Philadelphia Area HP Handheld Club Meeting | Tuesday, March 10th, 1998 | Drexel University
Educalc May Be Coming Back
I recently received a press release from Megha Shyam stating that his da Vinci Technologies company would be resuming the Educalc activities around the beginning of March. Apparently they will be concentrating on the calculator sales and shying away from the palmtops, which have reached the mass marketeers. Here is an exerpt:
February 6, 1998
I am enclosing a press release for the HPCC club in Philadelphia through you. I have sent a similar message to Wlodek in the past few days. The acquisition of the calculator and software business from EduCALC is now complete. There are still a lot of bugs to be ironed out and we should have a catalog ready by mid March.
PS: I am discussing the possibility of a cooperative hire for Richard Nelson; things are moving slower than I would like, but hopefully before the end of february we should have a resolution.
CORVALLIS, OR January 26, 1998: Senior officials at da Vinci Technologies
Group, a privately held company 18 month old company in Corvallis announced
today the completion of the acquisition of a major portion of the mail
order catalog business from EduCALC Corp., based in Laguna Niguel,
California effective January 1, 1998. For over 20 years, EduCALC has
provided a unique service to its customers by offering a wide range of
support and service for a world wide audience. The product offering in
EduCALCs catalog included a large selection of calculators from a variety
of manufacturers, application software from a well established of
developers in a variety of disciplines, hardware for expansion of
functions, and software for professional tests, software to link
calculators to Personal computers, and specialized educational software to
assist technical professionals taking Professional Engineer tests in all
the fifty states. The purchase will relocate some of the EduCALC personnel
from Southern California to Corvallis. Financial terms of the transaction
were not disclosed.
With this acquisition, da Vinci Technologies Group, Inc., expands to a
activities to the next phase as a unique source where software is
developed within the company and offered directly to the end user via its
catalog, or through a distribution channel in over 400 college bookstores
in US and Canada. The first issue of the new catalog is expected to be
available by mid-February. The company was begun its operations in August
1996 upon acquiring Sparcom Corporation of Corvallis. Da Vinci is the
major developer of application software for hand held calculators
manufactured by Hewlett-Packard and Texas Instruments. Their products are
sold in most college bookstores where advanced graphing calculators are
sold. Da Vinci engineers specialize in the development of application
software for students and professionals in engineering (electrical,
mechanical, civil, environmental, chemical), math and statistics, science
(physics and chemistry). The company serves the market in Europe, Africa
and the Middle east with the help of a business partner based in Norway.
For many years, da Vinci and its predecessor has been the hallmark of
exceptional quality software development and have OEM relationships with a
variety of large corporations such as Hewlett-Packard, Texas Instruments,
Casio - USA, Computer Associates, Weyerhouser corporation and American
Scientific Computing. For more information, please contact Sales and
Marketing Manager Paul Nelson or Chairman and CEO Megha Shyam at (541)
HP360LX Price Dropped
Hewlett-Packard dropped the price of the 360LX by $100. to $599., keeping the pressure on the rest of the Windows CE manufacturers. If you would rather have a color screen, the 620LX is still available at $899. On the other hand, if you would rather not give up the great HP software in the 100LX and 200LX DOS units, hang onto them because those newer units don't even come close.
Psion First to Support Siemens MultiMedia Cards
At CES, Siemens and SanDisk announced a new plug-in card format called the MultiMedia Card (MMC). This card is only about the size of the original HP41 plug-in modules but will hold up to 32 megabytes of flash or ROM. Recently, Psion announced its support for the MMC format for its future handheld computers and organizers. Due to the MMC's small size and low power requirements, single card slots in today's machines will be able to be replaced by two or perhaps three slots for the MMC. Stay tuned.
HP Announces Its Second Digital Still Camera
HP's second entry into the digital still camera market is the PhotoSmart C20, which supports a resolution of 1100+ by 850+ pixels in its images. This $699. camera stores its data on CompactFlash cards, with a 4-meg card supplied standard. Card densities currently go up to 32 meg. Unfortunately, these cards are too expensive to take a stack of them on a vacation. Perhaps one day they will become cheap enough, but for now I'll stick with cheap rotating-memory cameras such as the Sony Digital Mavica MVC-FD7 which uses floppy disks.
The 1998 Winter CES Images on the Web
For anyone who wishes to see 183 shots from the Winter CES, check out http://www.waterw.com/~jake-s/1998/wcewimag/CESimages.htm on the web. They are divided into eleven categories ranging from video to audio to handhelds and others.
"Rescuing" the HP48 and the HP200LX
Ever since the emu48 PC software became public domain, there has been a low rumbling about porting it to portable platforms. Just recently, two people popped up on the comp.sys.hp48 and comp.sys.handhelds newsgroups to announce that they were in the process of doing just that. First, Jim Anderson has a website (http://www.accessone.com/~blag/emu48ce) to list the progress of his porting the emu48 software under Windows CE 2.0. This will allow porting the HP48 to the HP360 or 620LX, for instance. It looks like the first version will require the machine to be rotated 90 degrees in order to see the keyboard layout, but its a start. I personally would like to see this concept taken one step further and ported over to the soon-to-be-released Palm PCs, which have vertical format and are pocket sized. I suspect that on their 240-by-320 LCDs, the HP48s display and key functions could be squeezed with a little creativity.
The second place where a "rescue" is occurring is at http://www.pyram-id.demon.co.uk/XTCE.html, where an unnamed company seems to be in the final stages of developing a Windows CE 2.0-based emulation of the Intel 80186 processor. This will allow both DOS and Windows emulation on an HPC. They are estimating that it will be available in the first quarter of this year. Perhaps the 200LX emulation will be running on an HP360LX or 620LX near you in the not-too-distant future, should they figure out how to get the ROM images dumped out and onto the target machine. There was no mention of speed or cost at this point. Stay tuned.
CHIP Group Gets a Web Site
Frank Pittel of the Chicago Area CHIP group has started a web site for them its at http://www.xnet.com/~fwp/chip.html. He is putting up an archive of their informative CHIP newsletters, which have been done by Ron Johnson as far back as I can remember.
HP48 Archive On a CD-ROM
The HP48 Archive (http://hp48.ml.org) which maintains probably the most HP48 files and programs as anybody is now offering a new service which should make getting up to speed all the more easy: Eric Rechlin, the sites maintainer is offering its entire contents on a CD ROM disk for only $15.00 plus shipping. For your money you get over 70 megabytes of good stuff. Its amazing to think that even this much only occupies roughly ten percent of a CD disk.
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