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dcr

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  1. On the back of the Newton MessagePad 100, and possibly other models but this is the only one I have and can check, in the center, there is what looks like a Phillips screw head. It's not actually a screw though (learned that many moons ago -- LOL). It is a soft plastic or hardish rubber that helps the Newton grip onto a mounting peg in some cases or holders. I don't know what the name of the part is. I have the Service Source PDF but even it doesn't bother identifying the parts. I imagine because the repair instructions in the guide are: "Each is repaired through whole-unit exchange." Thanks, Apple, that's very helpful. Oh, if the illustration in this guide is any indication, the 110 model did not have this part on the back. Looks like it might have had some off-center rectangular hole that may or may not have served the same purpose. On my main Newton, it is in good shape. On the broken Newton I bought for the purposes of practicing disassembly to do the power-off repair, that part disintegrated on me yesterday. I had the unit out of its case to examine it. I plugged it in to see if it worked at all as I didn't remember. I knew it had a cracked screen but didn't recall if it did anything. Screen tries to do something, but doesn't actually display anything besides a totally black screen or black horizontal bands and such. No power on sound either, though the way the screen powers on, it's like it is trying to do something. Anyway, that's not important. In addition to practicing disassembly (on a known bad unit rather than a good, working one), I have some other plans for it, if I can make those ideas work. Bottom line is that I'd like to try to replace that disintegrated part. First I need to know what it's actually called. I imagine it's labeled in the original Newton manual which is who knows where at this point. So, if anyone knows what it is called, I would be most appreciative. And if anyone knows where a replacement might be obtained, that would be appreciated as well. Doesn't have to be original. Not sure if it's something that could be 3D printed or not. Or cast in silicon rubber or something. Matching the original color would be nice, but not critical. Though if the color could not be matched, I would rather have a dark or black color rather than white. Thanks!
  2. The top of my 800 case has an indentation from where I hit it once (years ago) out of frustration over something it did or didn't do or whatever. I regret having that marring the otherwise good condition case. The irony now is that I sometimes have to hit it to unstick the hard drive to get it started spinning.
  3. For whatever it may be worth, we had an 8500 at the office that was used for invoicing, job estimating and accounting. I *think* it had been purchased used and was later upgraded with a Sonnet G3 or G4 card. The downside of the 8500 was that it had the same miserable case as the Quadra 800. I have an 8600 that was (er, is still) used as a web and mail server. I bought it used circa 1999. The video capabilities weren't important; I think I mainly purchased it because of the expandability, upgradeability and it was at a decent price. Oh and the case is so, so, so much better than the 8500. So much easier to open up to dust out, clean, do upgrades, whatever. I also have a 7500/100 that I purchased new back in the day. I had intended to use it, I think, for non-linear video production, but I think I ultimately only did somewhere between one and a handful of videos. That wasn't through any fault of the machine, but rather I got sidetracked into other things. Also, I used an add-on PCI card rather than the 7500's built-in A/V capabilities. I think it was made by Pinnacle Systems. I ended up using the machine primarily for web design instead.
  4. dcr

    About lubricating that floppy drive...

    There's a chance that being misaligned is its natural state. The drives are old and want to be retired, so they find a way to misalign themselves so you can't use them properly. I don't remember how many tries it took me to get the floppy drive in mine aligned properly. And, of course, I didn't test it each time before closing up the case. No, it looked good and I was confident each time that I had it in the right position, so I put it all back together before testing it.
  5. dcr

    SCSI2SD Issues

    They are. I was just looking at it with ResEdit. Not sure if you'd be limited to swapping out what's in there now or if it would be possible to add additional icons to choose from.
  6. dcr

    SCSI2SD Issues

    Was it System 7.5 or earlier that allowed you to change icons with cut and paste? I seem to recall you could download files that contained blank folders with custom icons. You clicked a folder with an icon you liked, did a "Get Info" on it, selected the icon in the info window, copied, then clicked your hard drive icon, did a "Get Info" on that, selected its icon in the info window and pasted.
  7. dcr

    I'm an Idiot and Lost 24 Years of Data

    The MessagePad 130 and later, including the eMate 300, are safe. They don't use the same type of volatile memory. The OMP, 100 and 110 do. Backup or keep the batteries fresh. I don't remember which side the 120 falls on.
  8. dcr

