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Where does your Windows CE Interest Come From?

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roychanyl Page Icon Posted 2020-02-27 7:03 AM
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I've been hooked with mobile devices since the 80s, my first WinCe device being a Sharp Mobilon 4500 (a used item I purchased off eBay in the 90s) did not come by easily because the product wasn't marketed in Malaysia. My then electronic data device was a Sharp Wizard with expansion slot for proprietary cards.
The Wizard lasted quite a long time until it brokedown and I went searching for a replacement on eBay… in order that my collection of Sharp proprietary ICs continue to be of service.

Then I came across the WinCE thing and did some homework looking for a suitable device… bumping into the mobilon. I was so fascinated with the product form factor and functionality… that I continued expanding my collection… an HP Jornada 721 (without the phone jack and modem)? Both the Mobilon and 721 died due to the LCD screen wearing off as well as the plastic casings disintegrating.

My current CE devices are 1/ A Sigmarion 1, 2/ Sigmarion 3 and a Sharp Brain running CE. NET6.

May try to get an HP 320lx, 728. and 200lx in the future.



Edited by roychanyl 2020-02-27 7:04 AM
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HPC:Fan Page Icon Posted 2020-03-28 10:31 PM
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I've always been interested in small devices with hardware keyboards. In my younger years, calculators were my thing. Then in the 90's I started noticing handhelds in various shapes and sizes. I loved the idea of a portable computer. And at the time, my Pentium 100mhz computer felt ancient seeing pocket computers running at 75mhz and offering full color internet browsing.

However, I've always been a fan of the Psion 5 series. Would play with it every time we went to Office Depot among the countless other devices they had.
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ntware Page Icon Posted 2020-03-28 10:53 PM
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HPC:Fan, if you loved the Psion series, you must check out the Gemini. This is a modern clone of the Psion series 5. I have one running Linux and absolutely love it
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HPC:Fan Page Icon Posted 2020-03-29 12:13 AM
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I'm aware Nt, it's been a device I'm on the lookout for! Lost my income so a little difficult to get one right now. But someday!
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joval Page Icon Posted 2020-03-29 7:09 PM
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So what started it all? back in 1983 the pc became popular with the first edition of windows 3.0...with limited 3 or 4 color cga graphics. But almost from the get go many of us wanted something we could carry around like those HP scientific calculators of the late 70's.

A decade later, all that was available in low energy portable displays were these greenish tinged reflexive (no backlighting) by 1992. The first so called "portable computer" I saw was around 1984...it was the size of 2 briefcases stuck together...maybe it was a Compac...it was a heavy sucker with maybe a 5 or 6 inch crt display and it had to be plugged in wherever you took it .

Sometime in 1992 I found this Zeos I am presently typing on...it cost a small fortune, 600 bucks I think..back when a dollar was worth 3x as much as today at that. The keys are ike typing on marshmallows...super spongy...so it is easy to miss a letter here or there. it's basically a DOS pc running off two AA bateries...and has micrososft works on it...which in retrospect remains pretty functional for simple things.

I was disappointed in the Zeos for the price...mostly because I didn't have the extra cash to buy a memory card which were really expensive as I recall...without the memory card you could only save internally and I was always dismayed how if the Zeos just sat around for a few weeks the batteries would run down, including the backup 2032 coin cell...and numerous times I lost all my profound ideas because I learned about this weakness too late.

Nowadays, I know this is the case and I managed to inherit an old 1 meg scram pcmcia card (from my younger brothers defunct Apple Newton)...it too has a battery inside...some odd ball size a bit smaller than a 2032...but I just force fed it a 2032 anyway...it bulges out a bit...but it brought the old mem card back to life and now I have reliable storage that should go a couple of years or longer. And That makes a world of difference.

