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The Digital Ocean Tarpon was a touchscreen mobile device that was released by Digital Ocean, based on the Newton platform from Apple Computer.[1]


Apple announced on November 3, 1995 that Digital Ocean licensed the Newton platform to develop custom devices for industrial use.[2]

Development and release[]

The Tarpon project was formerly called the Craft Digital Assistant and was developed in collaboration with Harris Network Support Systems. It was originally intended to be based on the MessagePad 110,[3] but the version shipping in August 1995 was a ruggedized version of the MessagePad 120 for industrial use.[4][5]


The Tarpon used the same 20 MHz ARM 610 processor as the MessagePad 120 with 2 MB of static RAM. Newton OS 1.3 used 687 KB, leaving 1,361 KB available for user data. Storage space could be expanded through the PCMCIA Type II slot. The 320 x 240 monochrome LCD screen also included a backlight feature. A protective rubber boot provided additional protection.[4][6]

System updates[]

Because the Tarpon was based on the 2 MB version of the MessagePad 120, it would have been possible to upgrade its ROM chip to support Newton OS 2.0, though it is unknown whether any such option was offered to Digital Ocean's customers.[7]


Harris Network Support Systems was a technical partner and released its own variant of the Tarpon as the Harris SuperTech 2000.[8]


  1. Newton A-Go-Go by Chris O'Malley, Popular Science, p.49. 1995-04.
  2. Apple Agrees to License Newton Technology to Schlumberger, Digital Ocean, Apple Computer. 1995-11-03. Archived 1999-02-24.
  3. Quinlan, Tom. "Newton-based PDA announced", InfoWorld, InfoWorld Media Group, Inc., 9 January 1995. Retrieved on 18 July 2015. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Tarpon product information (PDF), Digital Ocean. Archived 1997-01-27.
  5. Retro Apple: The Apple Newton MessagePad was well ahead of its time by Steve Sande, Rocket Yard. 2020-08-21. Archived 2020-10-21.
  6. General Specifications for Newtons and Clones, Newton Resurrection, Oocities. Mirrored 2009-10.
  7. Luckie, Douglas. Newton MessagePad 120 (with OS 1.3 or 2.0). Michigan State University. Archived from the original on 2014-03-23.
  8. SuperTech 2000 Mobile Communications & Information System, Harris Network Support Systems. Archived 1996-11-03.

External links[]

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eMate 300 | MessageSlate | Newton, Inc. | Newton OS | StarCore
Third parties : Digital Ocean Tarpon · Seahorse | Harris SuperTech 2000 | Motorola Marco
Schlumberger Watson | Sharp Expert Pad PI-7000 · 7100 | Siemens NotePhone · Online Terminal
Open source community : Einstein | Worldwide Newton Conference
Discontinued in February 1998