    I'm an Idiot and Lost 24 Years of Data

    The third note, the one I feared was lost, wasn't on there to begin with! I found an old eMail that had that particular info so that is a relief.
  9. This is an idea I've had for a couple years, but I am not sure how to implement it or if it would even be possible. Way back when, I had a Linux server that was accessed via a Livingston Portmaster system. When you dialed in, the modem connected to the Portmaster which then connected you to the Linux server. The proper term escapes me at the moment, but the shell you were presented with was a custom Perl script I had written. One of the options was to surf the web via Lynx. You picked it from the menu and you could get on the Internet. This was all text-only, and so the caller's machine only needed to support terminal emulation. So that got me thinking whether that would be possible with the Newton 100 and a Raspberry Pi. My Newton had a fax/modem and software to connect with terminal emulation. I used to log into my system with it, so I know it can be done. I don't remember if I used Lynx or not; kind of assuming on that part. But no problem with text-based interfaces, so I am guessing Lynx should work. I'm not necessarily thinking of using it as a bridge to the Internet, though it would be possible I imagine. I'm thinking in terms of extra storage capacity. I could use a Raspberry Pi with a 16GB or 32GB SD or micro SD card and have plenty of storage. I'm thinking stuff like books could be saved as HTML files rather than book packages installed on the Newton. Might even be able to download a subset of Wikipedia or something for reference. Lots of possibilities. The question is how? Would I need to try to figure out how to connect a phone line from the fax/modem directly to the Raspberry Pi? Or could I use a Mac DIN-8 serial to USB adapter to connect to the Raspberry Pi? If the latter, how would I get the modem software to recognize it? Any ideas? Or is this completely unfeasible?
  10. dcr

    I'm an Idiot and Lost 24 Years of Data

    Yeah, I know. I wish I had tapped that "Backup" button. Problem would have been solved. Twenty-four years and never thought to give it a try. The plus side is that I have a retyped copy of those two notes on my iPad. So at least I have the contents if not the originals. The other thing that's nagging at me is that there might have been a third file with important information that I have not found anywhere else. There is the possibility I am only imagining it was there. I know there was a number of things on there that were interesting in a time capsule sort of way, seeing a snapshot of my life at the time, and it's disappointing to lose that, but I kind of remember thinking it wasn't absolutely critical to save them right away, which is one of the reasons I kept pushing off trying to figure out how to do a backup in the absence of my PowerBook 180c. And I am hoping the two files I did copy were the only important ones and that the third one wasn't actually on there. I keep trying to convince myself I would have noted that one as well had it been on there. So I lean towards the possibility it wasn't on there and I hope that's the case. Still it would be nice to know for sure. If I could find that info elsewhere, that would give me a great sense of relief. Of course, if the info wasn't on the Newton and isn't anywhere else either, then I'll never know for sure.
  11. Back around 2004 or 2005, I think, there was a guy on eBay that offered a hinge repair service. As I recall, he had done a number of them and had plenty of experience and good reviews. I don't remember how much he charged, but it was out of my budget at the time. He hasn't been offering the service in many years though, so I don't know if he's retired or otherwise moved on. The last time I checked, there was a different guy doing the hinge repairs, but his reviews weren't as good as the previous guy.
  12. Does anyone know of any guides (PDFs or otherwise) for writing programs for the Newton? I have the Newton Toolkit 1.6 with a 1.6.3 updater. It's supposed to support Newton OS 1.0 and 2.0. What I don't have and can't seem to find is any NewtonScript language guides, programming guides and whatnot for anything other than Newton OS 2.0. I'd like to try to write what I think would be fairly simple apps for my Newton, but I haven't been able to find any sort of good programming guide or language reference for the 1.x platform. Thanks!
  13. dcr

    I'm an Idiot and Lost 24 Years of Data

    Also, forgot to add that most of the apps I have on the Newton came off of an AMUG CD. Never saved the installers anywhere else (again due to drive space scarcity back in the day) and because they were all on CD. Well, in hunting down all the packages, I find that there's one listed in the file on the CD that lists all the files, but cannot find the actual install packages anywhere on the CD. In fact, there are two packages I cannot find. The one package I didn't have installed and only noticed it because it was the package right before the one I was looking for. Neither show up on the CD. Try a Finder search and no results. Doesn't make sense. I had to have installed it from the CD so it must be on there. Went through every directory. Nothing. Checked the CD with a disk utility and there's a corruption in the directory or something. Tried to see if the data recovery software could recover it, but it doesn't work on CDs. And, of course, the UNNA archives are gone. I did find an old copy on Archive.org and the installer is there, but no descriptive text with it, so I don't know if it's the same version or not. Oy.
  14. dcr

