[NTLK] News from the weird ROM board
newtontalk at pda-soft.de
Wed Oct 16 13:05:59 EDT 2013
Remember the weird ROM board that I came across a long time ago?
Well, recently I sent it to the amazing Super-Matthias who had rigged up a
device for reading Newton and eMate ROMs.
The result is kind of interesting...
For a start, the board must have been built around 1995. This is what the
youngest copyright notice says:
Apple Computer, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Most likely the ROM was intended for a Newton, because I found the following
Newton PDA needs to be calibrated
to the way you naturally hold a pen.
Hold the Newton pen on the center
of the X in the corner above until it
darkens and then lift the pen.
Now repeat on the center of the X
in the corner below.
To confirm the pen is correctly
aligned, hold the pen on the center
of this last X.
This Newton must have had modem support, since the following values are
defined in the ROM:
If the one and only Larry Yaeger is still reading this list, he might be
pleased to know that he appears (at least in the form of a binary easter
egg) in the ROM:
The Doctor is on.
larryy at apple.com
Some more people and addresses. The phone number, by the way, is that of the
Café Torre in Cupertino. lesv at angeltech.com is the address of Les Vogel, who
also worked on the Newton handwriting recognizer, just like Brandyn Webb,
whose address was brandyn at brainstorm.com.
Fine food 408/257-2383
brandyn at brainstorm.com
Hey, that's me!
lesv at angeltech.com
The ROM has probably provided a means to debug NewtonScript code using the
Welcome to NewtonScript!
The debugging section even makes suggestions for NewtonScript code that
compiles, but might not have been meant the way it was written:
= at top level...did you mean := ?
&& used in IF statement...did you mean AND?
= with no effect...did you mean := ?
Statement has no effect
An interesting tidbit is in the display driver section:
what is going on???*&#@ %ld
memory allocation problem for internal node!!
There are some names and messages that I particularly like (YobiKaiGi is
Japanese for "Preliminary Conference"):
MonitorExitSWI failed!!!! This should never happen...
MonitorThrowSWI failed; check your head.
_stack_overflow called - panic!
bad operation in MungeShape
%08X wacko size %X!
Non-user-mode abort (deep toast alert)
Apart from Serial, AppleTalk, Modem and Infrared Apple seemed to have had
another form of communication in mind: Blackbird. I'm unsure as for what
that was supposed to be:
Some spelling mistakes can also be found:
rinter resetting (should probably have been "printer resetting")
sseldorf (should probably have been "Duesseldorf")
rnberg (should probably have been "Nuernberg")
teborg (should probably have been "Goeteborg")
I also found the string "ARM610". This processor was used from the OMP up to
the MP130. So it can be assumed that the first version of the MP2x00 was
intended to be an advanced 130 with Newton OS 2.1 and a screen resolution of
320 x 240 pixels. This also explains quite nicely why the board won't work
in a MP2x00 (which is using a StrongArm processor), but in an eMate (which
is using an ARM710 processor). It also explains the fact that the display
content appears twice on an eMate (which has twice the resolution).
I also found the string "TVRemoteService". Seems that Apple's Newton
department had a lot in the queue at one time.
Matthias and Yours Truly will try to feed this ROM file to Einstein. Since
we would probably be able to hand-tweak the screen resolution, we might even
manage to make it run. Boy, aren't we living in interesting times? 90 years
ago, even radio broadcasts were still waiting to be invented, and hardly
anybody was able to afford a phone...
-- Newton software and hardware at http://www.pda-soft.de
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