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Getting Into Handhelds Again

MissingMyHandheld Page Icon Posted 2021-04-11 6:35 AM
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Hello!

I owned an HP Jornada 720 from 2007 until 2014 or 2015, when I gave it away after the screen suffered an accident. The device was one of my favourite computers: it was lightweight, fit in cargo pockets, was nice for distraction-free reading (via basic HTML or .txt files), and basic MS Word/Outlook work. My Jornada was even a nice mp3 player!

Over the years, I keep thinking how much I miss my good ol' Jornada. These days I'm just looking things up about them. Recently, I saw a Youtube video where Palmtops came up. Oh, I can't believe I forgot about them! The model that I found really interesting was the HP 320LX because it's running Windows CE and uses AA batteries.

What are some recommendations that you have for a handheld running on AA batteries? I'd prefer running CE, don't mind monochrome displays, and would mostly use it for basics like Word, reading .txt/.html files from Project Gutenberg, etc. It'd definitely be a "light duty" machine if I'm sick, traveling, or just need something during extended power outages (hence AA batteries).

Thanks for hearing me out! I hope to get another CE device someday!
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Mjolnir Page Icon Posted 2021-04-11 11:57 AM
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Welcome to the forum. I don't use my 360LX all that much but I enjoy knowing that it runs on the same rechargeable AA batteries I use in some of my other devices, mostly 'pocket' or headband flashlights.
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Richard Plume Page Icon Posted 2021-04-11 3:15 PM
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MissingMyHandheld - 2021-04-11 1:35 AM

What are some recommendations that you have for a handheld running on AA batteries? I'd prefer running CE, don't mind monochrome displays, and would mostly use it for basics like Word, reading .txt/.html files from Project Gutenberg, etc. It'd definitely be a "light duty" machine if I'm sick, traveling, or just need something during extended power outages (hence AA batteries).



First of all, welcome. You're going to find a ton of information about H/PCs here.

I few years ago I wrote the following about greyscale H/PCs: https://www.hpcfactor.com/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=16157&st...

Also, you might want to check out this more recent thread: https://www.hpcfactor.com/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=20045&st...

Hope this helps...

Rick
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MissingMyHandheld Page Icon Posted 2021-04-11 11:55 PM
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Thanks for your welcomes, Richard Plume and Mjolnir!

Richard, your resources were helpful! In particular, I liked your comments about the solar charger for batteries. They're less wasteful than run-of-the-mill disposables; moreover, they're viable year-round where I live (southern US). How has your experience been using them and may I ask what solar charger you use?
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Richard Plume Page Icon Posted 2021-04-12 1:37 PM
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MissingMyHandheld - 2021-04-11 6:55 PM

Richard, your resources were helpful! In particular, I liked your comments about the solar charger for batteries. They're less wasteful than run-of-the-mill disposables; moreover, they're viable year-round where I live (southern US). How has your experience been using them and may I ask what solar charger you use?


I still use Eneloop and Sony CycleEnergy batteries in my small computers. As for solar chargers, I've had a couple over the years, but one that I keep coming back to is very small and holds 4 AA batteries at a time with the panel forming the cover. It fits in your pocket and does a good job charging the batteries (sorry, I don't have a photo of it at the moment as it's packed away with the camping gear). I don't have any problems running off the recharageable batteries. I don't get the run times of Lithium AA batteries, but I haven't bought and new batteries in years. I also have a lot of them and cycle through them. I also use Powerex MH-C801D charger to charge and condition the batteries when I'm home. Also, I just bought a Go Power 100W DuraLite portable solar charger for a travel trailer (Helio 02) which we also just bought so we can now run everything off solar...

Rick
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ddickenson Page Icon Posted 2021-04-14 7:29 PM
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I still have my old Compaq C120 that I picked up “new” back when. The quotes are because the only way I could afford it at the time was that it was a Best Buy display model that they were selling off!

I actually just recently picked up a 200LX and a Jornada 690 (in a happy turn of fate I won both of them for cheap compared to the market)

I’ve had other CE handhelds since the Compaq (which uses AA) but no other palmtops till now.

I do know that my old Compaq and probably the old HP use v1 of WinCE so I’m not sure where that might/might not limit you. I know that ActiveSync is a non-starter on any recent windows and that Windows Mobile Sync or whatever the follow-on app was doesn’t recognize my old device (despite the fact that I still have a good shape and presumably working serial cable) I’m guessing I’m either missing some drivers or the new app was just made for the older versions of CE/Win Mobile.

Anyway I don’t know what I’ll find with the Jornada when it gets here but I expect it might be at least usable with a windows 7 box using mobile sync but I’d look around for compatibility and what you’ll be able to do with an old CE device. I’m actually somewhat more excited about the DOS handheld than the windows one at this point!
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mikeschn Page Icon Posted 2021-04-14 9:31 PM
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ddickenson - 2021-04-14 2:29 PM I’m actually somewhat more excited about the DOS handheld than the windows one at this point!


The 200LX is a fun machine. I still have one sitting here. Do you have any specific plans of what you want to do on that, or are you just going to "play"?

Mike...
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MissingMyHandheld Page Icon Posted 2021-04-20 4:52 PM
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ddickenson - 2021-04-14 1:29 PM

I still have my old Compaq C120 that I picked up “new” back when. The quotes are because the only way I could afford it at the time was that it was a Best Buy display model that they were selling off!

I actually just recently picked up a 200LX and a Jornada 690 (in a happy turn of fate I won both of them for cheap compared to the market)

I’ve had other CE handhelds since the Compaq (which uses AA) but no other palmtops till now.

I do know that my old Compaq and probably the old HP use v1 of WinCE so I’m not sure where that might/might not limit you. I know that ActiveSync is a non-starter on any recent windows and that Windows Mobile Sync or whatever the follow-on app was doesn’t recognize my old device (despite the fact that I still have a good shape and presumably working serial cable) I’m guessing I’m either missing some drivers or the new app was just made for the older versions of CE/Win Mobile.

Anyway I don’t know what I’ll find with the Jornada when it gets here but I expect it might be at least usable with a windows 7 box using mobile sync but I’d look around for compatibility and what you’ll be able to do with an old CE device. I’m actually somewhat more excited about the DOS handheld than the windows one at this point!


I agree—ActiveSync is definitely a non-starter. I felt that was the case for my old Jornada because I jumped ship for Win8 after release.

I'd like to use it during power outages, since it'll work with AA batteries, for basic office applications. An immediate use would be drafting emails then saving them to the CF card. Older games (e.g., Solitaire) wouldn't be ruled out, either.
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Jake Page Icon Posted 2021-04-20 9:44 PM
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WMDC, with a .msi patch, will sync a Jornada 72* with Win10 and Outlook 2010 (or below). That may not fit w/ your own Outlook version, but those specs will work.

Jake
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