The Newton Year 2010 bug: we have a patch!

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.

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3 thoughts on “The Newton Year 2010 bug: we have a patch!

  1. This is fantastic news for the number of us still using these amazing devices. Those, though, who use the MP2100 can continue to enjoy the celebration party, but it appears those of us who have the MP2000 (which is still a OS 2.1) are still wondering if their MP2k’s are going to be bricked come January 5th. I heard no one mention of a fix for the MP2000 yet, except for the light mention in the above article. Am I missing something??

    I’m not celebrating just yet, and neither are my three MP2000’s that are still in everyday use.

  2. fantastic service you have done for the newton community. I hope it works with my three 2100s. Someone needs to do a youtube on how-to apply this patch.

  3. Guys, thank you very much for your comments. I do apologise for my unforgivable delay in responding, but I had a huge workload to deal with and I’m finally through with most of it.

    Sprocket: I noticed you asked for some help in the NewtonTalk list. I hope someone there could give you some assistance. I do own a MP2000 and I want to apply the patch on it sooner or later. I will surely post here my experience as soon as I operate. Stay tuned. 🙂

    Craig Muranaka: Thanks! The word must be spread among us Newton users, and I realised that not every remaining Newton user is subscribed to NewtonTalk, so I thought it’d be nice to relay the news via my humble blog. As for applying the patch, Köppen’s instructions at the patch 71J059 page are quite straightforward. In any case, when I finally get to it, as I said to Sprocket above, I’ll post some additional notes here in case they’re needed.

    Thanks everyone for stopping by!
    Cheers,
    Rick

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