Dumbstart's Daily Apple Newton

Serving up Newton news and software for 12 months and counting, thanks for your support to every one of the 7000 visitors.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

soups on.

Thanks to all who contributed to www.dmoz.org! Since I started helping out the Newton section, it's doubled in size to 51 links. It is by no means an exhaustive listing of the Apple Newton's presence on the web, but a growing one. If you are looking for Newton sites, stop by. If you have a few sites to contribute, stop by. If you'd like to volunteer to help with the editing, stop by. What I'm really asking is for your support in this noble effort.

And for the "I hope this turns out to be true" links of the day, more links to rumors of the new Apple PDA type device are located here, here, and here (okay, so the last one isn't specifically geared toward an Apple PDA, but as soon as news develops expect to see it at New Mobile Computing first).

Today, I present an updated version of Rush Hour which is now complete with support for soups. So, no longer do you have to start over at the beginning after reseting your Newton. I've also added 8 more levels (bringing the total number of levels to 20). I have just one more update planned which consists of adding another 10 levels, some speed updates and the ability for people to create their own levels directly on the Newton. I'm going to take some time off from Rush Hour and go back to work on an RPG that I started on the Newton a while back. I'll also continue working on those levels for Planks. I've actually been playing a game developed by a company called Astraware for the Palm OS called Seven Seas! and I enjoy the idea so much that someday I would like to see it on the Newton.

For now, enjoy Rush Hour! If you have any questions or find any bugs, please leave a comment below.

Rush Hour Package, Rush Hour zip file, and Rush Hour text listing.

Friday, February 20, 2004

gives me hope it does.

Here's a quick read about the Smart PDA that Apple is purportedly planning to create. The article gives great insight behind the Steve Jobs way of thinking as well as a few good reasons why Newton development should have continued.

flick it, drop it, install it, then switch it.

Finally! I've almost completed Switch It. This was the first real game that I developed for the Newton so it holds a special place in my heart. I'm uploading my first game that will save scores and levels in a soup. That way you can keep replaying to your hearts content without have to start over after a reset. I'm going to add soups to all of my games (as well as a few other non-soup options, too) and will have those uploaded very shortly. I have to give major thanks to Paul Guyot. Please visit his site to check out his projects, which are having a much greater impact on the Newton community as a whole (ATA support, desktop connectivity, and so much more). Thank you very much, Paul, for helping me with my biggest stumbling block in my Newtonscript adventures.

Look for an updated version of my Newtonscript tutorial here very shortly. I have the picture packages and project files ready. I just need to upload them (and make sure that the site doesn't render them unreadable). If you have any ideas for another tutorial, please contact me. I'd love to continue creating them. Hopefully, they will foster someone else's desire to develop something of even greater importance for the Newton community. If you have followed the tutorial, please let me know if it has worked out for you. I'd love to hear from at least one person so I know it's all worthwhile.

Also, check out dmoz.org. It's an open directory that categorizes websites and uses volunteers to help edit the sections. I volunteered and am working on updating the Newton section with high hopes of giving the Windows CE website count a run for its money (there are currently only 37 Newton sites, with 169 windows CE sites). Please visit and suggest a website. Suggesting a site is easy. Just click the link in the upper right hand corner labeled Suggest a URL. Next, type the web address and a short description of the site (or you can click the link Suggest a URL and immediately be taken to suggest a site). Once it is approved, it will be listed. Please help out. I think it would be an invaluable tool for future Newton users to have an extensive well-organized link section.

Tomorrow, I'll post screenshots of Switch It and, as always, there's a Newton 2.1 OS requirement to play it. If anyone would be interested in creating a new "River" background for Planks, please contact me. I'd love to have something better than my excellent use of the Spraypaint nozzle in paint. Thanks.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

a new puzzle game with a few missing pieces.

I'm uploading a game that I've been trying to complete off and on for a while now called Planks. At this point, I've only added the first level. The object is to cross the river by picking up one plank at a time, but you can only pick up the planks that are resting on the pole you are standing on. I should have the rest of the levels programmed in very soon (if I can figure out why I am unable to create soups).

I am in need! I have books...I follow directions...I try doing it different ways, but I am still unable to create a soup (that works) on the Newton. Until I can create a rich, delicous soup for the Newton, you'll always have to start over, lose your high scores, etc. every time you restart. If anyone can shed some light on the subject, please contact me. I'd be very grateful, as would anyone else who's ever gotten stuck on a level of Rush Hour and had to reset their Newton.


Monday, February 16, 2004

newtonscript ahoy!

Well, the progress I've made on Switch is still lacking. I have an older version of the package located here. Once I finish up the changes, you can expect to see a new version up very soon.

Also, as an added treat, i've almost finished the first tutorial (again). Taking the screenshots all over again has taken quite some time. You can find the tutorial here. Please be very kind as I've yet to complete it. It still has a few spots that aren't as easy to follow as I would like them to be. If you do have comments, please leave them below. I'd love to create something that might inspire the next Newton user to become a Newton programmer.

Does anyone use BitTorrent? I'm going to create a torrent to use with the Newtendo game and post it on SuprNova as well as Torrents Kick Ass for public download, so take advantage of the links here while you can because they will be gone soon. If you have any questions about what BitTorrent is, check out the home page of the creator at http://bitconjurer.org/BitTorrent/, and the BitTorrent FAQ at http://www.dessent.net/btfaq/.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

screenshots for the masses.

Friday, February 13, 2004

enjoy these tasty screen treats!

Here are a few pics from the latest version of Newtendo, I've been trying quite a few different games to see what happens and these screens are the result. I'm going to post Switch It later today. It's a clone of Lights Out for the Newton. For now, you have a few pictures and other fun things to keep you happy until then.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

vote, it's election time.

