November 24th, 2010
Newton wizard Eckhart Köppen on developing for the Newton OS post-OS X 10.5 Leopard:
I’ve been trying to put together simple compiler based on NEWT/0 and the DCL to allow at least some sort of text based development.
So far my experiments are actually quite successful, and it seems that developing Newton applications with just a text editor is not that impractical. It is in fact easier when it comes down to version control management. Some things are still missing for developing larger apps, like the ability to split the code into multiple source files, and a way to embed resources into the final package, but for simple applications (and even auto parts), we might have a way forward.
He’s wrapping up a compiler project, with scraps up on SourceForge right now. Pretty sweet.
NEWT/0 is an open source NewtonScript compiler for Windows, Linux, or OS X 10.3 and above. So Köppen’s version will be a compiler for newer versions of OS X. Can’t wait to see it.
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.