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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:10 am 
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I have been wanting to buy a PDA for a long time now and I have practically looked into all models available today ... either they are too expensive or have too many features that I don't need (usually both) or the looks are so bad (with shiny silver crap) that I'd hate it at first sight. I am not a big fan of the Palm devices - call it a personal quirk but I really do not like the form factor. Thus began my search for a PDA ... and now it has come to an end with the HP 100LX.

I bought a HP 100LX last week from one of our forum members and good friend Yak (brainpicker) and absolutely love it. It was made by HP as the name suggests and it one of the very early palmtop computers (circa 1994!). Even to this date the 95/100/200 LX models remain remain really popular for thier extensive DOS compatibility - infact, the 100LX runs an almost full version of DOS 5.0. Coupled with the very useful set of PIM (personal information management) programs that come burned in the 1 MB ROM, this makes the 100/200 LX a very attractive device for me to own and use.

This link has an extensive FAQ about this device, and a must read for those who are looking for a good PDA:
http://www.faqs.org/faqs/hp/palmtops-faq/

100LX specifications:
CPU: Intel Hornet 80186-compatible computer-on-a-chip
Speed: 7.5MHz
RAM(*): Up to 640kb (DOS maximum)
RAM Disk(*): From 384 kb to 3.4 Mb
Graphics: CGA & Hercules Compatible
Screen: LCD panel, 640x200 pixels, 4 greys
Sound: 1-note, multi-octave range piezo beeper
Keyboard: 80 mini-keys with tactile feedback
Drives: A:\ = optional PCMCIA memory card, C:\ = built in RAM Disk, D:\ = built in ROM Disk
I/O Ports: 9-pin RS232 serial; I/R
Expansion: One PCMCIA slot
O/S: MS-DOS 5.0 & PIM apps burned in 3Mb ROM
Power: 2x AA batteries (Alkaline, NiMH, or NiCD), CR2032 lithium backup battery, 12VDC external power
Physical Size: 6¼ x 3½ x 1 inches (closed)
Weight: < 1 pound, inc. batteries & PCMCIA card

(*) RAM and RAM disk share physical memory. HP100LX was sold with 1MB. HP200LX was sold in 1MB, 2MB, or 4MB configurations.

some pictures:
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

The last pic will give you an idea of the size of the device ... having a full-fledged PC-XT running MS-DOS 5.0 in that size is simply amazing. It can accomodate flash ATA/SRAM PCMCIA for expansion. There are thousands and thousands of programs available for DOS that are still very useful today ... Here is a list of applications that come with the palmtop:

FAQ wrote:
Q: What software is built into the 100/200LX ROM?

A: MS-DOS 5.0, Lotus 1-2-3 release 2.4, an appointment manager (capable of waking the 100/200LX up and sounding an alarm or running a program even when the machine is turned off), a calculator (similar to HP19B, capable of algebraic or RPN), a text editor, a phone book, a stopwatch/alarm clock, a world time database, a terminal emulator (but the 100LX version is too slow to use above 1200 baud, you'll want a different communications program for a fast modem), a general purpose database, a note taker, a file manager, a keyboard macro editor, and cc:Mail. Note that, although MS-DOS 5.0 is built into ROM, not all of the external commands (e.g QBASIC.EXE, EDIT.COM, ANSI.SYS) are included. These may be copied from a PC running MS-DOS 5.0.


I have just finished setting up the 100LX with phone numbers/addresses/ appointments for the week and have not yet installed anything on it. There are so many sites dedicated for this ... eventhough HP decided to jump the Win CE bandwagon and ditch this device, the strong and loyal userbase has kept the device alive - shows how much an active userbase can contribute to the popularity of a device (much like thinkpads!). This PDA is amongst my prize possessions next to my T23 and 600X. I'll write more about it as I use it!

Next stop, a good solid and usuable cellphone without extra crap like camera/music etc etc. I must be the only guy at UF who doesn't own a cellphone ... I haven't needed one till date and I don't need one now. But someday I'll have to get one and I can atleast start looking!

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Past: X31 2673-Y13 | T41 2374-3HU | T22 2647-AEU


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:39 am 
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gator wrote:
snip....I am not a big fan of the Palm devices - call it a personal quirk but I really do not like the form factor....snip


Sri, you're not the only one, Palm and Blackberry don't appeal to me either.

That's a great review and the PDA looks like a pretty cool device, enjoy and congrats on getting it !

