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Go backDemonstrationsWelcome to Newton

Presented here is the transcript of Apple’s promotional and informational videocassette included with first Apple Newton MessagePads.

The cassette was made available courtesy Gerrit van der Veer and transcribed by Marcin Wichary. The video and transcript are copyrighted © 1994 Apple Computer, Inc.

The entire video is also available for viewing.

Size: 234 MB. Length: 24:35. Format: AVI XViD (download for a PC Link points to external site or for a Mac Link points to external site). Resolution: 480×360.
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Welcome to Newton

Working with Newton
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Various people: Newton’s about a lot of things, really.

I think the part that excites me the most... has to do with helping people keep in touch. The idea behind Newton is that it’s an assistant, something that actively helps you as you capture, organize and communicate your ideas and information. The possibilities are just limitless.

When you think about it, the most natural way to get thoughts down is to jot, or to sketch. We wanted Newton to be that natural. Say you’re on a train, or plane, or the little cafe. You can find the fax, say you want to send that fax to Margaret... you just highlight Margaret’s name in the text, tap Fax and Newton will automatically fill out a fax cover sheet with Margaret’s number on it.

Sending mail
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Faxing information
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We’ve built in Newton Intelligence, so that Newton knows enough about what you’re trying to do to help you do it.

The beauty of Newton is that any page you have in your Newton can be sent through email – text, graphics, pages from your calendar, business cards. You just select Email and, well, you send it. As simple as that.

It seems to happen all the time these days... You’re expecting a really important message, but you can’t guarantee you’re going to be easy to reach. By just getting the Newton Messaging Card, you can get your message wherever you go.

Newton’s infrared beaming
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Newton Messaging Card
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You can share anything that’s in your Newton with anyone else. Using Newton’s built-in infrared networking capability, you can beam things to other people. It’s pretty handy in meetings, to just be able to send someone something instantly – your business card, or the notes, or a calendar page.

You can even jot notes to jog your memory later, or set an alarm, or add a task to your to-do list. Kind of a communication center, or universal in box and out box. The Newton Connection Kit lets you connect your Newton to your PC or your Macintosh, and share and store information.

Writing on Newton
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Newton outdoors
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This is all about being in charge of your life, being able to have information so you can keep in touch with people. It’s gonna help you keep track of your time and your contacts, but it’s gonna do it in a way that’s not intrusive to your lifestyle. I’d say that Newton is really peace of mind, right in the palm of your hand.


Presenter: Thank you for purchasing the Apple Newton MessagePad. In this 25-minute video we’ll show you how to best take advantage of your Newton’s state-of-the-art features and capabilities.

This image can be zoomedPresenter
I’ll spend the first few minutes showing you the Notepad – the software that’s always on whenever your Newton is on. I’ll also use the Notepad to show you some basic techniques for getting around and for getting things done. These techniques work no matter what software you’re using on Newton. Then I’ll demonstrate some important handwriting and drawing techniques. I’ll show you these techniques on a Notepad, but they work no matter where you’re writing or drawing in Newton. Then I’ll show you how to use Newton for communications. You can print, fax, email or beam the information you have in your Newton, and you can receive information as well. Next I’ll show you how to use your Newton to organize your names, dates, and all the information that you need to keep track of your work and your personal life. Names and Dates come built into Newton. To conclude, I’ll introduce you to just a few of the many software titles that are available – titles that increase your Newton’s usefulness in your business and as a source of information and entertainment. We’ll also talk about optional accessories that are available for your Newton MessagePad.

If you have your Newton with you as you watch this video, please don’t try to follow along with it. You’ll be able to learn more by simply watching and then trying things out later, with the video off. You can always replay the video to review the things we show you.

Now, let’s get started.


Note overview
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Scrolling down
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Presenter: The Notepad is like an endless scroll of paper and you move up and down the scroll by tapping the up and down arrows at the bottom of the screen. Notes in the Notepad can include both text and drawings. Until you erase or delete it, information stays in Newton’s memory even when it’s switched off. The Notepad is always running as long as your Newton is on. Sometimes it’s hidden, though, by other software, such as Names or Dates.

To see a list of all the notes, tap the dot between the arrows – called the “overview button.” The up and down arrows and the overview button work the same way in Names and Dates, as well as in most other Newton software.

