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Newton FAQ

Part V: Software

  1. Where can I find software for my Newton?
    1. Software Archives
    2. Software Developers
  2. What software is available from Apple?
    1. Connection, backup, and package installer software
      1. Newton Connection Kit
      2. Newton Backup Utility
      3. Newton Package Installer
      4. Newton Connection Utilities
      5. Newton Connection for Mac OS X
      6. How can I connect to the Newton using ethernet?
    2. Book creation and development software
      1. Newton Press
      2. Newton Book Maker
      3. Newton Toolkit
      4. Newton C++ Toolbox
    3. I’ve heard of MacinTalk for Newton. Where can I find it?
      1. Does it work on my Newton?
      2. Where can I find it?
      3. How can I make it read something?
      4. How can I change the voice?
      5. Can I change the volume?
    4. What can Newton Works do for me?
      1. Does it work on my Newton?
      2. Where can I find it?
      3. What word processing software can I use on my Newton?
      4. Where can I find spreadsheet, drawing, and calculation stationery?
      5. What spreadsheet software can I use on my Newton?
    5. I bought a Newton but it didn’t come with the CD/Floppies. Where can I find them?
  3. Software problems
    1. I get an error message on my Newton. What does it mean?
      1. Negative numbers
      2. Positive numbers are usually bus errors.
    2. My Newton crashes or hangs at startup. What can I do?
    3. Unsupported shareware
    4. How can I help a developer to fix bugs I have found?
      1. Using BugTrap — How can I make a log to send to developers?
      2. Using TrashPak — How can I get the list of the installed software?
  4. Internet
    1. How can I connect to the internet on my Newton?
      1. What do I need?
      2. What’s the difference between NIE 1.1 and NIE 2.0?
      3. How can my Newton share a desktop computer’s internet connection?
    2. What software is needed?
      1. Email
      2. Web
      3. Newsgroups
      4. Other protocols
      5. Can I use my Newton as a web Server?
    3. How can I read AOL mail on my Newton?
    4. Is there a Sherlock equivalent for the Newton?
  5. Newton Fonts
    1. Where do I get roman fonts for the Newton?
    2. How do I make a Newton Font?
    3. My font doesn’t print (or prints poorly) to my printer. Why?
  6. Internationalized Software
    1. Where do I find fonts, input systems, encodings, and dictionaries for non-Roman foreign languages?
    2. Is there a web browser which supports non-Roman encodings?

A) Where can I find software for my Newton?

1) Software Archives

2) Software Developers

There are several Newton developers who still actively support and maintain their products or at least have kept information and downloads available.

The following defunct developer sites have been saved in the Internet Archive.


B) What software is available from Apple?

1) Connection, backup, and package installer software

a) Newton Connection Kit

Newton Connection Kit (NCK) is an application that allows you to synchronize, backup, and manage data from a Newton device using a Mac OS or Windows computer.

NCK only works with Newton OS 1.x devices. For Newton OS 2.x devices, use NCU.

Software is available from UNNA:

Documentation is available from Apple: [cf. IIA5]

Documentation is also available from UNNA:

b) Newton Backup Utility

Newton Backup Utility (NBU) can install packages, as well as backup and restore data between a Newton device and a Mac Os or Windows computer.

Software is available from UNNA:

Documentation is available from Apple: [cf. IIA5]

Documentation is also available from UNNA:

c) Newton Package Installer

Newton Package Installer (NPI) does what it says. It installs packages on a Newton device from a Mac OS or Windows computer.

Software is available from UNNA:

d) Newton Connection Utilities

Newton Connection Utility (NCU) provides package installation, data backup, import and export of data.

NCU only works with Newton OS 2.x devices. For Newton OS 1.x devices, use NCK.

Software is available from UNNA:

Documentation is available from Apple: [cf. IIA5]

Documentation is also available from UNNA:

e) Newton Connection for Mac OS X

Newton Connection for Mac OS X (NCX) by Simon Bell is a modern replacement for Newton Connection Utilities (NCU). NCX can backup data, import and export dates, names, notes and Newton Works documents, install packages, as well as allow the use of a computer keyboard to enter text on your a device.

Software is available from Simon Bell’s Newton Research:

f) How can I connect to the Newton using ethernet?

This only works with devices running Newton OS 2.1 and Mac OS. The Windows version of Apple’s connection software does not connect over AppleTalk. A workaround is to use Basilisk II (a Mac OS emulator) which you’ll find at http://www.uni-mainz.de/~bauec002/B2Main.html.

There is a disk image with NCU pre-installed for Basilisk on UNNA: http://www.unna.org/unna/development/NewtonDev/macos755-boot.zip

2) Book creation and development software

a) Newton Press

It can be found at UNNA: http://www.unna.org/unna/apple/software/NewtonPress/

Documentation can be found on Apple’s FTP (among others), see question IIA5.

b) Newton Book Maker

There is a complete version with documentation at UNNA: http://www.unna.org/unna/apple/development/Bookmaker/

c) Newton Toolkit

[cf. VIIA1a]

d) Newton C++ Toolbox

[cf. VIIA1b]

3) I’ve heard of MacinTalk for Newton. Where can I find it?

a) Does it work on my Newton?

