Dumbstart's Daily Apple Newton

Serving up Newton news and software for 12 months and counting, thanks for your support to every one of the 7000 visitors.

Friday, May 28, 2004

it's taken long enough.

I'm posting the latest version (which also happens to be the first release) of nControl for the Apple Newton 2X00 series. nControl allows you to personalize your calorie, sodium, carb, and fat requirements and gives you a simple way to enter and track these stats throughout the day. I would really like some feedback on this app, it's the largest program for the Newton that I've written so far and would love to see it come to fruition as a must have app.

When you first start nControl it will bring up a Preferences screen (not all Prefs are working at this time so I'll go through them all right now) that will allow you to set personalized Calorie, Carb, Sodium, Fat, and Water daily goals. The option to ask before starting a new day allows you to determine whether nControl asks you when you select a date if you want to create a log of that date's meals. The next two options (Automatically create & radio button Open options) are not implemented at this time, so don't worry about those at this point. To make it easier to enter your meal counts quickly you can split your daily allowance of nutrient counts between breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack. These counts will determine how many counts to assign a meal based on it's health rating, from 1 to 5.

Once you've finished up the prefs, you can then select to enter the specific counts for a meal, add a glass of water drank, enter exercise minutes, change your weight, or select a new date. Once you begin entering the specific counts for a meal you can either enter the counts using the Number picker, or you can slide the bar to select between Poor, Bad, Average, Good, or Great. These words will use the percentage of counts you selected in preferences to fill in the calories, sodium, fat, and carbs automatically.

I hope you all enjoy and any questions or comments would be more than welcome.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

the New York Times is correct this time.

Check out the New York Times website, they have an article entitled A Design Epiphany: Keep It Simple which discusses the importance of good design; of which they include the Apple Newton (page 2, under the heading Edit). Way to go my original green tablet for keeping yourself on the radar.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

okay, jumble this.

I've uploaded the latest version of jumble, with high score support, a whole slew of new words, as well as better timing and score notifications. I hope you all enjoy, and please let me know any problems you encounter, especially if you are using a 1X0 NOS 2.0 since this is the first real program that I've developed for the 2.0 platform.

I've already moved over to http://dev.newtontalk.net and am very happy with everything so far. Let's hope it keeps up going this good, i'm tired of moving.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Call Me One Of The Converts.

I just got nBlog running on my Newton and decided that I would test it out. Turns out there is very few instructions for getting nBlog to run much less to find out the exact names of your servers at blogger.com. If anyone reading this uses nBlog please let me know so I Can place a link to your site, us Newton users have to stick together you know.

Look for yet another server move in the next few days, thanks (again) to Paul Guyot I got hosting at newtontalk.net and I am in the process of moving everything over.

Friday, May 14, 2004

new game WIP of course.

The latest in a string of releases from the dumbstart camp, Jumble. It's actually a first for me, a Newton 2.0 program (for the most part my programs can only run on the 2.1 OS), i'm planning on going back and seeing if I can change any of my older programs to 2.0 compliant, so check back for that soon. In Jumble you create words by twisting letters around in an attempt to get the highest score possible in 120 seconds. Since this is the first release I have more in store for it (customizable timer, more words, soup storage of high scores, help document, and icon graphics) in the near future. If you run into any problems please post a comment so I can address the issue immediately.

jumble.pkg, jumble.txt, and jumble.zip.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

a story to tell.

I've just uploaded a new Newton book, A Picture of Dorian Grey. I've also added a summary of chapters, rundown of major characters, themes, and conflicts. I figure I'll search out a classic (that could serve a purpose for those of us who go to school) and put together a Newton book with notes and summary already included. You can save time when reading the book by reading the notes immediately afterward. I'm going to post these books I create under the Reading title to the right, so check back every so often for new programs, books, and current Newton news.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

sony may have done it right this time.

At first glance I thought that I had been fooled, again. Like every Newton user before me I thought I was seeing the future.

Until I realized that it runs Windows XP. If you haven't seen the new line of Vaios from Sony you are missing out; a PVR with 7 built in tuners and 1 terrabyte of storage - Type X, the thinest notebook computer I've ever seen - Extreme 505, and what at first glance appears to be a Newton clone - the Type U.

Turns out the Vaio U has two different models, both sporting 20 gig hard drives, your choice of an 800 or 1 gig Pentium M processor and built-in wireless-g networking and bluetooth.

Check out all their amazing new offerings at the Vaio Homepage.

Monday, May 10, 2004

minor updates.

I'm certain that you can see the front page updates, I actually made it easy to download my programs. I thought about it today that it would be very hard for a person to visit and actually find one of my programs; now you will always find them to the top right. Enjoy.

Good News - Newton saves 100 million dollars.
Bad News -Newton still can't recognize.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

this package is the bomb!

Well, that's really what the Newton package is, Bombs Away; I wrote a Newton version of Minesweeper, not too much to choose from, but it is completely playable and includes the source and NTK project file so it could be worth something to someone. I hope someone enjoys the game, I plan on adding more options to it in the future, but realized that I never uploaded it and decided to give everyone out there a crack at working for the bomb squad.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

digging up the Newton.

