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Televideo PM/286 (and the i286)

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  • B Degnan
    Televideo PM/286 Here is an example of a 286 offshoot computer by Televideo that puts the 286 into historical perspective. I am not saying this is a vintage
    Message 1 of 20 , Jun 23, 2009
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      Televideo PM/286

      Here is an example of a 286 offshoot computer by Televideo that puts the
      286 into historical perspective. I am not saying this is a vintage
      machine per se. Before IBM the standard product for small business
      computers was a CP/M - Z80 product with multi-user capability.
      Basically a large, heavy mini computer replacement with lots of terminal
      ports, plus various interface ports. Led by IBM, i8088 and later i80286
      based systems began to crowd out the Z80 CP/M systems. The driver of
      this push was software. The 16-bit software was becoming more popular
      than the 8-bit CP/M driven stuff. Businesses especially did not change
      their preferences overnight, but the curtain was closing on the 8-bit
      business system market. Companies like Tandy, Televideo, CompuPro,
      Texas Instruments, etc. were forced to adapt their product line to
      include something that was compatible with Lotus 1-2-3 and MS DOS in
      order to stay competitive, so towards the end of their existence these
      companies released i8088 and i80286 systems of their own.

      The Televideo company is best known for it's terminals, and they did not
      get into the computer market until their 80x line, launched, yet a bit
      too near the IBM PC launch. We know who won.

      What's interesting and perhaps some of you find "vintage-worthy" is the
      way that some of these manufacturers built hybrid systems with clunky
      gadgetry to be included with their products. I suppose the idea was to
      offer features customers had come to love with XYZ company (we're still
      big and bulky!) plus the convenience of the i8088/286 processor. The
      Televideo PM/286 manual included a long list of IBM-platform software
      that was compatible and is certainly bulky.

      Take a look a the pictures, note the 8 user ports, and another pic with
      a 8 to 6 Mhz speed switch on the back.
      http://vintagecomputer.net/televideo/PM286/

      I do see how that when 16-bit PC's edged out the 8-bit PC's one could
      use this transition as the demarcation for what is vintage vs. early
      modern. I agree with Evan in general that i8088/80286 is one of those
      components that makes a system at least less-vintage and/or early
      modern. Same goes for S-100 systems that installed i80286 processor
      cards in them. Same goes for any system running a 68000 processor
      (MAC/Amiga). They're all early modern to me.

      Is the PM/286 vintage?

      There was also a PM/386 model that came out at the same time...is the
      286 vintage yet the 386 is not? I am going to brand these "early modern"

      Personally I don't really find myself interested in the small business
      computers. If anyone here is looking for 80's business computers let me
      know, I may be looking to sell off this branch of my inventory over the
      next few months. You're free to come take a look before then, I have
      about 10 computers that I want to sell off to make room. I will make a
      list, including the PM/286, asap.

      Bill
    • Mike Loewen
      ... How do you feel about the Tandy 6000? Motorola 68000 CPU (with Z80 for I/O), multiuser OS (Xenix) and 5 serial ports. There was specialized software
      Message 2 of 20 , Jun 23, 2009
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        On Tue, 23 Jun 2009, B Degnan wrote:

        > I do see how that when 16-bit PC's edged out the 8-bit PC's one could
        > use this transition as the demarcation for what is vintage vs. early
        > modern. I agree with Evan in general that i8088/80286 is one of those
        > components that makes a system at least less-vintage and/or early
        > modern. Same goes for S-100 systems that installed i80286 processor
        > cards in them. Same goes for any system running a 68000 processor
        > (MAC/Amiga). They're all early modern to me.

        How do you feel about the Tandy 6000? Motorola 68000 CPU (with Z80 for
        I/O), multiuser OS (Xenix) and 5 serial ports. There was specialized
        software written for it for doctors office applications, and they seemed
        to hang around for quite a while until the hardware started to break down.
        Timeline, 1984. Same niche as the PM/286, I'd say. For personal reasons
        (I learned Xenix on one), I consider it vintage.


