[NTLK] The piMate 300

Jeff Sheldon jeffsheldon at gmail.com
Fri Mar 19 19:54:26 PDT 2021

I recall discussion about independently driving the LCD some time ago, maybe surrounding a rare color variant or higher-res display from a related family.  The Sharp data sheets are quite detailed, but I can’t imagine it being very easy to produce something usable. 

Having said that...

The Pi compute modules will only get better. I think it would be ideal to satisfy both the Einstein enthusiasts and original form-factor diehards by developing two compute breakout boards as direct replacements for the original PCBs: One for the 2x00 and one for the eMate. You could build Linux-friendly PCMCIA support and essentially create a direct board swap if LCD support is baked in.  The reason to retain PCMCIA is to possibly revive old Newton cards and products, but it’s unclear to me at the moment if newer kernels dropped PCMCIA for user-level tools, vice-versa, or if both have been abandoned. 

The interconnect port could be the bootable SD card slot, one could put USB-C at the expansion port, and the barrel Jack could be 5V if enough manipulation can occur to drive the screen voltage and current.  The compute module might even fit in place of the ROM card footprint.  It’s bigger, so inner case moulding might not like it. 

Anyway, would be fun to build an open hardware solution that’s maintainable even if initially slow.  Would require a thin PCB with close routing tolerances to the original. 


> On Mar 18, 2021, at 21:42, DXH <dxh at woh.rr.com> wrote:
> In answer to your question, yes, it is possible to drive an eMate or Newton LCD from the Rpi.
> Caveat: you need to provide ~24V for lcd drive.
> PCBman
> Sent from my iPad
>> On Mar 16, 2021, at 7:28 PM, Iain Billington <iain at mosphere.net> wrote:
>> Yikes!
>> Does anyone know if it’s possible to drive the eMate or a Newton LCD display directly from a Raspberry Pi?
>> I’m pretty sure I could figure out how to conver the eMate keyboard into a USB or Bluetooth HID decide.
>> It would be nice to have a note destructive ways to upgrade and revert back if desired.
>> I’ve been thinking too about using the Pi or whatever modern history device to do all the heavy lifting, using its WiFi and proxying requests to the Newton browser as an image with this project:
>> https://github.com/tenox7/wrp
>> I think we may have talked about it before last year.
>> Iain
>>>> On 17/03/2021, at 11:14 AM, Fritz Toch via NewtonTalk <newtontalk at newtontalk.net> wrote:
>>> Yes, we can all agree that this is a travesty, but at the same time it got me thinking about repurposing *actually* dead hardware and perhaps running Einstein on it? https://deninet.com/creation/2020/12/06/pimate-300 <https://deninet.com/creation/2020/12/06/pimate-300>
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