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Jornada 720/728 External Keyboard F1275A


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quinbus_flestrin Page Icon Posted 2012-12-22 1:35 PM
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So I finally acquired a very low-mileage HP Jornada external keyboard.
Put that with Softmaker Textmaker for the Jornada 720, and you've a very useful Word Processor... about the level somewhere between old Word 6 and Word in Orifice 2003. And without my clumsy key-ing on the small Jornada keyboard.

The Softmaker Word Processor and the Keyboard provide just about enough advantage to use the Jornada as a comfortable nearly-portable writing tool. And that's more than I can say about it's stream of successors... keyboards and pocket versions of Word... down the years.
I'd personally hate to try and produce even a short piece on one of our Ameos, using the accompanying keyboard and the Win Mobile 6 version of Word. And on the Tytn II... well, thats never going to happen.

The external keyboard driver program(s) are still available on HP (US, I think it was) as a cab file.
While the installation was easy, the implementation foxed me for a while.
After all, I am a good deal older than even Mr CE Geek. ;-))

Eventually the seller and I... between his faulty memory and my ignorance... sorted it out.

The driver is a TSR (for the younger viewers, that used to mean a Terminate and Stay Resident program) and unless you put it in your startup, it doesn't run. You have to go and run it.
It doesn't appear in the Control Panel... except under the uninstall list.
But it does appear in the HP Utilities.

When you run it you get a screen which informs you that "This application only works with the HP Jornada external keyboard (F1275A)" with a box to tick so it will "Don't Remind Me Again.".
The icon then appears in your system tray. You can enable or disable it by simply clicking on the icon.

Now I don't know about you, but the keyboard was another thing I had to concede to the Mobile Pro 900C, along with the screen, the USB, CE 4.2, etc.

I thought that the Jornada 728 was going to be relegated to the store room, until I tried this combination. I can’t comment on the other element in Softmaker Office, Planmaker, because I’ve had no real job for it just yet. But if Planmaker provides the equivalent functionality to Textmaker, then it completes the very best Office Software requirement that you could expect from the Jornada 72x systems.
And very well worth paying UsedHandHelds for that CD.

Physically the only things to add perhaps are that it has a couple of feet to raise it at the back. One key, tucked out of the way in the top right, which switches the keyboard on and off. Can't imagine why I'd need that, but there you are. The keyboard quick-launch keys are in completely different locations, as are the FN key and there's a Tilde next to the left hand end of the Spacebar. But the really important keys... such as backspace-delete, and Shift... are all where they should be. And even I can get up to a speed with this keyboard.

The soft-padded embossed glove is light and easy to get the keyboard in and out of, but I doubt that it would afford much protection if dropped or sat upon.
Thats about it, except to say that I wish that I'd got one years ago.

I realise that these are rare to find. If you're interested then Googling is probably the way. Mine came from eBay and was (I thought) expensive... for something which only works with something else, and which is itself an anachronism, and years out of date... but not quite old enough for antique status. Then of course I tried it out with TextMaker, and have no more complaints.
I did notice one ad which might help at least one of you, and which came up from a Google using "hp external Jornada 720 keyboard" as the seed. It's in UsedHandHeld's shop on this link... http://www.usedhandhelds.com/hp-jornada-external-keyboard-for-hp-ha...
for $99.
Which is not much different, after exchange rates, to the price that finally I paid.

And I quote from UsedHandHelds online shop...

Product Description

HP Jornada external keyboard for HP Jornada 420/428/680/680e, HP 300LX, HP 320LX, HP 340LX, HP 360LX, HP 620LX, HP 660LX. Does not work with non HP products. This item is used and in perfect condition. Drivers and leather case included.

Unquote.