Your dog has been at it again, burying bones all over your back yard, now it's up to you to find out where exactly these bones have been buried. The latest in a string of releases of simple Newton games; Planks, Hopper, and now this. I have quite a bit of work on this game, I'm just posting it for general consumption in the hopes that it will encourage me to continue development on it. It's been a pain trying to implement a random order to the bones at this point, if anyone has any ideas on an easy way to do this please contact me, I've tried a few different ways and at this point none of them have worked in a way that is worth implementing.

The rules are simple, you have to find four bones, they are spread throughout your Backyard and you uncover them one spot at a time, if you uncover a bone it shows up as a bone cross, if there isn't a bone then it shows up as a hole. Once you have uncovered the entire bone the bone crosses are replaced with the entire bone. You try to uncover all the bones without digging too many holes. Enjoy, and look for an updated version very soon . . .

Friday, May 07, 2004

plenty of people love the Newton.

If the Apple Newton keeps up with all the positive regard (sans the description of it being "brick like") then we are certain to see a new influx of users into the fold.

With mentions at MacDailyNews about the growing trend of mobile blogging, especially of people who doNewton Blogging speaking of all the bonuses with using a larger scale PDA, we are certain to see a few converts. Even at Globe Technology they refer to the latest version of the Blackberry have a great history owing much to the Newton.

Once you've read your fill of Newton-related news check out some screenshots of my latest project (I say latest even though I started this way way way back before I even started a site) nControl. A lifestyle tracker that will have quite a few functions that I've yet to see in a product of it's type; counting calories, fat, sodium, and carbohydrates, it will grade you on a daily basis on how you meet your personalized goals. Enjoy the screenshot, I'm waiting to add a few more features before I make a release, what I'd like to do is get some help with the icons, I created one for breakfast and thought to myself, this is incredibly bad looking. If anyone would like to donate some time to make icons for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack, in the form of a 16-color bitmap with dimensions 115 x 45 I would greatly appreciate it and definately add your name to the credits. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

still taking back the Newton.

Flash Card - Mini-Review # 3

What may not look like much in the screenshot may be responsible for my passing grade in Psychology. FlashCard was written by Jeffery Schlimmer in 1995 and is a staple in my Newton's package diet. After creating cards with both questions and answers you can then quiz yourself over the material, randomly asking questions and presenting five possible answers to that question and when you're finished you receive a percentage grade. You can create decks of questions keeping them separated by category, allowing you to quiz yourself over the pertinent material. Throughout my Intro to Psych class I've made separate decks for each chapter that we have studied to this point, and before tests I just quiz myself a number of times until I get 100% correct.

To create a card you enter your question in the top box and use the font and styles buttons to format the question. Once you have entered your question then enter the answer in the bottom box. Use the Up and Down arrows to move between cards (each new Deck automatically has 5 blank cards) and press the New button to create a new card.

After you have fully filled out at least 5 cards you can then click the quiz button to begin the testing process. You can see in the screenshot to the right As you can see to the right I've already made a quiz, "Known as the original green tablet created by Apple as an alternative to writing on napkins." The correct answer as well as 4 answers from other questions are shown at the bottom, after you select an answer it will show the correct answer (whether you selected it or not). You can click the % button to show the percentage of correct answers you've given so far. You can also click the stop button to quit the quiz and return to the card editor for revisions or to start over.

You create your decks and even beam them to other Newton users so now we need to start a database of Decks so everyone can start passing Psych as easily as I am. It's a great program that can be found at UNNA in the utilities section, as well as a package that will allow users to export their decks using a terminal emulation program called Flash Card Transfer. Unfortunately I'm unable to contact Jeffery Schlimmer and the official site of the program is no longer functioning (appears to be a secondary education site) and no other leads from Google at this time. If anyone has any information please pass it on, I'd like to think that I can get at least one program freedom for the community.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

letting everyone know where I was.

Unfortunately for over the past week I've been unable to post to my webspace at spymac.com, at first it was just a minor annoyance, I had finished writing a few good things and wasn't able to share them, as time has gone on (since the 26th) I have received less and less help. So for the moment I had to move the site back to it's original location, now we just need to hope it all works out for the time being.

Enjoy all the updates, I posted 3 that I wrote during the downtime (in the hopes of being able to post), with a mini-review of CommonWords (with Pictures), a new version of Planks (a great deal of it re-written from the ground up), and just general Newton info as usual.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

still going to post during down time.

At this time no one will be able to read this entry (or the past two), but I'm going to go ahead and write it up so I'll be ready when the problems at spymac are fixed and I'm able to post again. As certain as I am that people here are familar with spymac, I just have to mention they are the first people out the door with one gig free email, they also provide 350 megs of free iCal, blog space, and website hosting, as well as auctions, great forums, and a very active support structure. Thanks to spymac for the hosting space, now if I could just FTP in!

But while I'm waiting, here's some great information about this week in Newton history:

1990: John Sculley gives his full support for developing the Newton. As originally envisioned, the US$1,500 Newton personal digital assistant (PDA) is scheduled to ship April 2, 1992. As it turns out, the first Newton MessagePad isn't released until August 2, 1993, at a list price of US$699.

This is just some of the information from Apple Confidential 2.0 and Mac Observer. And the reworked version of Planks is up, still only two levels, but more will be added very soon since I completely rewrote the way it handles levels.

Planks.pkg, Planks.zip, and Planks.txt.