2010: Newtpocalypse without an update

Turns out, the end is nigh.

For Newton users, the year 2010 poses a serious problem. It’s put simply by NewtonTalk’s tweet, but Marisa from the list says it like this:

The problem is that the Newton stores numbers as 30-bits instead of 32, and in 2010 the number of seconds since the “epoch” of 1901 or whatever date it is runs out of bits to keep track of the date.

Newton users have reported everything from date screw-ups to total crashes when they try to set their date to 2010 and get anything done.

Remember Y2K? This is Newt2K+10.

Avi Dressman developed a fix, which he describes in detail here, and you can find the package patch on UNNA (though Avi warns of the patch’s Alpha development stage – so be warned) [Update: Don’t download Dressman’s patch. It helped lead to the 2010Fix bug in January 2009].

Some who have tried setting their Newton to 2010 have had it crash everything from a MP110 (with OS 1.x) to the 2×00 series, but the bug mostly effects OS 2.x Newtons. So for gosh sakes, don’t try it at home.

But if you plan on using your Newt in 2010, by all means download the patch and prevent Newtpocalypse.

[Update 2: Eckhart Köppen, with help from the Newton community, developed a patch that fixes the 2010 bug. Use this instead of Dressman’s patch.]


  1. Be aware that according to reports on NewtonTalk, the patch you mention, bricks Newtons if you try to use a date of 2009. So you have to decide: brick your Newton now, or use it for 1 more year and then brick it in 2010.

    Or just set your date to 1999 and everything will be accurate except for the year. For 2011, use 2005; 2012 use 1984

  2. […] Microsoft Zune users weren’t the only ones suffering when 2009 arrived. Many, many Newton users were afflicted by the new year as well, thanks to a alpha-version “fix” of the infamous 2010 bug. […]

  3. […] good news is there are really smart people working on the Year 2010 issue, and Köppen seems to think getting a patch up and running will require “less black magic […]

  4. […] the Newton’s 2010 bug got you down? Eckhart Köppen, the same Newton developer who created a Wiki on the 2010 bug, has […]

  5. […] combination of approaches seems best. After all, we’ve only got a year or so before things start really getting weird. If the Newton community doesn’t find a solution soon, our beloved Newts may become extinct […]

  6. […] Eckhart Köppen has come through once again for the Newton community with a fix for the 2010 bug. […]

  7. […] But who knows what tomorrow might bring? Maybe the Newtpocalypse? […]

  8. […] If you have a spare eMate or Deutschland MessagePad, you can help prevent Newtpocalypse. […]

  9. […] MessagePad 2100 Year 2010 patches are complete and ready for installation. These patches fix the dreaded Newtpocalypse on Newton OS 2.1 […]

  10. […] Oliver Leaman, sharing his 2010 patch experiences with NewtonTalk. Learn more about the Newtpocalypse, and how it was […]

  11. […] That’s when Newtpocalypse is scheduled to happen. […]

  12. […] Newtpocalpyse is rearing its ugly head again in the Newton community. […]

  13. Schönes Blog!Vielleicht können wir ja mal was zusammen machen? vg aus Berlin Matthias

Post a comment.