Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Before the Tablet: Apple's Steve Jobs in 2004 Talks About Not Doing Another Newton (Video)

Before Steve Jobs unveils his latest and perhaps greatest creation–which is expected to be a tablet computer–today at a massively hyped event in San Francisco, you might want to peruse this video clip, unearthed from our archives by the crack All Things Digital team, in which the legendary Apple CEO said he was glad he did not do another single-screen PDA-like device after the Newton debacle.

In an interview with Walt Mossberg at the second D: All Things Digital conference in May 2004, Jobs said definitively: “I’m as proud of the products that we have not done as the ones we have done.”

He specifically referenced calls to create a new version of the Newton, an innovative personal digital assistant hardware/software platform that Apple (AAPL) tried to make a success of throughout the 1990s and ultimately shuttered.

While it is not exactly the kind of tablet Apple is likely to unveil later this morning, the Newton MessagePad is is widely considered influential to the development of the iPhone. Wikipedia, in fact, notes, “Some refer to the Newton as the iPhone’s grandfather.”

Since the iPhone is kind of the son of the iPod, that would make it the father of the upcoming tablet. Thus, the new device is the Newton’s great-grandson.

We’ll see if it is a Silicon Valley chip off the old block or not very soon.

Here’s the video from D2:

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work