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Remote Desktop - PCAnywhere

ntware Page Icon Posted 2020-08-03 10:35 PM
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Hi friends,

After seeing so many posts here about monochrome HPCs and Windows CE 2.00 I decided to give it a try. My first HPC was actually a Cassiopeia A-11 with WinCE 1.0 when I was a kid. However, once I switched to the Jornada 72x I never went back to those earlier machines.

Now that one of my kids broke my dear J720 by throwing it down the stairs (he is 2, but it still made me a bit mad) I decided to go with a different device. So I bought an HP 320lx with the WinCE 2.0 upgrade ROM. I found a really good deal on eBay, the device is in perfect shape, not even a scratch!

While I waited for it to arrive, I started researching what to do on a monochrome Windows CE 2.0 machine with an SH3 processor. It turns out that there is a lot to do with it. My Aironet 340 card that I was using with my J720 is compatible with the 320lx, great! Then I found this quite interesting piece of software called PC Anywhere. This could enable me to do awesome things with my new toy. I could use it to connect to a Windows NT 4 box, and then VNC in to a modern Linux box, and from there the sky is the limit. I got really excited with this but then... my device arrived and it didn't seem that straightforward.

First, I had a lot of WiFi issues. Turns out that WinCE2.0 doesn't know TCP/IP very well. Got me a bit of fiddling around on the forum to find the awesome HPC Factor network service pack for CE 2.0. After installing that, it was a breeze, I was online with my Aironet. Of course I had to create a guest open WiFi just for the Aironet, but that's fine.

Then the next step was installing PC Anywhere on my device. I did my first try on a Windows NT 4 virtual machine, just because I find Windows 95 too buggy. The install went fine, but in the end it was asking for H/PC Explorer. I don't want to install that, so I skipped. I was hoping to find a .cab file somewhere on the install dir, but all I could find was a bunch of .exe and .dll with the CPU architecture at the end of the file, like pcaw.exe.sh3 or pcaw.exe.mips. I copied all the sh3 files over to my compact flash card, removed the .sh3 extension at the end, placed all the DLLs on the /windows directory and boom, PC Anywhere was running on my HP 320LX just fine. Last step was installing PC Anywhere Host on my NT box. Installation went fine, I launched the host application, it was listening on 192.168.0.46. I launched the CE version on the HP 320lx, created a new connection, selected TCP/IP, put the 192.168.0.46 IP address on the box, hit connect and... it didn't work!

At first the connection seems to go right, it finds the host, and I get a quick notification on the Windows NT 4 that someone is connecting (so I know it is not a connectivity issue), but then after a while I get a message on the CE saying "Incompatible host program". I tried different versions of Windows (Windows 95, Windows 2000), and different versions of PC Anywhere. I started with the PC Anywhere CE Host that came on this link: https://web.archive.org/web/20161230152341/http://velo.8k.com/ . Then I moved to PC Anywhere 32 both versions 7.5 and 8.0 on the PC. I couldn't get it to work on any combination of those. Ultimately I downloaded PC Anywhere from here (HPC Factor downloads) which comes only with the CE software, not the host. I hard reseted my device and installed this one as a last try, and still the same problem persists.

Has anyone had any success in setting up PC Anywhere? Any hints? I would really like to use this program!


Thanks!
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ntware Page Icon Posted 2020-08-05 7:41 PM
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I tried all different sorts and combinations of PC Anywhere (I even tried on Windows 3.11) without success. This is quite frustrating...but isn't this frustration our fuel to keep wanting to play with those ancient toys?

My last resort is to try their installer through H/PC Explorer. I just ordered a USB-serial cable to do that and will report back once it arrives. Any hints on how to proceed with H/PC Explorer? Will that work with WinCE 2.00? I remember playing around with H/PC Explorer for my WinCE 1.0 device, but I don't remember if Microsoft switched over to Activesync on WinCE 2.00 or WinCE2.11. Any recommended OS to have that installed on? So far I have Windows 3.11, Windows 95, Windows NT4, Windows 2000 and Windows XP at my disposition.
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Jake Page Icon Posted 2020-08-05 11:06 PM
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I assume you put your two-year-old up for immediate adoption, best to nip these things in the bud

Seriously, though, I can't remember anything about PC Anywhere other than it was hugely cool, and I only used it with the J720. I'm posting to ask about your usb-serial adapter. They're a fiddly bunch, and need that dreaded FTDI chipset. This one has held me in good stead:



Do these specs ring a bell with your own purchase?

Jake
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2020-08-06 12:31 AM
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H/PC Explorer only works with CE 1. Windows CE Services replaced it for CE 2.0, though ActiveSync is compatible with CE 2.0 forward. See here for details:

https://www.hpcfactor.com/support/cesd/s/0021.asp
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ntware Page Icon Posted 2020-08-06 2:04 PM
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Quote
Jake - 2020-08-05 6:06 PM

I assume you put your two-year-old up for immediate adoption, best to nip these things in the bud

I almost did that! But then I thought of this as an opportunity to get a new toy, or in fact two! The same day I bought the 320lx I also bid on a new (new like open box new) Jornada 720. From the pictures it seems to be in pristine conditions! I kept watching the final moments of the auction and ended up getting it for just $140. It was a bargain for a new device like this, so I’m happy! It is going to arrive on Saturday. I’ll let you guys know how “new” it is once it arrives.

