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Specifications and images of a number of different Newton devices can be found on David Arnold’s Hardware page. (1996)
The Digital Ocean Tarpon and Seahorse were ruggedized Newton devices based on the MessagePad 130. Both models featured technologies such as built-in wireless networking, peer-to-peer voice communication, plus optional GPS. The Seahorse also included the first CDPD modem found in a personal digital assistant. The Tarpon was a modified and improved version of the Harris SuperTech 2000.
Also based on the MessagePad 130, the Harris SuperTech 2000 was designed for telecommunication field technicians, allowing them to access work orders and other information through the telephone system. The Harris Access Device 2000 was a similarly ruggedized device based on the MessagePad 2000.
The Motorola Marco was similar to the specifications of the MessagePad 100 and featured a wireless modem that used the Ardis wireless networking service.
The Sharp ExpertPad PI-7000 was equivalent to the Original MessagePad running Newton OS 1.0 or 1.1 and the ExpertPad PI-7100 was equivalent to a MessagePad 100 running Newton OS 1.3.
The Siemens NotePhone was developed for the German market and based on the Original MessagePad. It integrated a telephone, fax modem, and compatibility with PBX switchboards into a single package. Siemens also developed another prototype device using Newton OS called the Siemens Online Terminal. See question IIA1l for more information regarding prototypes.
The Schlumberger Watson was a vertical market device based on the MessagePad 2000 developed specifically for the French healthcare industry. The device included a modem and pair of smartcard readers to facilitate secure transactions such as processing claims and accessing patient records.
The OMP 1.1, MP100, MP120 & MP130 were available in German. The MP100, MP110 and the MP120/1.3 were available in French. The MP120/2.0-D ROM is in fact the same than the one in the MP130-D (except for the Gestalt answer about the kind of machine).
(From Carsten Lemmen) The OMP was available as a localized German model with 1.1 ROMs and factory preinstalled update to 1.11. This OMP could be upgraded (ROM replacement) to OS 1.3 (MP100 equivalent) through an Apple upgrade program in 1994. AFAIK there was also a Japanese Version of Newton OS, at least the Sharp ExpertPad (OMP clone) was available with Japanese localization.
Here are some quick comparisons.
MessagePad 100, 110, 120, and 130 devices are smaller than the MessagePad 2000 and 2100.
MessagePad 100, 110, 120, 130 devices and the eMate 300 are equipped with only one PCMCIA slot. MessagePad 2000 and 2100 devices have two PCMCIA slots.
MessagePad 130, 2000, 2100 devices and the eMate 300 are equipped with a backlight.
The eMate 300 is equipped with a built-in keyboard.
Much of the following information was obtained from Pascal B. Kreil’s NewtonWiki and MSNUG’s Newton Gallery.
|Model||RAM||ROM||CPU||NOS||Peripheral Connection||Fax||Screen||Sound||Languages||Code Name||Release Date|
|Original MessagePad||640 KB||4 MB||ARM 610 20 MHz||1.0, 1.1||PCMCIA, Serial, IR (ASK)||Send Only||336x240||Speaker||English, German||Newton||August 1993, December 1993|
|Sharp ExpertPad PI-7000||640 KB||4 MB||ARM 610 20 MHz||1.0-1.05, or 1.10-1.11||PCMCIA, Serial, IR (ASK)||Send Only||320x248||Speaker||??||August 1993|
|Sharp ExpertPad PI-7100||640 KB||4 MB||ARM 610 20 MHz||1.3||PCMCIA, Serial, IR (ASK)||Send Only||320x248||Speaker||??||April 1994|
|MessagePad 100||640 KB||4 MB||ARM 610 20 MHz||1.3||PCMCIA, Serial, IR (ASK)||Send Only||336x240||Speaker||English, German, French||Wedge, Junior||March 1994|
|Motorola Marco||1 MB||5 MB||ARM 610 20 MHz||1.3 1||PCMCIA, Serial, IR, Modem||Send Only||320x240||??||??||January 1995|
|Digital Ocean Seahorse||2.5 MB||8 MB||ARM 610 20 MHz||2.0||PCMCIA, Serial, IR, Modem||Send Only||320x240, Backlight||Speaker||English||January 1996|
|Digital Ocean Tarpon||2 MB||4 MB||ARM 610 20 MHz||2.0||PCMCIA, Serial, IR, Modem||Send Only||320x240, Backlight||Speaker||English||June 1996|
|MessagePad 110||1 MB||4 MB||ARM 610 20 MHz||1.3||PCMCIA, Serial, IR (ASK)||Send Only||320x240||Speaker||English, French||Lindy||March 1994|
|MessagePad 120||1 MB 2||8 MB||ARM 610 20 MHz||1.3||PCMCIA, Serial, IR (ASK)||Send Only||320x240||Speaker||English, German, French||Gelato||October 1995 (Germany), January 1995 (US)|
|Harris SuperTech 2000||2 MB||4 MB||ARM 610 20 MHz||1.3 ?? 2.0 ??||PCMCIA, Serial, IR, Radio (2x ??)||Send, Receive||320x240, Backlight||Speaker||??||August 1995|
