[NTLK] Storage card specifications

Bradley Loeding bradley.loeding at gmail.com
Thu Apr 7 17:12:45 EDT 2011

Thanks Rusty,
Actually, I read the March post just a few minutes after I hit send. I
really should search the archives more often before posting...

My thoughts on your power question:
Assuming the SRAM card's battery capacity is the same as a 3V button cell,
roughly 180mAhr, and you are using four 1800mAhr NiMH's in your MessagePad;
we can get some VERY rough estimates.

Synchrotech states a battery life of around 5 months for general use. That's
about 3600hrs, which would yield a draw of no more that about 50 uA from the
SRAM. Compare this to the MessagePad max possible draw of about 42.9 mA if
it were to last 7 days on AA juice.

The percentage of the SRAM's draw to the combined total draw is around 0.1%,
so you shouldn't notice the difference. More SRAM links for the interested:

Still insane prices for higher capacity cards, unfortunately:

A 16MB card, holy crap! Let's not ask about pricing. I believe the 3.3V/5V
write/erase also makes this one incompatible with the MessagePad:


On Thu, Apr 7, 2011 at 11:48 AM, Rusty Miles <Rusty.Miles at tn.gov> wrote:

> Thanks Dan, I hadn't considered the heap issue.  That's a good point.  I
> won't be getting anything bigger than a 4MB card for my little MP100.
> I have seen the site you noted and used it for reference.  Unfortunately,
> it doesn't say anything about "attribute" memory on that site, and when one
> goes looking for cards now, like at the synchrotech site, cards are offered
> as either with or without attribute memory.  From the original post that
> started this thread, Bradley seemed to be pondering if he needed a card with
> attribute memory.  From what I understood from your response last month
> where you quoted PCBMan, the Newton required attribute memory which is
> information I though Bradley might find useful for his pondering.
> The site you referred to seems to state that there are three types of RAM
> cards, SRAM, Linear Flash and ATA; and that all versions of NOS can use SRAM
> memory but only NOS 2.0 could use Linear or ATA type cards (ATA type with
> the driver that Paul wrote, thank you Paul).  If you have an older Newton
> with the older NOS (a MP100 with NOS 1.3 in my case), the only available
> option was the SRAM card.  The main difference between an SRAM Card and
> Linear Flash Card was that the SRAM Card required a backup battery, which in
> my mind would be the main way to tell them apart.
> Again, if I have this wrong please tell me.
> One other thing I was pondering while I'm on the subject... I noticed on
> the synchrotech site that they had cards with replaceable batteries or
> rechargeable batteries.  The information on the rechargeable battery cards
> says that the batteries recharge when the card is plugged into a PCMCIA card
> slot (on a 'powered up' system I assume).  I'm thinking that might not be a
> good option on the Newton as it would just drain the Newton's batteries
> faster in order to recharge the cards batteries.  Any other thoughts on that
> subject?
> -Dazed and confused in Nashville (Rusty)
> >>> Dan <dan at dbdigitalweb.com> 4/7/2011 9:27 AM >>>
> All versions of NOS can use flash memory.  Apple made flash cards and
> had them available almost since the beginning.  However due to the small
> amount of heap (RAM) memory available in the earlier versions of Message
> Pads, I would try to get a smaller rather than larger flash card.  I
> certainly wouldn't go above 10mb.  The reason being that the card memory
> has to be "kept track of" in the newtons heap, and the larger the card,
> the more heap it takes.  And you will likely get more "the newton does
> not have enough memory to do what you ask..." messages more often with
> larger cards.
> Just make sure the flash card uses 12v for writing/erasing and it will
> work in all newtons except emates.
> Btw here is a good site:
> http://www.mac3.de/sig/newton/memory_cards.html needs a little updating
> since the flash ATA driver is a reality but the other information is
> still accurate.
> -Dan
> On 4/6/2011 5:47 PM, Rusty Miles wrote:
> > I had posted a question about attribute memory back in March and
> understood the response from Tony & Dan to be that the Newton required the
> attribute memory to hold the CIS (Card Information Structure).  Here is the
> post
> http://lists.newtontalk.net/pipermail/newtontalk/2011-March/005873.html
> >
> > I also was under the impression that if one was running a NOS less than
> 2.0 (i.e. 1.0 thru 1.3) that you had to use SRAM cards, those Newtons
> wouldn't read anything else.
> >
> > Could someone confirm this or correct me if I'm wrong?
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Rusty
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