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So what's new with your Newton?

MindThreat

Well-known member
Having acquired a MessagePad 130 earlier this year, the newness has worn off but I still find myself unusually compelled to continue using it. Generally late at night will find myself wanting to jot down mental notes or otherwise and continue to feel like it's a good place to write it all down so it's always in one spot. Though I should probably start backing it up now that I'm using it regularly.

Decided against the 2000/2100 (for now) but may be flip flopping on that decision. I'm not sure if the slightly bigger screen size will make it more usable or just more of a weighted brick where I end up finding myself wanting to revert back to the 130 since it's so... small for what it is and the time period it was released.

Lately we've been planning a trip to Tennessee and I've jotted some other notes down to work out. There's certainly something nice about writing on it and it does a much better job than I would have ever imagined....

newty.jpg

Even found myself drawing/doodling on it, which I would like to do more of as time permits. Work has been overwhelming lately but here I am.
newty2.jpg

It took forever to figure a way to import the pictures on my PowerBook 1400 but after weeks of tracking down the software and importing, I was able to color in some of the goofy drawings I had worked on using Photoshop 5.5 on the 1400 and then printed it on a StyleWriter 2200. Still haven't completely finished it but someday it'll happen.

fritz.jpg

printnewty.jpg

What has everyone else been doing or using their Newton for lately?
 

TimHD

Well-known member
Just been getting mine up and going again complete with all the appendages - will have to get the portable printer out too like you have - to complete the set…
I was also going to try and install this new software “FilePad” that I found on a disk I got with a purchase. Unfortunately the disk is not working and it seems it’s not available on the usual file repositories… From googling it seems it might have come as part of some installs in some countries, but could not find anything on 68kmla or elsewhere.
Anyone any ideas where I can get a replacement disk image?
3854B6C6-31BF-4495-82B3-017498DD9110.jpeg
 

cheesestraws

Well-known member
I like your doodles!

I use my eMate as an emergency out of band serial terminal for if I muck up network configurations. It's much more fun than all the other options.

60771625571__318AD463-9795-45E2-B018-9EA24748B66C (1).jpg
 

MindWalker

Well-known member
I've only recently joined the Newton club: I have the first-gen H1000 MessagePad (needed recapping) and I got an eMate only couple weeks ago (sold without PSU as not-tested but worked fine, did the preventive fix for the hinges and replaced the battery).

I also enjoy just doodling down notes with the pen! I also love the concept of "beaming" (especially the fact that they call it that!) stuff between devices. I've seriously though of taking the MessagePad with me into meetings and seeing if anyone notices...

So far I've enjoyed the simpler UI of the MessagePad, the eMate seems somewhat complex at first but the keyboard is nice.

@cheesestraws: I really need to get myself the cable to do that, the eMate would be a great quick-grab terminal. What are you using as a terminal program on the eMate?
 

beachycove

Well-known member
Just been getting mine up and going again complete with all the appendages - will have to get the portable printer out too like you have - to complete the set…
I was also going to try and install this new software “FilePad” that I found on a disk I got with a purchase. Unfortunately the disk is not working and it seems it’s not available on the usual file repositories… From googling it seems it might have come as part of some installs in some countries, but could not find anything on 68kmla or elsewhere.
Anyone any ideas where I can get a replacement disk image?
FilePad 1.5/6 is on unna.org. Nice little database manager for NewtOS.
 

mvallance

Well-known member
re. I've seriously though of taking the MessagePad with me into meetings and seeing if anyone notices...

Go for it. I took notes on my Newton at a conference in Tokyo University a few years ago. It was a great ice-breaker to start up conversations.
 

micheledipaola

Well-known member
I am fiddling with 3d printing the battery case for a 2000, and in need of checking the backlight elements.
Just got an eMate which still need to be tested. My wildest dream would be to find a way to localize all Newton system software which as now only exists in English, German and maybe French... but no idea where to start from :)
 

AndyO

Well-known member
I rather wish I had a use for my Newton (130), and eMate too, but I don't have any way to get software onto either, or data back off them. I was thinking the Newt would be good as an organiser, because I seriously need one of those, but the fact it can't work with data later than something like 2012 makes it rather less than perfect for this.

The eMate is a rather cool lightweight portable, but there's no obvious way to move a document from it to a desktop system. I think the 'Newton Connection Kit' would work, but these don't seem very common these days!
 

beachycove

Well-known member
No way to get software off and on? The easiest way is through any old Mac with a mini-din serial port, a serial cable, and Newton Connection Utilities installed. NCU software for the Mac is on unna.org, which even an old Mac able to connect to the internet with Netscape can access.

