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WWNC '09 official announcements and the 2010 bug


Each year, a crew of Newton users, developers and devotees gathers to celebrate the little green device, discuss projects, share resources and generally have fun. As a Newton owner myself, I've wanted to attend one of these for years.

This summer's event features sessions by Grant Hutchinson, Ryan Vetter and (tentatively) Paul Guyot, who will discuss NPDS, modern uses of the Newton and the Einstein Project, respectively. You can get a full list of presentation topics here.

One topic that I'm sure will be on everyone's mind is the 2010 bug. Briefly, the Newton's clock has a 17-year life, which was born in 1993 and ends in 2010. January 5, 2010 to be exact. Some users have reported erratic behavior when they've tried to schedule calendar events after that date, sometimes requiring a hard reset to escape. This seems to be limited to Newton OS 2.1 devices only.

Eckhart Köppen is working on a fix, but it won't be easy, as a system patch will be required. Former
Newton team engineer John Arkley had this to say in 1999:

"...Building and testing a System Update is complex and expensive process and no single engineer could do it. The Newton OS only supports ONE system patch, so ALL the existing 'fixes' and any new ones have to be combined together to combined to create the 'next' System Update."

Still, Eckhart feels it can be done. From what I know of him through the NewtonTalk mailing list, I'm inclined to believe him. In the meantime, check out the "Ramp Up Clip" to get yourself in the mood.
WWNC '09 will take place from July 31st - August 2nd in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

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