PACS HP Handheld SIG News - January 18, 1997

HP Handhelds Web Page Goes Up

Finally, I have been able to put up a Web page for the HP Handhelds SIG, under the name of our alter ego, the Philadelphia Area HP Handheld Club. The purpose of the page is to announce the upcoming meeting dates and topics, and to assist in getting more HP handheld information out to those who desire it. One aspect which is still under construction, is an archives of the monthly HP SIG articles, going back to the early PAHHC days. So far, all the 1992 through 1996 articles are there, and more are being added every day. Based on the printed handouts from old meetings, we should be able to eventually have material there going back as far as 1980. Check out the Web page at and please send me some feedback. Nearby to this page is: (1) a page containing dozens of interesting handheld-related Web links at, (2) a page devoted to all the HP related events and conferences which are available on videotape, located at and (3) a page promoting the HP16C Emulator Library for the HP48 calculator, located at Also, recently added is Jim Lawson's Handi Calc price sheet for those looking for an HP calculator or accessory. Find this at

Windows CE HPC Machines All the Rage

It appears that many of the folks who regularly post on Usenet News in the comp.sys.palmtops and comp.sys.handhelds areas have either run out and purchased one of the recently-announced HPC machines, or plan to soon. The Casio units (called Cassiopeia A10 and A11) were first in the stores, and it looks like the Compaq (which is a relabeled Casio) is second.

The Philips Velo unit, with its built-in 19.2 Kbps modem has currently intrigued the group the most, although I don't know if it has actually gone on sale yet. Hewlett-Packard's pre-announced unit is not scheduled to be ready until late Spring. Richard Nelson from EduCalc mentioned recently that it is their intention to carry at least three different company's HPC models. Right now that looks like Casio, NEC or Philips and Hewlett-Packard.

A recent posting in comp.sys.handhelds indicated that the NEC Mobile Pro is now on the street and this user gave it high marks for including the AC adapter and docking cradle as part of the standard package, rather than charging extra. He also felt that the NEC unit ran a bit faster than the Casio, from head-to head comparisons. The major negative point was that the NEC unit has no LCD backlighting. I have not heard very much lately about the status of the Hitachi or Lucky-Goldstar models.

Perhaps there will be more information at the 1997 Winter Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early January. Besides the individual manufacturers' own booth is touting their hardware, Microsoft is scheduled to have a booth with space dedicated to the products supporting the Windows CE operating system. (Check out the CES press release at for more details.)

One additional recent happening: In the latest issue (V5N6) of the HP Palmtop Paper in Hal Goldstein's "User to User" column on page 6, he announced that Thaddeus Computing would be publishing a magazine supporting the HP Windows CE machine and "possibly other Windows CE devices." Don't expect anything for a good while, since HP's offering is still months in the future. The HHC '97 conference (assuming it will still be held later in the year as planned) should be an interesting one.

Speaking of the HHC '97 Conference...

Just recently, I spoke with Dave Shier about the upcoming HHC 97 handhelds/palmtops conference later in the year. He declared that it's out of his and Hewlett-Packard's hands this time. HP suggested since Windows CE would be in the spotlight, that Microsoft should perhaps be the host of the next affair. So as of now, the event will still be in the San Francisco bay area, but be in the June timeframe (rather than in May, like previously proposed) and be sponsored formally by Microsoft and Thaddeus Computing, rather than Hewlett-Packard and Shier Systems and Software. HP will probably have a presence, but may share the spotlight with the other HPC hardware vendors. By then, the Spring COMDEX/CES show in early June will have taken place, and all the hardware and many of the third-party software vendors will be well established.

Omnigo World Pub is No More

It appears that the recently-received fourth issue of 1996 for Thaddeus Computing's Omnigo World magazine (dedicated to HP Omnigo 100/120 organizers) is the last. An accompanying letter with the issue stated that they would be ceasing the publication due to low subscription sales. The letter also mentioned their new upcoming rag, Handheld PC Magazine, starting up in the middle of the year. The HP Palmtop Paper will probably continue as long as there are folks dedicted to using the HP95/100/200LX units.

Intel, Moto, DEC, Others Jump Into Windows CE Fray

In a recent issue of PC Week, it was announced that many new CPU manufacturers would be jumping on the Windows CE bandwagon. This includes Intel (with its very-low-power 486 "hummingbird" chip), Motorola (with a version of its Power PC for handhelds), DEC (with the same StrongArm chip which powers the new Apple Newton MP2000) and others. A great many possibilities open up with these events.

Consider that the Newton could then run CE on its platform and the Windows CE box with the StrongArm chip might be able to run the Newton OS. One might also assume that a Windows CE With the Intel 486 chip would then be also compatible with older DOS and Win 3.1 software, making it much more versatile in the marketplace.

What is currently known about the Hewlett-Packard Windows CE Unit:

Release date currently supposed to be around April '97
Model one Model two
$499. $699
2 meg RAM 4 meg RAM
not backlit backlit
no docking cradle comes with docking cradle + connectivity software
both have 1 PCMCIA + 1 Compact Flash card slot
both have serial, IR, AC adapter ports
both have 640 by 240 touchscreen mono LCD with 4 levels of gray
both run on 2 AA batteries, 20-40 hours per set
both have ROM upgrade port
both come with a stylus


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