Welcome to PDA-Soft

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Welcome to the frame-less version of the English section of pda-soft - the site with a passion for the cream of the crop of PDAs: The Apple Newton and its bigger sibling, the Apple eMate.

 From here you can reach every page of this web site even if your browser does not support frames. However, links to other web sites might require frame usage to be displayed correctly. Therefore it is suggested not to cross-navigate within this site if your browser does not support frames. Instead, always start navigation from this page.

If you came here looking for something other than Newtons or eMates, please don't leave yet. Take a little time to look around. Learn why a hand-held device is still, more than ten years after its demise, beating many of today's PDAs hands-down. Newtons and eMates are still in regular use thanks to thousands of avid users worldwide!

On this site you'll find loads of useful advice on maintaining and repairing your little green friend. Your battery can be rebuilt, and that eMate ribbon cable can be replaced. Just go inside for step-by-step instructions for dealing with these and other life-threatening hardware disasters.
But that's not all. Free Newton books and software to download, reviews of relevant books and third-party hardware, handy FAQs plus Newton-related stories (some of which will make you smile) are also waiting for you.
And if you've got a Newton problem that needs solving, or a question to ask that isn't covered in the FAQ, just drop me an e-mail for friendly, free support. Usually an answer can be expected promptly, but please bear in mind that I do have a family and a social life as well :-)
Enjoy your stay, and let the Green live on...

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It happens occasionally that a Macintosh does not recognize a downloaded Newton package as a Newton package. Fortunately, there is PackType by Steve Weyer (10 kB Mac version or 6 kB PC version), a small drag and drop application that gets rid of this problem.
Packtype does not work under Mac OS X. Users of this operating system might want to download Package Converter (6 kB) by James Elliott. It does exactly the same, only it is compatible with Mac OS X.

You still use a Newton with an operating system older than version 2.0? You are fed up with the way the Newton operating system makes you set the time? That stupid little analog clock with the dials that are nearly impossible to handle? Have a look at BetterSetter...

You are always unsure if your rechargeables are still as good as they used to be? You are looking for a reproducible way to test your batteries´ performance? BattLog might be what you are looking for... (coming soon)

You have an old MessagePad lying around and no idea what to use it for? Now that you have got used to the speed and the performance of your messagepad 2000 or 2100? Maybe DotClock will give your reliable little friend a new job...

Here’s an application that helps you test your Newton and eMate hardware. The application symbol isn’t final yet. Maybe you can submit one? There’s an icon contest on the same page...

NewtLight is a little utility that I wrote specifically for Adriano Angelillis’ NewtLight and NewtEye hardware. It provides an easy way to switch the power at the Newton’s serial or interconnect port on and off.

No software will ever be bug-free. Not even mine. Never believe anybody telling you his software is the exception to the rule. There is no exception.
But you and me can remove at least those bugs that you notice. Provided you take the time to
report them.


Apple eMate Batteriepack small. Copyright 2000 Frank Gruendel

How to rebuild an Apple eMate battery pack

Apple Newton 2x00 Batteriepack small. Copyright 2000 Frank Gruendel

How to rebuild an Apple Newton 2000 / 2100 battery pack

Apple Newton 1x0 Batteriepack small. Copyright 2000 Frank Gruendel

How to rebuild an Apple Newton 130 / 120 / 110 battery pack

How to rebuild an Apple Newton 100 / OMP battery pack

Download eMateHingeRepairv16.zip

How to disassemble an Apple eMate
How to reassemble an Apple eMate (in preparation)
How to
fix a punctured display ribbon cable (detailed version in preparation)
How to
fix the hinge that punctured the cable (detailed version in preparation)

eMate replacement cable review

Amazingly there is a cable available that can replace eMate display cables that were punctured because of the infamous hinge spring problem. Here is a review.

