[NTLK] It's 2015. How do I open .nwt files?

Dave Mee davemee at gmail.com
Thu Jun 25 17:52:01 EDT 2015


Hi true believers (and non-upgraders)

I've just - after a little bit of experimental sleeping with other platforms - come back to the Newton. Lovely to see NCX get an update, and that MailV is still working for me - at least on outbound mail.

After catching this article http://boingboing.net/2015/06/25/is-alphasmart-the-ultimate-wri.html <http://boingboing.net/2015/06/25/is-alphasmart-the-ultimate-wri.html> on boingboing.net <http://boingboing.net/>, I hunted down an Alphasmart 3000 on eBay, before my wife got home. Apparently, it pretends to be a keyboard and squirts files back out over USB when you want to send them elsewhere for editing, which apparently is not something that is desirable to do on the device.

This got me digging down the back of my old hardware and dust boxes. I fished out my AgendA microwriter, which was another lovely writing-with-little-screen experience, but it hasn't been charged up for some decades, and I can't find the very proprietary PSU for it any more. My 5MX needs some attention, plus I can't find it. It's around somewhere, I swear.

This brought me back to the Newton again. I was lucky enough to get a WiFi card, keyboard, and ultra-rare interconnect dongle to make it all tick over nicely. The keyboard is lovely and clackey and the screen makes a reassuring hummm when the greenlight is on. All the pieces seemed to be there... maybe - if I can avoid the accusations of 'hipster' - I can spend more time writing on my Newton again...?

And then the impasse. NCX isn't showing up my notes, which I'd been organising through hypernewt. No big deal - I could still mail them out with the routing slip, and anything longer form would likely be done in Works, anyway. I tried mailing some things out from Works - a text document, a spreadsheet, and a drawing. Of the three, the text - just raw text - came out, which was fine. The sheet turned into a rather enigmatic

=buildContext(@830):open()											

and the drawing became just an empty message. However - all three sent an NWT attachment, which gave me hope (or "disappointment deferred", as I believe Ambrose Bierce described it). My next question is obvious - how the heck do I do anything with a .NWT on a contemporary Yosemite Mac, or indeed anything else? Is there anything that can consume, convert, or extract meaningful data from them? I rather like the aesthetic of Newton artwork. And while I *can* extract plain text, which I'm very happy about, I'm wondering if there's any way to get *more* types of data out of my Newton. Particularly some of the more extravagant drawings I recklessly made - or should I just screenshot with NCX?

Ahh, obsolescence. A humming backlight. A clacky keyboard. Thanks if anyone has suggestions!

Dave



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