[NTLK] Newton Mp2x00 Extract the ROM, request for help

Paul Guyot pguyot at kallisys.net
Sat Jan 31 09:03:24 EST 2015

> I have a self-made hardware that can read your ROM card and put the result into an 8MB file. I am not sure though if you can do anything useful with that file. EInstein will probably not run very well or at all because some patches are needed that are likely not at the same address in this ROM.

Einstein is ROM-agnostic and will definitely work with Watson's ROM. The retargeted version might not work, though, but the llvm version definitely does. I always had the Watson ROM in mind as we don't have any documentation or debug information about it (as opposed to eMate, MP2x00 US and MP2100-D). The only incompatibility I am thinking about is that Watson might refuse to load packages included in Einstein ROM extension (typically NewtTest).

However, the issue definitely is to extract the ROM.

Sylvain, the reason you cannot run the debug package is that Watson ROM checks a digitial signature (similar to what the iPhone does nowadays). So until the Watson is patched (jailbroken), you can only run digitally signed packages on it.

Besides the hardware solution, I thought of the following three solutions :
- use an application able to run NewtonScript (NewtWorks for example, if it has the required signature) ;
- use Dock protocol to execute NewtonScript (kDCallGlobalFunction and kDCallRootMethod) ;
- beam a Newton note with embedded NewtonScript code.

In all cases, a native function will be required and should be serialized. This seems quite trivial. For the record, the ROM should be copied by reading from virtual addresses 8MB to 16MB as this is an unprotected copy of the 0-8MB image. The dock protocol would be what I would favor, as typing the binary on the Newton could be painful and the beaming solution is just a crazy idea I had in 2004. I'm not sure about what working open source code exists to connect to the Watson's serial port. Eckhart's RDCL definitely is more modern than DCL, but Simon Bell might have open sourced the required elements (or could be convinced to extend NCX with kDCallGlobalFunction and kDCallRootMethod if not available yet).

Finally, I should mention checking my e-mail archives that I heard Watson ROM boards can be reprogrammed. It probably should not be connected to Hammer to avoid reprogramming it and losing the ROM content.

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