[NTLK] Armstice board (was: Unused Messagepad)

Steve White stepwhite at gmail.com
Tue Feb 28 21:22:01 EST 2017

>> 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:
> http://newtonglossary.com/terms/hammer
> Obviously, I'd like to add a similar entry for Egger.

I will give you my best answer, but with the warning that it comes from my experience with one version of Egger (and one of Hammer, and two of Newtsbug).  Perhaps there were more versions of Egger, and they were more feature rich than the version I have.   Andrei might be a more definitive source on this. 

It would not shock me to learn that Egger, Newtsbug and Hammer are all the same thing.  Just with a different set of features compiled in for different “end users”.   They certainly all look the same.  To grossly simplify things, Hammer has everything (debugging, NuBus), Newtsbug only has the debugging, and Egger only has the NuBus.

With Hammer you can view/edit memory, define breakpoints, view MMU mappings, registers, banked registers, and more.   Everything you’d want in a debugger. 

With Egger I can load a ROM image and run it, that’s about it.  I’d hesitate to call it a debugger as there isn’t any debugging functionality. It really just loads the ROM onto the NuBus board, and handles the emulated LCD+touch.  

Provided my copy of Egger is indicative of all versions of Egger, I’d suspect very few Apple engineers at the time used Egger.  It might’ve sufficed if they were strictly doing NewtonScript development, but if you were doing anything else you’d be limited to printf() style debugging.  Admittedly this is the debugging method of champions, but at some point you’d long for something else — breakpoints, register dumps, etc. 

My guess would be that Egger was a crippled version of Hammer that Apple gave to those 3rd party developers that ponied up the money for an ARMistice board?  They were just doing NewtonScript development, so it would’ve been fine for their needs.  



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