yesterday's technology tomorrow

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Back in 1996 or was it 1997, I went to work at Andersen Consulting's (now Accenture) research labs in Chicago. Actually they were a good drive out of downtown but anyway.

I was working on Intelligent Agents focusing on financial services. The gist of the development being that if you watched what people were doing on a banking site you could make preemptive recommendations about products to them that were customised to their tastes and needs based on their behaviour. This has kept with me and led to me starting AgentArts in 1999, two patents around dataming and recommendations and onto today where we are one of the world's leading recommendations companies. Anyway...I digress

While I was at Cstar (the R&D labs) I was working with a gentleman called Chad Burkey who was working on agent technology you could take with you. The platform he was working onn lived on the Apple Netwon. All very cutting edge at the time.

Fast forward to 2006 and I have a 17" powerbook, an iPod shuffle and a filofax that I take everywhere (not to mention three smartphones but those are used more for 3g development than anything). I ordered one of the first Palm Pilots from the US and would have been in the first handful of people in Australia to have them....but no more. Today I am a pen and paper type of guy. Maybe its a GTD thing but its been easier and simpler for me.

However, I have a very strong craving to get me a Newton or three and to have a bit of a play about with them. After some googling, I have discovered the following incredibly interesting and surprising facts about the Newton. (fyi - It was discontinued by Apple when "The Steve" had his second coming back in 98)

- There was a World Wide Newton Conference this year
- Newton OS has been ported to run on OS X, Nokia phones and a Linux handheld.
- The newton can use WiFi cards
- You can sync you Newton with OS X using some freeware software
- The newton still has great hand writing recognition despite what you might see on the Simpsons.

So, I'm on ebay and I'm going to get myself a MessagePad 2000 or 2001 along with the various bits I'll need, which probably means some batteries and a homemade cable along with some other little bits. I might also get myself an eMate.

I'll update my blog once I get em :-)

0 comments | 12:59 PM
Playground Finder Flink Labs - Data Visualisation

neuronwave is the personal site of Ben Hosken. I am the founder of Flink Labs, a data visualisation studio based in Melbourne. Previously I founded AgentArts, where I developed a recommendations system that we ultimately sold to MSFT.I have two patents, one in Recommendation Systems and one for a datamining algorithm I invented. I have a strong interest in physical computing, emergence, self organising systems, immersive games, bluetooth ad hoc networks and other fun things.
A while ago I built and ran Blog Change Bot - an AOL IM Bot which notified you when blogs you like are updated. I also built IcyPole, a bluetooth based P2P mobile phone app in 2004. With Suzette, I've built Playground Finder - a community contributed site for parents to find playgrounds nearby and while traveling for their kids to play in. Its a "playground" for my social, location, community and mobile interests.
I live in Melbourne with my wife Suzette, son Oskar Tex and my little girl Jasmine

Random Pile of Ben
Bodypump, Flink Labs, autumn weather, balance.

Downloads etc
The Best Bagel Recipe ever
iTunes XML structure
Photo of some of my best Panetones

Neuron EcoSystem
Flink Labs
oskartex.comOskar Tex
JasmineJasmine Aurora
Playground Finder


ben at neuronwave dot com