|MessagePad 120||2 MB 3||8 MB||ARM 610 20 MHz||1.3, 2.0||PCMCIA, Serial, IR (ASK)||Send, Receive||320x240||Speaker||English, German, French (1.3)||Gelato||November 1995|
|MessagePad 130||2.5 MB 4||8 MB||ARM 610 20 MHz||2.0||PCMCIA, Serial, IR (ASK)||Send, Receive||320x240, Backlight||Speaker||English, German||Dante, Quark||March 1996|
|eMate 300||3 MB 5||8 MB||ARM 710 25 MHz||2.1||PCMCIA, Interconnect, Serial, IR (IrDA), Headphone Jack||Send, Receive||480x320, Backlight, 16 Grays||Speaker, Headphone Jack 8||English||Project K, Schoolbook, Shay||April 1997|
|MessagePad 2000||5 MB 6||8 MB||StrongARM 161.9 MHz||2.1||2x PCMCIA, Interconnect, IR (IrDA)||Send, Receive||480x320, Backlight, 16 Grays||Speaker, Microphone 8||English||N2, Q||March 1997|
|MessagePad 2100||8 MB 7||8 MB||StrongARM 161.9 MHz||2.1||2x PCMCIA, Interconnect, IR (IrDA)||Send, Receive||480x320, Backlight, 16 Grays||Speaker, Microphone 8||English, German||N2, Q||November 1997|
1 Grant Hutchinson confirmed on NewtonTalk that one of his Motorola Marco devices runs Newton OS 1.3 (444347) 1.0.3 installed. An archived Japanese site lists the version as 1.3 (444347) 1.0.2.
2 MessagePad 120 (1 MB) memory consists of 639 KB of DRAM and 385 KB of Flash RAM.
See also: Apple Support: MessagePad 120 Technical Specifications
3 MessagePad 120 (2 MB) memory consists of 687 KB of DRAM and 1,361 KB of Flash RAM.
See also: Apple Support: MessagePad 120 (with Newton OS 2.0) Technical Specifications
4 MessagePad 130 memory consists of 1,199 KB of DRAM and 1,361 KB of Flash RAM.
See also: Apple Support: MessagePad 130 Technical Specifications
5 eMate 300 memory consists of 1 MB of DRAM and 2 MB of Flash RAM.
See also: Apple Support: eMate 300 Technical Specifications
6 MessagePad 2000 memory consists of 1 MB of DRAM and 4 MB of Flash RAM. Upgraded MessagePad 2000 memory consists of 4 MB of DRAM and 4 MB of Flash RAM
See also: Apple Support: MessagePad 2000 Technical Specifications
7 MessagePad 2100 memory consists of 4 MB of DRAM and 4 MB of Flash RAM.
See also: Apple Support: MessagePad 2100 Technical Specifications
8 MessagePad 2000, MessagePad 2100, and eMate 300 devices have a special connector known as the Newton Interconnect Port. This proprietary port can accomodate audio line in, audio line out, and two serial ports. Using a serial adapter (or dongle), the Interconnect can be converted to a standard DIN-8 serial port.
See also: What makes a grey Newton Serial Adapter different from a black one?
You have an original Newton MessagePad (OMP), the first model made, or you have an MP100, its immediate successor.
Nope. This was a rumour based on rumblings that Apple was interested in acquiring Palm back in 2006.
The main difference is the amount of DRAM installed in the device. To check this, tap the “i” button in Extras and select “Memory Info”. An original MessagePad 2000 will show approximately 1 MB (~916 KB) of System RAM installed. An upgraded MessagePad 2000 will show approximately 4 MB (~3,980 KB) of System RAM installed.
Also, if Apple upgraded the MessagePad 2000, there should be a sticker next to the Interconnect port that reads “MP2100”.
The Newton NotePad was a pre-production version of the original MessagePad (OMP). It’s not known how (or even if) the NotePad differed from the production OMP devices.
Pre-production prototype Newton devices were often referred to as an Engineering Verification Test or “EVT”. After EVT devices had been put through various tests and subsequently updated with changes to the hardware, a Development Verification Test or “DVT” device would be produced. DVT devices were supposedly very close to the final production devices.
During the development of the MessagePad 2000, an ARM 710 processor (like the one found in the eMate 300) was used in the EVT, instead of a StrongARM processor. The second round of MessagePad 2000 EVT devices (EVT 2) used the StrongARM processor.
Most of the MessagePad 2000 DVT devices were configured exactly the same as the production MessagePad 2000. It has been reported that a few of the DVT devices included 4 MB of DRAM instead of the standard 1 MB. Likewise, some DVT devices apparently have a special ROM board with an additional 8 MB of DRAM, bringing the total to 12 MB. There also may have been devices that used 16 MB of Flash RAM instead of the typical 8 MB of ROM.
Needless to say, many of these details still need to be verified.
The Newton Serial Adapter is a “dongle” which converts the proprietary Interconnect port on MessagePad 2000, MessagePad 2100, and eMate 300 devices to a standard Mini DIN-8 connector.
