Posts categorized “y2010”.

No bumper needed: Newton Y2008 bug fixed

July 19th, 2010

The Newton community received good news this weekend from wunderkind Eckhart Köppen:

No duct tape of bumper case required here: Paul Guyot has come up with a way to prevent the reset to January 1st, 2008 with patch 71J059 after rebooting or power loss. I merged his changes into the next version of the Y2010 patch, version 711000.

This “Y2008” bug hit back in January, soon after Newtpocalypse was averted. This issue hasn’t made Newtons unusable, but it put the brakes on the overall Y2010 fix.

Köppen credits Grant Hutchinson, Tony Kan, and Don Zahniser for helping with testing. Paul Guyot, who developed the patch that prevents the reset to 2008, is responsible for all the fun Kallisys software, including Escale and the Einstein project.

Köppen says German Newtons and all eMates will be fixed soon. This patch only fixes U.S.-based 2×00 Newtons.

As Newton users, we’re lucky to have such hard-working minds. They continue to develop fixes for all these issues, allowing us to keep using our MessagePads and eMates here in 2010 and beyond. The wait for this latest patch has been worth it.

Now I’ll sit tight until my eMate patch comes along.

UPDATE: Morgan Aldridge is doing some digging on the Adam Tow’s Alarms issue.

[Via NewtonTalk.]

Newton ’round the web

March 29th, 2010

The 2010 Bug: Part XXIII: Avi’s solution works for NOS 2.0 (My Apple Newton)
“However extraordinary Eckhart’s feat was in developing his patch for the Newton, it only works for NOS 2.1 machines, leaving NOS 2.0 users seemingly without a solution. Ron Parker confirms that Avi’s solution does fix NOS 2.0 machines (some MP120s and all MP130s) from the 2010 bug. It can be downloaded from here and here. However it won’t fix the bug on NOS 2.1 units.”

Apple renews Newton trademark (Patently Apple)
“When discovering Apple’s latest trademark filings for iBook and iBook Store in the Canadian Intellectual Property Office this week, I also stumbled upon Apple’s filing pertaining to their Newton logo design trademark that appears to have been renewed or has been automatically set to renew on October 13, 2010.”

eMate still a crowd pleaser (Vintage Mac Museum)
“The eMate was not a big commercial success, but may not have been on the market long enough to generate sustainable momentum. In my collection the eMate is a perennial crowd favorite, particularly among kids under 10. Children (and many adults) visiting the Museum always gravitate to this system, intuitively understand how to use it, and comment that it’s a cool little computer. Not bad for a nearly 15 year old device!”

Newton: Best PDA ever (
“Just as I’m about to retire my old Newton, just as I’m exporting the contacts and calendar entries, I rediscovered why the Newton was — and still is — the best PDA ever.”

Apple iPad: We’ve reached Star Trek-nology (ZDNet)
“Since the failure of the Newton, the Tablet or PADD form-factor has always come under intense scrutiny, as no manufacturer or company has been able to make the concept stick.”

Programming for the Newton (McComber Development)
“I’ve been toying with the idea of writing an app for the Newton […] Of course I’ll want to come up with something that hasn’t been done on the Newton before.”

Behind the iPad: 4 Decades of Clever Technology (Tech News Daily)
“Apple has always stubbornly sought to ‘think different,’ but it decided to think small when it launched its first hand-held device, the Newton Message Pad, in 1993. The Newton created a new category of device — the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA).”

Newton stands with you (Egg Freckles)
“The difference between the Newton and any other modern computer is that the Newton stands with you, the others force you to catch up.”

Newtpocalypse update: Y2010 fix in the works

February 12th, 2010

From Eckhart Köppen on the newfangled issue with the Newton Y2010 bug:

The NewtonOS still has one problem related to the year 2010 problem: Very early in the boot sequence, the OS adjusts the real time clock to a “reasonable” value. Unfortunately, dates past 2009 are not considered reasonable, and the OS resets the date therefore to 1996.

