Posts tagged “keyspan”.

Success: docking the eMate with the PowerMac G3

October 18th, 2010

Now that the iMac G3′s hard drive was installed into the PowerMac G3, it was time to see if my Newtons would get along with the new setup. My hope was that, since the OS 9 drive and OS 8 drive seemed to share a common Desktop, maybe the OS 9 drive would share some of its Entrega serial-to-USB adapter driver love. But no such luck:

USB not recognized!

As before, the PowerMac wouldn’t recognize it or the Keyspan adapter I plugged in. The Keyspan adapter drive I downloaded (USA-28XG) didn’t even recognize the adapter I plugged in. But then I remembered: back when Keyspan was gobbled up, I saved a backup copy of the USA-28X adapter installer. Maybe the one I saved would work.

After transferring the file over to the PowerMac, the installation process went smoothly. In the Control Panels, there sat both Keyspan 28-X controls:

Keyspan control panels

The 28-XG hadn’t worked. Would the 28-X?

Keyspan found

Sure enough it did. It recognized the Keyspan adapter and allowed me to mess with the advanced settings:

Keypan prefs

I had no idea what half of this stuff meant. The real question was, would it work with the eMate? And it did. Finally – although not before I had to remember to set up Newton Connection Utility to recognize the port:

NCU prefs

Now we’re getting somewhere.

Before, in the run-up to the System 7 experiment, the lack of a Newton driver was all that was keeping me from going through with the plunge into obsolescence.

With the ability to sync the Newton, I can work more on the whole Claris Organizer project, and keep backup files of all the eMate’s packages on the PowerMac’s HD. If I need it, I can use the iMac’s HD as a backup system. It’s beautiful.

This whole deal taught me two lessons: how easily I forget, and how important it is to keep backups of files. Especially ones you can’t get on the Internet any more.

The main reason I couldn’t go through with my Seven Day of System 7 experiment was because I couldn’t get the eMate (or the MP110) to connect with the PowerMac. Shuffling between the iMac and the PowerMac seemed like a hassle in an already full-of-hassle experiment. Now I only lose the bulk of the iMac, not the brains.

Really, I was waiting to find that stupid Entrega driver CD. Since it never surfaced (notice I’m blaming the disc), the experiment never happened.

But now? Man, it’s on. I have everything I need: my iMac’s games, files, and configurations; the ability to connect and sync my Newtons; a faster, more expandable machine in the PowerMac.

My plans still include buying a flat-screen monitor to save space – probably some refurbished Dell el-cheapo LCD. In the meantime, the Studio Display will be an workable stand in.

You know what I really like? The hum of the PowerMac. More delicate and softer than the PowerMac G4′s fans, the Blue and White provides a nice, steady white noise that I find relaxing. It’s something you never hear on modern Macs; the noisiest thing on my desk now is a pair of external hard drives. You can hear and feel those things kick on, especially during Time Machine backups.

A room full of PowerMacs might be a bit much, but the one I’m keeping produces a soothing whir that’s not obnoxious or distracting.

So by transplanting my iMac’s brain and finding a Keyspan adapter driver, I’ve turned the PowerMac G3 into an all-I-need Macintosh – the best of all worlds in one complete package.

Two G3s in one: iMac brain transfer

October 11th, 2010

Since I made the decision to retire some of my classic Macs, I had some thinking to do: what parts, if any, would I keep? And would I miss any functionality?

I thought about all the hard drives, with their drivers and software, that were going bye-bye, when it hit me that I could install a hard drive or two into the PowerMac G3 I was saving. And since the iMac G3 was the only Mac that would work with my serial-to-USB adapters, maybe a brain transplant was in order. So that’s what I did – took out the iMac’s hard drive and installed it into the Blue and White, just to see if it would work.

This meant opening the iMac and getting to the hard drive. I’ve covered how to get into an iMac G3, but getting to the hard drive was a bit trickier since it sits snugly below the motherboard tray in some infernal metal sleeve.

iMac hard drive tray

There were screws to unscrew – quite a few of them. The CD-ROM drive also sat on top of the hard drive:

iMac CD-ROM tray

To top it all off, there are power and connection cables snaking around both drives, squeezed into that metal tray pretty tightly. So I had to figure which cable went to which drive and yank them out:

Yoink!