Deleting a note
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New note separator
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To start a new note, draw a line across the Notepad. The line turns into a separator bar, which shows today’s date.

The bar also has two buttons – the folder button, which you use to file your note, and the envelope button called the “action button,” which you use to print your note, or to send it as electronic mail, a fax or beamed information. You also use the action button to delete or duplicate the note.

To file something, go to the note or the name card you want to file. Tap the folder button, tap a folder and then tap File. Browse through the contents of a folder by tapping up and down arrows and the overview button. To go to a particular folder, tap the tab at the top of the Notepad, and then tap the folder you want. Filing in folders work in the same way in Names.

Filing a note
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Remember that you are moving up and down the contents of one folder of notes or name cards when you’re tapping the up and down arrows. If you can’t find a particular note or name card, you may be looking in the wrong folder.

Handwriting and drawing

Presenter: Newton’s real power lies in its ability to turn your handwriting into text. Remember that you and your Newton are new to each other. Think of Newton as a new colleague who has never seen your handwriting. It has to get used to the way you write, and at the same time you’re learning how Newton recognizes your handwriting. The result is that Newton becomes fine-tuned to read your handwriting better than anyone else’s.

Word recognition alternatives
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Text recognizer button
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To write, make sure the text recognizer button is dark. This shows that the text recognizer is on. Newton reads your handwriting using two techniques: by comparing what you write against entries in a word list – this first technique is called “word-based recognition.” The second is by trying to recognize each letter, “letter-by-letter recognition.”

When you write something down, Newton uses these techniques to make its best guess. Often, Newton will get it right the first time, but sometimes it won’t. To correct a word, tap it twice. A list appears. If the correct word is on the list, tap it.

Letter-by-letter recognition
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On-screen keyboard
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If the correct word is not on the list, there are two ways to go. You can tap Try Letters, which makes Newton use only letter-by-letter recognition to try to read the word. Tapping Try Letters is effective if the word is unusual and not likely to be on the word list. Or you can tap the keyboard button at the bottom of the list. A keyboard appears, and you can tap out the correct word. If the word you want is not on Newton’s word list, it asks if you want to add the word to the list. Once the word is in the list, Newton will have an easier time recognizing it the next time you write it.

If you know you’re about to write a word that is probably not on the word list, or numbers like dates and times, you can tap this button, which turns on letter-by-letter recognition. Remember that letter-by-letter recognition is on only while you have the button selected, and this box is open. Letter-by-letter recognition works best when you write in lower case, disconnected letters. Turn off letter-by-letter recognition by tapping the ×, and Newton asks if you want to add the word you’ve just written to the word list.

In most cases, word-based recognition is faster and more accurate than letter-by-letter recognition, so make sure you add to the word list any words that you write fairly often.

Undoing the last operation
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Selecting text
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If you’re in a hurry, you can quickly jot down notes and sketches as electronic ink, and have Newton recognize your handwriting later. To write in electronic ink, make sure both text and shape recognizers are off as you write. Newton then leaves your handwriting as is. Later, select your handwriting and tap twice. Newton then converts the electronic ink to text. If you want to convert only a single word, you don’t even have to select it. Just tap twice.

Select a word by holding down the pen until a heavy mark appears, then draw the mark over or around the text. If the selection doesn’t work – if you draw a line over the word instead of selecting it, for example – tap Undo and try it again. To customize how you want the text and shape recognizers to work, you can go to the Recognizers Preference in Prefs.

This image can be zoomedPrefs
Your handbook has more information on how to set these preferences, and how to use word-based recognition and letter-by-letter recognition. Here are some simple tips to help Newton recognize your handwriting:

Remember to write at an even pace – not too slowly, and not too quickly.
Don’t get too far ahead of Newton as it converts your handwriting to text. And don’t pause in the middle of writing the word. If you pause in the middle of a word, Newton thinks that you’re finished and tries to read it. And when you finish writing a word, don’t go back to correct or improve your handwriting if Newton hasn’t read it yet. When you go back, it throws Newton off, because Newton figures out what you’re writing based on the timing and sequence of your handwriting.
Remember to leave space between words, even exaggerate it, so Newton can tell when you finished one word and started another. If you write words too close together, Newton may read them as a single word.
An important, but basic technique, is to write simply and neatly, from left to right. Make sure you cross your t’s and dot your i’s. Make your o’s look like o’s and your a’s look like a’s. It’s common sense, really, and it makes a big difference in how Newton interprets your handwriting.

