Eckhart Köppen has come through once again for the Newton community with a patch for the 2010 bug.
Köppen released Patch 71J059, a patch for the bug that had Newton users dreading New Year’s Eve (this year and next). This incredible piece of DIY engineering helps extend the life of our MessagePads. And the download-and-install procedure is very simple and straightforward.
While the patch is for MP2100s only, Köppen says, “German and eMate versions are still in the making.”
The 2010 bug only affected Newton OS 2.1 devices, meaning MP100-120 users are safe.
Newton users sang the praises of Köppen’s Patch 71J059 after making the announcement. Köppen is careful to point out, however, that installing the patch is not a risk-free project:
NOTE: THIS PATCH IS PROVIDED WITHOUT WARRANTY. DUE TO THE COMPLEX NATURE OF SYSTEM PATCHES, FAILURE TO INSTALL PROPERLY MAY RENDER THE NEWTON UNUSABLE, RECOVERY REQUIRES A TEMPORARY ROM BOARD SWAP, AND WILL RESULT IN THE LOSS OF ALL DATA ON THE NEWTON!
But this means that the year 2010 can come and go, and Newton users can still carry their MessagePads with pride (and without resorting to a clumsy solution, like setting the Newton’s date and time to some year in the past).
The project speaks to the resilience of the Newton community (err, cult). With no help from Apple, but tons of help from Newton users, Köppen and others have shown what a dedicated group of hard-core enthusiasts can do.