For all of the quibbling and carping in the mass media about the Newton, interest has been enormous (Apple reported 50,000 units sold so far), certainly larger than for any Mac since the first PowerBooks, and in many ways even larger. It took a lot longer to create a comp.sys.mac.portables newsgroup than it did to create three Newton newsgroups on Usenet. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I want to look here at a number of the Newton resources appearing daily on the Internet. I’m sure some of this information also appears on ZiffNet, CompuServe, America Online, AppleLink, Delphi, BIX, and the others, but frankly, it’s probably a lot easier to find there. You need more help to find Newton information on the Internet, and that’s what I hope to provide.
Newton on Usenet — Three Newton newsgroups passed the Usenet voting process by significant margins (average margin of 455 yes votes to 33 no votes) not quite three weeks ago. The first, comp.sys.newton.announce, provides a moderated forum for announcements, FAQ postings, and other important announcements (Michael Nowak <[email protected]> is the current moderator). Discussions of postings in comp.sys.newton.announce take place in either of the other two newsgroups, comp.sys.newton.misc and comp.sys.newton.programmer, both of which ought to be relatively obvious in terms of traffic. Neither are moderated.
From what I saw in a brief visit, the latter two groups have a healthy amount of traffic, and the announce group has just a few well-chosen postings. If you’re interested in dipping into the river of Newton information, these groups are a good place to start.
Newton Mailing Lists — For people who can’t or don’t wish to read Usenet, there are several mailing lists of interest. First is a LISTSERV list at Dartmouth that appears to have plenty of knowledgeable Newton aficionados. To subscribe, send email to:
with this line in the body of the message:
SUBSCRIBE NEWTON-L your full name
Once you’re on, you can send questions and comments to this address (but please make sure to only send subscription and signoff commands to the LISTSERV address):
Michael Nowak, the moderator of comp.sys.newton.announce, also runs a mailing list associated with the group for those not on Usenet. You can subscribe to the Newton-Announce mailing list by sending a request to:
and you can send submissions for both the mailing list and the newsgroup to:
Newton File Site — Of course, FTP sites holding cool software are one of the best parts of the Internet, and thanks to Rob Bruce <[email protected]>, Newton users have one. The archive supports Gopher access, and has gobs of files last I looked, including archives of at least some of the discussion groups covering the Newton. Definitely worth a look at:
You can send submissions of articles or binary files to Rob via email, or if you prefer, you can put them in the directory /pub/incoming.
Other sites worth looking at include Apple’s Higher Education Gopher server at:
Look in the directory called Apple Corporate News for Apple propaganda about the Newton and the Mac, and the Product Information directory contains information and tips for Newton users.
Also check out sumex and mac.archive, the two major FTP and Gopher file sites for the Macintosh, both of which carry Newton files. On <sumex-aim.stanford.edu> look in the /info-mac/newton directory, and on <mac.archive.umich.edu> look in the /newton directory.
Finally, there is an FTP site at <ftp.uth.tmc.edu> that stores some GIF images of the Newton and the Newton logo in the /public/newton/newton_gifs directory.
Newton FAQs — What would a newsgroup on the Internet be without a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) list? Overwhelmed with the same old questions, that’s what. The Newton community responded to the need, and Paul R. Potts <[email protected]> has created several FAQ lists that are posted on comp.sys.newton.announce and made available on the FTP site mentioned above. From glancing through the /pub/newton/FAQ directory on the FTP site, plenty of other FAQ-like lists of information on Easter Eggs, bugs, wish lists, developer information, and the like exist as well. If you’re merely thinking about getting a Newton, I definitely recommend that you read through all of these postings for the latest details on what’s wrong and what’s right.
Newton Web Server — This all may seem fragmented, just as many Internet resources do, and to condense all of these resources, Chuck Shotton created a World-Wide Web server that pulls many (if not all) of these resources together into one place. You do need a World-Wide Web browser to see this, but luckily there’s a great one in development right now for those who have MacTCP connections (although it’s a bit slow over a 14.4 SLIP connection). To get this browser, NCSA Mosaic for the Macintosh B2, FTP to <ftp.ncsa.uiuc.edu> and look in the directory /Mac/Mosaic. It’s big, and again, you need a MacTCP connection to use it, but the Web is seriously cool and worth checking out.
Anyway, the Web server that Chuck Shotton set up has links to many of these resources, and it’s a good way to browse, especially with a fast connection. To connect to the Newton Web server in NCSA Mosaic for the Mac, from the File menu choose Open URL (which stands for Universal Resource Locator). In the resulting Load Network dialog box, enter the following:
If you have questions, comments, suggestions, or contributions, you can contact Chuck at <[email protected]>. He mentioned in the announcement that he’s especially interested in hearing from administrators of existing Newton archives in order to figure out a way of making the existing information more easily browsed via Gopher and the World-Wide Web.