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 5:10 am 
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gator wrote:
I am not a big fan of the Palm devices - call it a personal quirk but I really do not like the form factor.

Hey, Captain Quirk, I like my Palm Zire 71s (plural; not a special "s" model) :) .

That HP does look pretty good! Almost like a miniature Thinkpad the way it's designed. Congrats on the new toy!!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:58 am 
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I prefer the Windows CE PalmTops personally ;)

I would post some pictures of my NEC but I may make you all jealous ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:31 pm 
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I've got an HP Jornada 720 for lightweight Internet duty. It has Linux, gets Wi-Fi, weighs about a pound, and gets good battery life for when I don't need a proper laptop.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:43 pm 
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I've enjoyed Palm based devices for almost 10 years. I'm using a Palm Vx for daily use and a Palm Tx for quick surfing. Both work great. I tried Windows Mobile years ago and to me it was a hog...........

Have fun,
Ron

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:28 am 
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I run Palm OS on my Centro, it's nice, I wonder if I can unlock this things full potential. 8)

My last smartphone ran Windows Mobile, I've never wanted to throw a phone at the wall so hard :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:51 pm 
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Thanks guys!

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Now: T60 2613-EKU | T23 2647-9NU | 600X 2645-9FU | HP 100LX
Past: X31 2673-Y13 | T41 2374-3HU | T22 2647-AEU


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 10:05 am 
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Awesome machine. The DOS based HP LX palmtops are real classics with a pretty strong fanbase (much smaller than ThinkPads of course, but just as loyal). My friend used to own a 200LX back in the days that I was so jealous of. These pics have inspired me on an eBay hunt. I'm just such a sucker for classic computers :)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:56 pm 
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I have a HP 200LX. It's a outstanding pocket computer. The PIM apps are one of the best ever written.
I'm also mad about Vintage Computers
Best regards


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:08 pm 
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If you're a sucker for vintage computers, you might like to know I have two Toshiba T1200 laptops sitting around. One with dual floppies and a reflective screen and the other with a 20mb hard drive and a backlit screen.

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Last edited by AlphaKilo470 on Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:39 am 
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that was the gold old days of HP, my neighbour use to have one of these, man it costs like $3000 AUD back then or something.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:28 pm 
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AlphaKilo470 wrote:
If you're a sucker for vintage computers, you might like to know I have two Toshiba T1200 laptops sitting around. One with dual floppies and a reflective screen and the other with a 20mb hard drive and a backlit screen.


Wow. Does it still work?

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Now: T60 2613-EKU | T23 2647-9NU | 600X 2645-9FU | HP 100LX
Past: X31 2673-Y13 | T41 2374-3HU | T22 2647-AEU


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:48 pm 
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Both still work! The dual floppy model with reflective screen has one bad disk drive and they keyboard is rather mushy and uncomfortable to type on but can still function and boot to DOS. The model with a hard disk and backlit screen functions perfectly. Keyboard is incredible, screen is nice and it boots to DOS and Windows 2.1 without fail; I even use it from time to time just for kicks. Both have batteries that last about five minutes.

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ThinkPad 600X (2646-D3U): 500mhz Pentium III, 320mb RAM, 13.1" XGA, 12gb, Win 2000 Pro SP4
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:41 am 
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Wow another one like me, I've just got a HP 200LX 3 weeks ago, its perfect to keep a schedule and phone numbers at hand.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:00 am 
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Just noticed in one of your pics that you have what appears to be the padded carry case for an HP 48 series calculator. I used to own a 48SX in high school and used a 48G in college (geeze graphs were roundabout to enter into the 48SX). Best graphing calcs ever made, IMO.

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ThinkPad 600X (2646-D3U): 500mhz Pentium III, 320mb RAM, 13.1" XGA, 12gb, Win 2000 Pro SP4
Hewlett Packard 95LX: 5mhz NEC V20, 512kb RAM, MS-DOS 3.2


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:08 pm 
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This is really interesting, I was looking at a HP 200LX yesterday that I could pick up for about $5.- Hemmed and hawed and finally walked away.. Think I'll have to stop back tomorrow!

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:23 am 
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this thread reminds me of good old memories ;)

I am keeping an eye upon the the Pyra ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DragonBox_Pyra ), this might be a good palmtop also.