So remember, write in an even pace, don’t pause in the middle of a word, don’t go back to correct a word if Newton hasn’t read it yet, exaggerate the space between words, and write simply and neatly.

On-screen keyboard
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Deleting a word
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Now, let’s talk a little bit about correcting and editing text. If only a single letter is wrong, you can correct a letter by writing over it. You can erase the entire word and start over. To erase a word, you scrub it out with a zig-zag that has at least four back-and-forth strokes. If a scrub doesn’t work, tap Undo and try again. Make sure that the zig-zag is taller or wider than the word or letter, and that the scrub mark is jagged, not wavy. Scrubbing works on almost anything on the screen – words, single letters, whole paragraphs and drawings.

As an alternative to writing, you can use an on-screen keyboard to tap out the word or number you are writing. To get the keyboard, tap twice anywhere you’re writing, then tap in the text.

Moving text between areas
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Copying a drawing
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You can also move or copy text and drawings you have selected. To move a word or drawing, select it, then hold the pen on the word and move it to where you want it. To copy a word or drawing, select it, then tap it twice. On the second tap, move the pen away and the copy moves away with it.

You can insert a space between letters or between lines by drawing a caret. You can also move or copy text and drawings from one area of Newton to the other. Select the text or drawing, then move or copy it to any edge of the screen, except the bottom edge. When it reaches the edge of the screen, the selection becomes a small box. You can then go to any other area and move the selection from the edge of the screen.

Drawing figures
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Remember that these techniques for selecting, moving and copying, work with drawings as well as text. When you’re drawing, make sure the shape recognizer button is dark, indicating that the shape recognizer is on. If drawing is all you’ll be doing for the moment, you can turn the text recognizer off, so Newton won’t mistake your drawings for handwriting strokes.


Presenter: From the beginning, Newton was designed to communicate.

The Out Box icon
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Newton’s In Box
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Your Newton can send electronic mail and faxes over fax-modem, print items on a printer, and beam information to another Newton. It can also receive email, software enhancements, and information beamed from another Newton. With a Newton Messaging Card, your Newton can even receive wireless messages, such as pages, and text or number messages.

To send a note, a name card or a calendar page, all you need to remember are the action button, and the Out Box. Go to the note, name card or calendar page that you want to send, tap the action button, and tap your choice. You can send it to a printer to make a paper copy, fax it, beam it to another Newton, or you can send it as email. Your Newton does not have to be physically connected to anything when you use the action button. The item simply gets stored in the Out Box until you’re ready to send email or print, fax, or beam the item. When you’re ready, go to the Out Box, and tap the item you want to send.

Communications connector
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Infrared transmitter/receiver
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You’ll need to connect your Newton to a Newton fax-modem to send a fax or electronic mail, and you’ll have to first set up an email account before you can send email. The materials that came with your Newton include information about setting up an email account and, of course, your Newton needs to be connected to a printer before you can print.

All these connections are made through the same connector on your Newton. As for beaming information, you don’t need anything but two Newtons, because information is beamed through the infrared transmitter and receiver that is built into every Newton.

Assist in action
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Receiving mail
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To receive communications, you go to the In Box. Again, your Newton has to be connected to a Newton fax-modem to receive electronic mail, and you first have to have an email account. If you have a Newton Messaging Card, the In Box is also where you receive your wireless messages.

Here’s a message from Michael, suggesting a lunch meeting on Thursday. You can select the text and tap Assist, and then schedule. Newton automatically puts your lunch date in your calendar.

Names and Dates

Show options
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A sample card
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Presenter: You can use Newton to organize the names, dates and all the other bits of information you use everyday. To go to the names file, tap Names. In Names, in addition to using the up and down arrows and the overview button, you can tap a letter to go to the names that start with that letter.

You can look at every entry in the name file in three ways. Card & Notes lets you add notes to a name card – which is like writing notes on the back of someone’s business card – and All Info is where you can review and change any of the information you have on the card. All Info also lets you change how you want the card sorted, and the layout you want to use for the card.

Dragging the appointment marker
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Available card layouts
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Tap New to create a new card in the All Info view. Remember that you can tap twice anywhere you are writing to use an on-screen keyboard. Of course you don’t have to write all that information directly into Newton. You can use the Newton Connection Kit to type your name file entries on a Windows or Macintosh computer, and transfer them to your Newton through the communication port. You can also transfer and synchronize information in the Notepad and the Datebook in the same way.

