IrDA, IrOBEX, Nitro, IC/VC and the Newton
Nitro and IC/VC try to follow the spirit of the original Newton
architecture by reusing the existing interfaces you already know
(hopefully): The Transports, the Inbox, the Action button and the Routing
Slips. Here's an overview:
- A transport is responsible to send and receive data. Transports are for
example Mail, Beam or IrOBEX. You chose a transport via the Action button
(the one with the Envelope)
- The Inbox is used by transports to store incoming data. You can tell
which transport put something in the Inbox by looking at the item's icon.
If there is an application on the Newton that knows what to do with the
item, it will add a "Put Away" choice to the menu behind the Inbox button
with the tag on it.
- The Action button is used to do something to the currently selected
item in an application. There are three groups of functions available:
Things like Duplicate and Delete, sending via a transport and application
defined actions. Sending via a transport works by selecting the item you
want to send, choosing the transport from the Action button menu and
specifying the sending options in the Routing Slip.
- The Routing slip is used by transports to get more information
necessary for sending an item. This might include the address where to
send to (for Mail) or the data format in which the item shall be sent.
Now how does all this apply to IrDA et al.? Quite simple:
- The transport which Nitro provides is called IrOBEX. IrOBEX is a
standard understood by most IrDA capable devices. It is quite similar to
- If you want to receive items via IrOBEX, you'd use the Inbox. There,
IrOBEX is offered as a choice in the Receive menu. If you're receiving
things from a Windows PC, you have to modify the IrOBEX preferences
(accessible in the Inbox [i] menu) to use OBEX:IrXfer. This is because
Microsoft sucks and doesn't like to conform to standards.
- The Action button is what you use to send items via IrOBEX. Just select
the item to be sent and chose IrOBEX from the Action button menu.
- The Routing slip comes into play if you have installed IC/VC. IC/VC
offers the iCalendar/vCalendar and vCard data formats. You should use
these if you want to import the data into the peer devices's
applications, e.g. an address book or calendar application.
- IC/VC also adds the capability to put away vCalendar, iCalendar, vCard
and Newton packages from the Inbox after they have been received via
IrOBEX. Please check the IC/VC preferences in the Inbox (under the [i]
menu) to specify what should happen if there are conflicts between
received items and items already on the Newton.
- You want to send a Names entry to your T68i. You open Names and select
the entry to be sent. Then you tap the Action button and select IrOBEX.
Because you want to use the entry in the address book on the phone, you
select vCard as the data format in the Routing slip. Then you tap on
Send, select Now and point your Newton to the T68i which has IrDA
- You want to receive a calendar entry from your phone. First, you open
the Inbox. Then you select IrOBEX from the Receive menu. Point your phone
to the Newton and initiate sending from the phone. After the item has
been received, tap on the Tag button and chose Put Away. In the following
dialog, chose IC/VC as the target.
- You want to export all your Names entries to your desktop PC via email.
You select all Names entries in Names, tap on the Action button and chose
Mail as the transport. You fill out the necessary fields in the following
Routing slip, select vCard as the data format and tap on Send. The email
will be one vCard file which you can save as one file on the desktop PC
and import it into programs that know how to deal with vCard files.
Microsoft programs don't fall into this category because they can't
handle more than one vCard in one file (there are however workarounds).