        Mike Loewen mloewen@...
        Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
      • Mr Ian Primus
        ... Yeah, I definitely consider that one vintage as well. The Tandy 6000 is a really interesting beast - I d love to get my hands on one some day. But I think
        Message 3 of 20 , Jun 23, 2009
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          --- On Tue, 6/23/09, Mike Loewen <mloewen@...> wrote:

          > How do you feel about the Tandy 6000?
          > Motorola 68000 CPU (with Z80 for
          > I/O), multiuser OS (Xenix) and 5 serial ports. There
          > was specialized
          > software written for it for doctors office applications,
          > and they seemed
          > to hang around for quite a while until the hardware started
          > to break down.
          > Timeline, 1984. Same niche as the PM/286, I'd say.
          > For personal reasons
          > (I learned Xenix on one), I consider it vintage.

          Yeah, I definitely consider that one vintage as well. The Tandy 6000 is a really interesting beast - I'd love to get my hands on one some day.

          But I think he was trying to shy away from calling a machine based around the 286 "vintage", especially since I just got a bit of backlash when I asked some questions about the Compaq 286 I'm playing with lately. <grin>

          One interesting box I've got is an Altos machine. It is based around the Intel 186 processor, and it runs Xenix. I also consider this one vintage. It's definitely not mainstream, and while it's 80186 based, it's not a PC either.

          The Televideo PM/286 is vintage in my mind too. It's one of the kinda-PC compatible systems. Definitely interesting, definitely different. Similarly, the Tandy 1000 counts as vintage, because while is's nearly a PC, it's not really terribly compatible, and it has it's own differences that make it stand out (see also PC Jr.). I also feel that the AT&T PC6300 fits in this category too. Even minor deviations, like the Wyse PC Plus (another one I'd like to find), should count. Unusual video modes, non-standard stuff. Different.

          Now, my Compaq 286 is pretty run of the mill in comparison. Sure it's a luggable, sure it's not too common, but still, it's PC. 100% PC compatible. Not necessarily "vintage", but hey, it's kinda neat.

          I don't think there should be any hard and fast rules about what counts as interesting. We all have our own interests. To some, my Prime and Dec computers may be boring - because minis don't really do graphics, and they take up a lot of space.

          I mean, we all like computers here. We can all still appreciate and enjoy machines that aren't Apple 1's or Altairs, right?

          -Ian
        • Bill Degnan
          ... those ... for ... down. ... Using the 16-bit processor as the dividing line, the 6000 would be early modern. The logic for tagging a system as vintage
          Message 4 of 20 , Jun 23, 2009
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            -------- Original Message --------
            > From: "Mike Loewen" <mloewen@...>
            > Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 9:21 AM
            > To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Televideo PM/286 (and the i286)
            >
            > On Tue, 23 Jun 2009, B Degnan wrote:
            >
            > > I do see how that when 16-bit PC's edged out the 8-bit PC's one could
            > > use this transition as the demarcation for what is vintage vs. early
            > > modern. I agree with Evan in general that i8088/80286 is one of
            those
            > > components that makes a system at least less-vintage and/or early
            > > modern. Same goes for S-100 systems that installed i80286 processor
            > > cards in them. Same goes for any system running a 68000 processor
            > > (MAC/Amiga). They're all early modern to me.
            >
            > How do you feel about the Tandy 6000? Motorola 68000 CPU (with Z80
            for
            > I/O), multiuser OS (Xenix) and 5 serial ports. There was specialized
            > software written for it for doctors office applications, and they seemed

            > to hang around for quite a while until the hardware started to break
            down.
            > Timeline, 1984. Same niche as the PM/286, I'd say. For personal reasons

            > (I learned Xenix on one), I consider it vintage.
            >
            >

            Using the 16-bit processor as the dividing line, the 6000 would be early
            modern. The logic for tagging a system as vintage should be based on the
            system itself, not earlier models of the same company. I think that there
            is a tendency to brand later Tandy, Commodore/Amiga, Atari, Apple, and TI
            models as vintage just because earlier models by the same manufacturer
            *are* classic vintage. The opposite sentiment is true about early IBM
            systems, such as the IBM PC 5150, which only grudgingly became "vintage" in
            many people's eyes in the past few years.


