Magic Cap Faqs

JET very kindly unearthed a treasure chest containing the One True ROM Image for DataRover 840s, a PC Card that will flash a 840’s ROM to Magic Cap 3.1.2j. This card can be used to re-flash a ‘rover with no additional hardware. (See also this article for reflashing a ‘rover using the developer tools and serial cable.) You can download the ROM image from the archives page and load it to a 8MB linear flash card yourself, or if you need a pre-flashed card mailed to you, contact me.

Note: if you bought a DataRover on eBay that has pre-release Rosemary firmware (usually dated 9/1/1997), that won’t work with the packages in the archive. It’s best to update to 3.1.2j.

Question: Whatever became of Magic Cap? Will it ever be released into the public domain? Is OpenMagic happening behind closed doors somewhere? Answer: Unfortunately, no. Here’s the story according to Steve Schramm, former General Manager of the Magic Cap division and CEO/President of DataRover/Icras: Andy [Hertzfeld] strived to open Magic Cap at the time of the GMGC bankruptcy. If I remember Andy’s explanation correctly, Nathan Myrvold, formerly of Microsoft, used the bankruptcy process to capture the IP after Andy Hertzfeld working with Andy Rubin had won two previous decisions to get the Magic Cap IP.
All Magic Cap device owners should join the mailing list. It’s low traffic these days, and there are several experts who can answer most any question. Join or browse the archives here:

Thanks to Alasdair Dunlap-Smith for writing this FAQ entry.

Many people (myself included) have reported problems installing packages on the Datarover 840F. It seems lately many people have gotten Datarover 840F’s cheap and brand-new on eBay – problem is, they all seem to have pre-release ROMs, which are incompatible with connectivity software such as WinPCLink and Josh Carter’s package mailer. As Josh has said, the only hardware different between the Datarover 840 and 840F is the 840F’s use of flash ROMs, which can be upgraded. The solution to this would be to try and re-flash the Datarover’s ROM with a newer release version. The problem is “How?” Well, that’s what I’m going to try to lay out in detail.

Thanks to Wayne Sanderson for writing this FAQ entry.

Question: I know there are two kinds of Motorola Envoy. Which is which- How are they different physically? Internally?

Question: I want a Motorola Envoy equipped with MagicCap 1.5. I see ads for Motorola Envoys for sale every so often, but the sellers are either unwilling or unable to tell me which device they are selling. How can I tell the difference by just looking at a thumbnail snapshot?