L'eMate è stato il canto del cigno della serie dei PDA della Apple iniziata verso la metà degli anni 80. L'avventura Apple nei PDA era iniziata nel 1992 con i primi prototipi di Newton, questa serie non ebbe mai grande successo a causa principalmente della lentezza operativa e della difficoltà del Newton nell'apprendere la scrittura dell'utente.
L'eredità della linea Newton (cessata da Steve Jobs nel 1998 al suo rientro in Apple) venne raccolta dalla PALM con l'intriduzioni dei primi dispositivi palmari realmente portatili come il Palm Pilot
Sopra un eMate 300 e a destra un Newton, progetto fortemente innovativo (e mai decollato di Apple) antesignano dei moderni PDA (personal digital assistant)
L'eMate era sostanzialmente un Newton con la tastiera, o se preferite un Powerbook con il sistema operativo del Newton, che di fatto era gestito all'epoca da una vera e propria compagnia separata da Apple, la Newton inc.
Macchina dedicata al mercato scolastico, concepito per essere sbattuto dai bambini sotto i 12 anni, durante le demo veniva letteralmente "tirato per terra" per dimostrare che era robustissimo...
Con una singola carica della batteria riusciva a coprire anche 24 ore, avvio istantaneo all'apertura dello schermo, e doppio input, sia via penna e touch screen che via tastiera. Basti pensare al computer a manovella concepito nel 2005 da N. Negroponte che pare assai simile nel concetto ad un eMate.
Specifiche complete qui
Un bellissimo filmato (knoledge navigator) illustra quella che era allora (e potrebbe essere ancora oggi almeno per molti aspetti) la visione Apple di quello che dovrebbe essere un PDA: http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=QRH8eimU_20
Software per Newton ed eMate qui
PRODUCT AND TECHNOLOGY
Q: What is the Apple eMate 300?
A: The Apple® eMate™ 300 is a new class of affordable mobile computer, designed in conjunction with educators. The Apple eMate 300 is designed as a companion to Mac OS and Windows-based PCs.
The Apple eMate 300 combines the most used functions of a personal computer and the flexibility of a mobile computer with the ability to interact with desktop computers, servers, and the Internet. This allows users to do most of their critical work wherever they happen to be—in a lab, an office, a classroom, on a trip, or at home.
The eMate 300 features the award-winning, easy-to-use Newton operating system and comes with Newton Works, a set of built-in applications that includes a word processor, drawing program, spreadsheet and graphing calculator. The eMate 300’s unique industrial design is rugged enough to withstand the rigors of being carried, shared, and used in a variety of environments. It’s easily portable—it weighs less than 4 pounds and is small enough to fit in a backpack or briefcase.
Q: Why will educators, mobile professionals, students, and parents buy this product?
A: We listened carefully to what educators had to say about the needs of mobile users. They indicated that mobile users have a need for:
An affordable lightweight mobile computer.
A rugged “clamshell” design with steel chassis to make it portable and durable for indoor and outdoor use. Thick wall design, reinforced ribs and a strong plastic case create inherently strong enclosures, and suspension mounting helps protect against damage due to impact.
Long battery life (up to 24 hours of continuous use, depending on usage).
Built-in applications including: word processor, drawing application, graphing calculator, spreadsheet, address book, note taking tools, and calendar.
TCP/IP, the protocol of the Internet, for electronic mail and web access.
Browser software to access the Internet (also requires a modem with dial-up access)
Easy desktop connectivity and compatibility that lets them share files and information with Mac OS and Windows-based PCs (cables for both kinds of computers are included in the Retail version of the eMate 300, Apple part # H0221LL/A).
A backlit screen that displays a full page width (6.5 inches).
Room for growth. Users need to be able to add any Newton OS-based software application, as well as more storage and memory, as their needs grow.
An automatic power on/off feature to conserve battery power when the lid is closed and to provide ‘instant-on’ capability when the lid is opened.
Q: Why would users opt for an Apple eMate 300 in addition to a desktop system?
A: At an affordable price, the Apple eMate 300 functions as a companion to desktop computers and gives more users access to the technology they need. Users can do most of their critical learning work with the eMate 300 wherever it’s appropriate—because the eMate 300 combines the most used functions of personal computing with the ability to interact with desktop computers, servers, and the Internet.
Q: Why do you think a product based on Newton OS will be successful?
