[NTLK] Wired article

Jeff Sheldon jeffsheldon at gmail.com
Sun Feb 12 14:49:49 EST 2017


Thanks for that detailed response.  It turns out that I had the tech
sheet on SA1110 in my PDF archive of Newton tech documents, but
completely forgot.  At the time, I had hoped we might find a way of
upgrading components or could learn a bit about our proprietary chips.
That being said, I really had no idea what I was looking at and your
comments are beneficial.

You also motivated me go through my email archives and read past
correspondences regarding the manual in this thread. I just wrote Mr.
Warthman again with the following as a last-ditch (and desperate)
effort to obtain something on the Voyager chipset.  I admit to
slightly embellishing my role.

If his response doesn't offer any options, then I'll approach Cirrus
Logic again by phone.  The person I original corresponded with said he
believed most technical documents lived on paper only and were spread
throughout offices in different cities.  It would be surprising if
they don't have their own archives department.

Mr. Warthman,

We exchanged email twelve years ago regarding the following
publications produced by your company:

Cirrus Logic Voyager Architectural Overview
Cirrus Logic Voyager CL-PS7000 Databook

You mentioned at the time that you "no longer have archives in a
format that is accessible by our current tape-backup systems."  In the
twelve years that followed, and despite working closely with former
engineers who used these manuals, no one has been able to produce or
locate one.

If you happen to still have original backup tapes or a single hardcopy
of these publications, I ask if you might consider any of the
following offers:

1) Should the original tapes still exist and be considered forever
unrecoverable, I'm willing to pay out of pocket to purchase any which
contain these two publications.

2) If you have these and other documents on tape that you'd like to
restore for usable archival purposes, I have over 20 years experience
in data recovery and systems administration.  We would need to briefly
delve back in time and consider what equipment and software might have
been used.  I would investigate and buy the necessary material at my
cost.  Success isn't guaranteed and the archives might be damaged
after so much time, but the potential for recovery exists.

3) I currently work at a major university and oversee the computing
infrastructure of a digital archives and preservation unit. The staff
are trained to handle and digitally archive rare and deteriorating
books using extremely high-quality equipment.  If you have hardcopies
available of your publications, I will pay for quality shipping and
tracking--along with any handling or rental fees--in order to make
digital duplicates that wouldn't circulate beyond ~5 people (with your
permission).  Names and contact information of those people would be
provided to you.

All of this leads back to a project that has been underway to
duplicate the long-abandoned Cirrus Logic Voyager chipset in software.
Even with some of the original engineers involved, the documentation
for this original generation can't be located and the project has hit
major roadblocks.  I'm hoping that one of the above offers might be
helpful in obtaining a copy.

Thanks for your time and attention on this matter.

-Jeff Sheldon

On Sun, Feb 12, 2017 at 3:27 AM, Matthias Melcher <mm at matthiasm.com> wrote:
>> On Feb 12, 2017, at 3:31 AM, Jeff Sheldon <jeffsheldon at gmail.com> wrote:
>> This might be a red herring, but I wonder if the CL-PS7110 datasheet might be helpful.
>> http://pdf.datasheetcatalog.com/datasheet/Cirrus_Logic/mXqzxsy.pdf
>> It's a later revision (1997), sure, and an amalgamation of what was originally separated into separate chips, but I wouldn't be surprised if they used a similar design for serial I/O.  I believe the 7010 talked to a LTC1323 chip to handle RS-422.
> Good catch, but it is missing many features of the Newton setup. I could not find any documentation of DMA for serial ports, which is what I am currently working on.
> I did find the documentation for the ARM SA-1110, which is the successor of our SA-110 CPU, but designed with all the peripherals on the chip. Reading the docs, it feels like ARM used the Apple requirements for Cirrus to design the integrated peripherals. Maybe it was already in preparation of a MessagePad 3000?
> And although it does not provide any useful addresses for the hardware registers, it does give a very complete overview of the registers that are needed to control most f the peripherals.
> http://www.alldatasheet.com/datasheet-pdf/pdf/82534/INTEL/SA1110.html
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