The Keyboard must have been offered for sale on Amazon (UK) at some time, and I reproduce here, two of their customer reviews which are still extant... although there are no keyboards alas. And as if to underline the inevitably approaching antique status of the Jornada line... note the dates on these reviews below...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B00000J51Z

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth its weight in gold!, 31 Mar 2001
By
LW "lizziewhippet" - See all my reviews
This review is from: HP Jornada 600 Series External Keyboard (Office Product)
A bold claim? If you've struggled along with the on screen keyboard on either of the Jornada palm size units (420/430) this keyboard will make writing a pleasure. Customisable shortcuts (or macros) using the function button take the strain out of adding your address or indeed any oft written lengthy verbage to documents. The build quality of the keyboard is high and it comes complete with a soft leather look-a-like case for protection on the move. Note that with the jornada 430 the driver is already loaded on to your machine and so you can forget the floppy installation disc included in the box. All in all I heartily recommend this item and at amazon's low price, its an essential bargain.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Jordanda Keyboard, 18 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: HP Jornada 600 Series External Keyboard (Office Product)
This keyboard is an example of excellent workmanship. I have had mine for over a year now and I use it all the time; it still hasn't given in! If you find the character recognition difficult to master, then get this keyboard. It may be on the expensive side, but believe me, it is definitely worth it!

If you're ever inclined to think of the Jornada 720 or 728 (or indeed I suppose the 820) badly for their age and inadequacy over modern units, then you only need a week or two working with the original Psion Organiser IIs to cure it.
Solid state prom storage, (as opposed to CF cards) requiring a UV eraser to clear them, is bad enough, but when you discover that most of the ram storage cartridges that you can lay hands on now only work in the Organiser... because the CR2032 batteries inside them have long since died... you begin to appreciate the Jornada more and more.
These cartridges have a CR2032 battery soldered directly to the crcuit board. I've even resorted to trying to solder a CR2032 socket inside the case and fitting a new battery. Out of two I tried, one worked... and even then I had to cut the socket about a lot. Next up was to be soldering one of the smaller AG13 button batteries instead, but I got sidetracked, and interested in something else... you know how it is... at least the retired older ones among you will.

With only four mono lines to the screen (and thats on the LZ64, the highest level unit), and a really different way of doing things, the only thing you can envy them is the built-in language, called OPL.
Now that would have been a real asset to the J72x line... or indeed any other line.

Actually when I think of it, some time ago there was a project to port OPL to the PC.
In fact, dredging even deeper among the dendrites, I recall that it did make an appearance, but only a poor subset of OPL resulted.
I'm sure I've still got it installed on the only units that we have which will still talk to Psion's serial links, an arthritic pair of Toshiba 4010CDTs running Win98SE.
If this fires a neuron or two among the older members, then they may well know more.

QF 22-12-12

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Rich Hawley Page Icon Posted 2012-12-22 2:05 PM
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Cool...how wide is the keyboard?
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quinbus_flestrin Page Icon Posted 2012-12-22 3:33 PM
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Hello Rich,

Width is 24.5 cm, or a little over 9.5 inches.
Depth is 12.5cm, or a little under 5 inches.

QF





Edited by quinbus_flestrin 2012-12-22 3:34 PM
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Rich Hawley Page Icon Posted 2012-12-22 6:05 PM
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Nice size...2-3cm wider than the standard Mobilepro keyboard...
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quinbus_flestrin Page Icon Posted 2012-12-22 6:53 PM
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You know it dawned on me, just after replying to you with those dimensions, that this particular... form factor... keyboard may very well not be as unique as I thought.
Not to the extent of it rivalling a mobilepro of course , but just the bits and pieces you pick up about manufacturers over the years... they do so abhor a vacuum.
I was on my way to do something else completely otherwise I'd have gone and checked...