It only works with Newton OS 2.1 (MP2k and eMate). You need MacinTalk.pkg and SpeakText.pkg.

b) Where can I find it?

You can find it:

c) How can I make it read something?

Most applications with an action button will allow you to read text. A good place to start is the Notes application.

Moreover, you can use it to read books. [cf. VIA2]

d) How can I change the voice?

Go to the InOut Box, tap the “i” button and choose Speak Text prefs.

e) Can I change the volume?

Generally speaking, no. But you could start the text to be read with [[volm 0.5]]

Volume is between 0 and 1. Default is 1. (this means that the Newton will never speak louder). You can also do [[volm +0.1]] or [[volm -0.1]] for relative change.

4) What can Newton Works do for me?

a) Does it work on my Newton?

The Newton Works word processing module is mostly in 2.1 ROM. Therefore, it won’t work on any other device. The word processing was written to be used with the keyboard. However, there are several software packages that directly use the handwriting recognition, although they are more primitive than standard handwriting recognition input zones.

There is also software to enhance Newton Works.

[list to be provided one day]

Andree Dettmer has a lot of links for Newton Works on his excellent Been There, Done That! website: http://dettmer.maclab.org/newton/300.html#mitgel

b) Where can I find it?

Newton Works can normally be found on the floppies/CD that came with your Newton 2x00/eMate. See question VB5.

The US version can also be found online on Laurent Daudelin’s website: http://nemesys.dyndns.org/NewtSoft_EN.html

The German version can be found on PDA LifeStyle website: http://www.pda-lifestyle.de/ftp/pub/newton/cd-2100/INSTALSW/newton-works.zip

c) What word processing software can I use on my Newton?

You can use AvailWorks.

d) Where can I find spreadsheet, drawing, and calculation stationery?

There are actually three additional stationeries for Newton Works: Works calculation, Works Draw and QuickFigure Works.

They are on the original eMate CD (QuickFigure Works was also available on the original MP2100 CD). See question VB5.

They can also be found at UNNA and on Laurent Daudelin’s website:

http://www.unna.org/unna/applications/NewtonWorks/http://nemesys.dyndns.org/NewtSoft_EN.html

e) What spreadsheet software can I use on my Newton?

PelicanWare made a spreadsheet application called QuickFigure Pro.

[From David Huff]

The link is http://www.pelicanware.com/ and they are now selling products for the Newton 1.x OS for purchase online (e.g. QuickFigure Pro 2.5) for $29.95. Their later versions for Newton OS 2.x are avail for purchase w/demos for download.

Macapa made another spreadsheet application called NapkinCalc.

[From James Pelton]

The place on the company’s site where they mention the product is http://www.macapa.com/engother.html. On that page, they say that if you want the software, you can either download it elsewhere, or email them, and they’ll send it to you.

It can be found on UNNA: http://www.unna.org/unna/applications/NapkinCalc1.1/.

[description from Planet Newton]: NapkinCalc 1.1 lets you create sheets in which you can enter numbers and text, and perform calculations on the numbers you entered. One of the many strong points of Napkin Calc is that you can have more than one sheet on your screen at a time. It is also fairly easy to use. This program does not wish to present itself as a “super powerful”, all knowing, calculation machine. It’s purpose is simply to let you run a few calculations on the fly, and also print or fax a nice looking report.

5) I bought a Newton but it didn’t come with the CD/Floppies. Where can I find them?

All Newton models came with floppies or a CD with required software (such as NCU, NIE, etc.). All these software are available on UNNA (among other things), especially in the apple directory: On UNNA: http://www.unna.org/unna/apple/

Additionally, the Windows CD-ROMs are available online:


C) Software problems

1) I have an error message on my Newton. What does it mean?

There are two kind of error codes that appears in a dialog slip (small dialog with animated frame): positive numbers and negative numbers.

a) Negative numbers

These are standard Newton OS errors. The error number usually provides information about the type of error and can be found in the Programmer’s Reference for Newton OS 2.0 or in a book for Newton written by Chris Frost http://www.frostnet.net/chris/newton/html/books.html

Victor Rehorst built a database of errors that may contain more errors (especially from C++ headers). You’ll find it at: http://guelph.unna.org/errors/

The -10061 error is the symptom of a known bug. [cf. IIIC2a]

b) Positive numbers are usually bus errors.

Having such an error means a bad reference to a NewtonScript object (any strange use of Ref()?) or a bad error in a C++ code.

A bus error may also be triggered by a hardware problem, since the very concept of it is that the processor tried to access data at a certain address, and was answered that it was impossible.

2) My Newton crashes or hangs at startup. What can I do?

There is probably an incompatible or corrupted package on your Newton that is causing it to crash. You can try to solve this by deactivating all packages by performing a soft reset with extensions off. Refer to question IIIB2c for details on how to do this. Restarting with extensions off will allow you to start up your Newton and delete the offending package.