    I'm an Idiot and Lost 24 Years of Data

    I have a hard drive like that too with tons of eMails on it as well as two "click of death" Zip disks. I've kept them all in the hopes of maybe one day getting the data off them. I've used data recovery services before. Three times, I think. Once for work. A second time possibly for work as well. The third time was for a personal drive. I didn't use one of the well-known services for that. Instead, I used a guy I knew from a list group I was on. He was significantly less expensive and he recovered pretty much all the data. Thanks. How would I get such a data dump off the Newton? But it's doubtful any data is left. I've had it stored without the AAA batteries for I don't remember how long. I don't even remember the last time I turned it on. Maybe this year, maybe last year. Maybe even 2017. I don't remember. I don't remember when I took the batteries out either. This past year, one of my dogs got sick, had surgery and then died. And then my father had a health scare. So it's been a whirlwind and I cannot even remember the last time I turned the Newton on or when I took the batteries out. It wasn't until last Monday when I plugged it in with the AC adapter that I got the warning. I had no AAA batteries or 2032s on hand. I tried sticking in a pair of 2016s but that didn't work. So that data is probably long gone. I still kick myself for not taking advantage of the numerous options I had to back up the data. If I had just tapped that "backup to card" button, all would have been saved. I don't know why I never did. I'm just an idiot. I guess the only upside is that I accomplished the goal of preventing further damage from battery leakage.
  15. This is a problem that cannot be fixed so I share this story as a lesson for others, as well as for myself in the future. First, I am pretty vigilant about backups. This wasn't always the case. But, in recent years, I've gotten reasonably good at backing up. I could do better but I've been fairly good about it. On my main computer, I have an external hard drive set up for Time Machine. This reminds me I should connect it because I haven't done so in a very long time. But, I have another external hard drive set up and I run a backup pretty much daily. It backs up the main computer plus two other external drives that are used for file storage. (One is personal and the other is work, that's where there are two.) I also have additional hard drives. One is a duplicate (when I remember) of my personal external hard drive. Another has copies of the most important files from that drive. I also have a USB flash drive with copies of said important files. So, backups are pretty well in place. Also in recent years, I have been making disk images of all my old floppy disks, Zip disks, CDs and DVDs. I've lost some data due to problems with Zip disks but most of the CDs and floppy disks have been okay. I've actually had more problems with commercial CDs than my own. Of course, I have the advantage in that, towards the end of my CD archiving days, I was burning data to two CDs instead of one. So, if one fails, I've got the other. Anyway, these disk images go on my personal hard drive which gets backed up to the aforementioned external backup drive. Plus they are duplicated on the duplicate hard drive I mentioned. Which brings us to my Newton. The last time I did a back up was in 1995. Of course, I know why I stopped backing up the Newton . . . hard drive space. Hard drive space was at a premium back then. My main computer was a PowerBook 180c with an external SCSI drive. Both were eventually filled, despite archiving to floppies and Zip disks. Why I didn't back up to a Zip disk, I don't know. Perhaps I had a backup stored on one of the "click of death" Zip disks, but I doubt it. So my Newton, the 100 model, has been living on borrowed time. I knew I should back up, but I know why I didn't . . . 1) Way back when, the PowerBook 180c was my only option for backup, and its hard drive was full. 2) Later, the Zip drive became unreliable. So, that's why I didn't backup way back when. I should have in more recent years. My more modern excuse is that the PowerBook 180c died five years ago. I have carried my Newton with me almost every day for the past 25 years, probably since I got it. There were long periods where it didn't get used, but I still had it. Still kept replacing the batteries. It developed the problem where it shuts down immediately after powering up. There's a fix, and I have the instructions but have been lax on doing it. I wanted to practice taking a non-functional Newton apart first before messing with the one that works. I finally obtained one last year. There's no shortage of projects, however. The last major project was replacing the display on my MacBook Pro. That was scary since that's my main machine. In the last year or so, I got my Quadra 800 running with a SCSI2SD drive in it. Why I never thought to use it to back up my Newton, I don't know. Earlier this year, maybe last year, I made the fatal error. The inside of the battery