One of the few Newton developers still active, Eckhart Köppen, has taken the initiative to find a solution to fix this nasty bug that threatens to seriously undermine the health of our ‘evergreen’ Newton from next January 1, 2010.
After publishing a diagnostic software (Y2010 Diagnostic) a couple of months ago, on May 24 Eckhart announced in the NewtonTalk mailing list that he had prepared a proper system patch, called Patch 71J059, which should resolve the issue. (At the moment the patch only works with US-language MessagePad 2100s.)
Needless to say I’m amazed by Eckhart’s technical skills — he has practically done everything by himself. Several members of the NewtonTalk list have already installed the patch successfully, and for now there appears to be no problem whatsoever. Someone has even managed to install it on a MessagePad 2000. My MessagePad 2100 patch version is 710031, so I will have to downgrade first, but the process is extremely simple. Now 2010 is a little less scary for those who still own, use and love this historical PDA which doesn’t want to retire. As I often say, the Newton community is truly extraordinary and resourceful — even now, more than 11 years after the Newton has been officially discontinued. And I am really happy to be a part of it.