[NTLK] What we want on Internal Newton Extension Module by PCBMan :)

David Arnold davida at pobox.com
Sun Jan 2 18:29:37 PST 2022

> On 1 Jan 2022, at 00:39, Matthias Melcher <m.melcher at robowerk.de> wrote:
>> On 31. Dec 2021, at 11:50, Pawel Piotrowski <newton at indigi.co.uk> wrote:
>>>  * ESP connects to a MicroSD Card, accessible through the rear opening
>>>    can be used to access a local copy of Unna
>>>    can be used to update software in this module
>> Matthias, that option for MicroSD card: Do you think that would work as ATA driver - to give us option to emulate PCMCIA memory card?
> All the ideas above are for the internal modem connector. It has three serial busses available (serial data, modem, keyboard). ATA is a different protocol that only works over PCMCIA on Newtons.
> My MicroSD would only be visible to the ESP32. The ESP pretends to be a modem. NewtonOS already has everything in ROM to install packages over a modem line. So we can install NIE, the Newton Internet Enabler, into an unmodified MessagePd.
> With NIE installed, Newton can reach the internet using the same modem connection.
> The ESP has its own microcontroller and can appear to the Newton as a docking connection, as a web server, presenting the content of the MicroSD, or as a connection to the world via Wifi.

I’m not sure how capable the proposed microcontroller is, but adding a HTTP to HTTPS proxy, and potentially an SMTP/POP3 to SMTP+TLS/IMAPS proxy, would help make the available email clients and web browsers a lot more useful in the modern world.

I played around with this a few years ago using a Raspberry Pi as a “sidecar” for the Newton.  I considered using a PCMCIA shell and emulating the Socket serial card (or a 3c509 Ethernet, but then you still have the drivers bootstrap problem) — the PCMCIA form factor was attractive because it had more physical space, and is easier to install, but it seemed like too much work on the hardware side for me.


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