Philadelphia Area HP Handheld Club Meeting

Saturday, May 18, 1996 - University City High School

Lab I/O for HP Calcs

Third party manufacturer Firmware Corp. (widely known for its overhead display devices for HP calculators) has announced its intentions to produce a serial I/O device for the HP38 and HP48. This will work like Texas Instruments' Calculator Based Laboratory ("CBL"), being able to make readings on analog voltages and transfer the data back to the handheld. Prototypes have been shown to teachers at the recently-held National Council of Teachers of Mathematics annual conference in San Diego. This release may be due to the common knowledge on how well the TI CBL is selling amongst students and teachers in high school and undergraduate college. Look for additional details in upcoming EduCalc catalogs and in this column as information becomes available.

Big RAM Upgrades for HP200LX and HP1000CX Palmtops

The Japanese company which last year devised a way to replace the internal crystal in HP palmtops in order to double the clock speed has done it again. This time, they have invented a reliable RAM enhancement for HP200LX and HP1000CX models which can increase internal memory up to as high as 6 megabytes. Inside the 1-meg HP200LX and HP1000CX units, there is space for a daughter board for additional RAM chips. And, inside older 2-meg 200LX's, there is a 1-meg daughter board plugged into the 1-meb motherboard. This enhancement replaces the daughterboard with a version containing 4 meg of RAM, bringing the capacity up to 5 meg. In addition, the newest HP200LX models contain 2 meg on the motherboard - and these can be brought up to 6 meg with the addition of this same 4-meg board. Cost is around $499., but for those needing every byte they can get, it's a steal. Check out an article on this process in the most recent issue of the Palmtop Paper.

HP Handheld/Palmtop Conference in 1996

Finally, the plans have been firmed up for an HP conference this year. To be held in Anaheim, California on August 24-25th, "HHC '96" as it is called will most likely consist of two tracks of presentations - one for professional end users and one for technical enthusiasts. Participation by Hewlett-Packard representatives is likely, and the hotel facility will support groups up to 200 in size. This should be another in a long line of interesting gatherings for HP users and HP freaks alike.

Second Coming of the HP Handhelds Guide Book

Last Summer, Wlodek Mier-Jedrzejowicz released his little book, "A Guide to HP Handheld Calculators and Computers", featuring the history of every HP machine whose product number ranged from 01 to 99. Wlodek assured us that if his first run of 300 or so copies sold out, that he'd do a second edition which was bigger and better. Well, that is about to come to pass. It looks like we'll see the newer edition before the end of the Summer. Many errors have been corrected and additional photographs have been promised in this version.

HP95 Trade-Up Program

If you have an HP95 which is either gathering dust or does not quite fill the bill, then Educalc's new program for trading up to an HP200LX may be for you. For as little as $299., on can trade in an old HP palmtop for a new 200LX model. Varying prices allow trades from HP95s or 1-meg or 2-meg HP100LXs to 1-meg or 2-meg models. The full details appears on Educalc's WWW site at

Palmtop Paper on CD-ROM

Thaddeus Computing, the publisher of the Palmtop Paper has recently announced its "Palmtop Paper CD Info Base", a CD-ROM disk containing the articles of the last 27 issues of the Palmtop Paper, plus all the freeware and shareware referenced in those same issues. The disk is indexed for quick searches and looks like it should be a boon to those just getting on the HP palmtop bandwagon. The disk currently sells for $99.00.

And Then There Were Three...

In the past few weeks, we learned that both the San Francisco Bay area and Seattle Area HP Handheld user groups had folded up shop due to lack of continued interest. That leaves only three groups remaining from the old PPC glory days. The Southern California CHHU/PPC group, the Chicago-Area CHIP group and our own Philadelphia Area group are all that remain. The month of August will mark our 18th anniversary, and as long as Hewlett-Packard continues to crank out interesting handhelds, I suppose we'll continue on in some form or another.

HP42S Calculator Going Going Gone

As HP announced last fall that the HP42S production had ceased, the supply of their only HP41-compatible, traditional RPL machine begin to dwindle fast. Educalc stopped advertising it a few months ago, but our own Jim Lawson of Handi Calc managed to acquire a few hunderd from a distributor. As of the middle of May, supplies of those were under a few dozen, and by the time you read this, there probably will be none left. That's just another move by HP Singapore which has us old-timers scratching our heads.

New Omnigo Model in the Fall?

The May 20th PC Week contained an article about new manufacturers' support for wireless communication in handhelds, and it mentioned that Hewlett-Packard would be announcing a second-generation Omnigo organizer product around September. This is the first article that I have seen mentioning any new products for 1996, except for the currently on-hold U.S. intro of the Omnigo 700, which marries the 200LX palmtop with a Nokia cellular phone. I suppose we'll know much more by the time the August HP conference rolls around.

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