I hope you visited www.macpolls.com yesterday. The poll asked participants to vote on what PDA they use. And as you can see by the chart, the Newton is doing rather well for a PDA that's been discontinued for 6 years...beating the Pocket PC, giving the Sony a run for its money, and just showing the world how widespread the Newton community is.
Please try Hopper again if you weren't able to download earlier. I'm sorry I didn't capitalize the filename.

Enjoy, and check back tomorrow for Lights Out.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

hoppin' mad

Of all the games I've written, this could be the one I play the most. It's a very simple premise. You move from box to box by hopping the number of spaces listed on the square. It has a very weak Hi-score system, random background pictures, the ability to move in 4 or 8 directions (by allowing diagonal movement), and that kind of gameplay that keeps you coming back for more. Please don't expect to actually clear the board. It will drive you mad at how impossible the chances of that are...just play for points.

I wish that I had started programming on my Mac first. It's something that I've started recently and with its simpler and more visual interface, I'm finding it to be a much simpler operation. I'm working to see how hard it would be to convert some of my projects over to the Newton, but it's going much more slowly than I originally thought.

Please enjoy Hopper and look forward to other games being posted very soon.

Hopper package, source code, the zipped project files.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Clean up traffic with your Newton.

Some of you may know this, but a while back I tried starting up a Newton programming group, it didn't work out as well as I hoped. I posted as much information as I could, including all the source code and programs I wrote, as well as any programming related file I could find, but it never garnered much attention. Part of the reason I'm certain of is that most of the people reading don't have Yahoo! accounts (which they now require to view group information) so I'm going to move a good deal of the info to this site, beginning with the game Rush Hour.

Rush Hour has a simple prospect, move cars out of the way to allow you to reach the exit. The catch is cars can only move backwards and forwards, work your way up thru the levels and see if you can do it in as few moves a possible.

Rush Hour Package, Source Code, the zipped project files.

Hope you enjoy, I have a later version that I'm just finishing up, look for it in the near future. And you can find the link to the Yahoo! group on the right hand side, originalgreentablet. Feel free to join up, lots of great Newton programming documentation and files are still available. Please leave any comments about Rush Hour at the link below.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Now I can zig, when I should have zagged!

Hopefully everyone has had a chance to check out the goodness that is Newtendo, especially now that you have full control over the action at hand. The latest update of Newtendo allows you to actually play the game, start & select, A & B, and a graphical interpretation of the d-pad. No more waiting to watch the intro, silently wishing that the start button started something more . . .

Now it's full on Mario Bros. action, bumping Koopas (before they were known as such), fighting Donkey Kong (as he attempts to take over your greenhouse), as well as practicing entering Game Genie codes too (for the few remaining hard core Nintendo gamers that are reading). Here are a few more screens to wet your appetite.

By all means please pay due respect to Eagan Rackley, without him I would have had to search 10 times hard for a great post today. Don't forget to visit Eagan's site to follow along with the development of Newtendo.

Donkey Kong 3, Donkey Kong Jr., Mario Bros.

Friday, February 06, 2004

8-Bit Gaming has found a new home.

I'm sure that most of you have heard of the Newtendo Emulator as of this point (for those who haven't it's a Nintendo Emulator for the Newton). But not all of you actually have a MP2000 (and those who do may not have the heap to run it) to actually see it in action. As a disclaimer, I am in no way affiliated with http://home.earthlink.net/~eagix/index.html, I just wanted the have-nots to actually see pictures of Newtendo running. Please check out the site for more up-to-date info on the program, but for now, here's some screens taken while Newtendo was running.

Newtendo Running
Mario Bros. Start Screen
Mario Bros. In Game
Donkey Kong 3 Start Screen
Donkey Kong 3 In Game

It's actually amazing to watch it run, it's so incredibly smooth for a first release. It brings back such a flood of memories just watching it in action. A program is included to create NES games into packages that can be run with Newtendo, does anyone know of a listing of NES games by the Mapper they use? (Since Newtendo only has Mapper 0 available at this time). If anyone does know of such a site please leave a comment for myself and any other interested parties to follow. I wish Eagan (the developer) best of luck in all his efforts (now if only I could use my old controllers with this).

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Newton Hacks Back

Living a quiet life Newton presses mute and gives center screen to his pseudo-bigger brother. Who knows with dialog like "Killer refresh rate" . . . "It's a P6 Chip, triple the speed of a Pentium" . . . "RISC architecture is going to change everything", they might actually be talking about the Newton. Next thing you know Steve Jobs is going to edit this scene in "Hackers" to show a picture of the G5 instead of a Mac/PC/Crap Hollywood hybrid. It's nice to know, that if she has state of the art technology, she's also got a Newton to keep phone numbers and recipes in.

Ah the OMP. Such a masterpiece that it ended up in this garbage. Really though, how bad could the movie be if the idea of seeing a PDA in one scene would make me want to watch it again?

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Information on the Hollywood Newton

Here we see Newton playing a serious role in an Episode of the Outer Limits episode "The Joining", which was not much of a stretch for Newton at the time. The Newton OS 2.1 gave the actor more control over the work he took, which allowed the Newton to be the PDA it's parents always wanted. Sources says Newton was unhappy with the episode, he felt that the angle he chose in relation to the keyboard wasn't really his best work, not only that, but he had to bring his own serial adapter to the set (the casting director didn't understand why Newton would require such a strange adapter to just use a keyboard).

There is hope yet fans, latest news on the Newton pictured here lead us to believe that he will make a brief appearance on "Bands Reunited" but only if VH1 can get the original Serial Adapter, and we know that's going to be hard to say the least.

To find out other acting gigs the Newton has seen through out the years, check out Wikki Wikki Newt with all the history of the Newton in one place, feel free to add in any missing information you might be privy too.