Monday, July 27, 2009

SBM Utilities for Newton Released to Community

Big news on the NewtonTalk Network: a registration code generator for SBM Utilities for the Newton OS is now available! Frank Gruendel, Newton hardware guru, posted this to the list:

I wish there was a way to purchase SBM utilities which was never released and is now not supported.

Thanks to the efforts of Martin Hahn the author of SBM Utilities (and a lot of other useful Newton software) has released the program he used for creating registration codes for SBM Utilities. True to form, it is a Newton program. As of a moment ago you can find it here:

To quote the author: "This program is a gift to the Newton fans."

SBM Utilities can be found here:

It seems that this page hasn't been updated for some time, but it seems that after this generous gift there's no longer any need to click on the Kagi link...

Although to the best of my knowledge Holger Mueller hasn't explicitly said so, I think it goes without saying that we can't expect him to spend time and money anymore on supporting this useful application.

Please keep in mind that there's no need to thank me. All I did to make this happen was exchange a couple of mails with Martin Hahn and upload the zip file to my site. If you feel inclined to thank anybody, you had better direct this to Martin and Holger.

Have fun. I am proud of being a member of a community whose members can make things like this happen.

I used Simon Bell's Newton Connection for Mac OS X to load both SBM Utilities and the RegCode package onto my MessagePad 2100. When you open the RegCode package you can either enter your name as shown on the Newton's Owner Card, or you can enter the serial number that SBM Utilities generates when you open that package. Either way the package generates a registration code that serializes SBM Utilities.

Once loaded I opened SBM Utilities and ran the Doctor component, shown in the top image at the lower right corner. The package scanned both the internal store and my PCMCIA linear flash code and checked the integrity of the soups. Everything checked out alright.

It is very nice to finally have a serialized, working copy of this wonderful utility for the Newton MessagePad. While I have not run into any significant issues so far on any of my Newtons, it is reassuring to have such a great tool available should the need arise.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

eMate 300 System Patch 73J186

Hot on the heels of his Y2010 Patch for the Newton MessagePad 2100, Eckhart Köppen released the 73J186 patch for the eMate 300. This patch fixes the Newton's Year 2010 problem and keeps this platform viable more than ten years after it was canceled by Apple.

I used Simon Bell's Newton Connection for Mac OS X to install the patch from my PowerBook onto my eMate via a wireless PCMCIA card and Hiroshi's wireless driver, generously donated to the Newton Community. The installation went without any trouble, I rebooted the eMate and confirmed that I had version 73J186 installed.

Eckhart is to be commended for creating this patch with no assistance from Apple. Without this patch our Newtons would not work properly next year. Thanks again Eckhart!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

College Textbook Rental is pioneering a Netflix-inspired college textbook rental service. I have been out of college for a while, but even back then textbooks were expensive.

Originally modeling itself around a Craigslist-type service where students could sell all manner of items as the school year started or finished, this business model did not take off. Chegg's founders realized, however, that textbooks were one item that students used the site to buy and sell.

It will be interesting to see if Amazon's large-format Kindle DX, which is being seeded to a number of universities this fall, will supplant the need for paper textbooks. However, Chegg, whose name derives from the Chicken or Egg puzzle, seems to have established a niche for itself.