Apple Newton’s Y2K10 issue corrected; devices ready for 2010 and beyond

Apple Online Store “Make fun of Apple’s Newton MessagePad all you want, but the proto-PDA introduced by Apple in the early 90s managed to gather some rather tenacious followers,” Chris Foresman reports for Ars Technica.

“Current users of the then-revolutionary, now-exceedingly-bulky personal digital assistants were afraid that a date handling bug would render the devices useless beginning early next year,” Foresman reports. “However, fear no more: a developer has come to the rescue with a patch for the Newton’s OS that lets the device handle dates in 2010 and beyond.”

Newton’s issue “is that the date was encoded using only 30 bits instead of a full 32 bits, meaning that disaster would strike when the clock struck 6:48:31pm on January 5, 2010. Naturally, Newton aficionados were ruing the day they might be forced to buy a portable device produced within the last decade,” Foresman reports. “However, indomitable Newton hacker Eckhart Köppen developed a patch for the Newton OS.”

Foresman reports, “If you are the sort of person who would just as soon have your Newton pried from your cold, dead hand, Köppen’s solution should keep your trusty device in operating condition at least until you or your Newton biodegrades—whichever comes first.”

Full article, with link to the solution, here.

MacDailyNews Take: Newton will outlive us all.


  1. bizlaw and pwntbywombat were/are both the kind of kid that if Santa didn’t get them the best toys in the store then daddy had to take the toys back and exchange them the day after Christmas.

    Then all the other kids in town that didn’t have the best stuff were dorks of course. I had one of those types as a neighbor for most of my growing up life.

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