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Installing Einstein on MacOS (tested on 10.14 and 10.15)

You can watch the entire installation on YouTube. The clip is slightly outdated. A newer version of Einstein has been released.

  • Download Einstein
    • create a folder named "Einstein" in your home directory
    • download Einstein from MessagePad.org
    • copy the downloaded file into your "Einstein" folder
    • if Safari hasn't done it for you, uncompress the Einstein zip archive by double-clicking it; this will create the file "Einstein.app"

  • Download the ROM file
    • the Einstein User Manual describes how you can download the ROM from an existing MessagePad using the Unix tool nc or the Windows implementation ncat.
    • name the ROM file ("717006.rom", for example) and download it into you "Einstein" directory

  • Starting Einstein
    • run Einstein by double-clicking the App
    • a dialog will pop up saying "Einstein.app can't be opened because Apple cannot check if for malicious software.". This is happeneing because we don't use the Apple Store to distribute our software. But you can allow this specific app to run nevertheless.
    • start your "System Prefrences" from the Apple menu in the top left corner
    • choose the "Security & Privacy" panel
    • select "Allow app downloaded from: App Store and identifed developers"; there should be a text below stating "Einstein.app was blocked from use..."; click on "Open Anyway"

  • Starting Einstein the second time
    • run Einstein again by double-clicking the app
    • a dialog box will still complain that it can't run Einstein, but this time, there is also an "Open" button. Click that and Einstein should run.
    • a new dialog pops up, asking if Einstein may read your address book; we use that to fill in your address in the emulator, but there is no need to give permission if you don't want to
    • finally, the Settings panel will pop up

  • Setting up Einstein
    • in the "ROM" section, click on the "Choose..." button; navigate to the ROM you just downloaded; click "Open"
    • in the section "Internal Flash File", click "Choose..." and navigate to your "Einstein" folder; enter "flash" as a filename and "Save"
    • you may want to check "Don't show at startup" after you made sure that the settings are working well
    • click "Start" to save your settings and run the emulation

  • Running Newton for the first time
    • Einstein should boot into a fresh install of the Newton operating system
    • answer all the Newton greeting panels and enjoy a new MessagePad on you MacOS computer
    • if you want to try different ROMs, make sure to create a different Flash file as well


Advanced topis


Install EinsteinPrefs on your emulated Newton

Einstein version 2020.2 and newer has a driver for the Newton serial port that connects directly to NTK on BasiliskII via the host's network connection. The default setting will search for BasiliskII on the host computer on TCP Port 3679. To change the host address and port, you need to install "EinsteinPrefs.pkg" on you emulated Newton.

Download EinsteinPrefs from MessagePad.org. Unzip the file and install the package by simply dragging it onto the running Newton OS screen.


Install BasilsikII and the Newton Toolkit (NTK) on MacOS (tested on 10.15)

BasiliskII is an emulator for the Classic Macintosh operating system. NTK is the original developer environment for Newton OS on the MessagePad.

You can watch the entire installation on YouTube.

  • Downloads
    • if you have not done so yet, create a folder named "Einstein" in your home directory
    • inside the Einstein folder, create another folder named "SharedFolder". This folder will appear on the Classig desktop as an external disk drive which is great for exchanging data
    • download BasiliskII from MessagePad.org
    • download macos755-boot.zip from Unna and unzip it
    • download NewtDevel-HFSimage.zip from Unna and unzip it
    • download the "Performa.rom" (not part of this tutorial)
    • copy all files into your "Einstein" folder

  • Starting BasiliskII
    • run BasiliskII by double-clicking the App
    • a dialog will pop up saying "BasiliskII.app can't be opened because Apple cannot check if for malicious software."
    • start your "System Prefrences" form the Apple menu in the top left corner
    • choose the "Security & Privacy" panel
    • select "Allow app downloaded from: App Store and identifed developers"; there should be a text below stating "BasiliskII.app was blocked from use..."; click on "Open Anyway"

  • Starting BasiliskII the second time
    • run BasiliskII again by double-clicking the app: it won't launch, but it will generate a preferences file for us

  • Configure BasiliskII
    • BasilsikII has no settings dialog, so we have to do some trickery: go to your home directory in Finder, then press Shift+Command+Period; this key combination wil show the hidden files that have a name that starts with a period. Find the file name .basilisk_ii_prefs and double-click to open it in TextEdit
    • add or replace the following entries to the top of the file. TextEdit tries to be helpful and replaces some of your text with suggestions. Don't use the suggestions! Make sure, everything is spelled as it is seen here.
    • replace the /$HOME/ part of the filenames with your login name

rom /Users/$HOME/Einstein/Performa.rom
disk /Users/$HOME/Einstein/macos755.dsk
disk /Users/$HOME/Einstein/newt_devel1.1.dsk
extfs /Users/$HOME/Einstein/SharedFolder/
screen win/1024/800
seriala tcp:3679

    • replace the ramsize entry with a much bigger size:

ramsize 67108864

    • save the file and quit TextEdit, then start BasiliskII for a third time

  • Running NTK for the first time
    • start BasiliskII and the Macintosh Classic desktop will appear
    • in the top right corner, you find three disk drive symbols; double-click the "Newton Devl 1.1" drive to show it content
    • inside the drive, you will find a folder named "NTK 1.6.4". Open it.
    • locate the "Newton Toolkit" and double-click its icon; NTK should open and present you with a dialog to open an existing project
    • press 'esc' to cancel that dialog

You are now ready to develop apps for NewtonOS.