            Bill
          • Bob Schwier
            Twenty years from now, those 286 s will be vintage. bs
            Message 5 of 20 , Jun 23, 2009
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              Twenty years from now, those 286's will be vintage.
              bs




              Quoting Bill Degnan <billdeg@...>:

              >
              >
              > -------- Original Message --------
              > > From: "Mike Loewen" <mloewen@...>
              > > Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 9:21 AM
              > > To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
              > > Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Televideo PM/286 (and the i286)
              > >
              > > On Tue, 23 Jun 2009, B Degnan wrote:
              > >
              > > > I do see how that when 16-bit PC's edged out the 8-bit PC's one could
              > > > use this transition as the demarcation for what is vintage vs. early
              > > > modern. I agree with Evan in general that i8088/80286 is one of
              > those
              > > > components that makes a system at least less-vintage and/or early
              > > > modern. Same goes for S-100 systems that installed i80286 processor
              > > > cards in them. Same goes for any system running a 68000 processor
              > > > (MAC/Amiga). They're all early modern to me.
              > >
              > > How do you feel about the Tandy 6000? Motorola 68000 CPU (with Z80
              > for
              > > I/O), multiuser OS (Xenix) and 5 serial ports. There was specialized
              > > software written for it for doctors office applications, and they seemed
              >
              > > to hang around for quite a while until the hardware started to break
              > down.
              > > Timeline, 1984. Same niche as the PM/286, I'd say. For personal reasons
              >
              > > (I learned Xenix on one), I consider it vintage.
              > >
              > >
              >
              > Using the 16-bit processor as the dividing line, the 6000 would be early
              > modern. The logic for tagging a system as vintage should be based on the
              > system itself, not earlier models of the same company. I think that there
              > is a tendency to brand later Tandy, Commodore/Amiga, Atari, Apple, and TI
              > models as vintage just because earlier models by the same manufacturer
              > *are* classic vintage. The opposite sentiment is true about early IBM
              > systems, such as the IBM PC 5150, which only grudgingly became "vintage" in
              > many people's eyes in the past few years.
              >
              >
              > Bill
              >
              >
              >
              > ------------------------------------
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • Bill Degnan
              I personally believe you re confusing antique with vintage. Vintage is an era that marks the beginning of the computing age through to around 1982 or
              Message 6 of 20 , Jun 23, 2009
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                I personally believe you're confusing "antique" with vintage. Vintage is
                an era that marks the beginning of the computing age through to around 1982
                or earlier. Antique is a math thing = today's date minus 25 years.
                Antique is anything older than or equal to 1984. Eventually with that
                logic everthing will be vintage.

                As far as what we talk about on this group - MARCH has no "vintage
                computer" in the name although it's implied.. however being that our name
                says we're about RETRO computing, we should be able to talk about *any*
                "retro" computer. Date is not a factor.

                antique
                vintage
                retro
                archaic modern
                whatever

                Bill

                -------- Original Message --------
                > From: "Bob Schwier" <schwepes@...>
                > Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 10:12 AM
                > To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Televideo PM/286 (and the i286)
                >
                > Twenty years from now, those 286's will be vintage.
                > bs
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Quoting Bill Degnan <billdeg@...>:
                >
                > >
                > >
                > > -------- Original Message --------
                > > > From: "Mike Loewen" <mloewen@...>
                > > > Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 9:21 AM
                > > > To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                > > > Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Televideo PM/286 (and the i286)
                > > >
                > > > On Tue, 23 Jun 2009, B Degnan wrote:
                > > >
                > > > > I do see how that when 16-bit PC's edged out the 8-bit PC's one
                could
                > > > > use this transition as the demarcation for what is vintage vs.
                early
                > > > > modern. I agree with Evan in general that i8088/80286 is one of