case had gotten damaged by the AAA batteries leaking. I kept meaning to get rechargeables, but there was always something else taking priority. So, the second time in recent years that the batteries leaked, I removed them, kept them out. I did not want to risk ruining my Newton. I would get rechargeables and then I shouldn't have to worry about leakage anymore. I could get two sets and swap them out as needed, always keeping a set charged. If I knew the Newton required live batteries to retain its memory, I had long since forgotten. If I had remembered that, I would have kept batteries in it. I would have checked more frequently to make sure they hadn't gone dead. Instead, I removed them. A couple weeks ago, I spotted a Newton keyboard on eBay for a reasonable price. It was a keyboard that was supposed to work on the 100. So I snapped it up. It arrived last Monday. I was excited to try it out. I got my Newton out and plugged it in. That's when I learned of the disaster. The 2032 battery had gone dead. All the data from the past 24 years was gone. There's no way to recover it. I desperately searched my archive disks, hoping I had made a backup I'd forgotten about. No such luck. There was a note on there of sentimental value that I wanted to keep. Gone. On the plus side, I have a copy of its contents that I typed out on my iPad four years ago, along with another note from the Newton. I try to convince myself those were the only worthwhile things on the Newton, that if there was anything else worth saving, I would have typed them out too. I hope that's true, but not knowing for sure is a real kicker. The last back up? Two days before that first note. Yep, had I done the backup two days later, it would have been saved. Why didn't I do a backup? Yes, I still have the content, but I really wanted to have a copy as it originally was on the Newton. Even if I couldn't backup to the PowerBook, I could have taken pictures. I have photos of blank pages on the Newton. Yes, I took pictures of freakin' blank pages but not the meaningful stuff. Why was I so stupid? There are things that I think might have been on there, but I don't know for sure. One is particularly important--it may not even have been on there--it might be just a sense of panic making me think maybe it was on there. I keep trying to convince myself if it had been on there, I would have typed that out on my iPad too. I don't know. Now I can't check. It gets worse. There's a 2MB memory card in there. I thought it was full--it's where most of the apps were kept--but there was free space on there. Each time I turned the Newton on, there was an option to backup to card. If I had tapped backup button, everything would have been saved. Why did I never tap the button? Because I thought the card was full? Why didn't I let curiosity get the better of me and just tap the button? There was room. Everything would have been saved. Most of the time, especially in recent years, I used the Newton more for playing games like Tic Tac Toe than anything else, so there wasn't a lot on there. It's just not knowing what was there that's the kicker. It gets worse. In looking for backups and the original install packages for apps, I discovered I had a 4MB flash card too. Why the heck hadn't I used that? I had the slim hope that maybe, just maybe, I had backed up to it. I found it this morning. Fingers crossed . . . but no. It had two books on it. Plenty of space. The 2MB card had space available--I could have stored everything on it and the Newton on the 4MB card. Plenty of room for backup or for storing new material on the card. Why the heck did I never do that? I should note here that the date of the one note I wanted to save and the date of the last backup are the same, so there is the possibility I thought that note was backed up. But the note was written two days after the blank note page had been created, so no. But maybe I thought it had been saved and maybe the reason I hadn't felt an urgency to do the backup is because there wasn't anything critical on there. Maybe the two notes I re-typed on my iPad where the only ones worthwhile, the only ones I thought I would miss if something happened to the Newton. Maybe the other things I think *might* have been on there weren't. I can vaguely remember looking through stuff and maybe I didn't think it critical to save, except for what I re-typed on my iPad. That's a possibility. A lot of the stuff was old. Maybe the stuff I copied was all I really needed, all I thought would be missed. Maybe the stuff I worry might have been on there wasn't. But now I'll never know. The bottom line is that hard drive space is relatively cheap these days. Find a way to back stuff up, even if it's not important because if you lose it, you might not remember if it was important or not and have no way to check. Also, if anyone has a time machine, I'd like to borrow it. I have a good idea of times when and where the Newton was left unattended, so I could easily slip in and backup to that 4MB card I have.
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