[NTLK] Reading ROMs the other way

Matthias Melcher mm at matthiasm.com
Sun Sep 8 09:32:51 EDT 2013

Hi Newton fans,

In my everlasting quest to solve the 2-million-squares Sudoku that is the Newton ROM, I played a bit with hardware as well. I removed the ROM board from a dead MP2000 and the ROM slot from an eMate - also dead - and made a board that fits onto an Arduino. I can now read any ROM or Flash board out there without the need of a working MessagePad.


Now, you may say "How is that useful", and I will laugh and say "Um..." because it isn't really. There is only one ROM that I am keen on reading and that can't be read any other way which is the experimental ROM that Frank Gruendel found: 


Maybe we find some useful things in there, graphics that were never published, sounds, who knows?

Well, there is one other use: we can now build our own ROM board and fit it with Flash memory. That way, we can manipulate the ROM inside the MessagePad in any way we want (change graphics around, fix the Y10K bug in the ROM, add features), and we can add an additional 8MB of Flash RAM.

I have no clue if I will ever have the patience to design such a board, but it's nice to know that we could, and that we can program such a board using the "Newton ROM Reader, (C) 2013 mm at matthiasm.com" (I'll be happy to send PCBs all over the world for those who want to build one of these extremely useful and versatile and world-changing devices ;-) ).

 - Matthias

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