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Sync options in a modern environment


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Amazingly, I found my Newton that I had 'lost' at college. Put it in a drawer, then never saw it again. It ended up back at the house, but as I wondered why I hadn't used it more, the realization flooded back: I had no way of syncing this thing to any computer I had.

 

Its a MP2000 with the 2100 upgrade, all pretty much intact (but the 'rubberized' stuff on the plastic is wearing off), and I even have the dock-to-serial and fax modem with it, but alas, no serial cable or anything.

 

I had seen quite a few applications that I'd love to use, and would have made the Newt a little more useful to me (and not gotten it put in a drawer for a spell). But getting them on there was to be a problem. I've heard alot of methods of syncing without a serial cable: IR port, phone line, and even loading programs onto the flash cards.

 

My materials are a PCMCIA Modem, a PCMCIA ethernet card (newton can't use it yet), various empty flash cards (4MB, two 16MBs), and the dock-to-serial (and external fax modem).

My computers (of possible usefulness): PowerBook 180 (With a ZIP drive, internal modem, and some form of OS 7), PowerBook G3 Pismo (with cardslot, modem, IR, and OS 9), IBM Thinkpad 380ED (pcmcia modem, IR, windows 95).

 

So, are there any options that don't require me to go get a serial cable? I may be able to get one locally for free, but that's a very rare chance that I can put nearly zero weight on, and spending on something as small as this isn't an option right now.

 

 

And two other questions: 1) How can I clean/shine a used screen? 2) What are some of the most useful apps for Newton today? I remember an alternate 'dashboard' that looked quite nice, and some mail apps and whatnot that would be useful. Any info would be appreciated!

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NCU for Windows is still confirmed working on as recently as Windows XP (I'm using it right now) and there was a third party remake of NCU made for mac that supports Intel systems. I have a friend who uses it but that was a few years ago.

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I know about NCU and the other ways of syncing stuff after I get the newton connected, but my major problem is connecting it. That's why I mentioned all that stuff.

 

If really the only thing I can do is grab a serial adapter or something, I guess I'll be looking for that, but if I can do it any other way, please let me know.

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Sorry for the bump, but I have a good question:

 

So after looking around, I found a utility for OS 9 that can supposedly beam packages to the Newton's inbox via IR. As my only OS 9 computer with IR is currently not responding (very long story), I'm just planning in advance. If I can do this, I've got a major option that opens up. I noticed that my only ethernet card is a 3com 3cxe589et, which I think works with the ethernet card drivers. My Newton is a 2000 with the 2100 upgrade in it, so it can handle the internet connection stuff. After I get it all loaded up using the IR transfer, can I use some connection software to sync over ethernet? If so, that'll help a whole lot.

 

Another thing is my screen. Thankfully, it doesn't have jaggies, or any other major defect. The thing it does have, though, is a healthy pattern of worn patches where the previous owner used a calculator/finances program. I was looking at several ways of 'polishing' the screen, but that's when I remembered I had bought a second Newton around the same time as the first solely for the stylus. It wasn't working, and even when I plugged the power adapter in, nothing happened. I took a look inside it today and was quite horrified: battery corroded inside it. But not just corroded: my gosh the thing must have had a nuclear meltdown inside. The battery tray wouldn't even come out without huge force. I finally just figured that with the case in such bad shape and the internals probably terribly ruined, I should just pull it apart to see if I could get the actually good condition screen.

 

there was just a puddle of acid crystals where the PDA must have been lying in a drawer and dying for some years. it looked like it hadn't hit any major connectors or anything, but then I noticed one connector that was nearly disintigrating with blue fuzz on it. I'm figuring its the digitizer ribbon (4 contacts in a clearish plastic ribbon?). I'm just quite unsure whether its worth taking apart my good, working newton just to solve a few rough spots.

 

Is there anything at all I can either do to test this screen to see if its working, or to clean the scratches on the screen? My best success was when I cut a screen protector down to newton size. The 'sticky' side just kinda filled in the rough areas and made a smooth looking surface. The problem was that it was a tablet protector, not conducive to the stylus writing, so I took it off.

 

What say you all? Or can you lead me to someone who is better to ask the question...

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I checked out PDA-Soft, and got pretty darn afraid. Possibly he was just writing to force cautiousness, but it was almost to the point I doubted my screen switch would work...

 

But the screen was just scratched beyond my ADHD's forgiveness level, so I had to do the switch. And about an hour and a half later, I've got a pristine (minus one speck) screen that works perfectly. The contact points were preserved amidst the 'acidified' part just because of how tight the connection is. But in the end, it's looking A LOT nicer. I'm quite satisfied (and the 10$ newton I bought solely for the stylus now served a great purpose!

 

 

In other news, using the Newton DIL Tester from tempel.org, I was able to load the 2010 OS patch from 40hz, and all the newton internet stuff, as well as Mail V (which, using GMX, works...to a point). I also put on alt.rec (which allowed me to take message notes this morning at a MUCH faster rate than the standard recognizer after 2 months of solid notes usage in 'learning' mode. It's a pleasure to use, now. I even won a decently cheap Newton Keyboard, so with a little work, I'll have a massively useful Newton that looks better than it did when I bought it, and is more functional, too!

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  • 3 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...

I found a Keyspan USB to Serial adapter brand new in the box at a flea market, and used it and NCX to connect my 2000 to my Mac running 10.6. Since I hadn't used my Newtons in years I forgot about the Y2010 bug, so my date was way off. NCX kept crashing every time I tried to back up, then I found this page and installed Avi Drissman’s Fix2010 package. I corrected the date and time and ran NCX again and it worked great!

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