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HP 200LX or ? to Learn Programming & Other Uses

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ArchiMark Page Icon Posted 2020-05-01 3:34 PM
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Since my laptop dual boots Win 10 and Manjaro Linux, do you think it would be worth installing DOSBox in linux and trying?
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Jake Page Icon Posted 2020-05-01 3:55 PM
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Don't know about DOSBox on Linux. Maybe worth a try.

Jake
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ArchiMark Page Icon Posted 2020-05-01 4:58 PM
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Ran CPack in DOSBox in linux....

As soon as I open Filer, I get same message as before about LapLink Remote Access is currently active.

I don't have serial cable connected to laptop.

I went in Communications > Remote Access and set port to COM2. Then selected OK.

Got Error message window popped up saying:

Cannot open communications port:
communications port defaulted to COM1

Seems issue is related to LapLink Remote automatically starting with COM1 and thus no other connections can be used.

So, needs to be some way to not have LapLink Remote auto-start when opening CPack and Filer.


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ArchiMark Page Icon Posted 2020-05-01 5:04 PM
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Perhaps there's some pertinent info here:

http://ahmet.semih.tripod.com/hp200faqs.htm

Unfortunately, I don't have enough knowledge to determine if the info needed is there and if so, how to implement.....
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ArchiMark Page Icon Posted 2020-05-01 10:59 PM
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Well, some progress at least.....

Managed to get CF card working after much reading online at various sites.

1. In DOS, used fdisk100 A: to partition CF card.

2. Then used Format A: to format card.


CF card then recognized OK.

Then copied some programs to card in my laptop and then put CF card in 200LX and Voila! the files showed up in Filer.


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Jake Page Icon Posted 2020-05-02 2:49 AM
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Well, that's one thing off your list

Jake
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ArchiMark Page Icon Posted 2020-05-02 3:39 AM
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Yes, indeed!

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Mjolnir Page Icon Posted 2020-05-02 11:15 AM
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Congrats, nice work.
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ArchiMark Page Icon Posted 2020-05-02 11:39 PM
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Thanks!

Now, need to spend some time exploring the various programs built-in as well as third party.....



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ShadowMaster Page Icon Posted 2020-05-07 7:51 PM
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I have a 200LX, and while I don't use it that often anymore, it was one of the main devices I used back in my university years.

I always loved DOS, so there was already a collection of software I used often, and it was cool to use the exact same software I used on my desktop computer on a handheld device.

The 200LX was perfect for writing notes and reminders, and it was also great for organizing my phone and email contacts (back when the only option was to store contacts in the phone's SIM with very little space for things other than phone and name). I also heavily used Derive, which is a DOS CAS (Computer Algebra System) akin to Mathematica, Maple, Maxima, etc. I used it as an aid to understand and play around with different concepts from Calculus and Algebra (and I didn't have a powerful graphing calculator like the cool kids).

I also did a lot of coding on it (mostly on QB and TurboC). Sure, it wasn't as comfortable as coding on a computer, but it was great for the many times I wanted to play around with algorithms and ideas (I eventually ended up coding a couple of complete apps on it, though).

Nowadays I use it mostly as a serial console/terminal, and as a somewhat powerful graphing calculator (again: thanks to Derive).

Having said that... if your needs are anywhere near mine, BUT you have access to a more modern handheld PC, then I'd say it makes no sense to get a 200LX.
Any WinCE handheld will probably be a way better organizer than the 200LX, for starters, and they would give you internet sync/backup capabilities.
For math/calculus and code, yes, there's a *very* limited selection of HPC apps that would allow you to write code on the device or solve math problems on it (they exists, but there are not many), but you can always run PocketDOS on HPC/PPC and have access to Derive, TurboC, TC++, QB, VB for DOS, and what have you. All in full color and with "mouse" support out of the box (fun fact though: You can connect a serial mouse to a 200LX, because the serial port is pretty decent and standard, but it's definitely not a pleasant experience).
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Jake Page Icon Posted 2020-05-07 8:43 PM
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The 200LX is certainly a relic, and ShadowMaster's arguments against its purchase in the modern day, for the modern user, make a lot of sense. But in these idle times, I was able to twist the device to meet my needs (this does not account for the superior screen/keyboard/general hardware of any decent H/PC).

The 200LX meets these needs:

1) syncs with Outlook (both Appts and Contacts)

2) has a MS Word 97-compatible word processor with full manuscript syntax (smart quotes, em dash, ellipsis, etc)

3) can share databases with HanDBase

4) has email

5) has RSS Reader

Essentially, it does everything I need in my J-720--without the Jornada's elan or speed, of course. On the other hand, the 200LX does rock those 2 AAs

Jake
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ShadowMaster Page Icon Posted 2020-05-07 9:32 PM
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Jake - 2020-05-07 3:43 PM

4) has email

5) has RSS Reader



Out of curiosity, how are you connecting it to the internet? I remember doing some experiments back in the day, but I doubt that any of what I did back then would translate to modern internet options (unless I can find a dialup internet provider and a land line).
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Jake Page Icon Posted 2020-05-07 10:16 PM
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With WWW/LX (email and an impossibly outdated browser), you could use an ethernet card, and I have made a GPRS/IR modem connection to an old Nokia. But the IR connection breaks to the point of unusability.

So I use MochaPPP and serial connection to the desktop--email and RSS are slow (38400 baud), but consistent, so you can start downloading your stuff, leave the room, and come back later when it's done.

I haven't yet figured MochaPPP outside of WWW/LX, meaning I haven't yet figured out MochaPPP and DOSLynx, for example. But browsing with DOSLynx when tethered to a desktop is too arcane even for me

Jake
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ShadowMaster Page Icon Posted 2020-05-07 10:35 PM
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Jake - 2020-05-07 5:16 PM

With WWW/LX (email and an impossibly outdated browser), you could use an ethernet card, and I have made a GPRS/IR modem connection to an old Nokia. But the IR connection breaks to the point of unusability.

So I use MochaPPP and serial connection to the desktop--email and RSS are slow (38400 baud), but consistent, so you can start downloading your stuff, leave the room, and come back later when it's done.

I haven't yet figured MochaPPP outside of WWW/LX, meaning I haven't yet figured out MochaPPP and DOSLynx, for example. But browsing with DOSLynx when tethered to a desktop is too arcane even for me

Jake


I see. Swapping my 48MB flashdrive for an ethernet card would be a tad too limiting for me, so I wouldn't consider that an option.
MochaPPP is something I've used in the past with other handhelds so I guess it's 100% an option.

However, I see there's room for improvement in this whole "vintage internet" thing , so I think I'll play around with a few ideas I have, and will report back if I manage to find a better way to connect to internet from a 200LX.
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Jake Page Icon Posted 2020-05-07 10:41 PM
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Ooooh. I'd be most interested in any of your approaches. And yes, the ethernet card was a non-starter for me, for the same reasons as yours. WWW/LX is now freeware, by the way. Let me know if you need the *.cfg for its Mocha specs.

Jake
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