Hi, this is Gary Rosenzweig. Back in 1997 I bought one of these. In 2007 I bought one of these. Let's compare them on this episode of MacMost now. This is a newton message pad 2000. I got it in 1997 and cost me about $400. It weighs about a pound and a half and has a huge writing screen that's just black and white, but it does a lot of things the iPhone actually still doesn't do, and one of the things it does is handwriting recognition. You can take the stylus that comes with it and write something on it. Like that. And will convert it for you into to text or keep it for you as a drawing, if you want. So you basically use this as a tablet computer, just writing on it or taking notes, as a matter of fact, that's what it does best. Now the downside to the message pad compared to the modern day iPhone is that it only has about four megs of memory. That's right, megs of memory. So, there's not much room on here to store MP3s, matter of fact, there is no headphone jack out, so it's not really an MP3 player at all, but it does have a lot of neat things that the iPhone doesn't have. One thing is, it's got two card slots, so you can add things like modems and extensions to it. There's also a serial port at the top, which is how you dock it, but you can also add things like a keyboard to it. In fact, this one came with a keyboard. So you can type an keep notes quicker than handwriting at a conference, say, or in a class. Now the battery life on these things was excellent. I can't remember exactly what the original battery life on these things was, but I know if you can get these things refurbished you can get about forty hours of battery life out of it. And it even comes with a battery pack that allows you to put four double A batteries into it so you can take it traveling and no worry about forgetting to charge it or something. The other thing about this device that is really big is the fact that it supports third party software, it did that right from the get-go. So people would write all sorts of software. As a matter of fact, when Apple discontinued the machine in 1998, a strong developer community kept writing software and producing new peripherals for the device, so a lot of people still use it today. Now the iPhone of course is a lot lighter and a lot prettier, and it has a ton of memory. I mean, this one's the standard eight gigabyte one, you can get one now that's sixteen gigs, and with the headphone out jack that means it's a useful MP3 player and media player of all kinds as you can play movies and things on it. It has a high resolution screen as opposed to just the monochrome screen of the Newton. So this is a much more useful device in today's multimedia world. But where the iPhone falls down is the extendibility. Third party application aren't here yet although they're coming but it looks like Apple's going to restrict them and basically get to say which ones get produced and which ones don't. Also of course, there's really very little extra hardware besides speaker systems and such. What would be nice is to have an extra keyboard on this, to take notes, and also of course to have a variety of different hardware applications that maybe Apple hasn't even thought up yet. What's pretty natural when I compare these two things, I mean they're both small computing devices by Apple, but this one's really more similar to a tablet PC and this one is a combination of a phone and an MP3 player. So, as time goes on and third party apps come to the iPhone, this will probably do everything that the Newton message pad did. But it's nice to take a look back and see what's there in the past and see how far we've come today. What's most interesting when trying to compare these two devices is how close the Newton message pad is to the iPhone in many respects, and it's fourteen years older. Just shows you how advanced the message pad was back when it came out in 1993. It was also interesting to me when doing this pod cast to see that the cool factor was there for the Newton message pad. It still seems like this really cool device and I want to use it for something. If you've got a Newton message pad, I'd like to hear from you. Leave a comment to this podcast at the MacMost.com website and let me know what your favorite feature of the Newton message pad was and why you think it may be in some ways better than the iPhone. Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.