{note to self: get to the point for heavens sake!}

Well, I wondered if this keyboard is not really little more than a J820 keyboard... at least the matrix anyway.
I've several J820s in store here, and only one (with the memory expansion) that I very occasionally used... for the keyboard mostly... so I'll take a peek sometime and let you know. The keyboard is effectively superceded with this 728 one, so I'll be running the battery down to 70% on this J820 and putting it into cryo. It appears to be the recommended level for storage of these old batteries. I've even had a dead one apart... just to see... but there is no way that I could renew it, even if I had the cells. And there is a full length circuit board in there as well, just to discourage us even more.

I got NSBasic working with the J728.
What an odd idea... you write your prog on the PC, and then run it on the J728 via (in my case) the usb link.
It only works with the dreaded Activesync as far as I can tell, so I pressed a fallow Elonex Netbook (with a native XP on it) into service.

Jornada folks need to take note though... NSBasic no longer works with our Jornadas after version 7.
It's gone all Windoze Mobile, and now works on the mobile itself as well.

I think I'm going to buy it in the new year, and according to George Henne of the NS BASIC Corporation, when I do so I will be given the link to dload version 7 and associated docs, AS WELL as the new version 8!!

QF 22-12-12
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Richard Plume Page Icon Posted 2012-12-22 6:54 PM
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In addition to the HP keyboard, there are two others that work with most H/PCs – the iBIZ KeySync and Newton keyboards.

The iBIZ KeySync runs off three AAA batteries so you won't run down your H/PC power. It also uses the standard sync cable to connect to the H/PC.

The Newton keyboard draws power from the H/PC and needs a small adapter to connect its cable to the standard sync cable.

This is the iBIZ KeySync keyboard hooked up to my Casio PA-2400U-CF.

Rick



(Keyboard.jpg)



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quinbus_flestrin Page Icon Posted 2012-12-23 7:39 AM
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Hi Richard Plume,

Thank you for the photo of the Casio PA-2400U-CF and keyboard. I picked one of those PA-2400U-CFs up (virtually new) a year or two back for just pennies.
I tried it, but could never get it to settle... it kept crashing without notice I seem to recall, and the screen was pretty poor to read. Not having had the benefit of experience with some of the earlier mono systems, I quickly got fed up and shelved it "for another time".
However I did so with some chagrin, and naturally wondered if I was not doing something right until I read a few reviews of it which outlined similar screen problems.

I'd appreciate any hints or tips you might have with regard to this rather unique sysem.

I tried a trawl on eBay for both of those keyboards without success. But I left the trawl for the iBIZ KeySync live... just in case.

Newtons must be pretty rare. There were two on eBay yesterday for well in excess of £300 ($485.12) BIN.
Were they really that good?

I'm going to try to bring in the new (to me) version of PocketDos on a J728 today. I got it to the point where I last got stuck, and naturally could not find my notes from before... it was a while back... 2009 I believe.
I am hoping that the author has ironed out the problem which prevented me from running dBase II last time. I was eventually successful in getting
Turbo Basic to run, but dBase would have none of it. Turbo Basic gives you the power to create your own stand-alone EXE files, which will run under DOS.

And thats probably as good an example of my notion of a software co-operative for Jornada 72x software, as I could get.

I know Turbo Basic was never intended to run on a Jornada. But if you were around at the time when Turbo languages were in fashion, you may recall that they were owned by a big company called Borland. As far as I know, Borland never released Turbo Basic, or for that matter, any other of the Turbo languages that they sold (Turbo Pascal was a big seller for them), to the public domain. Yet you will find Turbo Basic, in both it's incarnations, on most of these Abandonware sites... along with a whole lot of other software that was also prominent in those days.

A plea to the archimandrytes of this erstwhile organ... the forum editor, which I am using now... does not fully function in Firefox. I checked, and it runs fine in Internet Explorer, providing all of the relevant effects and inserting the relevant html codes in the correct places.
Like a lot of other people, I don't use Explorer, except for this kind of thing. For one thing you can't trust it to be secure. And for another, it is written by and maintained by... Microsoft.
Please advise.