The Zeos is about the size of a Nec MP900...with a similar size screen and it has two pcmcia type 1 slots on each side. The screen contrast is adjusted by a small wheel potentiometer on the side. I mean to say looking back at how well this thing works I am a bit amazed of its utility today. But I was tainted by all the color graphics VGA etc and all going on on desktops and so this thing was moth balled. Palm pilots and pda's sort of took over the market and I remember struggling with the poor handwriting conversion functions of those.

I distinctly remember the first day I read somewhere that microsoft was going to enter the field with its WinCE operating system. This seemed sometime just after the major browser wars were coming to an end...with Microsoft pretty much destroying Netscape by giving away free browser software everywhere...buy a copy of PC magazine and a CD with MS explorer was included free. Netscapes cash flow disappeared...and slow death ensued.

So, in similar fashion, seeing as WInCE was announced I remember telling myself that shortly the Palm OS would be killed off my monster Microsoft...which indeed did happen.

I also recall buying a Psion3a I think it was...in San Francisco after a sales rep showed me how to type on it using my thumbs. But, much like the Zeos, I did't fork out the cash for a memory card and REPEATEDLY lost all my files because it too chewed up the batteries just sitting round...psion memory cards were not cheap either...but very necessary. Syncing with a desktop just never worked for me, alas!

In the early 2000's I remember going to various work related conferences and seeing these great looking color screened HP Jornadas...maybe the J680...and I was impressed and really wanted one, but at a price of 1000 dollars or so I just couldn't manage to buy one. AT somepoint I did acquire a new J680 but I never liked it much, too slow, too quirky. Somewhere around 2007 I found HPCFactor and things changed esp with CMonex's itemize site too. Also, used J720's started showing up and a picked up several for a few hundred bucks...I had to repair broken ribbon cables(the famous lines on the screen defect) or a faulty screen connector connection. Most were easy fixes and I really got into them for a while...I bought wifi cards on the cheap and even learned to set up a wep network...back in those days you could actually cruise the internet slowly with the J720

But the onslaught of Android tablets washed the jornadas and mobile pros into the background...and they were moth balled for around 10 years. It wasn't until 18 months ago when my son Jonathan took a Web design class that taught HTML, CSS, etc.and I got involved helping him. It was then that I realized I could snuggle up with my little HPC's to write useful code for the outdated html 4.0 browsers..and a rebirth of sorts for my numerous HPC's began ...with no end in sight at that!
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joval Page Icon Posted 2020-03-30 2:30 AM
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Sorry about the above excessively long post...I just got to typing on the old Zeos and couldn't seem to stop!!! I just found this review on it: http://www.oldcomputers.net/zeos-ppc.html and am rather amazed I remembered the price.

Also, WinCe didn't kill off the Palm OS really...I would say it was the Iphone and Android smart phones that did it (which also did in WinCe ,IMO) esp with all those free apps.
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2020-03-30 2:54 AM
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Thanks for the post.

I never heard of Zeos Pocket PC before, looks really good for something in 1992. The PC Card with 1MB made me smile. (My first SD card was a 32MB, about $22.00-$23.00 back in early 00's

There are (more accurately "were") so many DOS mobilers in Japan who likes the HP LX series. (Japanese enabled version etc.)
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2020-03-30 5:57 AM
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joval - 2020-03-29 11:09 AM

So what started it all? back in 1983 the pc became popular with the first edition of windows 3.0...


That's giving Microsoft a little too much credit. Windows 1.0 was introduced in November of 1983.
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joval Page Icon Posted 2020-03-30 8:53 PM
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Thanks, CE Geek: yes, "first edition" was Windows 1.0 not 3.0...but release date was (drum roll....) November 20, 1985, in response to Apple Macintosh GUI...(according to WickedPDA). You may take a bow but remember: Partial credit only for fact checking... by one of or perhaps even maybe what some would call "The Greatest Geek to roam the hallowed halls of HPCFactorVille!" Fabled Lord of the 12 Gazillion posts...even the name has a "special something" about it.
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