Graveyard of an early adapter


“Early Adapting” is a kind of illness, at least it is an addiction that is difficult to overcome. I do not think I was borne with Early Adptiveness. Also I do not think it is hereditary, as it is very scarce in my family. I was already quiet old when I detected the first signs. We were working in a project team in KPMG, when someone could get hold of a series of  “cheap” Apple Newtons. This was 1995. These Newtons were Apples first so called Message Pads. Probably far ahead of time, and more or less totally useless. I was able to resist. My team mates (accountants and richer than I was) bought one, and after they used it a couple of times (mainly to send messages to each other during boring meetings) the Newton’s disappeared.
In October 1995 the Seiko Message Watch was launched in The Netherlands. I had to have one. This was exactly the device I needed. It was a kind of pager in a watch. You would be able to receive important news on your watch, and people could send you messages. The maximum number of characters in a message was 42 (and that is not a lot). I camped outside the jeweler (the watch was distributed via very selected channels!) and I was the first one (in Zeist) to buy a message watch. I cannot find the price, but I am sure it was not cheap. Afterwards I never met anyone else who had bought a message watch. I was alone. For a while I had big success with the watch. In meetings I was often the one who got hold of big news first. My subscription (“General News”) entitled me to a maximum of five news messages per day.  Other people could send me a message if they phoned a special number and followed a complex procedure (1=A, 2=B etc). I never received a personal message on the message watch. As the watch was very ugly, I stopped using it after a year or so and it ended, as so many other devices, at the device graveyard (which is a drawer in my study, the devices were too expensive to just throw away). A next time: all the money I spent on digital cameras……. (and analogue ones as well).

Reference material:
Tribute to the Seiko Messagewatch by Benjamin Mako Hill
Apple Newton


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