After I unplugged the cables and got the CD-ROM drive out of the way, I had to remove a few more screws in the side of the drive and get rid of the little metal prong that held the drive in place. A little bit of wiggling and the hard drive was out.

iMac HD in the PowerMac G3

From there I placed the iMac’s hard drive in the second bay of the PowerMac (above), set the screws in the side to hold it in place, and plugged in the connection and power cables. After the installation was complete, I got the question mark Mac folder on startup, meaning either one drive or both were conflicting. The iMac’s drive was set to be a master drive, which is a no-no in the ATA world. So I set the original PowerMac drive to master and the installed iMac drive to slave, and the issue went away.

iMac HD on desktop

When the PowerMac did start up, it booted into its usual OS 8.6 drive, and what do you know – there was the iMac’s hard drive on the desktop.

Something weird that I never expected: the PowerMac and iMac desktops were combined. Looking at the desktop above, the Entrega file, Doom.jpg, and Grackle file were both on the PowerMac’s desktop, not the iMac’s. But each time I reset the system with a different startup disk, both environments seemed to share the desktop files. Pretty neat.

One weird issue that hasn’t gone away, however, is my iMac’s tendency to not shut down or restart. Heading to Special > Shut Down or Restart made the iMac’s screen flash, the icons blink out for a second, but then no restart or shut down would happen. To turn the thing off, I had to put it asleep and then unplug it.

Maybe installing the hard drive in the PowerMac would help, I thought. But no dice. After setting the iMac HD as the startup drive, the restart/shutdown problem was still there.

One suggestion had me dumping the OS preferences and emptying the trash. Trashing the Mac OS and Finder prefs didn’t help. Others suggested a complete reinstall of OS 9, which is a method that sounds more like a Windows thing than a Mac thing.

I tried a series of boot-up key combinations to no avail. The only thing that worked reliably was setting the iMac HD as the startup drive, and boot with extensions turned off (holding Shift on bootup). That let me turn off and reset the iMac HD.

The other weird issue: I set up Multiple Users on the iMac, thanks to OS 9′s then-new feature, but a while back the iMac started booting into the Owner account automatically – there was no login required and no Multiple User welcome screen. Heading to the Multiple User extension manager, I found the strangest thing: there wasn’t one. Well, the extension was there, but it wasn’t working. It showed up in the Applications menu as an option, but offered no interface for managing the actual extension.

It’s hard these days to find reliable troubleshooting information for OS 8 and 9, and a lot of my searches have come up empty. But really, I have the iMac’s hard drive in the PowerMac – saving both space and time. And I can still accomplish most of what I need without the physical iMac being present. So mission accomplished.

Next up: connecting my Newtons to this new setup.

Keyspan adapters page found

January 29th, 2009

[Update 3.8.09: Reader Ivan found an archived page with the correct links. Also check in the comments section for more links.] Keyspan logo

Thanks to a reader, the almost-original Keyspan drivers page has been found.

Torner left a comment on my post about Tripp-Lite purchasing Keyspan. Keyspan makes (err, made) serial-to-USB adapters that us Newton fans use the heck out of, but after they were purchased their drivers download page disappeared.

The new Keyspan drivers page looks just like the old one, but with a new URL, and is much easier to use than Tripp-Lite’s version.

Good sleuthing, torner!

Keyspan bought by Tripp-Lite, drivers relocated

January 26th, 2009

tripplite

[Update: Ivan, in the comments, found the original Keyspan driver page.]

Last week, Leon pointed out that the pages containing Keyspan serial-to-USB adapters were nowhere to be found.

It’s true. Above is the page I landed on when I tried my own hyperlink. The page where Keyspan kept its USA-28x adapter driver was gone.

It turns out that a company called Tripp-Lite purchased Keyspan in May 2008 and dumped all the drivers somewhere else.