                > > those
                > > > > components that makes a system at least less-vintage and/or early
                > > > > modern. Same goes for S-100 systems that installed i80286
                processor
                > > > > cards in them. Same goes for any system running a 68000 processor
                > > > > (MAC/Amiga). They're all early modern to me.
                > > >
                > > > How do you feel about the Tandy 6000? Motorola 68000 CPU (with
                Z80
                > > for
                > > > I/O), multiuser OS (Xenix) and 5 serial ports. There was specialized

                > > > software written for it for doctors office applications, and they
                seemed
                > >
                > > > to hang around for quite a while until the hardware started to break

                > > down.
                > > > Timeline, 1984. Same niche as the PM/286, I'd say. For personal
                reasons
                > >
                > > > (I learned Xenix on one), I consider it vintage.
                > > >
                > > >
                > >
                > > Using the 16-bit processor as the dividing line, the 6000 would be
                early
                > > modern. The logic for tagging a system as vintage should be based on
                the
                > > system itself, not earlier models of the same company. I think that
                there
                > > is a tendency to brand later Tandy, Commodore/Amiga, Atari, Apple, and
                TI
                > > models as vintage just because earlier models by the same manufacturer

                > > *are* classic vintage. The opposite sentiment is true about early IBM

                > > systems, such as the IBM PC 5150, which only grudgingly became
                "vintage" in
                > > many people's eyes in the past few years.
                > >
                > >
                > > Bill
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > ------------------------------------
                > >
                > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > ------------------------------------
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
              • Evan Koblentz
                ... I m sticking with what I said in the first place -- vintage (or whatever term people prefer) is best defined by how * interesting * a computer is, not by
                Message 7 of 20 , Jun 23, 2009
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                  >
                  > I personally believe you're confusing "antique" with vintage. Vintage is an era that marks the beginning of the computing age through to around 1982 or earlier. Antique is a math thing = today's date minus 25 years. Antique is anything older than or equal to 1984. Eventually with that logic everthing will be vintage.
                  >
                  > As far as what we talk about on this group - MARCH has no "vintage computer" in the name although it's implied.. however being that our name says we're about RETRO computing, we should be able to talk about *any* "retro" computer. Date is not a factor.
                  >
                  > antique
                  > vintage
                  > retro
                  > archaic modern
                  > whatever
                  >
                  > Bill
                  >
                  I'm sticking with what I said in the first place -- "vintage" (or
                  whatever term people prefer) is best defined by how * interesting * a
                  computer is, not by how * old * it is. The Apple Newton is vintage, and
                  so are the so-called "Internet appliances" from the late 1990s. They're
                  different, interesting, and acceptable as museum items. Conversely I
                  have a very hard time accepting 99% of anything 286/386/etc. as vintage
                  because, for the most part, they're all the same and utterly
                  non-interesting.
                • Bill Degnan
                  ... ...to you. :-) How about this: If you re going to talk about a computer on this group, be prepared to back up why the computer is on topic (vintage),
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jun 23, 2009
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                    > >
                    > I'm sticking with what I said in the first place -- "vintage" (or
                    > whatever term people prefer) is best defined by how * interesting * a
                    > computer is, not by how * old * it is. The Apple Newton is vintage, and

                    > so are the so-called "Internet appliances" from the late 1990s. They're

                    > different, interesting, and acceptable as museum items. Conversely I
                    > have a very hard time accepting 99% of anything 286/386/etc. as vintage
                    > because, for the most part, they're all the same and utterly
                    > non-interesting.
                    >

                    ...to you. :-)

                    How about this:

                    If you're going to talk about a computer on this group, be prepared to back
                    up why the computer is on topic (vintage), otherwise expect to get flack
                    from people about it. The closer you get to the 90's, the more it becomes
                    an opinion thing and harder to justify.

                    I think this disucussion once in a while is OK, we should have a general
                    concensus.

