the Graffiti window to include two additional buttons, a close box and a zoom box. The latter shrinks the text entry window to its smallest possible size which recovers screen space and looks very cool. Neat, simple, small, and indispensible.

NameStart by Ben Gottlieb fixes a very silly thing in the Newton ROM. After every restart the Names application defaults to listing only unfiled names. If you have only one or two name cards left unfiled it can take several long minutes for the Names app to launch. Annoying. NameStart allows you to patch the system so that the Names opens up to show all names in either full overview, half overview, card, or card and notes view. Brilliant!

DontAsk by Steve Weyer is a refreshing little bit of software that solves an annoying Newton interface problem. All it does is adds a little round button on the Newton’s floating keyboard that toggles the "Add this to your word list?" alert. If you are writing a lot of unusual words this alert can drive you nuts. Now I just tap the DontAsk button for a much quieter typing experience. Apple, are you listening? Don’t type on your Newton device without DontAsk.

-David MacNeill