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HP 200LX or ? to Learn Programming & Other Uses

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ArchiMark Page Icon Posted 2020-04-22 4:50 PM
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Thank you, HG, for taking the time to share all this great, helpful info.

Definitely sounds you make good use of the 200LX and get your money's worth out of it!

Really tempted to get one of these for fun and use....



If I do get one with a CF card, I really don't need to use the serial cable, correct?

And besides some good rechargeable batteries, don't need anything else for it, correct?

Mark
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Alt Bass Page Icon Posted 2020-04-22 5:18 PM
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ArchiMark - 2020-04-22 4:33 PM

Thank you for your input, C:Amie. Good points....

Should have explained earlier that I have taught myself some programming over the years; C, C++, Java, and Python. However, consider myself a beginner still as I've just learned the fundamental concepts and written some very simple programs. Never written a 'real program'.
Basic is a huge downgrade from every such language.
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ArchiMark Page Icon Posted 2020-04-22 5:31 PM
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Alt Bass - 2020-04-22 9:18 AM

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ArchiMark - 2020-04-22 4:33 PM

Thank you for your input, C:Amie. Good points....

Should have explained earlier that I have taught myself some programming over the years; C, C++, Java, and Python. However, consider myself a beginner still as I've just learned the fundamental concepts and written some very simple programs. Never written a 'real program'.


Basic is a huge downgrade from every such language.


Understand, thanks....that's why I wrote 'BASIC or other language' in my original post...



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HPC:Fan Page Icon Posted 2020-04-22 6:08 PM
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ArchiMark - 2020-04-22 11:50 AM

If I do get one with a CF card, I really don't need to use the serial cable, correct?


Correct.

Quote
ArchiMark - 2020-04-22 11:50 AM
And besides some good rechargeable batteries, don't need anything else for it, correct?


Correct. I would recommend some sort of reading light, though. There's a utility out there that helps keep track of the battery state better than the built in app. If I can find it, I'll link it.
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H2OGuru Page Icon Posted 2020-04-22 6:09 PM
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Hi ArchiMark,

I use my 200LX daily but I have some needs specialized to me that may not apply to others.

1. I use it for notes. I am a pen and paper guy too (little spiral bound notebooks are cheap and pocketable) but I also like being able to type up simple text files in the Memo application on the device. Then if I need to, I can transfer them over via the CF card and go further (edit/add to or email to myself and others).

2. I like the Memo to do distraction free writing at my desk or anywhere. (I have a wife and kids and needless to say I spend a lot of time waiting on others and the 200LX is there to use in my hands thumbtyping (I'm a big guy) or at a table if available. Being monochrome, I can usually read it but I do wish I had the back light sometimes.

3. I am old-school guy and the first spreadsheet I used was Lotus 123. It is available there in the ROM and I have a ton of Lotus 123 worksheets that I still use. So specific to me. If it turns into a spreadsheet that I want to develop further, I can pull it into excel and proceed to the modern world. I don't do this often, but I think I may have to open into a copy of Excel for Windows that I have on the 200LX in Windows 3.0. It's there if I need to do that trick but otherwise rarely use.

4. I really like that it will go up to a month on a couple of AA batteries. I love my Jornadas and Mobilepros and they have their uses in my life of retro computing. But sometimes I would find myself in a meeting with a low or dead battery (my battery packs are not what they used to be - like me :-)) But in truth, compared to modern laptops weights, my HPCs are heavy to lug around for what I get. If I am willing to take something that heavy along, I just take my netbook or laptop. The 200LX is always powered up and ready to go and I will keep spare pair of AAs in my pack.

5. When I travel, I use it on the plane or train, I use it as I described before (MEMO or Lotus), some DOS games, and for reading some stuff I have downloaded from Project Gutenberg (Scifi stories etc). Plenty of room to work on a "tray" and plenty of power.

6. I still use mine as an organizer (though less so as my phone has gotten smarter over the years). In truth, most of my use (even typing up notes and simple spreadsheets) falls in this category or helping me organize things before I move on to expanding the work. Most of this is the "task view" of the built in calendar app coupled with MEMO.

7. I don't really program that much anymore so I can't comment on that.

8. I use a 256MB CF card with mine. I have found that size a nice balance between speed and having enough storage space.

9. There are lots of good DOS apps that are free (Word 5.5, MS Works (posted here recently), and many others. I use a test editor called PE20 (I believe is the name) that is a little more versatile compared to MEMO.

