Hewlett Packard HP 200LX

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Behind this organizer, a real and powerful PC computer!

Caracteristics Ports Serial cable and mouse Organizer, Rom apps MS-DOS usage Windows usage

It took me some time to realize the power of this machine. I got a really powerful system with 8MB Ram, a double speed CPU and a large disk storage.

The compact one (16cm wide):

The ports
From left to right:
  • The additional lithium battery to save data
  • Infra Red LEDs (IN/OUT)
  • Serial port RS232
  • Power connector 12V (+ out, - center)


PCMCIA Card, here a CompactFlash adapter with a 64MB card. Used under DOS as A: unit, as a large hard disk.


Serial cable and mouse
To use the non-standard serial port, you need the HP F1015A cable that you can see aside. A 10 pins connecter on the HP side, and a standard DB9 on the other side.

This last being a female one, you'll be able to plug it directly into another computer for a serial link up to 115200 bauds.
Tu use it during a DOS session, you must enable it through the organizer (Icon SETUP, then COMM F6). Select "Enable Com1 port in DOS".
My idea from the start was use a mouse! I had to create a little Male-Male DB9 adapter to link together the two female plugs from the HP and the mouse.
Thanks to Florian Traon, I was able to make this little cable crossing signals:
	   Male DB9            Male DB9
	   1 NC                1
	   2 ----------->      3
	   3 ----------->      2
	   4 ----------->      6	(useless for the mouse, but who knows...)
	   5 ----------->      5
	   6 ----------->      4	(useless)
	   7 ----------->      8
	   8 ----------->      7
	   9 NC                9
	   
Here we are with a mouse as big as the computer itself!

Now I can use software that can't run without a mouse, the GEOMETRE for example. Other programs are eased as WINDOWS.


Software installation

For Windows, select "Microsoft ou IBM PS/2" option and restart. You can see, I have my pointer!

For DOS, just type MOUSE at the DOS prompt and that's all.



Then you can use this pointer in text mode in most of the editors, here QuickBasic.


And the same in graphic mode, here Quick Menu.


The organizer

Many ROM applications are available, covering a wide range of domains. If you're not a DOS-addict, then those applications can satisfy your needs:
  • Lotus 123 spreadsheet
  • Pocket Quicken to manage your bank accounts
  • A word processor, a memo
  • A RPN/algebraic calculator with solver and graphs
  • A file manager
  • A link to PC manager
  • etc


Here is the SETUP program with the battery status. Other settings are available (printer, COM port,..).


DOS usage

This is my favorite usage! This machine is really compatible and powerful. DOS is located in ROM, but if you place a CONFIG.SYS file on another unit, this last will be the boot device with your own settings. Units are:
buffers=20
lastdrive=E
device=clkup32.sys
device=a:\outils\tremm\tremm.exe
files=20
@echo off
prompt $p$g
set comspec=a:\command.com
path a:\;a:\bin;d:\;d:\bin;d:\dos;a:\windows;E:\WINDOWS\PROGRAMS\WINWORD
helv200
lxstat d c 17
assign e:=a:
cd qmiii
qm
CONFIG.SYS:
The driver clkup32.sys stabilizes the display when the CPU is overclocked at 15,9 MHz.
The program TREMM manages EMM memory.
AUTOEXEC.BAT:
The program lxstat manages the display settings, here the contrast.
ASSIGN E:=A: is important, it creates a E: unit mapped to A:. Some programs don't accept A: as the destination drive for an installation, they consider it as a floppy disk, so you can install them on E:!


PC Tools: a good file manager. Here the system informations!


QuickMenu III: Excellent graphic desktop for DOS, here my favorite links.


DERIVE: symbolic calculator, with 2D and 3D graphs.


PC Globe: economic and geographic database.


SKY Globe: a planetarium


Quick Basic: easy to use BASIC interpreter/compiler.


Turbo Pascal 5.5: fast and powerful PASCAL compiler.


Turbo C 2.1: "C" compiler, I must declare that I don't like this language much... In my opinion, it's hard to read, to understand, complicated with no power compensation.


A86/D86: Fast and friendly assembler! Yes, the assembler is complicated, but on the other hand you get a total control, speed and compacity. Here a little program I wrote in Turbo Pascal to manage the calls to the editor, the assembler and the debugger.


Windows usage

Yes! Running Windows 3.0a on the HP is possible!
That's what I did. The bad thing is that there's no mouse so you've got to use the keys shortcuts to drive the interface.
Windows 3.0a I had to install it on the E: unit with ASSIGN E:=A:, else the installation program refuses the destination drive.


Excel 2.1 Microsoft's spreadsheet, pretty fast and much better than the integrated Lotus 123 in ROM.


WORD 1.0 the well known word processor. A bit slow on the HP...


Since 15 décembre 2007