The 2010 patch kicks in after that, and it can then only get the date to something slightly better, which is 2008. A proper fix would require to change the function which adjusts the clock, but it is not in the patchable area. It also occurs so early in the boot sequence that there is no easy way to intercept it, backup the proper clock value, and restore it later.

There are some workarounds possible, for example storing the correct time every minute when the Newton is turned on, but they require a good place for the time value. Flash memory is not ideal, a better place would be somewhere in RAM which survives resets and reboots. I’m now on the hunt for such a buffered location…

Stay tuned for updates.

[Via NewtonTalk.]

Newton 2010 bug rears its head, despite patches

January 12th, 2010

Newtpocalpyse looks to be a pervasive problem in the Newton community.

All those hopes about Newton users using their eMates and MessagePads past January 5 this year? It’s still possible, just a little annoying now that something else is messing with our Newtons. Several Newtontalkers (here, here, and here) have reported that their 2010-patched Newton 2.x devices, when reset, have their dates revert back to January 1, 2008.

Sure enough, so did my eMate 300. Here it is after I did a test reset:

Before resetting my eMate, I made sure the date and time were correct (something I often neglect after my batteries die). After hitting the reset button, the 2010-to-2008 bug (Y2008?) worked its evil magic. My dates were reset to 2008.

Thankfully, Eckhart Köppen is back on the scene after some time away, and had this to report:

The NewtonOS seems to have built in a “protection” against setting the date to a nonsensical value, which kicks in only after a reset. This protection forces the date to a 1996 on an unpatched Newton.

What happens on a patched Newton is the following sequence (assuming the date is past 2009):

1. Reset occurs
2. NewtonOS notices date after 2009 and sets it back back to 1996
3. Y2010 patch kicks in and sets the time to 2008 (since 1996 is not a valid date once the Newton has been patched)

I have so far not found a good place where to disable step 2, and it might be that this is happening in an unpatchable part of the ROM (step 3 is done in a pretty hackish way already), but I’m trying to get this resolved, because it annoys me as well :)

In the meantime, I would recommend not resetting your Newton if you can help it. If it does happen, simply reset your clock and dates.

And we’ll all wait for Mr. Köppen to fight this dragon, too.

Newtpocalypse: the final countdown

December 28th, 2009

Newton users have a deadline approaching: January 5, 2010 at about 6:48 p.m.

That’s when Newtpocalypse is scheduled to happen.

The bug strikes because of how NewtonScript handles dates with repeating appointments and other apps/settings, says Eckhart Köppen:

The overflow happens in all NewtonScript functions which use seconds as the resolution. In contrast to the 32 bit unsigned integer used by the C++ functions, NewtonScript integers are only 30 bit wide. While the C++ functions can handle times from 1904 until 2040 without an overflow, the NewtonScript functions had to be designed with a smaller range of applicable times due to the limited precision.

The seconds-based functions are implemented by taking the value of the real-time clock, subtracting the offset to January 1st 1993, and converting the results to a NewtonScript integer. This limited range causes an overflow on Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 6:48:31 PM.

But fear not. If you’ve installed Köppen’s patches, and uninstalled the Fix2010.pkg, you should be safe for the New Year.

I prepared for the Y2010 bug in August when I installed Patch 73J186 on my eMate 300. For MessagePad 2000 and 2100 users, you have your own patch.

The Newton’s Y2010 bug got plenty of airtime in the Mac world earlier this year. And for a while, Newton users were nervous that we’d have to resort to setting our clocks back to avoid the trouble.

Thankfully, Köppen went right to work and saved the day, with some help from many testers in the Newton community.

It’s a great retro technology story, filled with villains and heroes and a community coming together behind a cause.

So come January 5, 2010, Newton users can use their pioneering PDA with reckless abandon. They have themselves to thank.

