Re: [NTLK] PC vs. Mac Newton BACKUP File Compatibility

From: Simon Bell <>
Date: Sun Aug 17 2008 - 14:20:28 EDT

On 17 Aug 2008, at 10:30, James Wages wrote:

> Blasted NCX!


Sorry to hear youíre having such a bad time with NCX. I hope I can do
something to help.

First the format. An NCX backup file is in Newton Streamed Object
Format (NSOF). While NSOF is well documented and there are tools that
read NSOF, thereís no other backup utility that uses this format. As
far as I can make out, an NCU backup file is a desktop implementation
of a Newton store such that the usual Newton store and soup functions
can be used on it -- NCU shares source code with the Newton OS. Of
course, we donít have that source so we donít know what the format is.

An image of a PC card canít be read by NCU as a backup file because
the formats of flash and disk based stores are different anyway.

When NCX performs a restore, it uses information in the backup file to
locate the store on your Newton device to restore into. You may have
several cards that are all backed up from the same Newton device.
First it looks for a store with the same signature as that stored in
the backup file. If that isnít found (which will happen if you
reformat the card, for example, since the signature is regenerated in
this case), it looks for a store with the same name as that saved in
the backup file. So -- renaming the backup file wonít have any effect
for NCX. Also -- thereís no obvious way of knowing what name or
signature are stored in the backup file. But you can find out by
opening the backup file with TextEdit; near the beginning, immediately
after the text signaturesappssoupSignatures is the name of the
store. (The name is in Unicode but TextEdit should display it
appropriately; it should certainly remind you of the name, assuming
you knew it in the first place.) Name the card to match this and the
restore should go ahead.

There is a possibility it may not, however. In this case I may need to
become a little more involved ;) To help work out where things are
going wrong you can look in the console.log, where NCX logs progress
information. It would help if you sent that information to me (off-
list). Ultimately you may have to send the NCX backup file to me for

BTW, as youíve discovered, NCX requires a file to have the right
extension, in this case .nbku, so that it can be picked in the Restore
file chooser.

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Received on Sun Aug 17 14:20:32 2008

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