A: Newton OS is well-suited to designing a product that meets the specific needs of mobile users:
It’s efficient (it doesn’t require as many system resources as Macintosh and Windows).
It’s a small, mobile operating system.
It runs on low-cost microprocessors (ARM RISC microprocessors).
It’s solid state, making it rugged/durable for mobile use.
It runs all in silicon so there is no magnetic media like floppy and hard drives.
It has an advanced, simple, easy-to-use interface.
Q: Why is the Apple eMate 300 an information appliance product and not part of the PowerBook line?
A: The Apple eMate 300 is based on the Newton operating system. The eMate 300 is an example of a multi-purpose mobile computer designed to meet the requirements of a specific market and to be a companion to a desktop computer. The PowerBook family is based on the Mac OS and a PowerBook is not only a companion to a desktop, but can also be a user’s sole computer.
Q: If users want mobility why wouldn’t they just buy a PowerBook?
A: The eMate 300 was designed primarily to meet most of the computing needs of students at a lower cost than a notebook computer. The lower cost allows more users to have access to technology.
Q: Colour is important to Web browsers. Why doesn’t eMate 300 have colour and when do you expect to have it?
A: The eMate 300 is designed to be a mobile, affordable tool that works in conjunction with multimedia desktop PC and Macintosh computers. Users can do most of their critical learning work with the eMate 300 wherever it’s appropriate—inside or outside of the classroom or office—because it combines the most used functions of personal computing with the ability to interact with desktop computers, servers, and the Internet. Colour is expensive, both in terms of product cost and battery life, but we realize that colour is desirable and we are constantly evaluating new technology to bring colour to the eMate family.
Q: Is eMate 300 compatible with the Windows platform?
A: Yes, the eMate 300 offers connectivity to both the Windows and Mac desktop. Using Newton Connection Utilities, which are bundled with the eMate 300, a user can move documents and information from the eMate 300 to both Windows-based PCs and Mac OS computers, and then back again, allowing documents created on the eMate 300 to be edited on the user’s desktop and documents created on the desktop to be further modified on the eMate 300. Cables for connecting to both Macs and PCs are included in the Retail version of the eMate 300, Apple part # H0221LL/A
Q: Can I connect eMate 300 to a printer?
A: eMate 300 has a standard serial port which connects to ImageWriter, StyleWriter and PostScript printers, plus more printers with the optional Newton Print Pack.
Q: Is eMate 300 Ethernet capable?
A: PCMCIA Ethernet cards are available from third parties. Serial, LocalTalk, and IrDA (infrared) is built into the eMate 300.
Q: Is eMate 300 compatible with Mac, Windows and other Newton applications?
A: The eMate 300 runs the Newton OS. The eMate 300 is designed to share data, text, and graphics with both the Macintosh and Windows platforms. For example, a user can create a document using the word processor on the eMate 300 and then upload her work into a Mac or Windows word processor application on the desktop. Since eMate 300 is built on the Newton 2.0 operating system, it also runs Newton 2.0 applications. Developers can easily augment their existing Newton 2.0 applications to take advantage of eMate 300’s larger screen size and keyboard.
Q: Why doesn’t eMate 300 come with a built-in modem? Isn’t this essential to mobility?
A: A modem is not essential to a user using an eMate in a school or office environment, nor for those users who do not require Internet access. In a school or office, an eMate 300 user can use a LAN/WAN to exchange information. For users who require a modem, there are several available from third parties.
Q: What does Apple mean by “learning for anyone, anytime and any place”?
A: A distributed learning environment provides learning for anyone, anytime and anyplace. It extends the reach of learning to the library, the office, to labs, homes, other schools, local communities, and around the world. Apple’s support of the distributed learning environment concept is based on its commitment to four critical elements of successful learning: information access, wherever it resides; communication and collaboration with other users, anytime and anywhere; multisensory tools that facilitate diverse learning styles, creativity and understanding; and access to personal learning materials—books, supplies and technologies.
Q: Will the Apple eMate 300 replace desktop computers in education? Isn’t Apple concerned that the eMate 300 will cannibalize sales of desktop Macs?
A: No. The Apple eMate 300 is designed to be part of an integrated solution that includes desktop computers that are multimedia capable; peripheral devices such as printers, scanners, digital cameras; and networks, which could range from a simple connection to a printer, to a local network of PCs, to a connection to a server.