Keyspan USB adapters are considered the best in connecting your Newton MessagePad or eMate to Mac OS X. After a quick driver install, you can plug your Newton’s serial cable in one end of the Keyspan adapter, then plug in the adapter into your OS X Mac, and boom – full connection. If Newton users can’t find the Keyspan drivers, they can’t use the adapter.

And the new company, Tripp-Lite, doesn’t make it easy to locate the drivers. There’s a driver search page, and the USA-28x page, but it all takes some sleuthing.

This means that, after several blog posts on how to connect a Newton with an OS X Mac, I’ll have to update the Keyspan driver link. That’s not a big deal.

The big deal is Newton users struggling to find what they’re looking for.

[A big thanks to the Newtontalk gang for helping me locate the new driver pages.]

How To: connect a Newton eMate with OS X using Escale

December 1st, 2008

eMate and Escale - we're connected

As I hinted at Friday, I had success connecting my Newton eMate 300 with my iBook G4, running OS X 10.4, using a Keyspan serial-to-USB dongle I recently grabbed off eBay. This has been a long time coming. I first wrote about how to connect your Newton with OS X back in March, and there are tons of resources a Google search away, but here – for the first time – I got to see first-hand how the whole process works.

And it’s such a snap.

More… »

We have liftoff.

November 28th, 2008

Ahem.

escaleconnect.png

Details on Monday!

On order: Keyspan serial-to-USB dongle

November 19th, 2008

keyspanus28x

After an eBay auction went sour and I was awarded a refund, I reminded myself that, from time to time, Newton Poetry covers subjects like…oh, I don’t know…the Newton?

So I took my $30 and lucked out on an affordable Keyspan serial-to-USB adapter – model USA-28x (above). Now we can have some fun with that eMate I picked up, do some connecting with OS X, and play around with NCX, NewtSync, and the rest of the “new” Newton connection utilities.

If you’ve ever wanted to know what those eight little pins in the serial connection do, check out this handy site that lists each pin’s job and function in the Mac system. Pretty cool.

As soon as my Keyspan adapter arrives, I’ll post some project notes on how to connect a Newton with OS X. That is, assuming the entire thing doesn’t explode in my face. But that’s part of the fun, right?

Newton eMate 300: it has arrived

October 20th, 2008

Newton eMate 300

Look what I got.

After wondering whether to spring for an Apple Newton eMate 300 or wait for an MP2100, the cheap-o route seemed like the best one for right now (economic downturn and all). And I’m not sorry I did: this Newton gives me the chance to play around with OS 2.1 and the software that requires it, which makes all the difference in the world when you’re trying to manage an all-Newton blog.

The eMate was Apple’s Newton entry into the education market. Like a small word processor, it featured a shrunken keyboard (perfect for fifth grader fingers), a 25 MHz ARM 710a RISC processor, and shipped with the Newton OS 2.1. It’s slower than the MP2000 and MP2100, but it wasn’t designed to be a road warrior machine. In fact, browsing through the software, it struck me how classroom-geared this thing really was. The eMate 300 was killed with the rest of the Newton family during the Stevepocalypse of 1998, meaning it only lasted a year.

As usual, eBay sent me an offer I couldn’t refuse: $20 for the eMate, plus shipping, at it was at my doorstep a mere days later. The eMate fired right up, and after clearing off some of the previous owner’s personal information (tip: do this before you sell anything on eBay), I poked around and even wrote a little journal entry, just to try out the keyboard.

My first worry was whether it would sync with my iMac G3 (running OS 9.2.2) via Newton Connection Utilities:

As you can see, I didn’t have much to worry about. My generic Entrega U1-D8 serial-to-USB adapter worked just fine – as it does with my MP100. Next I wanted to try installing a piece of software, Pocket Quicken, that’s been sitting on my desktop for months now:

This worked fine, too, although I haven’t had time to play around with it yet. The point is, the serial-to-USB connection does what it’s supposed to.

Finally, I wanted to try and export the little journal entry I wrote in Newton Works – maybe into a TXT file or AppleWorks document I could read:

Bonk! My first hurdle. Apparently you need good ol’ ProDOS to read the exported file. ProDOS! I’ll figure out the export deal, too, eventually.