There are four known variations of the adapter:
Note that the “N” in the stamped text is actually a box with a diagonal line, not an “N” at all. At one point, it was thought that the “N 2” referred to the “N2” codename of the MessagePad 2000. It’s highly likely that this is just a coincidence, since there are “N 1” dongles as well.
All variations have the part number “590-0756” stamped into the plastic housing.
The grey version of the adapter was specific to the pre-production “DVT” (Development Verification Test) version of the MessagePad 2000.
The earlier “EVT” (Engineering Verification Test) devices had black adapters, just like the production version. However, between the second run of EVT devices and the DVT release, they changed one of the pins in the Interconnect port, requiring the need for different adapters.
Don Vollum reported that the grey adapter should be functionally and electrically identical to a black production adapter. However, this has yet to be verified.
Grant Hutchinson theorizes that the prototype and test versions of the dongle were manufactured in Taiwan, whereas the consumer production dongles were manufactured in China. This might explain the different text stamped into the adapters.
See also: I have a Newton device marked as an “EVT” or “DVT”. What is it?
Grant Hutchinson has posted images of several Newton prototypes from his collection on Flickr, including the “Bunwarmer”, “Batmobile”, “Cadillac”, and “Q”.
Likewise, Apple collector Jim Abeles has images of his clear case “Cadillac”, Schlumberger Watson, clear case MessagePad 110, and Newton Keyboard prototype, among others. See his full list of albums for more devices.
Sonny Hung also has a large set of albums on Flickr dedicated to Newton concepts, mockups, prototypes, and peripherals.
In 2002, Russ Uzes purchased a Newton “Cadillac” on eBay and kindly documented the device.
MSNUG’s Newton Gallery has images and information on several prototypes and third-party devices.
Axel Muhr’s Newton Secrets Secret Newtons features larger images and details on oddball designs and prototypes.
eMate 300 Parts
Backlight, Electroluminescent (EL) 922-2681 Battery, NiMH 922-2938 Bezel, eMate Display 922-2940 Card, ROM, eMate 661-1195 Case, Bottom Assembly 922-2941 Case, Top (includes Logic Board) 661-1194 Cover, Top, eMate Display 922-2939 Door, Battery, ROM, RAM Access 922-2674 Feet, Rubber, Pkg. of 4 922-2679 Handle, Rubber Cushion 922-2678 Holder, Name Card 922-2676 Keyboard, eMate 922-2398 Key, Dummy, Keyboard, eMate 076-0636 Latch Kit 076-0633 LCD Assembly, eMate 661-1193 Lens, I/R 922-2677 Plug, Screw, Bezel, Pkg. of 4 922-2680 Plugs, Ink Well, Right and Left, Kit 076-0634 Plugs, Screw, Bottom Case, Kit 076-0635 Screw Kit 076-0637 Sleeve, Battery 922-2675 Stylus (eMate Pen) 922-2682
MessagePad 2000/2100 Parts
Battery Pack, Rechargeable, NiMH 922-2968 Battery Tray 922-3307 Cable, Adapter, MessagePad 2000 to DIN-8 922-2971 Case, Carrying, MessagePad 2000 922-2976 Case, Carrying, Nylon, MessagePad 2000 922-2972 Stylus, MessagePad 2000, Pkg. of 5 922-2969 Flip Top 922-3306 Serial Adapter (Interconnect Dongle) 590-0756A
MessagePad 110/120/130 Parts
2.0 ROM Card, French (not for MP110) F661-1054 2.0 ROM Card, German (not for MP110) D661-1054 Back Cover Assembly 076-0526 Battery Pack, Rechargeable 661-1105 Battery Cover (Pkg. of 5) 922-0755 Battery Recharger 922-0753 Case, LC, Leather 922-0761 Case, Leather 922-0896 Cover, Battery, Lithium (Pkg. of 5) 076-0491 Lithium Battery Cover, MP110 (Pkg. of 5) 922-0756 Cover, Battery (Pkg. of 5) 922-1285 Cover, Top, Hinged (Pkg. of 5) 076-0492 Foot, Rubber (Pkg. of 50) 922-1375 I/O Cover 922-1686 I/R Cover 922-1687 On/Off Knob 922-1688 Rubber Foot, MP110 (Pkg. of 50) 922-0757 Stylus (Pkg. of 5) 922-0754 Stylus, Recharger Cradle 922-0759
Original MessagePad/MessagePad 100 Parts
Battery Cover, Plastic (Pkg. of 5) 922-2037 Battery Holder, 4AAA (Pkg. of 10) 922-2038 Battery Pack, NiCd 661-1693 Battery Recharger 922-0562 Case, Carrying, Leather 922-0563 Case, Carrying, Sport 922-0569 Cover, Connector Rubber (Pkg. of 20) 922-2039 Cover, Slip, Vinyl (Pkg. of 5) 922-2040 Stylus, MessagePad (Pkg. of 10) 922-2036
Parts for all Newton Devices
Adapter Plug, Australia 922-2975 Adapter Plug, Europe 922-2974 Adapter Plug, UK 922-2973 Adapter, Power, Newton, 9 Watt 922-2951 Cable, Macintosh Connect 922-0564 Cable, PC Connect 922-0565 Battery Booster Pack 922-0570 Cable, Print Pack 922-2035 Case, Modem, Pkg. of 10 922-0714 Flash Memory Card 2 MB 661-1695 Keyboard Slipcover 922-1493 Keyboard 661-0963 Keyboard, British B661-0963 Keyboard, French F661-0963 Keyboard, German D661-0963 Keyboard, Swedish S661-0963 Modem Card Assembly, PCMCIA 661-1745 Modem, Data/Fax, 2400 Baud, External 661-1692 Power Adapter, In-Line (old model) 922-0560 Power Adapter, Right Angle, Australia X922-0561 Power Adapter, Right Angle, Great Britain B922-0561 Power Adapter, Right Angle, Int’l Z922-0561
RAM stands for Random Access Memory. It is the designation for memory that can be both written to and read. ROM stands for Read Only Memory. ROM cannot be written to. It is used in the Newton for the operating system. Hence you cannot delete it.
