Philadelphia Area HP Handheld Club Meeting
Monday, October 2, 1995 - Drexel University
New HP Omnigo Organizer
As of October 3rd, the new Hewlett-Packard Omnigo organizer product is to be introduced at Telecomm '95, a large electronics show in Geneva, Switzerland. This unit, according to all accounts, is a scaled down 200LX-Palmtop package physically, but contains a 16 megahertz CPU (double that of the 200LX) and adds touch-sensitivity to the 240-by-240 pixel LCD in the upper half of the package. The operating system is Geoworks 2.0, which replaces MS-DOS 5.0 and all the built-in applications were allegedly developed in-house. An optional wireless comms package for the Omnigo will restrict its availability to outside the U.S. initially, due to the lack of a single standard digital wireless comms standard here. Price is rumored to be in the $300-400 range for the standard unit. More details will no doubt become available very soon.
Texas Instruments' TI-92 Looms Large
On or around November 1st, TI will finally release the TI-92 advanced calculator. This box incorporates interactive algebra and calculus a la Derive along with 2D and 3D graphics, interactive geometry, progammability and more in a largish 5 by 8 package for around 200 bucks. Educalc says they should have units in possibly as early as the last week in October. This machine is targeted for advanced high-school and undergrad mathematics education. Although it cannot expand, it does have two-way I/O capability and around 70K of user-accessible RAM for programming, solving, plotting, etc.
As the relatively new HP38G becomes more popular with schools and students, Hewlett-Packard has promised to release more information and tools for this calculator. At the HP conference in August, for instance, Jim Donnelly (Software team member from HP Corvallis) memtioned the SYSEVAL address for the "MEM" (available free memory) function which was inadvertently omitted from the function set. That address is 535863 (decimal), so the function SYSEVAL 535863 will return the number of free bytes of RAM. Another tidbit which was of great interest was the HELPWITH function, which, when used with any built-in 38G command as an argument, returns syntax information for that command, like a built-in help manual. Other inside info will no-doubt be made available later. A version of the Firmware Inc. overhead display device has now been officially released to service the HP38G school market, with the correct cable and ten-pin connector. This unit will also work with the HP48 series utilizing a second connecting cable.
New Educalc Catalog #69
The latest Educalc catalog has been shipped, and includes new handheld, palmtop and HP notebook products. The cover shows pictures of many relatively new units, such as the HP38G, TI92 and Psion 3a Organizer. A new calculus book for the HP48 series, promised from Grapevine Pubs for months, is now promised in the catalog for delivery this month. The Sharp Zaurus and Apple Newton 120 PDAs are prominently shown in this catalog as well. Now that the Educalc BBS (714-348-8115, 8N1 up to 28.8K) is on line, there is some good info available via that route as well. They will be able to take orders, distribute information and handle user feedback in the near future. One wonders why this service took so long to come into existence.
IBM Japan Introduces a New PDA
As of last week, IBM showed off a new PDA called the Palmtop PC 110, at the PC Expo in Tokyo. From the photo on the world wide web, this unit really looks like a scaled down notebook machine. The under-5-inch LCD is a full-color VGA unit. The whole box is barely larger than the HP200LX but sports a 486/33 along with type-III PCMCIA slot, built-in telephone, modem, pointing device and more. Battery life is lacking, but this first attempt looks promising. This one apparently won't be available anywhere but Japan, however one would think that this will change if the world warms up to PDAs again. More info on the Palmtop PC 110 appears in this handout. Check out the color photo yourself at http://www.ibm.co.jp/jpccinfo/thinkpad/palm_110/.
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