[NTLK] Followup: : Need help with classifying a Newton 120

NewtonTalk newtontalk at pda-soft.de
Wed Dec 13 18:38:02 EST 2017

Hi all,

ten days ago I posted the following:

> after having searched the web for two hours, I am more confused than when
I started...
> My current project is rebuilding a Newton 120. This is a very special 120,
> a) it has backlight (the electronic board is in the pen silo)
> b) the speaker has been disconnected and replaced with a headphone plug in
the battery compartment
> c) there is an additional foil covering the digitizer. This foil contains
a black rectangle that obstructs the standard silk screen buttons.
> There are only two silk screen buttons on this foil: Keypad (yellow logo,
two concentric circles) and Extras (same logo in purple).
> Until two hours ago I was under the impression that this device has been
custom-made by Digital Ocean (David Watson), and that it was used as a
museum guide, for example at the Smithsonian, running software made by a
> company called Visible Interactive.
> But, as I have recently read, Visible Interactive was using a Newton 130
called the Eye-Q. Surprisingly, I haven't been able to locate an image of
this machine. Does anyone here could provide me with an URL or send
> images of the Eye-Q?
> Would anyone here happen to know who made and who used the animal I have
on my workbench? And if the (obviously custom) software that must have run
on this device is still available somewhere?

Then Grant asked:

> Frank, is it possible to post some photos of this device? I'd like to
compare some of the markings to the Digital Ocean devices (and other
components) that I have.

Sorry that it took so long. Sometimes I am so darn busy that I don't find
the time to take care of the important things ;-)

I just uploaded an image:


If anyone can shed some light on where this animal is from and what software
was on it when it was still being used, we might have a chance to resurrect
a collector's item.

You might ask how I intend to fix a custom backlit MP120 display, since the
backlight foil belongs between the black plastic layer and the LCD layer,
which can't be separated unless you tear the ribbon cable apart. Well, some
research on this issue made me believe that "can't be separated" must maybe
be replaced with "are believed to be impossible to separate, but people born
under the sign of Aries, like e. g. Frank, have always been kind of
stubborn". If I can figure out a way, which I think I can while killing a
handful of displays on the way, I will not only be able to fix this
custom-made display (the backlight is most likely intact), but we would also
be able to fix broken displays of standard MP130 Newtons, provided we have a
working MP120 display that we can live without. This would allow me to
resurrect at least a dozen 130 Newtons for which I have everything except a
working display.

Thanks to all


-- Newton software and hardware at http://www.pda-soft.de

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