SRAM stands for Static RAM. An SRAM cell consists of a small semiconductor circuit (a flipflop), that holds one bit of information. As long as power is supplied to this flipflop, it will retain its current state (unless changed intentionally, of course), hence the back-up batteries in SRAM cards.
DRAM is for Dynamic RAM. A DRAM cell is constructed to be a tiny capacitor. It is much cheaper to manufacture, and can be much smaller. However, the capacitor will slowly lose it’s charge, hence the need to refresh it regularly. Also, the needed time to (un)load the capacitor in order to store a bit of information is significantly longer than the time needed to (re)set a flipflop.
Flash RAM is based on EEPROM technology. It’s a kind of memory that does not lose its contents when power is no longer supplied. It is used for storage on the Newton.
The Original MessagePad, MessagePad 100, MessagePad 110, MessagePad 120, and MessagePad 130 support 8-bit mono audio, up to a 22,050 Hz sample rate. These devices have a small speaker located near the bottom of the device.
The MessagePad 2000, MessagePad 2100, and eMate 300 support 16-bit mono audio and have a slightly larger integral speaker.
The MessagePad 2000 and MessagePad 2100 also have a built-in microphone to support audio recording.
The eMate 300 has a standard 3.5 mm jack for audio output, primarily used for headphones.
All three of these devices can support audio line in and audio line out by using an adapter that plugs into Interconnect port. [cf. IIB11]
There are several software packages available to allow you to play and record audio. [cf. VF1 & VF2]
Most of the manuals are still available as direct links from Apple, as well as on these fine sites:
Apple’s service manuals for Newton devices are available from:
The ‘sp’ designation refers to specifications. The ‘ba’ designation refers to basics. The emate.up.pdf document explains how to perform the eMate 300 upgrade. Manuals without an extra designation include specifications and basic information, plus a section on troubleshooting and occasionally an exploded view of the device. The emate.pdf document also includes a section about the diagnostic mode, which is used with a special card from Apple.
The Newton supports SRAM (Static RAM) and Linear Flash RAM storage cards by default.
SRAM cards need an internal backup battery to retain their data when not inserted in a device. Linear Flash RAM cards do not require batteries.
ATA-based storage cards can be used with the ATA Support package developed by Paul Guyot. ATA Support consists of a driver and transactional database specifically for handling these types of storage cards.
See also: Can I use a PCMCIA storage card adapter in my Newton?
There are several common kinds of linear cards, depending on the chip used in it.
Storage Card Compatibility
|Model||All 1.x models||All 2.0 models||MP2x00||eMate 300|
|AMD series D or AD linear Cards
(also known as 5v/5v)
|Intel Series II
|Intel Series II+
(5v/5v — they even work with 3v/3v)
|Intel Value Series 100
|Intel Value Series 200
Please note that I compiled this table from various sources.
SRAM cards are said to only work if they are 4 MB or smaller.
It is believed that you need Newton OS 2.x to use flash cards bigger than 4 MB, however it appears to be wrong at least with the Intel Series II+ in a MP100: Harri Hohteri succeeded in using such a card in his MP2100, his MP130 and his MP100.
It is believed that Series II+ only work in 2.x models, but Harri Hohteri’s 40 MB card works in his MP100.
The maximum size limit has been said to be 4 MB, 32 MB, or any other value. Apparently, there is no size limit but the linear cards limit (64 MB), however nobody reported to have been able (or unable) to use a 64 MB card. If you do, please contact us.
Intel and AMD are technologies and most of the time suppliers of the chips, not brands. Therefore Intel cards can be sold under different brand names (Apple for example ;-). You can identify them by their part number:
nn is the memory capacity in MB
The best source about Flash Cards is Carsten Lemmen’s website. His page about storage cards is available in English http://www.mac3.de/sig/newton/memory_cards.html and in German: http://www.mac3.de/sig/newton/Speicherkarten.html
You can increase the DRAM memory of the MessagePad 2000 by performing a MessagePad 2100 upgrade, however Apple no longer offers this service.
Some third-parties sold upgrade kits and offered upgrade services, including PIXsolution and Dave “Dr. Newton” Watson. Occasionally these upgrades appear on eBay or for sale through the NewtonTalk mailing list.
Abe Lee provided instructions for a do-it-yourself MessagePad 2000 upgrade, although the images are unfortunately missing.
