[Not single-page] A look back at one of Apple’s most beloved failures, starting with a purchase of the original Newton on eBay:

Once I’d put four AAA batteries and a watch-battery backup into the MessagePad for the first time, powering it up felt like bringing it out of cryogenic suspension. Newtons, it turns out, begin their lives believing that it’s 5am on January 1, 1993. And the only way to set the year to 2012 is to flip the calendar forward, one month at a time. I tapped the MessagePad’s screen 230 times to set the date, watching the months flutter by like pages falling off a calendar to indicate the passage of time in some old movie.

As I did, I was already struck by a fact about the PDA’s screen: It’s terrible. Terrible.

“Newton, Reconsidered.” — Harry McCracken, Time

More from Time magazine