Later, I attempted a eMate-to-OS X connection with NewtSync, but the Entrega adapter wouldn’t parse the connection. The adapter needs a driver that only works with OS 9. Now I’ll work on getting a Keyspan adapter and finally connect my Newton with a modern Mac.

Fun times ahead, folks, now that I have a more modern Newton. My only wish is that it came with a refurbished battery. This eMate’s battery dies when you unplug it, which means no trips to the park to type out blog entries. Other than that, it works great, is fun to mess around with, and I can’t wait to install and try out the gobs of software titles that are out there. Stay tuned.

NewtMail: Newton MP130 connects to OS X

September 2nd, 2008

Hello!

I did a search about Newton and I ended up on your great article. I have just bought an old Newton 130 (above) and I was wondering how you have it sync/connect with Mac OS X 10.5.4? I want mine to work with my MacBook and I think I need a USB serial adapter and the serial cable. None of that came with my Newton. Do you have any recommendations? How do you do it? Would be great to hear from you.

Thanks for your time.

Best,
Marcus

Hi Marcus,

Sad to say, I haven’t actually connected my Newton with OS X – I can’t because it’s a MP110, and runs Newton OS 1.3. You need at least OS 2.x to connect.

I found my USB serial adapter (for hooking up with OS 9) on eBay, so that’s the first place to try. A serial cable might be harder to come by, however. Luckily mine came with my Newton, but you could try some online sellers like J&K Sales or, again, eBay. I’m working on getting an updated Newton so I can actually try it out.

…Marcus, who lives in Brazil, wrote back several times to keep me up-to-date on his progress:

Hello Dave,

Thank you for answering! I went ahead and I got 2 serial cables and a Belking USB to serial adapter for Mac (for OS X). I found on Sourceforge that someone wrote a OS X version for this series of adapters, so I HOPE it might work. I don’t intent do get a classic Mac just to sync my 130.

I also found out my backlighting wasn’t working. I saw on eBay someone selling 2 screens for it, new, for $19.95. Already have taken my Newton apart multiple times, but it is scary!

Thanks again for your reply and I liked your blog.

best,
Marcus

Later, Marcus wrote me with more to say on his project:

Hello Dave,

I don’t think I got it to work. I spent all afternoon looking for drivers and trying to hack the existing one. Problem is I did not even find the sourcecode of it on the Sourceforge project page, it’s gone. The F5U003 refuses to run with the Sourceforge driver under 10.5. I think it only works up to 10.3.

I know someone did make it work with Intel and Mac os x 10.3.4 using the driver for the F5U103 (really identical inside), but the hack he did to the kext can not be found anywhere. And since I have Intel and Leopard that solution is out of the question. I just have the instructions, but they are useless without sourcecode.

So now I went ahead and got a Prolific chipset USB to serial adapter, I know they have Mac OS X drivers for Leopard actually that are current on their website. I should have it by end of the week and will give it a new try. Wish me luck! This just might work. If I get it working I will put up something on my own blog. By the way, this is my site and blog. In the meantime my 130 is sitting on my table waiting to talk to my new world MacBook, I still have hopes.

Thank you,

Best,
Marcus

He’s quite the DIYer, isn’t he? Marcus then sent along a final, successful e-mail – with pictures!

Hello Dave,

I have managed to connect my Newton 130 to my MacBook Core 2 Duo via USB! I have attached a few pics of my wiring setup. Works like a charm.

I will probably do a blog entry with nicer photos about this when I have some time. The USB to Serial 232 adapter has a Prolific chip inside, and that driver they are providing for Mac OS X works like a charm. There is a Sourceforge generic driver for all kinds of other adapter brands, but OS X wanted me to remove the generic one and the prolific driver does the job very well. The first software I tried and that works just like the old Apple OS 9 Connection Kit is NCX 1.2. I will try Escale and the others ones as well.

Just thought you liked to know how it is going.

My next venture will be to try and get a WiFi card working in this Newton. :-)

Best,
Marcus

Nice job, Marcus! Here’s a picture of his serial-to-USB setup: