[NTLK] Making a rescue/diagnostics card

R A Parker RAParker at Newted.ORG
Wed Dec 19 00:58:00 EST 2012

When creating an emergency card, it's hard to really know in advance which packages you might want to have installed or available to be re- 
installed. You never know what kind of Newton the card might be used in. If you are making the card for personal use then you can pick and choose more packages which might be useful to you in certain situations.

With the Y2010 Lender Card scenario, the card is designed to get any NOS2.0 version Newton fixed for Y2010. It also has the necessary drivers and apps to fix most network/bootstrap issues regardless what type or brand of network card the user had. The Y2010 Lender Card is built as an NCU backup file available for download and restore to a Flash card.

You can find the backup files and a readme at the following link. It's also a good place to start when creating your own bootstrap/toolbox type Flash card.


After testing the first lender cards I made, I decided the minimalist approach was best. I installed "next to nothing" on the card itself. Only one application package (plus a Newton Press eBook for the readme file) is actually installed on the card and thus, only one application is activated when the card is inserted into a Newton. The rest of the packages were all saved directly into the InOut box store by beaming them. Since the default sort order of the InOut box is by date, I grouped certain files by changing the date on my Newton prior to beaming the packages.

This method of beaming install able packages to the InOut box has very distinct advantages:

* Packages can be put away to the internal or external flash storage
* Packages are not deleted when they are installed and available for future use (if delete option is unchecked)
* Packages don't activate when the Flash card is inserted
* Multiple packages (that have similar functions) can reside side-by-side in the backup file without issue

Certain other utilities would be definitely useful as "active" in emergencies but are not included in the Y2010 Lender Card version of the backup file.

DataRescue <http://www.unna.org/view.php?/utilites/DataRescue> 
Automatically opens the Connection slip and wait for your desktop machine to get into contact. You will then be able to back up your data from the desktop using Newton Connection Utilities or similar software. Especially handy in case your screen is broken.

Battering Ram Pro <http://www.unna.org/view.php?/utilites/BatteringRamPro> 
When installed on a flash RAM card and inserted into a Newton on bootup, Battering Ram will defeat the power-on PIN or password, instead of doing a brain-wipe reset to remove the password (which will also delete all of the data on the Newton).

SMB Utilities <http://www.unna.org/view.php?/utilites/SBMUtilites> 
A collection of tools comparable with the several Utilities for PC or Mac. The palette goes from tools for displaying information to tools  for backing up your data to tools for modifying the internal data of the Newton.

As mentioned, the Y2010 Lender Card is a good place to start. Download and restore the backup file to a 2MB or 4MB card. Add the items you wish to include for your toolkit. Consider beaming items that are better off being re-installed directly to the InOut box as opposed to installing and freezing. Backup the card after you are finished and you will have your own master that can be re-created on to any card.

And now to sharpen my stylus...

Best regards,


On Monday, December 17, 2012 at 10:10 am Mark Crutch wrote:

> I recently had to reboot a MP2100 which
> hadn't been rebooted in  years - and
> got stuck with the endless recurring alarm
> problem. I found the 2010 Diagnostics
> package, and had fun getting it onto the
> MP2100...
> Now it struck me that I could have cut out
> at least one step if the 2MB or 4MB cards
> had been set up as rescue/recovery/
> diagnostics cards..
> Something similar to the loaner cards
> with the network packages already present.
> But how to set such a card up for future
> use?
> What packages should go on there, and are
> there any "gotchas" in how to get some of
> them onto the card (e.g. system patches
> or other things that want to install
> internally). As well as patches and drivers,
> what diagnostic packages are there, or
> packages for recovering data (I seem to
> recall one that was designed to launch the
> dock automatically on machines with a broken 
> screen). So really there are two parts to my
> question:
> 1) What packages would you recommend
> to go onto a recovery/diagnostics card?
> 2) Has anyone already documented how best
> to create one? (for those packages which
> may require tricks to get onto the card)

Sent using Mail V and a Wireless Newton 2100.
   |\/|\ @ Newted.ORG
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My name is R A Parker. I own a Newton and a Mac.

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