Philadelphia Area HP Handheld Club Meeting

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 1994- Drexel University

Spring 1995 Philly CES is Cancelled

Due to a conflict with an electronics show being held in Los Angeles on the same weekend (5/11-13/95) as the scheduled "CES Interactive" at Philly's Pennsylvania convention center, the Electronic Industries Association has decided to cancel the Philadelphia show. Many folks from around this area were looking forward not only to attending a local CES but to meeting the HP handheld users who might be coming in to town from other parts of the country for this event. A special users meeting to coincide with this show had been tentatively planned. The 1995 Winter show will go on as scheduled, in Las Vegas on January 6th to 9th, however. The next Spring CES in the U.S. is planned for Orlando, Florida in 1996.

Dutch Conference A Success

A report on the recently-held HP handheld conference in Holland said that the affair was a success with 49 attendees, including three Hewlett-Packard representatives. Diana Byrne, HP48 software development team leader, Keng Joo Khaw, the new Singapore Division calculator & palmtop honcho, plus a European HP representative each took their turn speaking in front of the group. The latest push for calculators and palmtops seems to be how to price the products so sales will increase. Perhaps we'll see some new pricing structure as a result. Also it was implied that calculator product activity should be bearing fruit again some time next year. Stay tuned.

1995 Minnesota Conference Shaping Up

Craig Finseth reports that details on the planned HP conference in Minneapolis on August 4-5, 1995 continue to firm up. He made his first official announcement of the event on the Usenet newsgroups in October, and more details will be forthcoming. The Palmtop Paper publishers, Thaddeus Computing in Iowa will be coordinating registration activities while Wlodek Mier-Jedrzejowicz (head of London's HPCC group) will be handling the technical speakers and papers. The conference will be held in meeting space in the Mall of America, the largest enclosed shopping facility in the U.S. With several miles of stores and restaurants as well as an enclosed amusement park, there shouldn't be a shortage of things to do or places to eat during the off-conference times.

Sony Introduces a Handheld

The newly introduced Sony Magic Link PDA was released in October to a generally favorable reception. This small book-sized device has a touch-sensitive backlit LCD screen along with PCMCIA port, speaker, 2400-baud modem and 1 meg of RAM comes for $995. The physical unit resembles the still unreleased Motorola Envoy, which includes standard two-way wireless messaging and was scheduled to cost 50 percent more the Sony device. Both use the new Magic Cap operating system and accept stylus or fingertip input. The Sony unit also offers an optional plug-in keyboard for text. It is still unclear whether Hewlett-Packard will enter this market any time soon.

PCMCIA Hard Drive Activity Continues Strong

Two interesting recent PCMCIA hard-drive product announcements should have a significant effect on the small computer market. The first, by Integral Systems, is their introduction of a 1.8-inch, three-platter type-III (10.5 mm thick) hard drive with a whopping 420 megabyte capacity. This practically doubles the previous high-density standard 1.8-inch drive. The second announcement may have an even further-reaching effect: this is Maxtor's release of the very first PCMCIA type-II (5.5 mm thick) drive. Offered in 85 and 121-meg sizes, these could be the first drives to plug into slots in HP's 95/100/200LX-series palmtop machines, of which there are now between a quarter and a half million units on the street.

See You at University City High School

Our new PACS home for our Saturday afternoon meetings looks really promising, and I think everyone else will like it at University City High School as well. If you have any specific HP48 programming issues you'd like to discuss, feel free to give me a call at 856-751-1310 at home or 856-722-6695 at work. I may be meeting with at least one individual early on our Saturday (11/19) meeting date to review some HP48 programming material, so come before 1 PM if you'd like and we'll do some RPL and shoot the breeze.


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