At one time, you could also purchase Newer Technology’s eMate 300 Memory Module, which expanded both the DRAM and Flash RAM to the equivilent of an MessagePad 2100.
“When internal DRAM memory is installed, the total amount of DRAM available will equal that on the expansion card. However, when internal flash memory is installed, the storage memory area equals the amount of original internal flash memory plus that on the internal expansion card.”
“For example, an expansion card with 4 MB of DRAM and 2 MB of flash memory would result in a configuration of 4 MB of DRAM and 4 MB of flash memory.”
“An additional benefit is that with the expanded DRAM, the eMate will reconfigure its data path for processed data from 16 to 32 bit, greatly increasing responsiveness.”
Any external modem should work properly, using a standard DIN-8 serial cable to connect to the Newton device.
Until 2003, Len Lutz maintained the Newton Modem List, a voluminous database of PCMCIA modems that people had used with their Newton devices.
According to Victor Rehorst, most PCMCIA modems should work as long as they are not labelled as a “software modem” or “Winmodem”.
Note that “combo” cards (PCMCIA cards that combine a modem with some other sort of networking protocol, such as ethernet) generally require a specific driver to operate. However, in many cases the modem will work with a Newton device. If a message appears stating “A communications card has been inserted” when you insert a combo card, the modem component of the card has been recognized and just might work.
At one point, DNUG maintained a list of various modem drivers and scripts.
To create your own modem script, you can use Apple’s Newton Toolkit sample code.
Here’s a summary of mobile phone compatibility for the Newton. Information on modems and drivers are below. Thanks to all the individual contributors who provided info about their mobile phones.
From: David Rouse — I’ve had excellent results with a Motorola “Micro TAC Alpha” (flip phone, on the larger side) and a CELLect 14.4 PCMCIA modem card (which has a neat geeky manual, it even covers UUCP). Both products are, I believe, as discontinued as the Newton itself.
From: Peter Hofmann — I use an Option 56k GSM ready card and Ericsson T18s with my MessagePad 2100. My Ericsson SH888 also was a good deal.
From: D. Hochberg & J. Leong — I’ve got a Motorola Startac with an Ositech 5 of diamonds modem. no problems.
From: Dave Fleishman — I have had some success with a Motorola DPC650, a MOT-1 cable from Megahertz and a Megahertz XJ4288 modem. Dials great, connects great, but the cellular connection is slow, and unless I’m near a cell tower, it can drop in the middle of the transfer. I used both the 14.4 and higher setting, and the CruiseCard 28.8 setting with success. I have also had success with a Motorola “black box” with just about all PC card modems I have used. Let me know if you need the part number for it, because I keep it in my car.
From: Luca Falzoni — I’m using the CEllect 1+ card and a Newton 130 with a driver I found in a free database a year ago. (sorry, I don’t remember the URL) I put up a page with that information here: [dead link] http://jetai.unipv.it/falzoni/cellect.html Feel free to copy any information/driver from this page. I don’t know if the driver works with other models of Newton/cellect. I only tested these phones: motorola 6200, 8200, 8400, 8700, 8900 and flare. 100% ok with my CELLect 1+ card and MP 130.
From: Orjan J. Larsson — Nokia 2110 and 2110i with an Nokia DTP-2 PC Card works like a charm with an Newton too. Also Options 33.6K PC Card modem with “GSM ready” logo onto them, with GSM cable for Siemens S4, works with Option drivers from www.novamedia.de. Both as a standard 33.6K modem and as a cellular modem. Haven’t tried anything else than an S4, but presume that, as you just change cable, it would work with any mobile phone that Option has an cable for. Both data and fax, in both cases, I might add.
From: Roman Pixell — I’m using the MP2000 today with a Nokia 6110 and an option modem card. I rewrote the script, and it works ok I guess.
From: Kenneth Wong — I’m using the Nokia Cellular Data Card DTP-2v2 with my Nokia 8110.
From: Harri — Nokia 880, 2110(i), 3110, 3810, 5000, 8110(i), 8146, 8148i models works with DTP-2 ver.II Nokia Cellular Data Card and Nokia GSM ISDN driver. Nokia 880, 2110(i), 5000 (this might be Mobira Cityman not Nokia) and 2110 -clones like Technophone, some Philips-models work with DTP-2 Nokia Cellular Data Card and Nokia GSM Auto driver. These might work (and probably will) with each others drivers. The Nokia 6150 can be connected with TDK, option and some other third-party PC Card. These cards support several other brands and models. The Motorola 8700 — All Motorola phones which support Cellect PC Card are supported by GSM-Motorola driver. Some future and currently available phones which has built-in modem should be compatible. These phone are Nokia 7110, Siemens S25, Bosch 909. None of the phones above can use IrDA to communicate because of the incomplete IrDA support on Newton devices. Obviously some Ericsson models are supported because there’s such thing as GSM-Ericsson driver available. I have no idea which phones.
Helmut Fischer has been able to connect his Newton to this phone using an Apple Modem cable (Mini DIN-8 <-> DB9) and connecting the DB9 part to a standard phone — PC cable. He reports: I had to modify the Apple cable slightly (remove the connection between RxD+ and GND).