Quote
Jake - 2020-08-05 6:06 PM
Seriously, though, I can't remember anything about PC Anywhere other than it was hugely cool, and I only used it with the J720.

On the J720 I rather use Remote Desktop. It is officially supported and works great on any Win2k or WinXP box.

Quote
Jake - 2020-08-05 6:06 PM
I'm posting to ask about your usb-serial adapter. They're a fiddly bunch, and need that dreaded FTDI chipset. This one has held me in good stead:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BUZ0K68/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_...

I got the Chinese variant (PL2303). I had issues with this chip in the past due to bad written drivers, but I think they have the thing sorted out now. I have a bunch of ESP8266 cards with this and they work fine now. Hopefully there will be a driver for that that works on NT4 or Windows95. If not, I’ll install it on my host and just forward the serial port to the VM.
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Jake Page Icon Posted 2020-08-06 2:34 PM
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Sounds as if you have matters well in hand, and congratulations on an in-coming J720, and maybe an out-going two-year-old

I can't find my J720 serial cable anywhere and can't blame it on my own two-year-old since she's twenty-five and married. I've really wanted to test my usb-serial adapter with the J720--works fine with Psion and 200lx, but I can't yet vouch for the J720.

Have fun on Saturday,
Jake
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ntware Page Icon Posted 2020-08-08 1:54 AM
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They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So here are two thousand words for you!


All I have to say is VICTORY!.

Indeed, by following the correct procedure, everything worked as expected. It turns out that PC Anywhere CE needs a few registry entries, probably to determine the version and some other things. By installing it through ActiveSync, it the installed made all necessary changes and the software worked as expected. And Jake, the FTDI Chinese counterpart really gave me some trouble. I couldn't find a driver for Win95 or NT4. The solution was to use a Windows 2000 VM, and even then I had some trouble finding the right driver. Finally I figured out that the Windows XP driver also worked on Win2k. If I had gotten one of those true FTDI cables, I would have been golden. Win2k gave me some trouble because PC Anywhere CE Host is not compatible with it. But I managed to install ActiveSync 3.0 (I wanted to try the earliest version first, which is closest to the timeframe of when PC Anywhere was released), and indeed it all worked great. Even though the host software didn't run on Windows 2000, the HPC installer did run fine, and called ActiveSync as expected. Once the software was on my HPC, I just booted my other NT4 VM with the correct PC Anywhere host version, and everything worked out as expected.

My last words are: I wish PC Anywhere had a .cab distribution. It would have made everyone's life a lot easier. I don't like having to establish partnerships using a serial cable to install software. Usually I keep all my .cab installers on a CF card, so that if my HPC hard-resets for any reason, I can immediately reinstall everything from the card. Well, everything but PC Anywhere. But that's ok...



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(WhatsApp Image 2020-08-07 at 8.44.05 PM.jpeg)



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Attachments WhatsApp Image 2020-08-07 at 8.44.05 PM (1).jpeg (90KB - 9 downloads)
Attachments WhatsApp Image 2020-08-07 at 8.44.05 PM.jpeg (86KB - 3 downloads)
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Jake Page Icon Posted 2020-08-08 5:41 PM
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Well done. Yes, those FTDI chips can be a nightmare--much complaining in the Psion forums about usb-serial adapters not working with PsiWin.

If you're installing PC Anywhere with ActiveSync, isn't there a directory in Windows that extracts the .cabs and stores them? Either that, or you click on Install, then decline actual installation, which leaves the .cabs intact in Windows. I forget how it worked--that's sad in itself--but do poke around in the ActiveSync directory or search a help file here.

Perhaps somebody with a better memory (CE Geek?) will post the exact procedure.

Jake
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ntware Page Icon Posted 2020-08-08 7:37 PM
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I’ve done that before several times, but in case of PC Anywhere there is no .cab. They have a custom made installer that copies files and tweaks registry on the fly. I’ll double check now that I have ActiveSync installed to be sure.
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Jake Page Icon Posted 2020-08-08 10:48 PM
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I am just guessing that the .cabs are in the ActiveSync directory; they may well be stored elsewhere. You might have to do a tedious *.cab search of the C: drive.

Jake
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Mjolnir Page Icon Posted 2020-08-09 8:12 PM
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Just for a lark d/l and installed Pcanywhere on my 360lx



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Attachments 20200809_131854.jpg (97KB - 0 downloads)
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ntware Page Icon Posted 2020-08-10 8:44 PM
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I can confirm that the PC Anywhere ActiveSync installer generates no .cab file. All files are scattered around inside ActiveSync\HPC_Applications folder with .mips or .sh3 extensions. The installer runs some sort of script that copies the correct files over to the device (either .sh3 or .mips) and makes the registry changes by itself. If I can figure out which registry changes are made, I may try to create an installer in .cab format just for ease of use. I hate when my HPCs fail on me and need a hard reset when I'm on the go. In that case I wouldn't be able to install PC Anywhere again until I sync back with my PC using the serial cable, which sucks!
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Jake Page Icon Posted 2020-08-10 9:12 PM
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There's some pretty good backup programs, even for CE 2.0, that can run independently of desktop/AS/etc. They even have a self-extraction tool, so you can restore all programs/files after a factory reset.

But bummer about no PC Anywhere cab file. I wonder how/why the developers designed it that way.

Jake
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2020-08-11 2:15 AM
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Presumably to accommodate CE 1, which didn't support CAB installation.
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