                    Bill
                  • Alexey Toptygin
                    ... So, by your logic my JavaStation JJ-16 is vintage? What about NCR X terminals? Alexey
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jun 23, 2009
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                      On Tue, 23 Jun 2009, Evan Koblentz wrote:

                      > I'm sticking with what I said in the first place -- "vintage" (or
                      > whatever term people prefer) is best defined by how * interesting * a
                      > computer is, not by how * old * it is. The Apple Newton is vintage, and
                      > so are the so-called "Internet appliances" from the late 1990s.

                      So, by your logic my JavaStation JJ-16 is vintage? What about NCR X terminals?

                      Alexey
                    • Evan Koblentz
                      ... I don t know much about those, so I can t say.
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jun 23, 2009
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                        I'm sticking with what I said in the first place -- "vintage" (or
                        whatever term people prefer) is best defined by how * interesting * a
                        computer is, not by how * old * it is.  The Apple Newton is vintage, and
                        so are the so-called "Internet appliances" from the late 1990s.
                            
                        So, by your logic my JavaStation JJ-16 is vintage? What about NCR X terminals?
                          
                        I don't know much about those, so I can't say.
                      • Brian Cirulnick
                        ... I was just about to say that... I mean, *any* car can be vintage once it s 30 years old. It shouldn t matter whether it s got a V-8 and disc brakes, the
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jun 23, 2009
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                          --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Bob Schwier <schwepes@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Twenty years from now, those 286's will be vintage.
                          > bs
                          >
                          -----------------------

                          I was just about to say that... I mean, *any* car can be vintage once it's 30 years old. It shouldn't matter whether it's got a V-8 and disc brakes, the law says I can put "Historic" plates on it once it hits 30 (based on the year of manufacture on the title).

                          It's kind of like making a random rule that anything with a GUI isn't vintage, but I'm sure if you tripped over a real Engelbart mouse, it would be vintage and historic hardware without question.
                        • Evan Koblentz
                          ... You re missing the point. Look in a dictionary: antique (as in antique car license plates) is defined merely by age, whereas vintage is defined by how
                          Message 12 of 20 , Jun 23, 2009
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                            > *any* car can be vintage once it's 30 years old. It shouldn't matter
                            > whether it's got a V-8 and disc brakes
                            You're missing the point. Look in a dictionary: "antique" (as in
                            antique car license plates) is defined merely by age, whereas "vintage"
                            is defined by how unique/good something is.
                          • Brian Cirulnick
                            ... That s a good point. Being oddball doesn t necessarily mean it s vintage. I like internet appliances myself because they are usually hackable into
                            Message 13 of 20 , Jun 23, 2009
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                              --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Alexey Toptygin <alexeyt@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > On Tue, 23 Jun 2009, Evan Koblentz wrote:
                              >
                              > > The Apple Newton is vintage, and
                              > > so are the so-called "Internet appliances" from the late 1990s.
                              >
                              > So, by your logic my JavaStation JJ-16 is vintage? What about NCR X terminals?
                              >
                              ---------------------

                              That's a good point. Being "oddball" doesn't necessarily mean it's vintage. I like internet appliances myself because they are usually hackable into full-fledged, but low power pcs, but I don't think they fall into a vintage category... More like "failed ideas" category.

                              The Newton on the other hand, is *historic*, because it created a new type of computing market -- the PDA. Without the Newton, we would never have had the Palm Pilot or Windows CE, and by definition "smart phones" -- making the Newton a direct line to the iPhone.

                              But is the Newton "vintage"? That's a tough call.

                              Is it possible we're just being biased about what we call vintage? Is it possible that we only consider "vintage" what *isn't* popular? For something to be vintage, that means that it never "made it"?
                            • Evan Koblentz
                              ... I ve said my peace .... we know vintage when we see it; it s NOT defined merely by age; and nobody really wants yet another long debate about this.
                              Message 14 of 20 , Jun 23, 2009
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                                >
                                > Is it possible we're just being biased about what we call vintage? Is it possible that we only consider "vintage" what *isn't* popular? For something to be vintage, that means that it never "made it"?
                                >
                                I've said my peace .... we know vintage when we see it; it's NOT defined
                                merely by age; and nobody really wants yet another long debate about this.
                              • Evan Koblentz
                                ... FALSE. Sorry. Had to get that off my chest. :) Handheld electronic organizers, before Apple coined the ridiculous three-letter acronym PDA , existed as
                                Message 15 of 20 , Jun 23, 2009
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                                  >
                                  > The Newton ... created a new type of computing market -- the PDA. Without the Newton, we would never have had the Palm Pilot or Windows CE, and by definition "smart phones"
                                  >
                                  FALSE.

