I'm happy (and somewhat relieved as well) to say that the Newton MessagePad 2000 is a very nice machine. Moreover, it's extremely useful and usable in my daily routine. It's fast. It has an excellent screen. The battery life is measured in weeks. It comes bundled with enough software so that it is useful right out of the box. And finally, after all this time, the software is mature and robust.
What do I use it for? The names and addresses (personal and business) that I previously scrawled on various scraps of paper are now neatly organized and instantly accessible. A couple of taps, and I can get a hold of just about anyone and jot down notes regarding what we discussed.
The day planner is a godsend for me -- my entire agenda including to do lists and scheduled appointments is available at the tap of a pen. Because I can be rather easily distracted, it's a bonus that the Newton will remind me of the appointments as well as laying the day out for me ahead of time -- and it'll do this no matter where I happen to be.
I also use the notes pages for sketching out product ideas, maintaining checklists for the products that are in development, and other such things. Being able to beam, fax, print, or eMail any of this information is just gravy.
That's what I got it for -- to help me get a bit more organized. Although it'll take some discipline on my part as well, the Newton sure has made it a heck of a lot easier for me. The bonus is that the Newton comes Internet-ready -- I can't see myself browsing web pages with it often, but being able to check my mail remotely and discretely may actually be quite useful.
I plan to move my financial information from my desktop machine to my Newton, so that I can just scribble in the amounts of my purchases and not have to worry about bringing the receipts back with me. I also would like to pick up some of the expense-tracking software that is available so that I can keep track of business deductions (car mileage, tolls, meetings, etc.) easily.
On the whole, although I've had the machine for less than a week, I'm already both pleased and impressed with it. If you're the type that uses a day planner now, you may very well find that the MP 2000 is several orders of magnitude more useful to you. There is of course much more to the product than what I've related here, but I'm still discovering it as well. Check it out if you get a chance.
Ambrosia Software, Inc.
Ed Note -- Andrew took the Hummer for it's first real road test lately -- off road test, that is. He says he almost flipped it. The only way you can flip one of those things is to drive it sideways on a very steep incline! "Yep," says Andrew, "you should have seen the look on the face of the guy with me!" He had the seats cleaned as soon as he returned.