Dave's hot tips for Newton users
©Copyright 1995 David MacNeill
Although commercial applications and shareware utilities can dramatically improve your life with Newton, there's nothing like learning a few nifty techniques to streamline things.
Speedy to-do entry
Once a week or so, go to your Dates file and drag out a half-dozen blank to-do items, all two lines high. Whenever you need to jot down a new item you won't have to fiddle with drawing a straight line, which can be challenging if attempted while playing drums, skiing, holding a child, or after consuming many adult beverages.
Ray-O-Vac Renewal batteries
These rechargeable alkaline batteries are cool. Unlike NiCads, they don't have problems with memory effect or charge dissipation in storage. They last a long time (two weeks in a MessagePad 120), are cheap, and the recharger is small and fast. The only thing wrong with Renewals is that they can be hard to find, although the situation is improving.
Faster Names file access
Always keep at least one name card in your Unfiled folder. After a restart, Newton resets your Names file to show only Unfiled names. If you have no Unfiled names, it takes forever to come up with an empty list. I keep a copy of my own card for quick beaming.
MP 100/110 moon calendar
The 100/110 ROMs have a little improvement to the original Dates application. Tap just above the date in the upper left to see a moon phase indicator.
Letter by letter recognition
MessagePad 100s, 110s, and 120s have the ability to use letter by letter recognition in the Names file or everywhere. The reason it is turned off by default is that Apple feels it slows things down too much. However, this works so well you might as well try it for yourself. Go to your Prefs, choose Recognizers, and check the letter-by-letter recognition box and the everywhere button. This engages both word and letter recognition, improving the recognition accuracy with only a very slight performance degradation.
Newsgroups and Newton
Wondering how to post messages to Internet newsgroups with your Newton? Simply email your message to the <newsgroup Name@cs.utexas.edu>. Be sure to replace any dots in the name to hyphens. For example, to post to the Newton group, mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Thanks to BlaineD on eWorld for this tip).
The growing list of companies that have licensed Newton technology now includes Motorola, Harris, Panasonic, Sharp, Toshiba, Siemens, and Alcatel.
Need Newton programmers?
NewtNews has a list of over 25 Internet based Newton programmers who are interested in working on vertical or horizontal market applications. Please send email to <email@example.com> for more information.
NCK for Windows Patch
Apple has released a Newton Connection Kit for Windows 2.03 Patch that updates the Newton Connection Kit to address the following issues:
1.Equate Spreadsheet Imports
The previous version of the Windows NCK did not allow spreadsheet data to be imported and synchronized with Equate. This problem has been corrected. Importing data with Equate requires translators provided by Holosoft Inc. If you have not received these translators, contact Holosoft at 408-748-9648 or email to <Holosoft@eworld.com>.
2.Names Application on the Marco
On the Motorola Marco, email data fields would not display in the Names overview. This has been fixed so that all data associated with internal apps is now visible within the Overview window. This fix requires new synchronization files to be generated in order to display all data.
UK Newton upgrade program
Clive Girling, Newton Product Manager at Apple UK reports that Apple in the UK has an upgrade/trade-in program for MessagePads:
From OMP .350 (ex VAT) 525
From MP100 .300 (ex VAT) 450
From MP110 .260 (ex VAT) 390
For more information call the help line in the UK at 0800 639866 or the Newton order line (44) 181 730 2048. No official word yet on upgrades to Newton OS version 2.0, but Clive is confident that the current program will continue.
Cool Newton shareware
Wake Up Week 2.7 is an agenda manager for the Newton. WUW allows you to work with your schedule over a fixed time period, ranging from one day to three years. It also lets you file meetings and to-dos, view only those in particular folders, and work with multiple items at a time. WUW 2.7 is compatible with MoreInfo, NotePak, Notion, and DropToDo 2.0. Contact Stand Alone Software at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
NetNames Lite - If you ever find yourself tracing down AppleTalk network cable problems, you simply must get a copy of the shareware package NetNames Lite. Don't let the "lite" appellation scare you; this tool works! Pop a PhoneNet or LocalTalk connector into your Newton's serial port, jack into your network, then run NetNames to look for printers, file servers, routers, QuickMail clients, PowerTalk clients, or Newton Connection Kits. This is an extremely efficient way to locate cable breaks and track down disappearing resources due to extreme cable lengths.
eWorld Access Numbers 1.1 - The handy little Newton book contains all of the 2400bps access numbers for NewtonMail access across the US. Don't leave home without it!
The Totally Incomplete CD-ROM for Newton - Newton shareware junkies will go ape over the new Third Volume of the Totally Incomplete CD-ROM for Newton. This $29 CD-ROM from the Arizona Mac User Group contains more than 220MB of Newton stuff in both Mac and PC format. The packages can be downloaded directly from the CD to your MessagePad. Call AMUG at 602-553-0066 or email to <email@example.com>.
Until next time - Dave.