There is probably more I do but that is my most common use for the 200LX.

HG
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ArchiMark Page Icon Posted 2020-04-22 6:26 PM
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HPC:Fan - 2020-04-22 10:08 AM

Quote
ArchiMark - 2020-04-22 11:50 AM

If I do get one with a CF card, I really don't need to use the serial cable, correct?


Correct.

Quote
ArchiMark - 2020-04-22 11:50 AM
And besides some good rechargeable batteries, don't need anything else for it, correct?


Correct. I would recommend some sort of reading light, though. There's a utility out there that helps keep track of the battery state better than the built in app. If I can find it, I'll link it.


Thank you for your input and suggestions.

Yes, if you find the utility, please provide info.

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ArchiMark Page Icon Posted 2020-04-22 6:27 PM
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H2OGuru - 2020-04-22 10:09 AM

Hi ArchiMark,

I use my 200LX daily but I have some needs specialized to me that may not apply to others.

1. I use it for notes. I am a pen and paper guy too (little spiral bound notebooks are cheap and pocketable) but I also like being able to type up simple text files in the Memo application on the device. Then if I need to, I can transfer them over via the CF card and go further (edit/add to or email to myself and others).

2. I like the Memo to do distraction free writing at my desk or anywhere. (I have a wife and kids and needless to say I spend a lot of time waiting on others and the 200LX is there to use in my hands thumbtyping (I'm a big guy) or at a table if available. Being monochrome, I can usually read it but I do wish I had the back light sometimes.

3. I am old-school guy and the first spreadsheet I used was Lotus 123. It is available there in the ROM and I have a ton of Lotus 123 worksheets that I still use. So specific to me. If it turns into a spreadsheet that I want to develop further, I can pull it into excel and proceed to the modern world. I don't do this often, but I think I may have to open into a copy of Excel for Windows that I have on the 200LX in Windows 3.0. It's there if I need to do that trick but otherwise rarely use.

4. I really like that it will go up to a month on a couple of AA batteries. I love my Jornadas and Mobilepros and they have their uses in my life of retro computing. But sometimes I would find myself in a meeting with a low or dead battery (my battery packs are not what they used to be - like me :-)) But in truth, compared to modern laptops weights, my HPCs are heavy to lug around for what I get. If I am willing to take something that heavy along, I just take my netbook or laptop. The 200LX is always powered up and ready to go and I will keep spare pair of AAs in my pack.

5. When I travel, I use it on the plane or train, I use it as I described before (MEMO or Lotus), some DOS games, and for reading some stuff I have downloaded from Project Gutenberg (Scifi stories etc). Plenty of room to work on a "tray" and plenty of power.

6. I still use mine as an organizer (though less so as my phone has gotten smarter over the years). In truth, most of my use (even typing up notes and simple spreadsheets) falls in this category or helping me organize things before I move on to expanding the work. Most of this is the "task view" of the built in calendar app coupled with MEMO.

7. I don't really program that much anymore so I can't comment on that.

8. I use a 256MB CF card with mine. I have found that size a nice balance between speed and having enough storage space.

9. There are lots of good DOS apps that are free (Word 5.5, MS Works (posted here recently), and many others. I use a test editor called PE20 (I believe is the name) that is a little more versatile compared to MEMO.

There is probably more I do but that is my most common use for the 200LX.

HG



Hi HG,

Did you mean to duplicate your prior post or ?

Mark
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H2OGuru Page Icon Posted 2020-04-22 7:11 PM
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Nope - victim of a spotty internet connection. I will delete extra if I can but the Admin is welcome to do so if I cannot.

Past time to edit - please delete duplicate if possible.

Sorry for the trouble.

HG

Edited by H2OGuru 2020-04-22 7:16 PM
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ArchiMark Page Icon Posted 2020-04-22 7:40 PM
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H2OGuru - 2020-04-22 11:11 AM

Nope - victim of a spotty internet connection. I will delete extra if I can but the Admin is welcome to do so if I cannot.

Past time to edit - please delete duplicate if possible.

Sorry for the trouble.

HG



No worries, HG.....

Just wanted to make sure it wasn't a copy and paste error, etc....I've done that before....




