[NTLK] eMate diagnostics card, k diags image

Randy Glenn randy.glenn at gmail.com
Wed May 9 21:34:12 EDT 2018

My guess is that a diagnostic card would bypass the ROM altogether,
otherwise you can't test for a bad ROM.

The first 32 bytes of the .BIN file look a lot like an ARM vector table to
me. All of the vectors map to memory starting at 0xEA000000 - kind of
weird, since the N2 docs say the PCMCIA cards are mapped to
0x30000000-0x3FFFFFFF or 0x40000000-0x4FFFFFFF. Maybe 0xEA000000 is RAM,
and the digital controller copies the card data into that location on boot?
How it would detect a test card, I'm not sure - really hoping it's not
using the CIS for that.

The image is 1048576 bytes (what we used to call a megabyte) exactly, and
the last chunk of the image is the pattern 0x6DB repeating (two bits on,
one bit off, repeating). The magic hex number 0xFEEDFACE appears in a few
various places in the image.

I think this is a bare-metal ARM program for testing, and I think it
overrides the normal boot process. That last part is a guess, though. It'd
be interesting to load this up on a 1MB flash card, and see if it works.

On Wed, May 9, 2018 at 5:36 PM, Victor Rehorst <victor at chuma.org> wrote:

> For various reasons I stumbled across this 2013 post from Steve White,
> "Historical and Technical end of year treats":
> http://lists.newtontalk.net/pipermail/newtontalk/2013-December/011047.html
> I hadn't read it before because I wasn't reading the list at the time.  (I
> call this time of my life "the dark ages")
> In this, Steve White describes that he obtained what appears to be a
> developers' edition of the "K Diagnostics Card" aka the eMate Diagnostics
> card.  Not knowing how else to do so, he dumped it out through the
> diagnostics software's own ROM Monitor and posted it to UNNA.
> First of all, that's great, and neat, so I downloaded it to tinker.
> Second of all, I can't find reference to anyone having done anything neat
> with it, like, say, attempt to boot its code in an emulator.  Has anyone?
> I made a few very crude attempts but got nowhere.  I would suspect that I
> would need to execute the Newton OS ROM code to at least do some basic
> hardware init before jumping into this code.  Perhaps it's a REx on a card?
> It appears to be a copy of all of the entire raw flash *data* portion of
> the card, that is, not including the CIS information. It's not a ROM
> image.  It's definitely *something*.  Running "strings" on the binary blob
> gives a lot of interesting output though.  My favourites are:
> C Library vsn 4.01 [Sep  5 1996]
> Q Romulator Detected
> Q Romulator: Hammer Initialized
> Booting a Q
> Booting a K
> Booting a K Prime
> ... wait, what?  I know a "Q" is a MessagePad 2000, and a "K" is an eMate,
> but what the heck is a "K Prime"?
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> http://newtontalk.net/
> http://twitter.com/newtontalk

More information about the NewtonTalk mailing list