IM Chatting with a Newton


About two years ago I wrote a wiki article detailing how to setup a Newton to use Jabber as an instant messaging client for Yahoo, MSN, AIM, etc… Unfortunately that wiki no longer exists and the Internet Archive never backed up the pages. So I pulled out the old document I typed up and have reposted it here. I hope somebody finds it useful.

Background Information:
What is NewtonIM?
NewtonIM is an instant messaging client built to use the jabber client protocol. It was originally written by Jake Bordens, but also received some upgrades from Paul Guyot in 2005. The software still has a few bugs, but it is one of the best IM clients for the Newton.

What is Jabber?
Jabber is an instant messaging protocol based on the standards created by the XMPP Standards Foundations. Being an open standard, anyone can take and build own servers or clients of their own. This has made jabber instant messaging popular for not only the open source community, but also large corporations. Google’s instant messaging system, GoogleTalk, is based on jabber technology and Apple integrated jabber support into their iChat program with the release of OS X 10.4 “Tiger”.

One of the features of jabber is the ability to create transport plugins for servers. The transport plugin allows the jabber server to talk to other IM networks, such as AIM, MSN, Yahoo, IRC, ICQ, and more. So, you could register your yahoo account with the jabber server and be able to talk to your contact through a jabber client. The best way to think of this setup is to imagine a multi-protocol IM client (like Trillian and Pidgin), but the server is doing the work of connecting to the different IM networks. The jabber client just connects to the jabber server and communicates to everyone through the transport plugins. Confused?

What you will need:
A Internet capable Newton (preferably a MP2000 or 2100)
A computer with a jabber instant messaging client. The Instructions below describe how to use Miranda IM for PC and Adium for Mac

Setting up NewtonIM:

  1. Choosing a Jabber Server
    The first step in getting NewtonIM to work is picking a server to register a jabber account with. A nice list of servers to start with can be found here. While relatively simple, you have to remember that there are hundreds of jabber servers but not all of them support the transport plugins for other IM networks. You will have to spend time looking for a server that supports the network you want.For the example in this guide I’m going to use the server called jabber.hot-chilli.net, located in Germany. It has transports plugins for all major IM networks and allows plaintext passwords (a requirement since the Newton can’t handle SSL).
  2. (Mac)Adium: Create an Account
    1. Open Adium and cancel the setup assistant
    2. Open Adium’s Prefenences and go to the Accounts tab
    3. Click on the Plus sign button in the bottom left hand corner and choose Jabber 1
    4. Enter a username followed by the @ symbol followed by the name of the server (does not have to be the same as your MSN, AIM, etc accounts)
    5. Enter a password (does not have to be the same as your MSN, AIM, etc accounts) 2
    6. Go back to the Account tab and click Register New Account
      1. When you click the Register New Account button a new window will appear asking for the XMPP server address. Enter your server address
      2. Click the Request New Account button
      3. Confirm your username and password
      4. Click the Register button
      5. Click OK and return to the Accounts tab in Preferences
  • (MAC)Adium: Register a transport service
    1. Open Adium
    2. Open Preferences and go to the Accounts tab
    3. Right click on your jabber account and choose Discovery Browser
    4. Expand the drop down list
    5. Find the transport you want to register with. NOTE: you want to register with the ones listed as “gateways”
    6. Double-click on the transport name and enter your IM information
    7. Click the register button
    8. Authorize and add the contacts to your jabber list
    9. repeat steps e through h to add MSN, Yahoo, AIM, and other contacts to your jabber list. Once complete you should be able to talk to all your friends from the jabber client on your computer
  • (PC)Miranda IM: Create an Account
    1. Download and install Miranda IM
    2. Open Miranda IM
    3. Name your profile and click the Create button (the name you choose doesn’t really matter)
    4. Click on the plus sign in the bottom left hand corner to start adding an account
    5. Enter a name for the account, set the protocol to JABBER and click the OK button
    6. Highlight the newly created account and being entering your account information
    7. Change the Type to Public XMPP Network
    8. Enter a username for your jabber account (does not have to be the same as your MSN, AIM, etc accounts)
    9. Change the Server field to your preferred server
    10. Enter a password (does not have to be the same as your MSN, AIM, etc accounts)
    11. Click the Register new user button and confirm your password (a dialog box will confirm your account registration
    12. Click the OK button to close the Account window
  • (PC)Miranda IM: Register a Transport Service
    1. Open Miranda IM. If the Import wizard launches, just cancel it
    2. Click on the Status menu and choose Online
    3. Click on the Status menu Navigate down to your Jabber profile’s Services… option and choose Service Directory
    4. In the Service Directory, choose the transport you want to use, right-click on it, and choose Register
    5. Enter the name and password for your IM account, and click the Register button
    6. Close the Service directory window and go back to your contact list
    7. All of your contacts will have a blinking icon. Double-click on each contact and Authorize them
  • Install NewtonIM
    1. Go to Jake’s website and download the NIM.pkg package (there is a copy on UNNA, but I believe it is an older version)
    2. Install the package by your preferred method
  • Configure NewtonIM
    1. Open the NewtonIM application
    2. Enter your username for you jabber account without the @jabber… Leave the password field blank (there is a bug related to the password and username field)
    3. Enter your server address
    4. Set the resource to whatever you like
    5. Click on the “i” icon and choose Save Prefs
    6. Close and reopen Newton IM
    7. Enter your password and click the Connect button

If you are able to connect, all your contacts that were listed on your computer will now appear in the contact list on your Newton.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and get to messaging from your Newton. I haven’t tested it, but since Facebook chat uses the jabber protocol then you could potentially use Newton IM to talk with friends there.

Have fun. -Tony

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  1. #1 by Daveigh on September 21, 2011 - 6:58 am

    If I comumnictaed I could thank you enough for this, I’d be lying.

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