The Datebook is where you keep your calendar and to-do list. To go to the Datebook, tap Dates. To make an appointment, write on the calendar, and an appointment marker appears. Move the marker to adjust the appointment time, and tap the marker to add notes, change the appointment name, or adjust the starting and ending times. You can also schedule overlapping appointments. As in the Notepad, you can draw as well as write on the calendar pages.

Monthly calendar
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To-do list priorities
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The to-do list is where you write down your to-do items and set priorities. You can check off an item when it’s done. To go to any date, tap it on a monthly calendar. You can go to another month, or even another year. To go back quickly to today’s date, tap Today.

And if you’re looking for something on Newton, you can always tap Find. Write down what you’re looking for, and Newton finds it for you. Newton can find items no matter in which part of the software they might be stored. That’s because all the information in your Newton is interconnected.

Assist button
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Find option
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In the same way you can use Assist to schedule appointments and enter to-do items for you. For example, select a reminder you’ve written down for yourself and tap Assist. Newton enters the to-do item for you on the appropriate date. It figures out what you want all by itself.

Software titles and accessories

Presenter: At home, in the office or on the road – Newton software goes anywhere. These business, information and entertainment titles are designed to increase your productivity and enjoyment.

Fodor’s 94 Travel Manager: Top U.S. Cities
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Newton software
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Fodor’s 94 Travel Manager: Top U.S. Cities gives you instant access to information on over 500 locations in each of the eight American cities, with details about restaurant, hotel and business services and interactive maps.

The Fortune 500 Guide To American Business is an enriched electronic version of the Fortune 500 and Service 500 – the recognized sources for information on all aspects of America’s largest companies.

Money Magazine’s Financial Assistant is a collection of templates to assist in making most common financial decisions, and Money Magazine’s Business Forms helps keep you on track with easy-to-fill-out financial forms – including expense reports, project plans and loan calculations.

Personal Time & Billing
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Financial Assistant
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Manage your client billing and project costs with Personal Time & Billing from Great Plains Software.

Go Figure combines over 15 different traditional and lifestyle calculators, and Pocket Call from Ex Machina makes dialing up online information services even easier with your Newton. PresenterPad helps you create and manage slide presentations and prescripted speeches. ExpensePlus compiles and prints expense reports directly from your Newton, and the Day-Timer Metting & Expense Pack makes planning meetings and tracking expenses a breeze.

Columbo’s Mystery Capers
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Go Figure
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Columbo’s Mystery Capers is a collection of more than 40 brain teasers. Each humorous mystery opens with a text introduction, and an illustration of the scene of the crime. Fingertip for Golf helps keep score and provides game statistics on the course, and Dell Crossword Puzzles and Other Games contains hundreds of puzzles, as well as cryptograms and word searches.

There’s a full range of optional accessories that will make you and your Newton work even more productively. To take full advantage of Newton’s communication power, the fax-modem card lets you send and receive electronic mail, connect to online services and send faxes anywhere. With a Newton Messaging Card and a subscription to the Apple Wireless Messaging Service, you can receive and store messages, even when the card is not plugged into your Newton.

Newton 2MB storage card
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Newton accessories
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Whether you work on a Macintosh computer, or a PC running Microsoft Windows, the Connection Kit contains everything you need to link your Newton to view, edit, synchronize and back up information.

2- and 4-megabyte storage cards are the perfect way to increase your Newton’s storage and back up information.

While using your Newton at your desk, quickcharge your internal batteries, and a spare set as well, with the MessagePad charging station, and protect your Newton and add-on cards with rugged carrying cases.


Apple: Intelligence by Newton
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Presenter: Well, we’ve covered a lot of ground. I’ve shown you how to get around in Newton, how to write and draw, how to use your Newton for communications, and keep track of the information. We’ve also learned about the revolutionary way information is interrelated throughout Newton. And, finally, we’ve glimpsed at a few of the many software titles and accessories that are available for the Newton MessagePad.

Thank you for watching this video. We hope you’ve learned and discovered enough about your Newton to quickly make it indispensable. Enjoy!

Page added on 1st June 2005.

Copyright © 2002-2006 Marcin Wichary, unless stated otherwise.