QF 23-12-12
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Richard Plume Page Icon Posted 2012-12-23 9:52 PM
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quinbus_flestrin - 2012-12-23 2:39 AM
I tried it, but could never get it to settle... it kept crashing without notice I seem to recall, and the screen was pretty poor to read. Not having had the benefit of experience with some of the earlier mono systems, I quickly got fed up and shelved it "for another time".
However I did so with some chagrin, and naturally wondered if I was not doing something right until I read a few reviews of it which outlined similar screen problems.


I had the same problem with crashes until I installed all the updates. Works fine now. As for the screen, I find it’s better than my MobilePro 700. It also depends a lot under which type of light you’re using it.

Quote
quinbus_flestrin
I'd appreciate any hints or tips you might have with regard to this rather unique sysem.


I can’t really suggest any tips as such. There are a lot of programs that won’t run, because of the odd screen dimensions. However, I’ve found quite a few substitutes for those I regularly use. TextMaker definitely won’t run.

Quote
quinbus_flestrin
I tried a trawl on eBay for both of those keyboards without success. But I left the trawl for the iBIZ KeySync live... just in case.


It’s a nice keyboard and well built, although it's a bit loud.

Quote
quinbus_flestrin
Newtons must be pretty rare. There were two on eBay yesterday for well in excess of £300 ($485.12) BIN.
Were they really that good?


Yes, they were (IMHO). The Newton system has a lot of advantages and still has a very loyal following. However, its one glaring problem is that you can’t take the PCMCIA card, with your data on it, and put it into any other computer and expect to read the data. It won’t work. The Newton system is proprietary.

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quinbus_flestrin
I know Turbo Basic was never intended to run on a Jornada. But if you were around at the time when Turbo languages were in fashion, you may recall that they were owned by a big company called Borland. As far as I know, Borland never released Turbo Basic, or for that matter, any other of the Turbo languages that they sold (Turbo Pascal was a big seller for them), to the public domain. Yet you will find Turbo Basic, in both it's incarnations, on most of these Abandonware sites... along with a whole lot of other software that was also prominent in those days.


Yes, I remember Turbo Basic, Pascal and Borland. My first programming experience was in 1969 on an IBM 360 with Fortran IV. Never liked it that much, but did try to go back to it on an Apple II with Basic. I got a little further and wrote a couple of basic utilities. I would like to try it again on an H/PC. There are some small programs and utilities that I would use if they were out there. Any idea about programming languages that actually run on an HP/PC, that are still available?

(Oops, just read your comments on NSBasic. Any other languages available, like C?)

Rick


Edited by Richard Plume 2012-12-23 10:01 PM
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quinbus_flestrin Page Icon Posted 2012-12-25 10:05 AM
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Richard Plume,
I do beg your pardon for not replying sooner. HPC Factor don't seem to send emails out to tell me that a thread in which I am involved has received a new message.

My first experience of the big old systems was with a Nixdorf data capture system... Hard Disc Drives the size of two washing machines, with each disc in it's own dinner plare sized enclosure, and a console... no monitors then... which looked as though it had been dropped off the Starship Enterprise Bridge, but which was actually a very smartly mounted IBM Golfball tripewriter.
The 2k CPU box was actually as big as two larder fridges, and had spun gold wire around ferrite cores.
Then of course I went upmarket with the college's Prime main and then mini system.
And after all of that, apart from DOS batch files, and a little success with Z80 Assembler, I still can't program worth a light.

I'm not sure about other languages per se. The NSBasic was quite an eye-opener. Especially when it simply accessed the Jornada and updated the system with it's necessary runtime.
A sample program (I'm going to try to get the hang of Visual Basic once again, as even the writers say that NSBasic is but a sub-set) sent to RUN checked the Jornada, ascertained what was necessary, and promptly pumped the files over. Then immediately afterwards it ran the sample program on the now-NSBasc compatible Jornada.

What started me again on this tack was actually PocketDOS... something I got so far with, and then appeared to exhaust the owner's effort at upgrade... it's not been updated since 2009.