3) Unsupported shareware

I like a particular shareware program, but it requests that I enter a code to activate it. I tried to contact the author, but with no success. What should I do?

As a Newton developer, I would suggest you work to find the author. Ask the Newton community by a post in the newsgroups and mailing lists.

4) How can I help a developer to fix bugs I have found?

a) Using BugTrap — How can I make a log to send to developers?

Install BugTrap by Tactile Systems. It will make a new note every time an error occurs (basically when you get the message “Sorry an error occurred”), which you can send to the developer.

b) Using TrashPak — How can I get the list of the installed software?

TrashPak from Atomic Software http://pobox.com/~atomic.software does several things including a very useful feature for developers: it generates the list of all the packages that are installed on your Newton.


D) Internet

1) How can I connect to the internet on my Newton?

a) What do I need?

First, be warned that internet access requires Newton OS 2.x

Mail and newsgroup download speed is limited more by the modem than Newton device, hence using these services on MP120 or MP130 is doable, although it requires a lot of memory (for NIE and internet programs). Web browsing can be painfully slow of these Newtons.

Sean Luke said (in response to “Newt’s Cape is slow on my MessagePad 130”):

The MessagePad 130 contains an ARM 610 running at 20MHz with no pipelining, no superscalar architecture, no L2 cache, and a bytecode-interpreted programming language. When was the last time you surfed the web on a Mac Plus? A PC/AT? You should be amazed that Newt’s Cape runs at all on an MessagePad 130!

You also need access to an internet provider, a compatible modem, and the Newton Internet Enabler (NIE) package. This software was provided on the floppies that came with your Newton.

b) What’s the difference between NIE 1.1 and NIE 2.0?

Some bugs were fixed. And support for additional cards, e.g., ethernet was added.

MP120 2.0/MP130 can only use NIE 1.1.

NIE 2.0 only works with Newton OS 2.1. (eMates & MP2x00s).

c) How can my Newton share a desktop computer’s internet connection?

According to Tom Sheppard, while you can provide MacIP connections to a Mac, it doesn’t work with Newtons. So the only way to share an internet connection is to do that via ethernet.

To do so, you need a router software on your desktop computer. On Mac OS, there are IPNetRouter (shareware, $90) and Vicom’s SoftRouter.

2) What software is needed?

Steve Weyer maintains a list of internet related applications (e.g., categories mentioned, plus weather, HTML editors, etc.): https://communicrossings.com/html/newton/newtscape.htm#Other

a) Email
b) Web
c) Newsgroups
d) Other protocols
e) Can I use my Newton as a web Server?

Yes, there is software called Newton Personal Data Sharing (NPDS) that does that: http://come.to/lightyear_media

You can even visit Newtons which are docked to the internet at Matthew’s Newton Tracker at http://130.126.50.66/tracker.cgi

You can also use a NotesWeb by T. Kuwabara, [dead link] http://www.bekkoame.or.jp/~kuwa27/index.html

3) How can I read AOL mail on my Newton?

Basically, you can’t.

At one point Catamount Software’s Aloha allowed you to access multiple accounts, but as AOL dropped support for older versions of their client protocol, Aloha stopped functioning.

The current iteration of AOL Mail requires secure web access or an email client that supports SSL. Unfortunately, the Newton OS does not support SSL at this time.

4) Is there a Sherlock equivalent for the Newton?

Yes, it’s called Hemlock. It works with the recent versions of Steve Weyer’s Newt’s Cape and allows you to do searches similar to the original Sherlock. It also has some extra capabilities, such as importing and exporting of plug-ins. Hemlock is a freeware program written by Sean Luke.


E) Newton Fonts

1) Where do I get roman fonts for the Newton?

Freeware fonts:

Minico: (freeware, tiny Monaco, great for terminal emulators)

Commercial fonts:

2) How do I make a Newton Font?

There are two ways to make a Newton font from an Apple TrueType font or from bitmaps.

Sean Luke’ Fonts for the Newton page provides source code for both his set of laser printer compatible PostScript fonts and his customized Chinese language font.

Apple gives some simple font source code at http://www.unna.org/unna/apple/development/Examples/SampleCodeMac/MonacoTest-4.sea.hqx

3) My font doesn’t print (or prints poorly) to my printer. Why?

The printing facilities in the Newton aren’t very sophisticated. When printing to a PostScript printer, the Newton expects the printer to already have all the necessary fonts built-in. If they’re not, blank space is printed, or the font is rendered in Courier or Helvetica (whatever the default font is for your printer).

When printing to a non-PostScript printer, the Newton renders its internal fonts as best it can. However, due to space restrictions the internal fonts are stored mostly for screen resolutions, not printer resolutions; so they’ll come out blocky when printed.


F) Internationalized Software

1) Where do I find fonts, input systems, locales, encodings, and dictionaries for foreign languages/countries?

You can go to the NEWTtools font page for a more exhaustive list of links: [dead link] http://www.NEWTtools.com/Fonts.html.

2) Is there a web browser which supports non-Roman encodings?

Yes. Newt’s Cape supports Chinese, Japanese, and Cyrillic (in addition to English, French, and German).


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