Showing that old dogs can indeed learn new tricks, Apple last week began using several new distribution methods to help new MessagePad owners obtain system software updates for the newly-released version 1.04 of the Newton OS.
If you have the Newton Connection Kit 0.9 you will receive an update disk when you receive version 1.0 of the Connection Kit. Or, you can obtain the update from dealers (some do and some do not have the resources to install it), from online services such as AppleLink, CompuServe, and America Online, or from local BBSs or user groups.
Owners of a Newton Fax Modem will soon be able to instruct their MessagePads to dial a toll-free number and download the update directly into the MessagePad (users outside the U.S. will be able to use a separate number that will incur usual toll charges). We'll provide the phone numbers when this service is activated.
Anyone in the U.S. without the above options may call 800/242-3374, and Apple will send a PCMCIA card containing the update, along with a postage-paid envelope to return the card.
According to Apple, version 1.04 addresses certain issues regarding memory and power management. Apple recommends that all MessagePad users take advantage of this free system update. Most MessagePads shipped to dealers earlier this month contain version 1.03, and many first-round purchasers have 1.02 or earlier. To check your version, tap the Extras button then Prefs, and look at the bottom of the screen. Users with questions about the update or the processes for obtaining it can call 800/SOS-APPL or contact <email@example.com>.