                                  Sorry. Had to get that off my chest. :)

                                  Handheld electronic organizers, before Apple coined the ridiculous
                                  three-letter acronym "PDA", existed as early as 1978. And I can say
                                  with ZERO hesitation or concern for conceit that I am, in fact, the
                                  world's foremost expert on this subject. (Sellam, Bruce Damer, etc.
                                  will back me up on that claim.)

                                  Moroever, the Newton's features were in several other handhelds before
                                  it existed. Some of them even worked. :)

                                  The first real smartphone, the IBM Simon, was in development before the
                                  Newton came out.
                                • Bill Degnan
                                  ... As in ...that s vintage 1998 meaning typical of an era, in this case a nice Pentium III for 1998. In that context why then can t we talk about *any*
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Jun 23, 2009
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                                    -------- Original Message --------
                                    > From: "Evan Koblentz" <evan@...>
                                    > Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 12:58 PM
                                    > To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                                    > Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: Televideo PM/286 (and the i286)
                                    >
                                    > > *any* car can be vintage once it's 30 years old. It shouldn't matter
                                    > > whether it's got a V-8 and disc brakes
                                    > You're missing the point. Look in a dictionary: "antique" (as in
                                    > antique car license plates) is defined merely by age, whereas "vintage"
                                    > is defined by how unique/good something is.
                                    >

                                    As in "...that's vintage 1998" meaning typical of an era, in this case a
                                    nice Pentium III for 1998.

                                    In that context why then can't we talk about *any* computer if it's notable
                                    for or typical of an era? Vintage is subjective.

                                    So, how about we say "pre-homebrew vintage" , "60's minicomputer vintage"
                                    , "vintage S-100 era" , "vintage 80's appliance computer" , "vintage ISA
                                    clone" , "vintage early laptop" , "vintage 1976 homebrew" , etc. ??
                                    Context is required as a wrapper to help modify the general term vintage.

                                    My issue is that everyone seems to have their own definition of vintage,
                                    therefore to me it's a weak term without context.

                                    Bill
                                  • Brian Cirulnick
                                    ... That s a craftily-worded sentence. Looks more like development was parallel, most of it around the same time (and I seem to recall a slew of tablet devices
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Jun 23, 2009
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                                      --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > The first real smartphone, the IBM Simon, was in development before the
                                      > Newton came out.
                                      > -----------

                                      That's a craftily-worded sentence. Looks more like development was parallel, most of it around the same time (and I seem to recall a slew of tablet devices around the same period). The Simon was shown as a prototype in 1992, Newton development goes back to 1989.

                                      Still, touch-screen devices were all over the place, but I don't know if I'd put the Newton into the same category as a Casio Boss. Electronic rolodexes were around forever, but were they really computing devices? Were they development platforms? Could third parties write applications for them?

                                      I'm making a distinction between the Newton as creating a valid computing platform that draws a line to the Blackberry, the Treo and the iPhone.

                                      And whether you want to admit it or not, Apple did create a PDA market, as all those other devices that preceeded the Newton went nowhere so fast, I can't even remember their names.
                                    • Evan Koblentz
                                      ... I interviewed the Simon project manager and a couple of his engineers. As with any product, it too was in development long before it was shown to the
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Jun 23, 2009
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                                        > Simon was shown as a prototype in 1992, Newton development goes back
                                        > to 1989.
                                        I interviewed the Simon project manager and a couple of his engineers.
                                        As with any product, it too was in development long before it was shown
                                        to the public or announced anywhere.
                                        > Electronic rolodexes were around forever, but were they really computing devices? Were they development platforms? Could third parties write applications for them?
                                        >
                                        Yes. in many cases. There was aftermarket software for early-1990s
                                        handhelds such as the Sony Palmtop (Japan only), Sharp Wizard series,
                                        and others. There was also aftermarket software for various handhelds
                                        from the mid/late 1980s (DOS). Even some of the earliest stuff had
                                        aftermarket software in the form of plug-in cartridges. So did the
                                        HP-41C calculator in 1979.

                                        Anyway, where is it written in stone that the definition of an arbitrary
                                        three-letter acronym is, "It must be able to run aftermarket software"....?

                                        This isn't the first time I have heard that argument. Jobs' reality
                                        distortion field was on full strength for the Newton. It's like Lexus
                                        drivers (or whoever) saying, "It's only a REAL car if it has in-dash
                                        navigation. Nothing before this was real car, just toys."

                                        That's insane. You can't change the common definition of a PDA (common
                                        sense: "handheld electronic organizer") to match whatever arbitrary
                                        features happen to be in the product that you prefer.

                                        > I'm making a distinction between the Newton as creating a valid computing platform that draws a line to the Blackberry, the Treo and the iPhone.
                                        >
                                        Rubbish. That lineage starts in the late 70s/early 80s with a wide
                                        variety of handhelds from Toshiba, Casio, Sharp, Psion, etc.
                                        > And whether you want to admit it or not, Apple did create a PDA market, as all those other devices that preceeded the Newton went nowhere so fast, I can't even remember their names.
                                        >
                                        So if it wasn't mainstream, then it doesn't count? If someone's first
                                        exposure to computers was the Apple II, should that person say Apple
                                        "created' the microcomputer market and that homebrew-era computers are
                                        irrelevant because he can't even remember their names?

                                        Another metaphor: In the 1920s there were panel trucks. In the 1950s
                                        there were Land Cruisers. In the 1970s there were Broncos. In the
                                        1990s some marketing schmo "invented" the S.U.V. ..... reeeeeeaaaal
                                        original, wasn't it?
                                      • Brian Cirulnick
                                        ... Wow, and just like someone inventing a distinction between antique and vintage ?
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Jun 23, 2009
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                                          --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > Another metaphor: In the 1920s there were panel trucks. In the 1950s
                                          > there were Land Cruisers. In the 1970s there were Broncos. In the
                                          > 1990s some marketing schmo "invented" the S.U.V. ..... reeeeeeaaaal
                                          > original, wasn't it?
                                          >
                                          --------------

                                          Wow, and just like someone "inventing" a distinction between "antique" and "vintage"?
                                        • Brian Cirulnick
                                          ... FYI: Jobs wasn t around for the Newton. That would be Sculley s Sugar Water Distortion Field . Interestingly, you stirred another memory in my long-fogged
                                          Message 20 of 20 , Jun 23, 2009
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                                            --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > > Jobs' reality
                                            > distortion field was on full strength for the Newton.

                                            FYI: Jobs wasn't around for the Newton.
                                            That would be Sculley's "Sugar Water Distortion Field".

                                            Interestingly, you stirred another memory in my long-fogged brain. One of Vanguard Media's first gigs was working on some kind of "smartphone", but it wasn't handheld, it was a desk phone.

                                            We were working with Mark Safire (son of William Safire, Nixon's speechwriter), and he was a Mac-head developing in hypercard some interface for a Bellsouth product that would tie into ISDN (which at the time, really meant It Still Does Nothing), to provide all kinds of phonebook services.

                                            Mike Pinto was helping design the interface and I beta-tested. I remember writing an article for 2600 Magazine about it (Hey, I never signed the non-disclosure!)... and I think they actually did call it "The Smartphone".

                                            I can't remember what year that was, but it had to be very early 90's, maybe even late 80's, so that would jive with the Simon (for all I know, they used the same stuff we developed for that).

                                            I'd have to call Mike and verify, since I can't remember, it was too damn long ago. But if I can locate my 2600 article, maybe I can dig you up more info...
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