From: Olaf “Holger” Bohlen — Today I connected my MP130 to my S25 GSM phone with a normal PC Data-Cable from Siemens and a Macintosh to PC Modem Adapter Cable. My configuration for the modem is: “Hayes compatible”, “serial”, and “no waiting for dialtone”. And it works great. I was able to fax, mail, and phone.
Mark Rollins put all information on a web page: http://www.mrollins.com/newtmerlin.html
From: Eric Schneck — I got the Motorola TimePort P280 working (in analog mode) with my 2100. I need to do a manual dial-up because otherwise it hangs at the login prompt.
The Newton can use several GPRS devices such as mobile phones and PC cards.
For the MessagePad 120 with Newton OS 2.0 and MessagePad 130, only one network card is known to work.
According to Donald T. Stewart:
“I purchased the Roamer (wireless networking PC card) and a DynaCOMM Network Access Point from eBay a couple of months ago, but just today tried to get them working. I had no trouble using an MessagePad 120/2.0 with them and seem to be able to access my home AppleTalk network wirelessly.”
The Roamer card is apparently not compatible with Newton OS 2.1.
Devices running Newton OS 2.1 and Newton Internet Enabler (NIE) 2.0 can use ethernet and wireless cards from certain manufacturers with the proper drivers.
The following is a fairly exhaustive list of compatible ethernet cards:
9 The Proxim RangeLAN is a “wireless ethernet” card, but it is not compatible with AirPort or any other 802.11-based networking.
Additional information and required driver packages are available from Victor Rehorst’s Ethernet Information page, Frank Gründel’s Newton & Ethernet page, and the Internet Archive.
This information applies to TCP/IP connections over ethernet, not AppleTalk connections.
See also: How can I connect to the Newton using ethernet?
See also: Can I use a wireless card in my Newton?
Three solutions are available:
The eMate 300 has a built-in keyboard.
Apple made a optional keyboard which can be plugged into the Interconnect port of a MessagePad 2000 or 2100 using an adapter.
You can also use the Newton keyboard with a MessagePad 120 running Newton OS 2.0 and a MessagePad 130.
Newtkey allows a Newton keyboard to be used with Newton OS 1.x devices.
Information on using a Palm-compatible Stowaway keyboard with a Newton device can be found on Grant Hutchinson’s Connecting a Stowaway Keyboard page.
Various desktop connection applications allow you to use your computer keyboard to enter data into a Newton device. [cf. IIIB3b]
At one point in time, PIXsolution offered kits and installation services to speed up MessagePad 130, MessagePad 2000, and MessagePad 2100 devices. These upgrades are very hard to find nowadays.
However, if you’re feeling handy with a soldering iron, there are several ways to speed things up yourself.
Lewin A.R.W. Edwards’ Accelerating the Newton MessagePad 120 describes how to replace the clock oscillator module (oscmod) to gain a few extra megahertz.
Likewise, Stephanie Maksylewich provides plenty of information in her MP2x00 Overclock and eMate Overclock projects.
Ed Kummel also documents the process to Speed up your MP2000!
Theoretically, the ROM of Newton MP 120 can be changed from Newton OS 1.3 to Newton OS 2.0. But you’ve got to find a ROM chip to do this. Other ROM chips on OMP and MP110 are soldered to the motherboard.
Interestingly, the ROM in an OS 2.1 device (MP2x00, eMate) is installed on a card, with room for four more ROM chips.
You can use alkaline batteries, rechargeable batteries (NiCd, NiMH, etc.) or the Apple battery pack. The MP120 & the MP130 can recharge them (with a little piece of paper to press the button under the batteries).
Please note that recharging NiMH batteries in MP1x0s can damage the Newton. [cf: NewtonTalk: MP130 Batteries]
Only the Apple battery pack can be recharged inside the MP2k. For all other batteries you will need a separate battery charger, or to modify the battery holder as described by Nick Müller: http://www.logictools.de/newton/akku_mod/akku2k.html.
The best advice is to use a power adapter that has been specifically designed for use with a Newton device.
Apple manufactured two different adapters:
The “Newton Power Adapter” (model H1300 in North America, model H2200 in Europe) is rated at 7.0V DC, 0.5A. It shipped with the Original MessagePad, MessagePad 100, MessagePad 110, MessagePad 120, and MessagePad 130.
The “Newton 9W Power Adapter” (model H0165) is rated at 7.5V DC, 1.2A. It shipped with the MessagePad 2000, MessagePad 2100, and eMate 300.
There is also an “N2 AC Adapter” which is a prototype version of the 9W adapter with the same model number and power rating. The “N2” adapter accompanied pre-production (EVT/DVT) MessagePad 2000 and 2100 devices. [cf. IIA1j]
Both Apple adapters will work in any Newton device. The 9W adapter will recharge batteries faster than the original adapter, except when used with a MessagePad 100.
See also: Apple MessagePad Devices: Power Adapter Compatibility
It is not recommended that you use a third-party adapter. Too many users have inadvertently fried their Newton device using a non-Apple adapter. However, if you want to take the risk, remember that adapters need to be at least 6V DC, 400mA and the plugs are “tip positive”.
