Newton connects with Snow Leopard

Newton connects with Snow Leopard

Newton users may wonder, with the release of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, whether their MessagePads and eMates would still play nice with the new operating system. You get a new Mac (as I did) with the latest install, and you might worry – is it going to work?

I’m here to report: everything works fine.

Keyspan USA-28x

I started by download the Keyspan USA-28x driver to my new iMac for the serial-to-USB adapter. Things got weird when Snow Leopard recognized the Keyspan adapter as some sort of dial-up device (above). This wasn’t the case, obviously, but I pressed on just to see if it would work.

Newton Connection (NCX)

I went with Simon Bell’s excellent Newton Connection for Mac OS X (NCX) for the software connection, using a Newton eMate 300.

Since I’m working through the serial connection via USB, I select “serial” in the Newton’s Dock app and – whala. NCX and the Keyspan adapter give me a connection on Snow Leopard.

NCX screenshot function

First, I wanted to try the new screen shot function on NCX – something that was only possible before in a few roundabout ways, like with Newton Toolkit.

In NCX, head to File > Screen Shot, then press the little camera (above) and wait a few seconds.

eMate screen shot

And bam, you get a little window pop-up with a screen shot of your Newton. Pretty handy.

NCX package install

Next, I tried doing what every Newton user does at some point: install a package file. In this case, I picked a periodic table app from UNNA.

Newton package install

This worked exactly as before.


So everything, from the screen shots to the keyboard function – which, for me, worked faster than on previous Macs – works great with OS X 10.6.

Trying NewtSync on Snow Leopard

The real test, and the one I’ve had issues with on my eMate since forever, is syncing Address Book and iCal names and dates to the Newton. I’ve had no luck at all so far, besides a few to-do items syncing from iCal to the Newton’s Dates app, and I don’t guess it’ll get much better on Snow Leopard. I tried using NewtSync (above), but had no luck syncing anything.

The important message to take away is that, with software like NCX, it’s possible to connect your Newton, install packages, and do a few other tasks no matter which version of Mac OS X you’re using.

This may not always be the case. There could be some future OS X release that cripples any potential Newton-to-Mac connection. I would think it’d be in the areas of data syncing or unavailable drivers for serial adapters. But the newer MessagePads and eMates allow for Bluetooth compatibility, which shows no sign of going away.


  1. Thanks for writing this, Dave. I just got a new iMac also, and was wondering if NCX would work with Snow Leopard. Guess I’ll have to try it tonight.

  2. cool, I will also my messge pad 2100 in my powerbook 1400 and in my mac pro.

  3. I was able to connect MP 2100 with mac pro using NCX and NewTen.Both applications are running perfect.A few years ago I used the same applications using a Powerbook G3 Firewire and the same thing was happened.A very good connection and fine transfers.Only NewtSync is not working in Tiger or SnowLeo.

  4. very retro!

  5. […] Dave Lawrence designed the mockup and it’s a good laugh, he’s also a huge fan of the Apple Newton and has managed to connect one to Snow Leopard… don’t ask […]

  6. I’ve been reading the posts above with bated breath, so-to-speak. I’ve had a 2100 for a number of years and have just gotten a new iMac. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to move data from it to the iMac. Can someone provide me with direction regarding what hardware/software I will require to connect the 2100 to the iMac?

    The 2100 that I have has no cables and two empty memory slots.

  7. John – I believe you’ll need a serial adapter (the newer kind, not the one I mention above), or some sort of Ethernet or Bluetooth connection. I would recommend searching for some help.

  8. You are awesome man. I have been searching for this.. for so long.

    Thanks so much

  9. Thanks David, finally after all those years I can transfer my documents to my Mac. Even makes me wanna think of building a new battery for the little eMate.

  10. Hello all…

    I’ve had the opposite experience. I’ve been able to use NewtSync on my 2007 MacBook with my MP2100 and can sync Notes fine. I haven’t been able to find a .dmg of NCX that I can open. Does anyone know where I can find a good one?

    Thx in advance!

  11. It seems the “” website is down. Can you post the Keyspan USA-28x drivers here or email them to me?



  12. I found the drivers (11/04/13), they are at the Tripplite website.



  13. […] Diseñador Dave Lawrence diseñó el diseño y se ríe mucho, también es un gran fan de Apple Newton y logré conectar uno a Snow Leopard … no preguntes por […]

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