Newton Network Gateway

This is the home of the Newton Network Gateway Project.  This project will be updated frequently as I improve on the design.

Parts Required

  • Beagle Bone Black
  • Power Supply for BBB 5V 2A
  • Micro SD Card (4GB or Larger)
  • Enclosure of your choice
  • Newton MessagePad 2100 with Wired or Wireless Card
  • VNC Viewer Software for your computer and Newton


Getting the software and Installing

Download the latest debian image from the Beagle Bone Website.  I used the minimal install and added the necessary packages.

Image the SD Card using the instructions on the Beagle Bone Website.

Once the Beagle Bone has been imaged and started peform the following to build your image:

  1. SSH into the BBB using its IP address (or the one pulled from your router).
  2. run "apt-get update"
  3. Run "apt-get insatll lxde" this installs the LX Desktop Environment (Alternately you can use any one that you want but LXDE is very lightweight).
  4. Run "apt-get install tightvncserver" to install the Tight VNC Server.
  5. Run "tightvncserver -geometry 304x400 -depth 8 :1" in order to start the tight VNC server from the command line.
  6. Test using the newt or a pc by connecting and inserting the settings as shown in the screenshot below
Once connected, you can launch the IceWeasel browser and browse the web as shown below:

Username and Password for Image

Username: debian Password: temppwd
* Username and Password has SUDO access if you need it on the system. 


Notes on Connecting to your network

Connect the Beagle Boneto your network router that has an accessible wired or wireless network for your newton.  In future versions, I will add a wireless adaptor and configuration instructions to support a direct connection to the Beagle Bone computer from the Newton with WPA encryption.

Launch the VNC Viewer software on the Newton and enter your Beagle Bone IP address and VNC password.


Install and compile a working wireless driver into the system for dual wireless cards (so we can be a full bridge and truly a go-between device).

Investigate a way to speed up the newt's refresh rate on VNC viewer to faster than 1 Second (.25 seconds would be awesome!)

3G/4G/Cellular functionality

Web page that can allow for easier configuration of the device, its IP address, and other settings.

Create a small enough package to be portable (Deck of cards size) with a battery that will run for at least 10-12 hours+ (5000maH LiPo).

Create images and add them to the website to ease the pain of building (in-progress).

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