Apple Newton 130 small

How to disassemble an Apple Newton 2000 or 2100
How to
reassemble an Apple Newton 2000 or 2100

How to replace the backlight of an
Apple Newton 2000 / 2100

Apple Newton 130 small

How to disassemble an Apple Newton 130
How to
fix the 130’s two most frequent defects

Apple Newton 130 small

How to disassemble an Apple Newton 120

How to disassemble an Apple Newton 100 / Original
MessagePad (OMP)

How to disassemble the battery charging station of an Apple  Newton MessagePad 110, 120 or 130

How to disassemble an Apple Newton MessagePad keyboard

MP 120 / 130 display small. Copyright (c) 2002 Frank Gruendel

How to replace an Apple Newton 120 / 130 display

Click for a review of the FreeDock docking station

One of the best Newton accessories the world has ever seen: The FreeDock docking station for the Apple Newton 2000 and 2100

Click for a review of the FreeKey keyboard adapter

The FreeKey, an ingenious device that makes your Newton work with standard PC or Macintosh keyboards

Click for a review of the FreeKey keyboard adapter

Adriano Angelillis, a rising star on the Newton hardware heaven, developed the NewtLight, which allows powering an external USB device through the Newton’s serial or interconnect port.

Diagnostic mode. Copyright 2001 Frank Gruendel

The built-in diagnostic mode of the Apple Newton 120 and 130

The built-in diagnostic mode of the
Apple Newton 100 / Original MessagePad (OMP)

Weird Newton ROM board

A very weird ROM board that I recently came across


Here you will find books on programming the Apple Newton and eMate. Most of Apple’s official programmer’s documentation is mentioned and reviewed, many of these books can be downloaded in Acrobat Reader format.

Here are reviews of miscellaneous other books on the Newton and eMate I have found.

This page provides reviews of books on batteries, rechargeables and charging concepts.


Here you find stories of Apple’s Newton and eMate. All stories can be downloaded in NewtonBook format.
As you might have found out by now, I have no sense of humor whatsoever. This is of course reflected in the stories you find here.
If you have written anything about Apple’s Newton or eMate which you think would fit in here,
please drop me a line. Unless, of course, you can’t stand eternal fame and dozens of enthusiastic thank you letters daily...

How it all began             Load as Newton book (13 kB)

If the event described here hadn’t happened, I would still be blissfully unaware of the Newton’s existence, and this site wouldn’t exist.
Which admittedly would not necessarily be a disadvantage...

Transdimensional Fluctuation             Load as Newton book (9 kB)

An interesting thread from the
NewtonTalk mailing list.
This list is a must for every Newton enthusiast. It consists of a lively bunch of more than 1500 Newton fans who are as knowledgeable as they are helpful. If you are interested in subscribing to this list, you might want to subscribe to the digest version. These people are amazingly active, and occasionally they can’t resist discussing topics that are not exactly Newton related...

Faxing is easy             Load as Newton book (14 kB)

A script for what might have become a Newton commercial. If Apple had been interested in people becoming aware of this great PDA family, that is. Which in my humble and unimportant opinion has never really been the case.

Monday morning at the post office             Load as Newton book (33 kB)

A humorous description of what can happen if post offices staffed with competent employees are closed down and replaced by a counter in the local supermarket.

This and That

Here you will find everything that didn’t fit in any of the other categories.

Frequently asked questions

Please click here for answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Cry for Help

Unfortunately, getting decent service information for Apple Newton MessagePads or eMates seems to be impossible.
I do have most of the worthless stuff Apple used to publish in pdf format, but other than Apple’s replacement part numbers ( for parts that that have been unavailable for quite some time) all you can learn from this documentation is how to take the Newton apart, which I can do blindfolded.
If you know where to get circuit diagrams or extended service information for Newtons and eMates, regardless of the model, I would be thankful if you could
let me know.
If the documentation is useful and available and I do not yet have it, I will very gladly pay for it, and a dozen bars of the finest German chocolate I can get my hands on will be on their way to you as soon as I have it.
I am also interested in dead Newtons and eMates that I can use for parts or as guinea pigs for my ongoing quest for discovering the cause of frequent defects.
There used to be special PCMCIA cards that were used by Apple´s service centers for checking the Newton hardware. I am very interested in one of these, too.


Please click here to send the webmaster an e-mail.

Guest Book

Here you can read the guest book of this website. Of course you are also invited to sign it.

Legal Info

If you want to know who is legally responsible for this web site, this where you should look.