Re: [NTLK] Questions regarding Prototype ROM Boards

From: Frank Gruendel <>
Date: Mon Mar 23 2009 - 10:53:06 EDT

> Having followed the thread Frank started
> regarding the ARMageddon and ARMistice NuBus
> Cards I'd like to know the following.
> 1) Does anyone out there know if the MP2000
> and eMate 300 has versions of them that also
> used those two cards to load the ROM?

I've never seen one. But I'm inclined to think
there might be a misunderstanding here.

The Nubus cards I was talking about have a large
connector that is used to connect them via a
ribbon cable to something that I think was
code-named "Bun Warmer". Basically this was a case
containing quite a large logic board that included
some Newton hardware, the interface to the ribbon
cable, a fair amout of LEDs and switches and some
other stuff. The LCD, touchscreen etc. is somewhat
crudely mounted to the top of the case.

Originally this Bun Warmer seems to have been
conceived for developing the OMP. But Apple has
obviously had coming models in mind when it was
conceived. The logic board contains heaps of
connector pins that (if I remember correctly) are
not used for the OMP version of the Bun Warmer,
but have a daughterboard plugged onto them in the
Bun Warmers used for developing the Newton 110.

> 2) Were the prototype ROM boards burned in
permanently in or could those be re-written?

If you mean the ROM boards that actually sit in
the Newton or eMate, I am almost sure they could
be rewritten. Anything else would be absolutely
stupid if you are developing hardware that isn't
final yet. As a matter of fact there is a
description of such a board for the eMate in the
hardware section of my site. But these boards
would be what is used after the development is
almost finished and you have a good working
prototype. The Bun Warmer, on the other hand, is
what was most likely used in earlier development

If, on the other hand, by "prototype ROM boards"
you mean the Bun Warmer just described, I am
pretty sure that these were, strictly speaking,
used without a ROM. They contain 4MB of dynamic
memory, and I would bet my bottom dollar that one
of the jobs of the ARMistice card was to transfer
a ROM image stored and developed on the Mac to
said dynamic memory. After this ROM image found
its way from the Mac into the dynamic memory, said
dynamic memory probably acted as the Newton ROM.
I'd assume that the Newton would only power up if
this "ROM" is loaded. This is why I am so eager to
get my hands onto the Mac software and the ROM
images that Andrei seems to have on his SCSI hard

> 3) Did anyone out here have a MP2000
> or eMate 300 that needed to be tethered to
either board?

I, for one, don't. But I doubt that these Bun
Warmers were still used when the Newton 2100 and
eMate where developed. At that time better
alternatives had hit the market. Boundary Scan,
for one, would have allowed to program a ROM board
directly on the Newton with practially no
additional hardware. The last Nubus boards I
developed, which was at about the same time the
Newton 2100 and eMate were developed, had a tiny 4
pin connector that allowed me to re-program
everything that might require re-programming via a
Mac's or PC's serial port.

> Hopefully I make full sense here.

Well... almost...



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Received on Mon Mar 23 10:52:59 2009

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