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Connecting a Newton to a Raspberry Pi


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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?

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  • 4 months later...

I'm not sure about terminal emulation, but I did successfully create a dial-up server with a Raspberry Pi and a 56k modem that a Mac could dial into (directly) and access the internet. I don't see why you couldn't do it with a Newton. If you're interested I can get you a link to the forum post.

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  • 2 months later...

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