Newton quote of the week: like clockwork

October 20th, 2009

“I had enormous difficulty installing these patches until I read the advice to have as much space as possible on the eMate and the 2100 before trying it, after which it went like clockwork. After several weeks of frustration one feels such an idiot for having ignored that advice, but great relief when it is done. Thanks to everyone who made it possible.”

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

Installing Y2010 Patch 73J186 on an eMate

August 10th, 2009

Classilla start page

With Eckhart Köppen’s Newtpocalypse patch for the eMate complete, I thought I’d install it and see how it performs on my own Newton eMate.

First, though, I downloaded the new Classilla browser for OS 9. This variation of the old Mozilla browser is getting a lot of attention, and deservedly so. Development on iCab has ceased, and many of the Classic Mac browsers do a poor job of rendering modern web sites.

As a test, I used Classilla to navigate Köppen’s site, where he posts his Newton projects, and download the patch from Sourceforge.

It’s easy to install Köppen’s patch. In fact, it’s nothing more than a simple package installation with an automatic reset added at the end. You can either use the Classic Mac installation methods, using Newton Connection Utilities, or the modern NCX or various other OS X-based Newton apps.

I’m using Newton Connection Utilities on an iMac G3 running OS 9, and connecting with a serial-to-USB dongle.

2010 patch folder

First, download your specific patch file from Köppen’s site. As you see above, you’ll have a few options on which patch to download. In my case, I need the 73J186 version.

eMate software version

Above you see that my eMate is running Newton OS 2.1, version 737041. This is the part that’s going to change.


To install Köppen’s Patch 73J186, head to Newton Connection Utilities (on OS 9, or another package installer on OS X) and pick your patch version (above).


Your package installer will upload the patch to your Newton.

After the patch is done installing, your Newton will reset on its own.

Patch 73J186 installed

After the restart, my eMate shows the Newton OS 2.1, version 73J186 (the same as the patch version) is installed and up to date.

That’s it. And so far, after running my eMate through a battery of high-powered tests (like turning it on and scribbling some notes), everything is hunky-dorey. Bring on 2010.

How did your patching process turn out?

Y2010 bug patched on eMates, German MP2100s

July 27th, 2009

Hip hop hurray.

Newton savior Eckhart Köppen announced yesterday that the Newton eMate and German MessagePad 2100 Year 2010 patches are complete and ready for installation. These patches fix the dreaded Newtpocalypse on Newton OS 2.1 models.

Be sure to download the Y2010 patches at Köppen’s project page.

I’ll be running the patch on my own eMate, and will post a breakdown when it’s complete. In the meantime, if you have an MP2x00 or eMate, run these patches yourself and report back to Köppen if you face any troubles.

The entire Newton community appreciates Köppen’s work on this. Thanks to him, and all the volunteers who test the patches, our Newtons will keep running for the foreseeable future.

Looking for German MP2100 and eMate patch testers

July 22nd, 2009

Eckhart Köppen is looking for testers for his eMate and German MP2100 Year 2010 patch. He says on his blog:

The Y2010 patches for the eMate and German MP2100 are ready, and they seem to work fine here, but I’d still like to give them more testing. Like with the first Y2010 patch, I’m looking for people who can either risk bricking a Newton (with me unbricking it), or who have access to a US MP2x00 to unbrick a Newton themselves via a ROM board swap. Note that I don’t expect any unbricking to be necessary, but you never know.

If you have a spare eMate or Deutschland MessagePad, you can help prevent Newtpocalypse.

Ars Technica covers Newton’s Y2010 bug fix

July 1st, 2009

Chris Foresman over at Ars Technica does a great job of covering the Newton’s 2010 Patch:

If you are the sort of person who would just as soon have your Newton pried from your cold, dead hand, Köppen’s solution should keep your trusty device in operating condition at least until you or your Newton biodegrades—whichever comes first.

Heed NewtonTalk’s Twitter feed, however, because there are always a few trolls under the bridge.

In fact, these days, I avoid comment sections all together unless the blog or site has a reputation for civil conversation.