[NTLK] Einstein (x64) Version Works OK with NCU via TCP

Ralph ralph at fladda.plus.com
Tue Feb 1 12:58:29 PST 2022

It took me a few days of experimenting to get NCU on Windows 2008 SP2
x64 to dock and 'sync' with Einstein to successfully load an MP2100
backup into the emulator. NCU only uses a serial connection (via a PC
COM port) whereas Einstein supports a serial port via TCP.

I installed NCU on a 32-bit Win2003 VM, and just copied the folder to
an X64 PC where it mostly seems to run OK (apart from the serial buffer
issues - see forum entries from about 2000 onwards for more

The major problem in getting the latest version of Einstein (x64)
working with NCU was geting the NCU's COM port to be recognised by a
third party serial-> TCP converter. I suspect that this was
problematical as NCU 32-bit is an old Win95 or Win98 application, and
the serial port is largely driven directly in hardware in NCU (wild
guess) ??

I tried quite a few different serial-> TCP converters and also the
serial TCP options available in ESXi V-Sphere. No single
serial->TCP application worked for me to connect NCU to Einstein :-( If
anybody finds one, please let me know...

My solution was, as follws:

1. I set NCU to use the real COM2 port on my VM (note: probably could
have been COM1 instead - I don't think this was important).

2. By trial and error I found that I could use the open source 'com0com'
utility to connect together virtual COM2 and COM3 ports.

3. Then use the Serial-TCP application by 'CommFront' to convert the
serial data to TCP packets. This application is free for non-commercial
use. Also has a built-in logger, which is very useful for seeing exactly
what it happening on the serial communications link.

4. Then I went into the Win2008 device manager and deleted the COM2 port
from the PC's device definition. I think that this then forced NCU to
use the virtual COM2 port provided by the 'com0com' utility.

5. Configure the 'Einstein Prefs' package for the Serial Port Driver
(e.g. Set the same IP address/port in the 'Serial-TCP'
application. Also set 'Serial-TCP' to use the emulated serial port COM3.

6. Set priority of the 'Einstein.exe' task to high to ensure that the
emulator is not effected by running the 'HeavyLoad' application. Not
sure if this is actually required - but it does no harm.

7. Select dock on the emulated MP2100 on Einstein, and select 'serial'
and 'connect'. The Einstein dock dialogue box should appear, and the NCU
dock should go 'active'. You'll also gets lots of data on the tcp
logger and lights flashing etc (very useful this!).

8. Now start the 'HeavyLoad' application and click the blue 'start'
icon. This slows the PC down and hopefully stops NCU from over-running
its serial buffers (why didn't Apple implement simple serial flow
control for NCU e.g. X-ON/X-OFF or hardware ??).

9. I used the Einstein dock menu to control the data transfer, rather
then the NCU dock menu. Some stuff on the NCU menu didn't work properly
(perhaps this is a problem with a real MP2100 connecting to NCU via a
serial cable??).

This worked well enough to load my MP2100 backup file from my Newton
(saved to NCU using a genuine Newton serial cable) into Einstein x64 :-)



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