There is a good selection of NewtonOS 2.0 software on unna and some other sites that has now become freeware, and there is some that was always free. You’ll probably need packtype too, btw, but overall, there is no reason to leave your Newton to languish.
 

AndyO

Well-known member
I do have a Performa 630 with mini-DIN, but otherwise it would need some form of USB adapter. And I didn't see a date fix that is compatible with either the Newt 130 or eMate - but this is still a good starting point to work from!!
 

beachycove

Well-known member
The date fix works fine on the eMate; I can’t say about the MP130, as I don’t have one, but I’d be pretty surprised if it weren’t covered.

One of the things you have got to try is writing something on the eMate in NewtonWorks, inserting a doodle or drawing, and importing it to MSWord, where the document will be beautifully preserved. In my experience, NCU -> Word 2001 version did this really well. NCU -> ClarisWorks/ AppleWorks ought to have done it even better, but you’d be pleasantly surprised at what you’d see in Word. I haven’t tried it in OSX.

This blog is rather good: http://myapplenewton.blogspot.com/ . The blogger’s favourite for organization is actually the MP130, but as far as I know, you are right to say that there are issues around how you’d sync organizational stuff with a very recent machine. Maybe trawl through that blog for ideas.

At work, I moved from a MP2100 to my phone and OSX for scheduling etc some years back, and found it more convenient, if a good deal less fun. Having retired recently, I am now thinking about moving back to more regular use of the Newton for such things.
 

AndyO

Well-known member
I really would like to get the eMate into some semblance of usability. The battery is pretty much dead, but otherwise it seems to be in great condition. I had thought to get a PCMCIA memory card for it, but I see there are limitations which make that unlikely!

I can probably grab a copy of NCU with the 630, and if it's a straight serial cable I should be able to get that working, and the date fix done, though that does seem to have warnings that it will only work on MP 2000 and 2100 models. I may be looking at the wrong thing though! tThe date fix is not so crucial with the eMate because that would probably not be current-date-specific in usage. Unfortunately the MP130 would be to use it as an organizer though.
 

beachycove

Well-known member
The eMate battery is really easy to rebuild; just buy one of these (or any pack of 4xAA NiMh at ~2000/2500 mAh, with leads) and join the original leads, plug and the thermistor to the wiring on the one you purchase: https://www.ebay.com/itm/233465125861?hash=item365b9b1be5:g:8IEAAOSwDFBaEnAt . Just two points to solder that way, nowhere near the cells. You will find it obvious what you need to do once you open up the original battery.

PCMCIA flash expansion for the eMate is tricky. I have cards that work in my 2100 but that do not in the eMate (it can read but not write to them). One that definitely does work in both is the “Intel Series 100”. There is misinformation out there also on some of the FAQs as to what works and what does not — as I know to my cost, having bought something recently on such advice, only to find it that did not work. I think the card has to be 5v and 5v only, but I’d maybe search on Newtontalk for confirmation.

On the date fix, some leads here: https://systemfolder.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/newton-2010bug-patched-2/ , where the details given cover the MP130 as well as the eMate. You might need to use the patch that reverts to 2008 (this is what I have on mine). It’s a bit of an inconvenience, but just plug the thing in when/if the battery is removed and all shall be well (and otherwise keep your Newtons charged). Works fine otherwise.

Some years ago I had a web server running on my eMate, complete with CSS. It did not run terribly stably, or quickly, but it ran for several months before I decided that I had achieved quod erat demonstrandum, and retired it.
 

AndyO

Well-known member
I can manage the battery with the help of that pack, I think. I know there's lots of information out there, but my problem is that I need very specific guidance on where to look and what for before I can find it. Otherwise I get stuck in rabbit holes and end up finding nothing at all!

If I can get NCU working, I don't think I'll need a PCMCIA card - that was one of the rabbit holes because it seemed the likeliest way to have a form of connectivity. But really it seems not, so I can lie without it.

That date fix link is very helpful, and explains much of the differences I see in the patches I've found that otherwise seem lacking in clarity. I have no real issue with a default to 2008 on occasion, though it would have helped us all if Apple had designed a rather better date/time control panel for the Newton that didn't require so much tapping to move around. But, a 2008 default is better than 1996... or whatever it was on the 130.

The key for me is in getting NCU running so I can move data - after that, I think I'll be good and my 130 and eMate both back to some degree of work at least!

This is extremely helpful - I really appreciate it, thanks!
 

AndyO

Well-known member
Ah drat!

So near, yet so far. Firstly, the eMate battery is actually just about serviceable. It holds a bit of charge, but not much. Secondly, and rather surprisingly, I was able to install the 73J186 patch on it for the date and after rebooting the date is now good!!

