Re: [NTLK] Newton X Press - book oddities

From: Eric W. Brown <>
Date: Mon May 29 2006 - 11:28:21 EDT

> All I know is that the numbers for the creation date, modification
> date and publish date (the first two being part of the package
> header, not the book Part) as stored on disk, from Newton Press are
> minute counts, not second counts. The odd thing is that the Newton
> treats them as minutes as well - perhaps if the value is below a
> cutoff, the newton recognizes that the value is in an odd format and
> handles it differently than if it were in seconds like it should be.
> I'll have to experiment with putting larger, obviously second count
> values into the packages and see how the newton reacts.

Interesting. I'm about 99% sure (it was quite awhile ago) that when
I first tested it on a Newton I saw the dreaded "1904" date
confirming that it was indeed a bug in Newton Press using minutes
rather than seconds. I was pretty careful with it as I was assigning
it as a class project, but it is possible that I goofed.

My guess would be that books created with the bug became so
widespread that later versions of the OS just auto-detected Newton
Press and calculated the timestamp accordingly, probably the same way
I do it in the Mozilla Newton Book Reader. Now you've aroused my
curiosity though and I'll have to try and go back and check on as
many different Newtons as I can get my hands on (not too many, I'm

The modification date isn't the only field in the package header not
mentioned in the Newton Formats spec -- there's also a variable
length record in the variable length data area that's used informally
for giving the creation program credit. For Newton Press, it always
says "Built with Newton Press" (without the quotes). With the Newton
Book Reader, I check for that marker and convert to seconds if I find

> Come to think of it, I wonder if BookMaker handles date stamps
> correctly.

That's a good idea... I've always assumed that it was a Newton Press
only type of thing, and didn't explicitly test that field with
BookMaker (we really just used Newton Press for class).

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Received on Mon May 29 11:28:25 2006

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