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Defying Gravity: The Making of Newton Hardcover – October, 1993

4.4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: First Glance Books (October 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0941831949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0941831949
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 10.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,375,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I can still remember when I first opened a Newton MessagePad 130 with backlighting for my 13th birthday. I had heard before I received the 130 that the Newton was notorious for its bad handwriting recognition and its frequent crashes but I decided to give it a shot. After I got aquainted with my MessagePad 130, I began to wonder what all the fuss was about. It worked almost flawlessly. I decided to purchase this book to learn about the development of the product that I adored and loved. I was very impressed with the pictures and was equally impressed with the writing to go along with them. If you want to learn about what it takes to become a computer programmer/engineer, this book is for you. It lets you know about the struggles and the rewards of being part of a team and developing a finished product with a corperate deadline. However, the reason I only gave it four stars is that somebody who had no idea about the Newton wouldn't really know how everything turns out. The book leaves you hanging by letting you know that the Newton DID begin to ship, but thats all. Thats not the authors fault though. As many Newton fans know, Steve Jobs discontinued the Newton because of its lack of sales and basically said it was a drain on the company resources, but thats another story. This book was put together almost flawlessly and deserves more recognition than it has.
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Format: Hardcover
Follow the Newton from conception to birth. It's a facinating look at how creativity and business clash and merge to form a unique product for profit. Our post-Newton perspective only serves to make the story more poignant.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wonderful, journalistic in style book that recounts the development of the (in)famous Apple Newton. Visionary and breathtakingly courageous, the product generated a huge of amount of interest. Unfortunately it was ahead of its time. Its much vaunted hand writing technology did not work to an acceptable standard until 2.5 years after its first release. Too late to overcome the disappointment created by its earlier versions. By the time it was withdrawn 1.5 years later, it was ready for a rewrite. Apple was then under financial strife and couldn't afford to redevelop it. Instead it bet the farm on the iMac and succeeded in recovering its fortunes. Nonetheless many Newton ideas can be discerned in the iPhone. Today the Newton is a byword among many as a failed technology story, a parable of how not to develop technology; nonetheless, the Newton still has a cult following who continue to operate the technology and develop new software for it. This book recounts the halcyon days of its development and launch. A collector's item for the student of technology development and marketing. Readers of this book, should also check out the book "ThinkPad: A different shade of blue" by Purdy.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book tells the story in pictures and prose of the rushed development of the Newton PDA. It is focused primarily on the people and their stories rather than the technologies. The pressures, joys and herculean efforts of the various members of the Newton team are brought to life excellently. Highly recommended for people curious about life behind the curtains at Apple, the Newton project or the story of idea to finished product in the technology business.
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Format: Hardcover
I miss the days when the computer industry had new, exciting and innovative ways to change our lives. Ok, the Newton didn't change the world but it was a damned glorious attempt. And the herculean effort to get this product from myth to the shelves is a terrific story (partly because we know the ending). Let's hope the new Apple can overcome its' demons of the past. If it was better written, it would be a Roman Tragedy... It still is a great chronicle of a great time past..
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is back in the "dark ages" of Apple, when they didn't have "insanely great" anymore, and were churning out one bland box after another.

Then someone took notice of a project that was being worked on for a portable device, and it got green lighted to go to market. It took a loooooooooong time, several years of development, changing product types, etc. In the time it took to get the product on the shelves, 3-4 different generations of today's iPad would come and go.

It's a fascinating story of the people and the times at Apple, and how they got a truly revolutionary product to market. The Newton may not have been a success, but it created a multi-billion dollar market.
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