Journal, Technology

Waking 48 Hours

I haven’t slept for over 40 hours. I’ve been coding non-stop for nearly two straight days on a program for my Newton. A Newton, you say? Isn’t that dead and obsolete technology?!? Well, take a look at some of the software packages that have come to the Newton since its untimely demise in February 27, 1998:

  • MAD Newton and MAD Max: MP3 Player and codec!
  • MP3DecoderDef: Receive and play MP3’s from your SimpleMail inbox!
  • SimpleMail 4.0: POP and IMAP client that actually works, unlike some Palm offerings (sorry, MultiMail).
  • ATA Support: One of the coolest programs ever made. ATA Support allows one to use CompactFlash cards and other current storage media on the Newton. All you need is a PC Card Adapter and you’re set!
  • Newton Personal Data Sharing: Turn your Newton into a web server!
  • Waba: lets you run a Java virtual machine on your Newton.
  • IEEE 802.11b Wave LAN driver: Use your Newton wirelessly anywhere!
  • NewtFTP: FTP client software for your Newton.

For technology that’s been obsolete for nearly five years, it sure beats the pants off of many of today’s handheld computers. The great thing about all of these products is that they’ve been developed by a small but generous and devoted community of developers. How long has it taken Palm to get Java over to the Palm? How about their ARM-based product? The Tungsten-T (what a horrible name for a product) doesn’t even ship with MP3 playback out of the box! What’s up with that?!?

So, I’ve been rewriting and enhancing my nHTML application for the Newton these past couple of days. In the years since I last worked on it, I must have gained some serious programming skills and wisdom, as I’ve rewritten much of the application from the ground up in a far shorter time than it took me to write the app in the first place. The application is largely dynamic and template driven now, instead of being hard coded with bailing wire and duct tape as it was in the past! There’s still much to do, but the application now is infinitely more useful than it was in the past.

With nHTML, NewtFTP, SimpleMail, the Wave LAN driver, and a wireless card, I’ll have a very portable web development tool!

I haven’t done this type of thing since the beginning of this year. As Vienna was mentioning, it’s like being back in college doing an all-nighter paper or problem set or CS Class project. I finally got around to finishing one dub of the performance that she gave at the San Francisco Public Library in November. Cool stuff, indeed. Thanks to Eric for working on getting the sound in sync. With footage from two cameras and a remixed audio track, we were moving the files one frame at a time to the left and right to get everything in sync!

Oh yeah, I cut my hair last week. It’s back to shortish-long hair for the time being. I don’t care what other people think. I like it! And if I didn’t, I can always grow it back to long or shave it all off. I’ve done it before, and I can do it again… hmmm… maybe I’ll get cornrows done on them again!

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