Newton MP3 Player and Accidents

As the adage goes, “Newton never dies, it just gets new batteries.” Eric Schneck has released his Newton iTunes plug-in that works in conjunction with iTunes and Eckhart Köppen’s MAD Max MP3 Player for the Apple Newton MessagePad. Who needs an iPod when you have a Newton, eh?

The picture on the left shows Tori Amos’ 1,000 Oceans playing on my Newton MessagePad 2100. How cool is that?

In all seriousness, the Newton doesn’t come close to the iPod as an MP3 player, but it still remains an impressive device (for a left-for-dead platform and technology). Did you know that the Newton’s processor is the direct ancestor of those used in the latest PocketPC and future Palm handhelds? That’s right, the SA-110 StrongARM processor powers the Newton at a blazingly fast 161.9MHz. That processor was powerful enough for real-time, accurate handwriting recognition, and it was on the cusp of being able to deliver voice recognition.

Let’s see, the MessagePad 2000 line was released in 1997. That was nearly five years ago! It’s been four years since Newton was axed by Apple. Sigh. It truly was technology that was too far ahead of its time. Just imagine what it could do today had it been allowed to develop and flourish. Double sigh.

In other news, I had a short corporate photo shoot in Palo Alto on Tuesday. I had to whip out the lightstands and umbrellas for some portraits shot outside of Il Fornaio. I also messed around with long exposure photography on my camera at my house. The picture above was taken over a 30 seconds time period. You get two Adam’s for the price of one! To be honest, I don’t know if I could deal with a clone of me. It’s freaky that they are cloning pets, like “cc” the cat cloned at Texas A&M University. It’s just like what’s happened in The 6th Day! Arnold’s had a number of movies that have mimicked real-world events. The Running Man reminds me of game shows such as Survivor and The Chair while his latest, Collateral Damage has some relevance in the post-September 11 world.

Congratulations to Eric’s sister Wendy Cheng, who recently was named the winner of the 2002 Dorothea Lange Fellowship. This summer, she’ll be travelling cross country to document and compare new tract-housing developments in the West with existing and established suburbs in the East. Now that sounds like a fun road trip!

Accident in Mountain View

7:03 pm. There was a traffic accident near my house a few hours ago. The caravan of police cars and emergency vehicles assessing the vehicular carnage had been there for over 45 minutes by the time I got to the scene. According to some people to whom I spoke, a Lexus was involved in a hit and run accident that totaled at least one other car.

The Lexus fled the scene but was quickly apprehended by the police. There was also a fire truck and multiple tow trucks, and I heard that the ambulance was there as well. I’m not sure if the car in the picture above was part of the accident; if it was, it certainly does not look good for whoever was in that car. In related news, one of the San Diego Padres, outfielder Mike Darr, was killed in a single car accident in Arizona today. A close friend of his was also killed in the accident.

Many people are fearful of being in a plane crash, but the chances of getting seriously hurt in a car accident is much higher. Because of the element of control in driving, however, I think people’s paranoia and fear is greatly reduced. It doesn’t help the percentages, but it does help the peace of mind.

I noticed a number of children amongst the curious onlookers. I wonder what psychological impact, if any, has been levied on these impressionable youths during these times. If they are of age for Nintendo or Playstation, they might be desensitized to violent scenes. If not, maybe the effects will manifest themselves in the form of nightmares. I remember the Challenger accident vividly from when I was a kid; perhaps they’ll remember these events just as clearly. Then again, perhaps the scenes will fade away from memory over a hot cocoa and the Power Rangers or Barney.

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