Category Archives: RetroChallenge

RetroChallenge Step #3

Due to work commitments my involvement in the RetroChallenge has been somewhat limited. I had great plans but little spare time. I now have 2 days at home to see what I can come up with. I will probably focus on developing something for the Newton. Stay tuned…

RetroChallenge Step #2

Installed all of the drivers required for adding a PCMCIA Ethernet card to my Newton 2100. Followed these instructions. Transferred the files from my work PC to the PowerBook using a floppy disk (how retro). Haven’t tried connecting to anything yet but it should be OK. One thing of note is that while inserting a modem card causes the Newton to alert you that a communications card is installed, inserting the Ethernet card does not. Does anyone else have any experience with this?

[Edit: According to this site, this behavior is normal as I have 3Com Ethernet card].

Also took some time to set the PowerBook 190cs up a bit better – cleared out incompatible Control Panels and Extensions.

Remote RetroChallenge

Back in Dampier again for work – carrying a fair amount of retro Mac gear. In my luggage I have my PowerBook G4 (12″ 1GHz /768MB / 40GB/Combo Drive), my rebuilt PowerBook 190cs (16MB / 500MB with a few 5300 parts) and my Newton 2100 with various cards and adapters. This is on top of my work kit and PC laptop (which is not light). Needless to say my bags were flagged with the Qantas “heavy” label…

My first task is to get Ethernet working on the Newton and connect it to the G4 (this looks like a good guide). Then I will have a hack at developing a bit for the Newton using the 190cs (Newton development tools are installed). Later I will try writing some software for the Mac (System 6 and up hopefully). I have done this before with some success.

Stay tuned for more…


I was spending a lot of time working up north (away from home) so I decided to take two weeks off. Spent last week travelling the south-west of WA (staying at Wagin with family and at Cheynes Beach Caravan Park). This week will be spent sorting out things at home and doing some coding (for both my masters and the RetroChallenge).

Olivia has started crawling (well sort of) and is much more vocal and animated. Cameron had a great time down south and can now climb ladders (with ease) and loves slides. He also likes puddles (we bought him some gumboots while we were away). Kylie and I enjoyed the time away (although it was very cold). I will post more updates later (photos and bird lists – Cheynes Beach was great again – I heard the Noisy Scrub-bird finally!).

Two books from eBay arrived while we were away – Volumes I and II of the Macintosh C Programming Primer. Both are great books that outline how to program ToolBox based software for the Mac using Think C. Should be fun.

Bought a handheld GPS while we were away – a Magellan eXplorist 300 – haven’t used it a lot yet but planning to. It has a temperature sensor, a digital compass (seperate from the GPS), a barometer and an altimeter. It will come in handy on birding trips.

PowerBook 100 – Retro Challenge Step #1

After tinkering for a few hours last night I have finally managed to build one complete PowerBook 100 out of two partially complete ones. The complete unit has a good screen (replaced the screen that was missing a column of pixels down the left hand side), 4MB of RAM, an 80MB 2.5″ SCSI hard drive with Mac OS 7.1, three batteries (none of which work), an external floppy drive (working well) and two functional fold-down feet (each unit had one foot broken, thankfully on opposite sides).

The PowerBook 100 is an impressive design – three screws (Phillips head – yay!) hold the whole unit together, the screen hinge seems bulletproof (neither showed wear or damage), the motherboard is easy to swap out and the RAM and CPU cards are easy to access. In terms of expansion, the PowerBook 100 is limited (I noticed what looks like and internal modem connector – that seems to be the extent of expansion) but it has an ADB port (unlike the PB150), a serial port and a SCSI port (as well as the special external floppy drive port).

It was a lot of fun rebuilding this – now I need to find some old software and starting putting it to use.

Signed Up!

I am now signed up for the Retro Challenge 2007! I aim to do some Newton development (OS 2.0) and 68k development (maybe using a PowerBook 100). Should be fun. Keep an eye on this blog for updates!

(And I have started labeling posts to make it easier to find all Retro Challenge stuff).