[NTLK] Newton gateway idea

David Arnold davida at pobox.com
Sun Jan 10 17:16:48 EST 2016

> On 11 Jan 2016, at 09:11, Jake Bordens <jake at allaboutjake.com> wrote:

Hi Jake,

> The WiReach module on my internal card does support WPA2 encryption.  It also has AT command for performing SSL encrypted transmissions.  If someone were so inclined, it could be used to write NewtonOS software for talking to encrypted mail servers and web servers.  It would be outside the NIE stack though.  You can also gain access to the AT command set by telnetting into the WiReach from an active PPP session, so there's that.  There's a lot of capability in that module, if someone were inclined to write NewtonScript code to use it.

I wonder if it would be possible to write a “transport” (I can’t remember the correct NIE term) for NIE that bypassed the lower layers of the stack while retaining the upper interface layers such that client software was oblivious?

Even if it was necessary to use eg. LWIP to replace the TCP/IP stack from NIE so that it could talk via the WiReach, it might be possible?

I was assuming, perhaps inaccurately, that a hardware solution would be easier (more compatible).

> The internal serial slot does support up to 2 megabits per second serial I/O if you use an external clock.  The timing diagrams are in the N2 platform documents.  I didn't want to add another microprocessor to my internal WiFi card and figure out how to bit-bang the external clock, but it is possible.

Yes, I saw that — port 0 only, I think?  But it struck me that 2Mbps is not terribly slow, at least for the kinds of things you’d want to do on a Newton.


> On 1/10/16, 3:34 PM, "newtontalk-bounces at newtontalk.net on behalf of David Arnold" <newtontalk-bounces at newtontalk.net on behalf of davida at pobox.com> wrote:
>> Hi Elias,
>> Yes — an external “blob”, like a MiFi, makes a lot of things easier.  But the key problem is communications with the Newton.  Using WiFi means the link would need to be insecure (since the Newton doesn’t support WPA2), and so I’d really like to avoid that.  Using Bluetooth would possibly work, with a Pico BT card in the Newton, but … I’m reluctant to require that dependency, especially given limited supplies of suitable BT cards.
>> Aside from wireless, connectivity is restricted to the Interconnect port (for which approximately zero connectors are available), the internal modem slot, or a PCMCIA slot.  One option I’ve considered is using a PCMCIA extender to attach to a “sleeve”: a slight bulge on the back of the Newton could support a circuit board, perhaps external connectivity (ie. USB), and perhaps even an extended battery).  But .. if it can be done internally, using the Newt’s power supply, I think it’d be the best option.
>> Second best is probably something using the Interconnect port.  I’ve no knowledge of “maker”-class folding of metal parts, but .. maybe it’s possible to build a 3D printed (or CNC routed) plastic skeleton, populate it with wire connectors, and wrap it in the metal shell?  A limited run of SMT-compatible Interconnect plugs would open up a lot of possibilities.
>> d
>>> On 11 Jan 2016, at 01:32, Elias Basse <kd5jfe at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Would a small form factor similar to a mifi or small cellular router with
>>> an internal battery be a better idea?  It would be another device to charge
>>> but could wifi to the newton and be kept in a pocket.
>>> I do this already with a beagle bone and have a vnc with custom resolution
>>> size to fit the newt for modern browsing.  Smaller than a deck of playing
>>> cards and could last for about 12 hours on a 1s lipo.
>>> It certainly works well although a bit clunky for the interface.  A serial
>>> communications channel could be opened via network similar to wifi docking
>>> for tighter integration with internal apps.
>>> With this all the apps in the world can be available such as email, web,
>>> gsm, etc without lag because it runs on the external processor.
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