The Pandora ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandora_%28console%29 ) is interesting also but if I want to surf on facebook or gmail 512MB might not be enough (how come I ve become some spoiled when I was so happy with my 1MB HP100LX in the times :P ;) )

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 3:31 pm 
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Oldtimer topic but it have awakened my memories.
Long time ago... before notebook era began for me. This small black boy have appeared in my family.
PIC: http://postimg.org/image/om70vn2u7/

I dont remember why it happend, but it is still with me. I haven't powered it on for years. And after reading this topic i have found it (except the stilus - it was here but goes somewhere)... and it can't say anything - it won't power on. Good thing that it powers by 2 AA batteries. Bad thing it have plastic chassis and it is damaged. I'll try to disassemble it and fix it. But now it is completely useless. Any modern smartphone have more firepower than it. Battery life was not very good in these times. No modern apps can be find. I remember that i have found browser for it and it grab all free space and said that i need modem to go to the internet (this boy have only 1 COM-port + 1 Compact Flash port + 1 IrDa (i have transfered files from notebooks to it but T601 frankenpad have lost IrDa) ).

But it black like a real thinkpad ;)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:41 am 
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gator wrote:
I bought a HP 100LX last week from one of our forum members and good friend Yak (brainpicker) and absolutely love it. It was made by HP as the name suggests and it one of the very early palmtop computers (circa 1994!). Even to this date the 95/100/200 LX models remain remain really popular for thier extensive DOS compatibility - infact, the 100LX runs an almost full version of DOS 5.0.


At one point I too was quite curious about palmtop PCs, and I bought not just one but two HP Jornada 720s back in 2007 and 2008. But I didn't like the fact that they ran a crippled version of Windows, Windows CE. Also, at 75% size, the keyboard was too small.

Sony came up with a much improved line of palmtop PCs, the P Series. These were essentially netbooks that ran regular Windows and had nearly full-sized keyboards, except that they were just slim enough to be pocketable. I have had this P Series since Feb 2014:

Image

At just 1.23 lbs, this pocketable PC has become my preferred travel companion. Unfortunately, the P Series was discontinued a couple years ago because it sold poorly -- few people were willing to shell out $999 to $1,499 for a glorified netbook.

Just a couple months ago, a CNET editor wrote an article saying he wished palmtop PCs still existed. Many readers commented, most of whom said there's no need for palmtops because we now have tablets. But I disagree, because having a mechanical keyboard is important for productivity.

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Last edited by pianowizard on Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 12:57 pm 
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pianowizard wrote:
But I disagree, because having a mechanical keyboard is important for productivity.
Do you know Poqet PC ? Just imagine a device with such great keyboard and current hardware ...

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:11 pm 
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Puppy wrote:
Just imagine a device with such great keyboard and current hardware ...


You mean, like the Sony P Series?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:03 pm 
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This is not a PDA, this is a little palmtop PC ;)

I have 95LX (2), 100LX (2) and 200LX and LOVE them!

I also have IBM Palmtop PC 110, Poqet PC (2) and Toshiba Libretto 50CT, also GREAT machines.

As for real vintages, I recently acquired Epson HX-20, IBM Convertible, Toshiba T1000 (3), Toshiba T3200 and IBM L40SX (2)

I guess this is a REAL disease... Collecting vintage computers, I mean :)

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:30 am 
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Nice machine :)

I have a HP iPAQ 114, a Dell Axim X51v - both repæaced by a HTC HD2

I have also had some pocketable computers, being a OQO 01+ and a Fujitsu F-07C. The OQO 01+ was a great machine, but short batterylife (on its later days) and slow hardware made me sell it.. it didnt have a use anymore.
The F-07C is nice, one of the best thumb keyboards. Built in cellphone, was a nice feature too. But i hardly find a use for it anymore due to poor batterylife (2-3h), lack of functionality (no internet on the phonepart outside Japan, no bluetooth on the computer part, no full size USB port) and the 1.2GHz processor is too slow with only 1GB of RAM.

What i really want is the F-07C with Windows Phone, Windows 8, Full size USB and a Bay trail processor - but palm top PCs are dead :cry:

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:39 pm 
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Hello,

I say "Nice one, sir!" For some reason it reminds me writing some basic SW on a Sharp PC-1500 at school ("Stop playing with it! Hand it over! You will get it back at the end of the Year!") and then transfering it to Sharp MZ-800 at home ... good old times ;-)

Brgds,
M.


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