How that happened is a bit of a puzzle, because I have been using an FTDI serial-USB cable for connecting my Tandy 102 to Windows, and I have a somewhat odd serial cable that has a 9-pine female on one end, and 9-pin female and 8-pin DIN on the other, so I thought I'd try that. I also found a download for NCX302 which runs on my M1 iMac. With that running and the cable and USB adapter connected, there is a connection, and I installed the date fix which went perfectly as far as I can tell. I was also able to back up the eMate, but I don't see any option to move individual content from the eMate to the iMac. I have a Newton Works document which does show up in the backup, but can't be accessed from there.

I also have a copy of Newton Connection Utilities which installs on Windows 10, and runs, and using the same serial-USB cable it connects to the eMate, but it doesn't appear to move any data, even though it appears to begin the process. I can select the document on the eMate from the PC and the PC dialog shows it is ready, but the eMate hangs on 'waiting for a response'.

Still, progress!
 

beachycove

Well-known member
That is progress.

I use NCU only on vintage Mac hardware, and have no experience of trying old utilities on newer machines, or indeed on Windows. Can’t help.

What I can say is that the LC ought to make a better partner; the utility has always been rock-solid for me.
 

AndyO

Well-known member
I am going to set the Performa 630 up again and connect the eMate to that, but my desk is a bit constrained for the moment so it isn't an option right now. But, while the Windows PC doesn't seem like it wants to communicate, the fact that the eMate will talk to my M1 Mac, and the Windows software is basically the original Newton Connection Utilities, just bundled in a Windows 10-compatible installer - and in itself, runs just fine - means it is likely the serial-USB adapter which isn't entirely compatible. Somewhere I have another I can try.

The fact that the eMate is connecting at all to the PC, and is actually backing up to the Mac using the odds and ends of cables I already had is pretty amazing.

The Newton Connection software on the Mac is v3.0.2 for 64bit systems, and it does seem rather limited in what it is intended to do, but in turns out that I can draw a NewtonWorks document out of list showing in the software that it backed up, and drop it into a word processor, so it is somewhat workable. It just doesn't translate the formatting.

However, that and the date fix are enough to get the eMate into use for what I was hoping I could do with it, so I'm quite pleased. I'm going to order that battery back, and experiment with other serial-USB adapters on the PC and see where I get!

Thanks - the eMate was really just a curiosity up until you pointed me in the right direction!
 

beachycove

Well-known member
This may be obvious already, but remember that there are two NCUs. There is the original, from Apple (available on unna.org), and there is the updated / open-source-ish version that I assume you are using. On reflection, I do recall that I once tried the latter on OSX with a serial to usb dongle and found it less reliable than the OEM version, though I think I did manage to install something in that experiment, with some fiddling.
 

AndyO

Well-known member
The Newton Connection software I'm using came from https://newtonresearch.org/connection/ and it works, but doesn't seem all that reliable in that the first couple of times it showed somewhat generic icons on the left that had no content, then the content but it wasn't accessible, then the next time, I could view the file by clicking on it in the backup, but not access it otherwise. This morning it allowed me to drag the file out of the backup and drop it into an app to edit it.

I'm half expecting it not to work at all next time! But it does claim to have all the functions of the original.

It is possible that my hit-and-miss cabling might not be perfect either! The fact it works to connect the eMate to the Mac at all is a miracle!
 

beachycove

Well-known member
The one you want for your old Mac is this one (unna being down presently, I have to send a different link):

https://www.macintoshrepository.org/861-newton-connection-utility .

The OEM Apple utility is flawless. You will, however, need a localtalk/serial cable (mini-din) to make a LocalTalk or serial connection from the LC to the Newton. You need to set up all on the LC in terms of what port is doing what in your Control Panels (e.g., AppleTalk), connect the cables, and then “dock” the Newton from NewtOS2. The rest is pretty obvious, as on docking, NCU springs to life.

Docking can actually also be done wirelessly, but that presupposes getting the relevant wireless packages onto the Newton first, which means you need that serial cable. Serial/ LocalTalk is plenty fast for Newton work, the files being tiny. I prefer wired to wireless, though I have my machines set up for both. (It is rumoured that irda installation is possible, btw, e.g., from a PowerBook Pismo, but I have never gotten it to work.)

I mentioned packtype some distance back, because a problem we have these days is that OSX interprets any Newton .pkg file you download as OSX software (not sure about Windows), and this needs to be fixed, either on the LC with packtype or with the OSX equivalent on a Mac, the name of which escapes me. Otherwise, no workie again…. Just reiterating for the record.

Persevere, find the zen place where all is calm, and you shall have interesting experiences with the first PDAs.
 
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