Mark
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Jake Page Icon Posted 2020-04-28 8:40 PM
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I picked up a 200lx to keep me occupied. The keyboard is tough, compared to any H/PC, and the screen is what it is, but the battery life is indeed hellacious, and overall, the machine is pretty wondrous, given its ancient heyday.

Things I managed to get going:

1) Outlook calendar/contacts easily convert and send to 200lx. There's a desktop program that even syncs, but I'm too nervous for that

2) NewDeal 3.2a takes about a minute to load from compact flash, but its word processor is worth the wait--smart quotes, em dashes (and all other manuscript syntax), true conversion back-and-forth with MS Word 97. Hard going at first without a mouse, but it can be done, or you can use a DOS mouse

3) CPack runs fine in DOSBox so you can swap files, etc without putting wear and tear on the fragile cf slot

4) built an ad hoc rss reader with Palmtop's WWW/LX email program, a full-text feed builder, https://blogtrottr.com rss-to-email, and WWW/LX-and-mochaPPP internet connection. The serial connection was hard to figure out and the baud is only 38400, so 80 full-text news articles takes about 10+ minutes. But the connection is solid, you can leave it communing with itself and carry on with your quarantine in another room.

I unearthed my Nokia 9300 and Ericsson T39, went on-line via infrared/gprs, but the HP has lousy IR, and the connection is always eventually dropped, and quickly. It's not just me; I found a lot of complaints. The Palmtop's IR is nothing compared to the H/PC or Psion. There's an IrOBEX program but it's beta and not very good--file swapping has to be done through a cable or compact flash, though I guess you could email attachments.

http://www.mizj.com/ This is THE software site and anything commercial is now freeware. Even WWW/LX. Get it while it's hot.

It takes a long time to make things run the way you want them, but I haven't stopped marveling at all the work that users put into this thing. They were as cultish as we are.

Jake

Edited by Jake 2020-04-28 8:50 PM
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ArchiMark Page Icon Posted 2020-04-28 8:55 PM
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Hey, Jake, perfect timing!

My lil' 200LX just arrived a half hour ago....

Was in midst of reading up on using it, when I noticed your timely and very helpful post!

Yes, very cool lil' pocket computer....feels very solid and retro, in a good way.

How did you convert and send Outlook info to the 200LX?

Will check out NewDeal and CPack....

What are you using to get online?

I will post any useful info, once I use the 200LX for a bit.....

Thanks,

Mark
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Jake Page Icon Posted 2020-04-28 9:17 PM
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Go to that software site I mentioned and you'll find all the programs I use. To get on-line is tough--start with WWW/LX and work your way through the freeware activation. And find your MochaPPP, if you have it lying around. Then I'll post my www.cfg

Oh, and get the CPack here:

https://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-4044.html

Jake
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H2OGuru Page Icon Posted 2020-04-28 9:20 PM
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I have to echo the question of how did you convert and send outlook information to the 200LX? That would be neat to have and something I have never done.

I know I need to look at New Deal - it sounds neat. Just gotta fins the time...

Thanks, Jake. Good information you have.

HG
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ArchiMark Page Icon Posted 2020-04-28 9:20 PM
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Thanks, Jake!

My question about getting online was meant about what hardware, if any, besides 200LX are you using to do it....
ie, serial cable to PC or modem card in PC slot, etc......



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Jake Page Icon Posted 2020-04-28 9:36 PM
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Re: internet hardware. There are several ethernet cards that work with the Palmtop, the least obscure is the Soho ND5-120. I actually have a Soho that I use with my J720, but haven't tried it with the Palmtop. The rub is, you need the pcmcia slot for compact flash. IR is too flaky, so serial-to-mocha-desktop is the only viable connection I found.

Re: Outlook software. Let me see if I can upload the two programs. One worked well with appointments (the other not so much) and one worked with contacts. One can be found at mijz--just search for "outlook."

Jake

Edit: okay, it looks as if C:Amie is very kind to uploads--thank you, Chris. I found the desktop ol2lx-0.6 good for appointments and the desktop OL2LXinst good for contacts. OL2LXinst complained about a corrupt Outlook calendar file; I never found out why. I also have not done any syncing.

J

Edited by Jake 2020-04-28 9:48 PM




Attachments
----------------
Attachments OL2LXinst.exe (124KB - 2 downloads)
Attachments ol2lx-0.6.zip (137KB - 2 downloads)
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