[NTLK] Armstice board (was: Unused Messagepad)
stepwhite at gmail.com
Tue Feb 28 20:42:36 EST 2017
With the caveat that I didn’t work with any of this hardware at the time, was never a Newton developer (internal or external), and most of what I know I’ve inferred (or occasionally had people vaguely recall 20+ years after the fact)… I don’t think the acrylic / plexiglas units are proper “Bunwarmers”. Obviously I could be wrong – and if somebody in the know pipes up, I’ll gladly eat crow.
But given I’ve previously argued that not all NuBus boards are ARMistice boards, here’s my argument that not all weird Newtons are BunWarmers...
Your Japanese prototype is clearly a Junior logic board (without ROM chips present, just the pads), with the added extension to it that contains the two weird card slots (one obviously for ROM – are both??).
You could cut that edge off and it’d fit in an OMP just fine. Solder on some ROMs, and nobody would know the difference. It is a stand alone device, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to tether it to a Mac (other than serial, like any ol’ OMP). It certainly seems production era (even has the silk screen on the LCD).
The Bunwarmer I showed earlier is 100% not functional unless it’s tethered to a Macintosh. You can apply power and nothing will happen – it’s owner, who has had it since sometime in 1993, asserts this. There are no ROM chips on the board, no ROM Card slots, etc. Just gobs and gobs of RAM. It looks nothing like a Newton logic board. And somewhat perplexingly, there are two NuBus chips on it (seen below the 50-pin connector).
NuBus chips are not so perplexing if you imagine that they took the ARMistice board, removed the NuBus connector, added an LCD screen, added a 50-pin connector and shoved it in a weird plastic housing. (Obviously there was more work done than that, I’m not trying to trivialize it.) But roughly speaking that is what the Bunwarmer looked like when I opened it up — roughly the same amount of RAM chips laid out the same way, the same FPGA chips (Debugger, Comm Manager, etc), lack of ROM chips, etc.
But this device wouldn’t be functional — the dependency on NuBus wasn’t removed, just the connector. And this is where the “Universal Newton Adapter” (UNA) comes in — it’s providing some amount of NuBus to external devices via the 50 pin connector. This is why the Bunwarmer has NuBus chips on it, because for all extents and purposes it is just a NuBus board that doesn’t have to be housed inside the Mac anymore.
I believe the folklore is that the ARMistice boards were produced until the BunWarmer came along. But even if that were reversed, I think the argument still works. It would just be in that case they joined the BunWarmer and UNA boards together onto one single NuBus board and called it ARMistice. Hard for me to say as the only dates on both devices I’ve seen are 1993.
Both Egger and Hammer know how to talk to a BunWarmer, and have some strings related to this. The strings are in the “CardInterface” CODE routines in the resource fork. The code in “CardInterface” does seem strictly limited to NuBus things. And my copy of Egger doesn’t appear to know anything about “serial targets”, so I suspect anything in it is limited to the realm of NuBus.
> You seem to have a 4 meg NuBus card attached to a 2 or 8 Meg Bunwarmer. Thank you for observing all saftey precautions.
> You must launch the Armageddon application or have a BunWarmer or Armistice card before running your image.
> You seem to have a 8 meg NuBus card attached to a gerbil. Thank you for observing all saftey precautions.
FWIW, I haven’t a clue what a “gerbil” is.
> You must have a BunWarmer or Armistice card before running your image.
> Your BunWarmer is either not well connected or not powered. Load the image anyway?
> Sorry, this Gelato BunWarmer doesn't support the image you're loading.
In all of these cases, I don’t see how the Japanese prototype would connect to a NuBus card. Really seems like serial was it’s only connectivity.
And Hammer contains a list of devices that it recognizes through in this “CardInterface” routine, which implies to me these are devices that work with the Universal Newton Adapter:
> Bunwarmer 4MB
> Lindy 4MB
> Bunwarmer 8MB
> Bunwarmer+ 8MB
> Bic 8MB
> Gelato 8MB
> Gelato 12MB
> FlashPad 8MB
> Not powered/connected
FWIW, I also haven’t a clue what a FlashPad is.
I don’t recall who owned these — but this would appear to be a Gelato BunWarmer (given the “12M” under ROM emulation, and the list above):
And for another Junior BunWarmer:
So… that’s my argument that Bunwarmer is a specific term for a device that is effectively an external NuBus board with LCD screen. But again, I’m happy to eat crow on this, and it’s quite possible Bunwarmer is a generic term for rather large Newtons.
> On Feb 28, 2017, at 15:29, Grant Hutchinson <grant at splorp.com> wrote:
> On 2017-02-28, at 2:07 PM, Steve White wrote:
>> As Andrei mentioned, Egger (and later on Hammer) were used to drive these boards.
> I've always though that Hammer was strictly a low-level debugger for Newton development which happened to run on a Macintosh. Would you describe Hammer (and Egger) differently?
> Here's the current definition of Hammer in the Newton Glossary:
> Obviously, I'd like to add a similar entry for Egger.
>>> And, to this day, when one of my programs fail, I say it “clanks”. When your
>>> program failed on the Armistice board, you wold get a clank sound.
>> Andrei, I can add the clank sound for DebugStr dialogs if that’ll make you smile.
> I guess I need to update the Clank entry to include something about "program execution failure" as well
>> There are photos of the “ARMageddon Fat Man Board”, which seems to utilize them to attach a daughter card to the ARMageddon. I wish the CHM had higher quality images, but it can be seen here:
>> Perhaps Steve Capps remembers what the add-on was for, and will be able to talk about it later this week.
> I'll also add an addendum to the ARMageddon entry to mention the "Fat Man" daughterboard.
>> Additionally there is the smaller “Universal Newton Adapter”, which was a conduit to external Newton hardware. It doesn’t include an ARM or anything fun. It is absolutely dependent on an external Newton device.
> This is one card I wish I had in my collection.
> However, it's another term to add to the glossary!
>> A Bunwarmer:
> Both of my Bunn Warmer prototypes are sandwiched between sheets of plexiglas, without a cover like this one.
> Here are images of my Bunn Warmer running Newton OS J-1b1.00
> Note that it's standalone hardware, without an obvious edge connector for tethering. However, it does have multiple ROM slots.
>> ROMulators existed for other devices, but I don’t recall having ever seen pictures of any. I’ve definitely seen references to them though, e.g. "Q Romulator Detected”
> I've never heard of the term "ROMulator" ... what great word!
> And another one for the glossary.
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