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Newtons, nBlog, and blogging: opinions?


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I'm in the market for a more portable blogging solution.

 

For a few years now, I've been using my wireless-enabled Powerbooks (a 5300, 1400, and Lombard) or TRS-80 Model 100 & acoustic couplers to blog on the go, but as I'm "on the go" a lot more lately (and will be for the foreseeable future), I'm looking for something that's a little less ungainly - say, something that'll fit in my coat pocket.

 

As I absolutely abhor cellphones and Blackberry-type devices, I figured a wifi-equipped PDA would be the way to go. Being a retro-minded guy, I almost immediately thought of the Newton, a little Google research introduced me to nBlog, which led me to this page.

 

Does anyone else here have any sort of experience using nBlog to update their blogs? Success or horror stories? I'd be looking to use it on a regular basis, but if it's going to be too much of a pain, I may just look into something else.

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Well, I can't really recommend much about the newton but I can recommend the next best thing - the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet (collectively known as the "N810", as I've seen).

 

This PDA-like gadget has wifi, bluetooth, both on-screen (in certain situations) and flip-out keyboards, and... runs a fork of Debian Linux as its official operating system! With a few hours (well, probably days) of work, you could possibly find a Newton emulator and compile it for ARM, if you wanted to, or just use the N810's built in Firefox-like web browser (well it isn't actually Firefox, it just uses FF's rendering engine in a smaller package).

 

I don't personally like OS2008 (which will be OS2009 in a few days :p) but you're free to put whatever ARM-compiled Linux stack you want on it. I plan to do so when I get one. I'm not so sure if the Skype and GPS mapping applications (oh, it has a GPS too) will play nice outside the official Debian-like environment it comes packaged with, but you never know. :p

 

If your area also takes advantage of Wimax, there's a new Wimax-supporting version of the N810 available too.

 

-dav7

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Does anyone else here have any sort of experience using nBlog to update their blogs? Success or horror stories? I'd be looking to use it on a regular basis, but if it's going to be too much of a pain, I may just look into something else.

 

I can't be of much help, since I'm currently in the process of bringing my MessagePad 2100 online via a wireless card. I was curious to try nBlog myself once achieved the online stage.

 

I'm subscribed to the NewtonTalk Mailing List -- if you want I can relay your nBlog-related questions there. Have you tried writing Adam Tow himself or the author of the blog you found (myapplenewton.blogspot.com) for some kind of feedback? Maybe they can be of help; especially the author of the Newton-related blog, who seems quite proficient at using Newton-centered solutions.

 

Cheers,

Rick

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I'm subscribed to the NewtonTalk Mailing List -- if you want I can relay your nBlog-related questions there. Have you tried writing Adam Tow himself or the author of the blog you found (myapplenewton.blogspot.com) for some kind of feedback? Maybe they can be of help; especially the author of the Newton-related blog, who seems quite proficient at using Newton-centered solutions.

 

Thanks for the offer, matey, I may take you up on it... or join the list myself once I have a stable email account again ;)

 

As for the rest of my questions, I ended up reading the rest of the Newton blog which pretty much answered my questions - that a Newton CAN be used as a wireless bloggin' machine on a daily basis.

 

Now, the only question left is if I should buy a Newton 2100 on eBay or a more recent PDA such as a PalmOne LifeDrive or something for about the same price...

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^^To be (painfully) honest, I wouldn't bother. My MP2000 is online and I've spent ages fully specing it out with peripherals but only becuase I'm a collector. The Newton can be a pain to surf with, it's not very fast and sometimes even seeing WiFi connection can be very impossible, plus you need to know the exact name of the gateway you are trying to connect too which is not always easy to find out.

Buy something more modern to blog with on the go. The iPod touch has WiFi and really is a lovely little machine, I also agree with dav7 that from the reviews I've read the N810 is highly capable.

The Newt is really for collectors and hobbyists and I wouldn't reccomend it gor a travelling blogger who wants to retain their sanity.

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The Newt is really for collectors and hobbyists and I wouldn't reccomend it gor a travelling blogger who wants to retain their sanity.

 

I'm not worried about retaining my sanity, as I went mad a looooong time ago... after all, I DID occasionally use my TRS-80 Model 100 (w/acoustic couplers and the nearest payphone) to update my blog, so I know full well about doing things the hard way [:D]]'>

 

At this point, I'm either going to pick up a wifi-enabled PDA, or continue to carry one of my Powerbooks along with me...

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As regards to surfing the Web with the Newton, I agree with Rodus. The options are limited and even in the best case scenario, you won't get farther than text-only browsing (à la Lynx, so to speak). Email, on the other hand, is still a viable solution and there's at least one guy on the NewtonTalk mailing list who uses his 2100 for all his emailing on a daily basis. Similarly, if you plan on using nBlog just for posting updates somewhere, that can be done (at least this is what I've inferred checking the NewtonTalk archives from 2004 to 2008).

 

Also, remember another limit of the Newton when it comes to wireless connectivity: encryption. Currently, the maximum encryption supported by the Newton is WEP -- No WPA at all.

 

The iPod Touch is a good suggestion. You can browse the Web as you would on a modern computer (if you like Flash, however, remember that the iPhone and the iPod Touch do not support it), and there are various blogging apps already available to make your life easier.

 

Anyway, I'll report your nBlog questions to the NewtonTalk list, maybe someone there can help more...

 

Cheers

Rick

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No problem there, I'd be using the Newton exclusively for blogging (and PIM), no surfing of web or checking of email...

 

As for encryption, I'm not sure what the hotspots around town use, that'd be my biggest hiccup (no internet at home anymore). I'd have to do a bit of research using my Powerbooks at the hotspots I use regularily to find out what sort of encryption they use, etc.

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