Jacek Jadwiszczak reported:
With his MessagePad 120 and 130, he uses a 7V, 3W adapter. Both 7.5V and 6V work fine, but 6V will not charge batteries. Apparently, at least 3W is needed.
Carl Schultz reports:
I have been using a RadioShack AC adapter for almost a year now. It is the 3-12 volt adjustable model. The new model # is 273-1680 ($34.99 list) and is rated at 1000mA. Mine is the older 800mA model but otherwise is the same. The adapter came with several different plug ends, none of which was correct for my MP2000. I had to buy another one, which I don’t have the part number for, but it has a yellow end if that helps (they are all colour coded). This end may now be included with the adapter, since the RadioShack description states that 4 of the included ends are “new”. Make sure that you install the connector in the “tip positive” configuration. I’ve been using mine daily at work with no problems.
Michael Vacik reports:
The RadioShack plug adapter to use is the Adaptaplug C.
You also may want to review Johannes Wolf’s advice on NewtonTalk: Do I need the Apple AC?
Apple published this support article: Newton OS 2.x: Supported Printers
There are basically three ways to print things from a Newton:
First, you can print with a serial connection (or an AppleTalk connection — LaserWriter-compatible printers only — or via IrDA if you have a MP2x00/eMate 300). For this, you need a driver. The Newton OS has drivers in the ROM which appear in the list when you select “Choose Other Printer” from the print dialog. There are also drivers written by Apple which can be found on UNNA for the SW4500 & SW6500 and the HP IrDA printers (Newton OS 2.1 devices only): http://www.unna.org/unna/drivers/printer/ [I know there’s a non working one for Epson printers, but is there any other driver around?]
Apple also released a PrintPack which includes a serial/parallel adapter and which can print on several parallel printers. The list of printers can be found in the PrintPack documentation on UNNA.
PrintPack 1 was a cable with the drivers included in it. PrintPack 2 requires the drivers to be on the Newton.
Without the hardware, the PrintPack2 drivers are useless. The serial/parallel adapter includes a processor and was manufactured by GDT Softworks (which later became InfoWave) for Apple. This company also manufactured compatible cables, the pre-V.4.X cables. A regular serial/parallel adapter will certainly not work.
About the GDT Softworks cables, Jon Glass reports:
I do recall there being a discussion that the last version of the GDT Softworks version of the PowerPrint adapter wouldn’t work with the Newton. I do know this, the one I have does work with my Epson 900.
I’m having trouble trying to decipher what’s written on the back, so I’ll include all the text:
Advanced Components & Peripherals P/L
Made in Singapore
FCC ID KBVSPC1
Finally, you you can also print using a PC and Newton PC-Print by Alexander Kunzer.
The HP Deskjet 340CBi is battery powered and has a Newton-compatible IrDA (Newton OS 2.1 devices) adapter.
Yes you can. You need the Tibet software. This software is no longer supported, but Russell Tait (the creator of Tibet) gave away some registration codes you can use:
The following digital cameras will work with a MessagePad 2000 or 2100 and the Tibet software. A serial cable is required to connect the camera to a Newton device.
10 Neal Sofge reports: “I have an Agfa ePhoto 780c, which is apparently an updated version of the 780 in an iMac-compatible blue case. It works with Tibet, but only if you ‘distract’ the camera by sliding the lens cover open and closed while trying to communicate with it. The timing on this is tricky, but you can get good at it after enough practice.”
It appears that some cameras that use the Fujitsu chipset (such as most of the Olympus models) are also compatible. More information is available on Eugene Crosser’s Digital Cameras on Fujitsu chipset page.
Canon cameras were once reported as compatible, but Daniel Padilla said they aren’t. At least not his PowerShot 350.
Daniel Padilla also reported that a camera needs to have the Sierra Imaging firmware and a serial port to work with the Tibet software. Here is the official list of supported cameras.
The following cameras will definitely not work:
Yes. ATA-based storage such as the Iomega Clik!, IBM Microdrive, and CompactFlash can be used with the appropriate PCMCIA adapter and Paul Guyot’s ATA Support package.
Download the ATA Support 1.0 package. The source code is also available.See also: What type of storage cards can I use?
Apple only produced two accessories for the Interconnect port, the Newton Serial Adapter (colloquially referred to as the “dongle”) and a serial cable with an Interconnect plug on one end and a standard DB-9 connector on the other.
At one point, Enfour also manufactured one-piece serial cables that integrated an Interconnect plug, eliminating the need for the Newton Serial Adapter.
Dave Miller created and iterated his own line level audio adapter for the MessagePad 2000 and MessagePad 2100. He also put together step-by-step instructions for building your own.
Yes. You can use certain wireless cards just like an ethernet networking card. You will need a device running Newton OS 2.1, Newton Internet Enabler (NIE) 2.0, and the appropriate driver packages developed by Hirochi Noguchi.
The WaveLAN driver seems to work with most Lucent WaveLAN cards and is designed to connect to a base station. Apple AirPort base stations running software version 1.3 or 2.0 are known to work.
