[NTLK] Very ambitious idea for 2011 Newton mods

Tim Kaluza timkaluza at me.com
Mon Nov 28 03:41:30 EST 2011

Something many people dream of. 
But we may night some new drivers. 
I can help at the mechanical engineering. 

If you get some more people together because of bringing the Newt software to a new "level" for this device (handling modern internet) 
Or is there no such need?

Your's sincerely 

Am 21.11.2011 um 06:55 schrieb Michael:

> Look at the 2011 Kindle & imagine it were running Newton OS!
> Reading through some of the talk about running Einstein on Android, etc.,
> I've been thinking about whether it might be possible to modernize the
> actual physical Newton hardware, to keep it usable in the modern day &
> going forward as it has to compete with lighter & sleeker devices like the
> Kindle.  The goal would be to trim all of the excess bulk & weight & make a
> device using a Newton logic board that is a light and sleek as possible
> (like a Kindle or e-reader form factor, if possible) and 100% compatible
> with the original Newton.  I imagine it would be used mostly as an
> electronic notebook and an ebook reader.  The Newton is still really good
> at these tasks & if it had the right form factor, it could be even better.
> Here's what I have in mind:
> Modifications:
> 1- Replace the LCD screen with an e-Ink screen.  This would make the screen
> much, much more readable & greatly improve the usability of the device.  Do
> e-Ink screens use similar electronic inputs to LCD's?  Would this be
> possible to do?
> 2- Replace the bulky & heavy battery pack/4AA's by a slim, light modern
> battery.  Take the batteries out of your Newton & see how light it is to
> get an idea of how much these add to the bulk & weight of the Newton!
> Ideally we could replace them with one that is cheap & readily available
> on eBay (maybe from a digital camera, e-reader or something).   I imagine
> this should be possible if new charging circuitry could be installed; of
> course, the Newton OS would likely not be able to handle it, so it would
> have to be independent of the OS. If the battery & charging circuitry is
> not handled by the OS, it would mean that the machine could power off
> unexpectedly when the battery gets low.  This could be mitigated by using
> some sort of battery status indicator (LED's or something).
> 3- Install on-board storage and WiFi (& Bluetooth?) & eliminate the PC card
> slots.  The PC Card slots add a lot of un-necessary bulk to the case.  If
> we could integrate some sort of storage (maybe a MicroSD with 2 stores: one
> read-only for ATA/WiFi/etc. drivers, one for user storage), and some small
> wireless controller, we could mostly do away with the need for PC Cards.
> Bluetooth would be ideal, since it will be compatible with pretty much all
> computers in the foreseeable future (Windows 8...) without the need to
> develop new software.  Backup might still be an issue, but potentially
> mitigated if we could integrate an SD/MicroSD slot & update the ATA driver
> or come up with some other software solution to back up to it.
> 4- Eliminate serial & IR ports.  These add bulk & space, and are largely
> irrelevant in today's computing environment.  Integrated WiFi should be
> good enough for file transfers & if the drivers are permanently included in
> the device, then bootstrapping will not be an issue.  If a Bluetooth
> controller can be integrated & Blunt can be somehow updated to support
> keyboards, then we could use Bluetooth keyboards, which will be much more
> convenient & available, going forward.
> 5- Develop an ePub->Newtonbook converter.  Maybe this could be integrated
> into NCX somehow.  Ideally, the user would connect his Newton to his
> desktop computer, drag an ePub to the app & it would spit out a Newton book
> package directly onto the Newton. This app, of course, would also be of
> benefit to Newton users as a whole.
> 6- Make a new slim form-factor case to fit it all in.  Seeing as we seem to
> have some people who know about 3D modelling/printing on the list, seems
> like this might be feasible. Bonus points if it can be from a solid piece
> of aluminum, MacBook Pro style :-).
> Now that we have schematics for the Newton logic board, I wonder if it
> could even be possible to make a new revision using compatible, but
> physically smaller components, so that it would fit in a sleeker case.
> Not sure how feasible any of this would actually be, but I'd be really
> interested to hear what everyone else has to say about these ideas.
> Michael
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