BA297D - Professor BesserFall 1996

Impact of Multimedia

My term project for BA297D - Impact of Multimedia, will look at the Newton PDA, with special attention to market and industry trends, technology paths, and innovative uses of this new medium. Just in the course of surfing around for 10 minutes, I ran into a page put up by group of doctors in Florida who are using PDAs as a diagnostic tool. Here at UC Berkeley, the maintenace workers on campus have all been issued Newtons and Ricochet Modems as a communication tool and record keeping tool. Users are finding interesting ways to use the Newton to improve their commmunication, connectivity and productivity.

The Newton debuted in 1993 and quickly embarrassed Apple with its technological shortcomings. The PDA went from being the device that would revolutionize mobile computing to the object of ridicule by Doonesbury, particularly for its sometimes fanciful handwriting recognition mistakes. The fanfare quickly died down, but Apple continued to invest in the technology. Now, with the imminent release of the Newton 2000, the question remains -- has the technology caught up with the vision? What are the requirements for PDAs to be accepted by the mainstream? These are some of questions that my paper addresses.

There are many options on the market today, including offerings from Motorola, Apple, Hewlett-Packard, US Robotics, Symbol, Telxon, Fujitsu, Norand, Sharp, Psion, and Sony. US Robotics Pilot is probably the best known of its competitors by taking the small size, fewer bells and whistles route. Despite its success, the Newton is still the market leader with 75% of the rather loosely defined PDA market. Here is a feature comparison of the Newton 130 and 2000 to the MagicLink, WinCE, Pilot 5000 -- slightly biased, but useful.

Proposed outline of my paper:

I. Introduction

II. First a Little History

III. Newtons Creat a Niche....

  1. Newton Applications Today
  2. Three Field Uses

IV. ...While Still Hoping for the Mass Market

V. Review of Technology Requirements

VI. Next Stages Towards Gaining Widespread Acceptance

  1. Ubiquitous Wireless Infrastructure
  2. Wireless LAN Developments
  3. High Band Radio Wave Connective Technology
  4. Summary: Connectivity is Key
  5. Plus: User Acceptance and UI considerations

VIII. Conclusion

Go to my term paper

Research from MELVYL, the UC system search engine:

Searching under "PD A" brought up 345 citations on the UC system

Listing of citations 1 to 50

Links and Web Resources

Newton News

PDA Industry Association

SF Business Times Article

The ULITMATE Newton Webpage

Peter Folkesson's Newton PDA Page

Newton Evangelist - a self-proclaimed Evangelist's labor of love

Innovative Users:< /FONT>

Florida Doctors

Newton Medical Web Source

Bernea Food Serv ice - using a Mac client/server network, Newton130s, and belt mounted printers on drivers, Berner devised a regrigerated/frozen route management system.

Other Sites of Interest:

World of Newton - from its creator Apple Computer

PDA Survey - Over 100 users worldwide responded to this survey on PDA Use

Newton Misspellings Page

This site is under construction. Last updated 12/1/96.