Portions of the following are from Apple’s About Cables document. (1995)
You can connect to your Newton using either a serial cable or an ethernet card (connection from a 2.1 device to Mac OS computers only). Please note that using an ethernet card means first installing the proper driver.
The MessagePad 1x0 devices and the eMate 300 have a standrad Mini DIN-8 port compatible with RS-232 and LocalTalk connections. You can use either a Mini DIN-8 to Mini DIN-8 serial cable to connect to an classic Macintosh, a Mini DIN-8 to DB-25 cable to connect to a DB-25 serial port on a Windows computer or a Mini DIN-8 to USB via an USB/Serial adapter to newer machines. You cannot use IrDA with Apple software. See section IIIB3c
The MessagePad 2000, MessagePad 2100, and eMate 300 have an Interconnect port. Using an adapter and the cable supplied with other Newton devices, you can add a standard DIN-8 serial port which is compatible with RS-232, RS-422, GeoPort, and LocalTalk.
See section IIIB3b for the various ways to transfer data to/from your desktop computer, software and hardware.
Newton devices with backlit displays use the same technology that is found in Timex Indiglo watches, an Electroluminescent (EL) panel. This type of backlighting operates at a high voltage that requires a voltage conversion circuit, involving a transformer. It’s transformer which creates the whining noise. If you place an Indiglo watch up to your ear, you will hear a similar sound.
Apple Support Tech Note: MessagePad and eMate: Noise Emission Levels
If you are referring to the sound when the backlight is turned on, refer to the previous question. The humming or whine when the MessagePad is powered on is caused by the power manager circuitry. The sound may be more noticeable when the CPU is idle and devices are reportedly noisier than others. Unfortunately, there is no workaround. This issue specifically affects the MessagePad 110, MessagePad 120, and MessagePad 130 models.
Apple Support Tech Note: MessagePad and eMate: Noise Emission Levels
It has been years since Apple has provided repair services for Newton devices. You can either attempt repairs yourself or find another individual knowledgable enough to perform those repairs.
Frank Gründel of PDA-Soft has provided repair and refurbishing services for Newton devices for many years. Contact him for more information.
You can also try some of the solutions that have been documented for frequent hardware problems. See section IIC6
The Newton wakes up to move your to do items over from the previous day, and to perform other housekeeping. [From Robert Sexton’s FAQ]
Alan Drogin says, It has a “half life” conjectured to be in the low thousands of hours. Which translates to at least a couple of years, which also means it doesn’t stop working, just gets dimmer, which ultimately means its within the normal limits of planned obsolescence accepted by the high tech world.
One thing I can’t give a definitive answer to is the actual half life. I’ve seen plenty of posts claiming that the half life of the MP130 backlighting is 1600-1700, but no actual proof of source. I’ve seen claims about the MP2K backlighting at 2000 and even 5000. John Schettino saw some web sites from backlighting manufacturers claiming 15,000-20,000 hour half lives. [From Robert Sexton’s FAQ]
See also: Apple Newton Devices: Backlight Life
There are a number of things you can try. Try the following, in increasing order:
See also: What are the different ways to reset a Newton?
Try one of these:
The MessagePad 130, MessagePad 2000, MessagePad2100 and eMate 300 include backlit displays. Some third-party devices such as the Digital Ocean Seahorse and Digital Ocean Tarpon also sports backlit displays. [cf. IIA1e]
On a MessagePad device, depress and hold the power switch until the backlight is activated. Depress and hold the power switch again to turn off the backlight.
On an eMate 300, press the “lightbulb” button on the keyboard.
The backlight can also be controlled through software. See the next question.
Older MessagePad devices (in particular, the MessagePad 100) develop power-on problems due to gunk building up inside the power switch which increases its resistance. Sean Luke put together the The Newton MessagePad 100 Power-Off Page with various workarounds and fixes.
The serial port is poorly soldered onto the MP2K motherboard, and eventually it can wear out and cave in. If you are very, very good at solder, you might try opening the machine and resoldering the contacts. But it’s very difficult, and even proficient solderers won’t attempt it. Most likely, your only recourse is to have Apple fix the problem: see section IIC3
The chief culprit here is the Newton’s “dongle”, the small plug which connects to the Newton. The dongle has two bumps on the top and two bumps on the bottom, which help the dongle stay locked in the serial connector, but cause considerable friction and stress on entry and exit. To prevent problems in the future, you might try filing down the bumps on the top.
This is a problem known as the “Jaggies”. The symptoms are:
It can be caused by two things:
If you suspect that dirt is the culprit, you can attempt to clean between the case and the screen:
It’s possible that a warped case is the culprit and you can attempt to dewarp it.
If none of this does the trick, then either the touchscreen connector needs cleaning, or the screen must be replaced. Replacing the screen or cleaning the touchscreen should only be attempted by an experienced person, as it required almost complete disassembly of the Newton.
Frank Gründel has written several comprehensive guides on rebuilding Newton battery packs.
There is a known design flaw in the eMate 300 lid hinge that can cause damage to the flat cable that connects the screen to the main board. More information about this problem and a solution to prevent it can be found on Joel Sciama’s Repairing eMate Hinges and Display Cable page.
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