The Definitive Guide To The Apple Newton

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Nick's LockDown

(c) 1998 by logic tools, Nick Müller, München.
Nick's LockDown is freeware. You may give it to others at no charge. More about this under Legal Stuff.


LockDown is a small Newton program that allows toggling the built-in Apple PIN feature on/off with only one pen tap. LockDown can selectively be installed onto the Newton's Status Bar (Names, NotePad and Extras for example), as well as your current backdrop application. LockDown requires only 13.89k of storage space, uses 120 Bytes of heap and is available in both English and German localized versions.
LockDown utilizes Apple's built-in PIN Security feature of your Newton MessagePad. This feature as implemented by Apple is intended for low level protection and will prevent casual prying/tampering of your data. It is great for those times when your Newton is left unattended in a "safe" location, but you would prefer that your Newton data were left untouched. If you frequently step away from your Newton throughout the course of a day, LockDown is for you, with its ability to quickly turn the protection on and off there is no temptation to leave your device unlocked.
For high level protection of your sensitive data please consider the purchase of Nicks's FortKnox from logic tools, information and the latest version can alway be found at the URL listed at the end of this document. FK encrypts your data for added security. Together LockDown and FortKnox provides you with the ability to easily and quickly protect your sensitive and important data.

 System requirements:

Nick's LockDown requires Newton OS 2.0 or higher.
Nick's LockDown was tested on a MP 120 / MP 130 and a MP 2000 (should work fine on eMates.)


Install the application by using your Connection Kit or other package downloader. Read the documentation for more instructions on how to install packages.


Newton Security Setup

Once the LockDown.pkg has been downloaded to your Newton, setup is extremely easy.

  • Go to the Newton's Extras Drawer
  • Click on Prefs
  • Click on Security
  • If you have never entered a PIN, you will be need to do so now (click on Set PIN)
  • Set Ask For PIN to the desired setting, and close the settings window.

If you are a FortKnox user, it's mandatory to use two different PINs!

For more info on the Built-in Newton Security feature please refer to your manual.

Nick's LockDown setup

  • Tap Nick's LockDown located in the Extras Drawer
  • Tap the "i" button and tap "Prefs" to open the prefs window
  • Button in: To choose the Newton application(s) that will have LockDown's button installed.
  • Toggle & Go: Check this option if you are using a MP120/130 and you would like to toggle the password on and off from the Extras drawer. This method is needed due to a Newton OS limitationof the MP120 and 130 models, buttons cannot be added to the "Extras" Status Bar. If you own a MP2000 you do not need to check Toggle & Go. "Toggle & Go" is also great for users who prefer no buttons. With "T&G checked, tapping the key icon in the LockDown Prefs window will toggle the Newton PIM feature on/off and *dismiss* the window.
  • Lock & Down: When checked this feature will toggle the Newton PIN on/off AND poweroff the Newton, all with one pen tap.
  • Uninstall: This will remove LockDown and its preference file from your MessagePad.

Using LockDown is as simple as taping the key icon located on the Newton Status Bar. A broken key icon indicates that the PIN feature is currently inactive, an unbroken key icon indicating the reverse.

 Legal Stuff:

Nick's LockDown is copyright by logic tools, Nikolaus Mueller, München.
Please note that the program may only be given to others at no charge.
There is no warranty that Apples Newton Security PIN can not be decoded!
Newton, MessagePad and Apple are registered trademarks of Apple USA

  • Press on the LockDown button until the alert sound is heard
  • In the Prefs window click on Uninstall (the LockDown prefs window can also be opened by going to the Newton Extras Drawer and clicking on the LockDown icon)


Design and coding by Nick Mueller.
Application idea and English documentation by Fidel Johansen

 What's left:

Any and all comments are welcomed!
Do not hesitate to contact me if there are features you feel may improve the product or may have been left out.
You can download the current version (among other goodies) from my home page. The address is listed below:

Contact (please use e-mail if possible)
For enhancements, bugs and job-offers contact:

Nick Müller
logic tools
Fürstenriederstr. 19
GERMANY 80687 München

phone: +49-89-5461051
fax: +49-89-54612555

home page:

Email : or
ICQ : 255064

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