The minor update which is still there, may or may not have the KEYB.COM fault that got in my way then, rectified.

When you install PocketDOS everything still goes along nicely via either the Activesync or even the Windoze Mobile thing in 7.
The "fun" starts when you come to follow the tutorial and create boot discs. Having created the special files from 6.22 MSDOS discs, it's also simple to get to the next stage, where you boot from one of these "virtual drive" disc files that you made with the POCKETDOS utility for doing so.
Even the creation of an interim virtual boot disc file goes as detailed.
Where it falls down is when you come to SYS A: B: and get one of those cryptically insolent error messages that you and I must both remember too well, this one to the effect that you don't have enough room on the new drive for COMMAND.COM.

Still thats another Jornada yarn...

But taking the premise that POCKET DOS does everything it should without a hitch, you might then extrapolate this to cover your language query. In recent brief forays into Abandonware sites, I unearthed COBOL compilers... including the Microsoft one, an RPG compiler... something my sorely tried lecturer in progamming said was impossible at the time... and of course Turbo Basic. And I seem to recall passing the Microsoft Basics along the way too... but I can't recall if they were Abandonware or not.
Dear old dBase II is there, as is Battle Chess, Hoyles Games, The Incredible Machine, Wolfenstein 3d... and so on.

From our point of view on the Jornada, it opens up the possibility of using the old languages, which are now apparently available. To be fair, I seem to recall that MS Cobol was available when I needed it, but at a price that I could never have hoped to afford. But the really key issue for me lies with Turbo Basic. Simply because it lets you run and debug whilst you write the code, and it lets you compile it all directly to an EXE file... which will run outside in the cold light of day... provided of course that you run it in a DOS box. I proved the premise a long time ago, with the old Portfolio. Whilst I did write the little program that I made to convert Atari Portfolio Text Editor files to Wordstar, I wrote it in Turbo Basic within the Win98' DOS Box.
Now as far as I can see, there can be precious little difference between the DOS environment we could so easily get to in Win98, and the POCKETDOS environment... especially if it is running MSDOS 6.22.
Certainly there wasn't in the Portfolio MSDos equivalent, as the program (and several others) ran easily.

I even unearthed a Fortran compiler on Vetus (I think) Abandonware site. ;-()

Now having said all of that, I would now rather pay homage to the concept of NSBASIC that I found out about so recently. The more I think on it, the more I like the idea of coding and debugging on a laptop, then trying it out for size when it's complete on the Jornada. If I can get somewhere into it (NSBasic), it should help more than a little with Visual Basic.

I first tried to get the hang of VB when it was in it's very first incarnation... Visual Basic 1... which just show what a quick study I made.
BTW, Visual Basic 6, which I intend to look at first, is still very widely supported... just not by Microsoft.
In fact you can no longer buy it, outside the secondhand market... except apparently for this place {from a Google}, with which I will not deliberately attract moderator censure....

PM me if you want the link... or better still try Google with "Free Download of Visual Basic 6" as a pattern.
On the 2nd page you'll see a link to a Blogspot which is entitled "free visual basic 6 + key - download software gratis"

And the compliments of the season to HPC Factor and all of it's members.

;
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Rich Hawley Page Icon Posted 2012-12-25 1:41 PM
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quinbus_flestrin

At the very bottom of this screen in the window at the far right where it says "Actions"...click on the Toggle e-mail notification...
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quinbus_flestrin Page Icon Posted 2012-12-25 2:03 PM
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Thanks for that little tip. I suppose I'm just used to boards where it is the default.

QF 25-12-12

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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2012-12-25 4:28 PM
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quinbus_flestrin - 2012-12-25 2:03 PM

Thanks for that little tip. I suppose I'm just used to boards where it is the default.

QF 25-12-12



You have no idea how many whingy emails I got that last time I enabled that
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