I’m completely boggled when supposedly smart people continue in their attempt to reinvent the wheel. Especially when it’s a wobbly wheel in the first place. Yet another pen-based text input system has been developed, this time by the folks over at Carnegie Mellon University’s Human Computer Interaction Institute (a fancy name for a place that studies what happens when ordinary people can’t figure out how things work). The EdgeWrite system uses a square template which is laid over the usual touchpad portion of a PDA, the same area normally used for Graffiti input. While I understand the concept of making input of standard character an easier process for those you have motor impairments, that EdgeWrite is touted as better than Graffiti for users without those same impairments is laughable if only for the fact that the Newton’s built-in handwriting recognition blows any shape-derived input system out of the water. I experienced a particularly good giggle when I read the following passage from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article Text With An Edge: “…the system also could help any user of a PDA who is trying to write while walking or riding in a vehicle – people with so-called situational impairments.” Heh. I think the impairment is called ‘trying to do too many things at once…’
The weekly New York Times Magazine includes a column by Rob Walker entitled Consumed. The theme of the column generally involves discussing how particular products affect consumers. The product in focus this week just happens to be our little green friend, and that’s a good thing. Mr Walker paints an appropriately rosy picture of the Newton and the community which supports it in The Old New Thing. Note that access to the article on the The New York Times site requires free registration.
I started messing around with some of the new Blogger template tags the other day and darn it all if I didn’t go ahead and add comments to the news page. You can leave comments on news items dating back to June of this year. Unfortunatelty, Blogger will not accomodate comments for items posted prior to to when the new features went live on their system. No matter… that’s all old news anyway, right? On the bright side, every single news item now has it’s very own archive page, making permalinking that much more enjoyable. Go ahead and give it a go. Let me know what you think.
The always pleasant Adam Tow suggested that I make mention of this recent Slashdot article which discusses the repercussions of last month’s World Wide Newton Conference and the work on the Einstein Emulator project. As with all Slashdot posts, the usual plethora of nerdish bantering ensues.
It’s non-stop service improvement weekend here at the Newted Community. The maximum individual message size for email accounts has been bumped up from 2MB to 10MB. This change was implemented due to specific user complaints about the occasional message getting bounced because of the size of an attachment. Quite frankly, 2MB isn’t that big of a file attachment in this day and age. Heck, just opening Microsoft Word creates 2MB worth of temp files for a blank document. Needless to say, if you currently have an Newted Associates account with a total storage size of 10MB, you will not be able to receive more than one message of the new maximum size before your account is full. But hey, that’s sounds like a perfect excuse to migrate your Associates account up to Founders level, which includes 50MB of server space.
Taking advantage of a recent offer to register .info domains absolutely free of charge, I took it upon myself to grab the newted.info address. This means that you can now access this site via www.newted.info the same way as you can via the newted.net, newted.org and newted.com addresses. Likewise, if you feel that the .info designator lends a certain credence to your communications lifestyle, you can use the newted.info domain in your email alias as well. More information regarding the alternate domains can be found in the ever popular support section.
On a related note, my no charge registration spree also resulted in securing the npds.info and newtontalk.info domains. These new addresses point to their respective parent sites.
I’m pleased to announce that a long overdue – and quite frankly – massive update to the Newtons Around The World gallery has been posted. This is the first addition to the gallery since June and boy, it’s a doozie. Since the last update there have been 45 submissions from 13 photographers – many first time contributors. Please take a minute and peruse the incredible work produced by the following Newton-shooters: Allen Russell, Ben McCorkle, John Charlton, Kostas Theofilis, Martin Joseph, Matt Kowalczyk, Matthew Reidsma, Paul Filmer, Richard Clark, Rick Ludwig, Ron Parker, Sonny Hung, and Zydeco. The latest images start at the bottom of page nine. And as we’re creeping up on the magic number of 200 submissions, I think it may be time for a celebratory giveaway. Get snapping and send in your own images. There just might be a special surprise for the person submitting the 200th Newton Around The World. The submission guidelines are in their usual spot.
So you couldn’t make it to the inaugural Worldwide Newton Conference last week? Sadly, neither could I. No worries though… it’s possible to relive at least part of the experience through Adam Tow’s extensive gallery of images from the event. It’s the next best thing to having been there in person. And speaking of being there in person, there’s always next year… see you all in Cupertino, perhaps?
Just in case you didn’t catch this elsewhere, Wired News published a piece last week entitled Fans Keep Newton in Motion, coinciding with the first (and hopefully annual) World Wide Newton Conference being held in Paris. Be sure to gawk at the screen shot of Paul Guyot’s nifty Newton emulator project being unveiled at the conference. I only wish I could have been there.
Due to a severe case of galloping linkrot, most of the pointers to the Proxim web site from the popular Proxim Wireless Newton Primer article were dead as doornails. To keep things reasonably useful, I updated all of the links to point to the handy dandy Internet Archive Wayback Machine instead. I also managed to locate a few PDF format Proxim product datasheets and posted them to the bottom of both the original article and Tom Zahm’s followup piece, the Proxim Wireless Newton Primer Update. If you discover any other links needing a kick in the revision department, please let me know.