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HP 200LX: Benefit of memory upgrades?

drmadison
drmadison Page Icon Posted 2022-05-13 1:55 AM
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So I recently got my HP 200LX. Absolutely adoring the little thing so far. I'm curious what is the purpose of the RAM upgrades you can get for it? Is it just for a larger RAM drive?
The XT can't actually use more than the 640k of RAM can it? I'm honestly trying to remember back to the days when I ran an XT machine and if EMS/XMS was a thing back then or not, and searches online are giving me mixed results... Besides, since this is technically a 186 (somewhat between 8086 and 80286... but real mode only I guess?) I'm not sure if that changes anything from the DOS side.

Appreciate any insight here.

Cheers!
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2022-05-13 6:53 AM
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Hmm... Not sure of the real benefit since I don't own a HP 200LX, but some people have upgraded to 128MB of DRAM.
I read that the DRAM (RAM area) is used as C drive in 200LX. I guess other people know more about than I do. I believe it has something to do with speed.

Japanese page of 128MB DRAM upgrade: http://home.r03.itscom.net/forestar/Powerd128M.htm (Site 1)
Some more information here: http://home.r03.itscom.net/forestar/128MB.htm (Site 2)

"Two DRAMs on Side A of the board are 32 MB, and four DRAMs on the same side are 64 MB. Two DRAMs on Side B on the back side are 96 MB, and two more DRAMs on the back side are 96 MB. Two DRAMs on Side B on the rear side
The goal is to achieve double-speed operation, but the guarantee is not yet achieved. The goal is to achieve double-speed operation, but this is not guaranteed.

The components are DRAM (13165), NAND logic IC (ALVC00PW), INVERT logic IC (ALVC04PW), pass-controller (104), and 36-pin connector.

The circuit boards are for the old and new 200LX, but the tantalum capacitors on the mother board and the DRAM may interfere with each other even in the 100LX, so if you move them around, you can use them in the 100LX as well.
If you move the DRAM, you can use 100LX with the maximum capacity of 96.5MB. However, it seems that an older version (Ver1.0) of the driver is required." - quoted from Site 1

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Edited by stingraze 2022-05-13 6:58 AM
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michelbel Page Icon Posted 2022-05-13 11:22 AM
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Ram upgrade can be used in different ways. The initial use was just more C: drive as ramdisk.

But there are programs to use part of that ramdisk as LIM/EMS expanded memory. And some programs, especially Software Caroussel (SC), can also us part of the ramdisk as as swapout memory. I myself have a 32MB 200LX setup to use 5MB as expanded memory for SC.

Have a check at the description at SUPER at http://mizj.com : check the EMM100, EMM200 and EMM240 and the Times2Tech drivers for TechSpeed and TechRAM upgrades.

So yes, you can have only real mode programs, but those supporting expanded memory can profit from extra ram on the LX.

Also maxdos is a useful program that can use EMS. It is a swapper to allow large dos programs to run on the LX by swapping out other programs to ramdisk or EMS .

Michel
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drmadison
drmadison Page Icon Posted 2022-05-15 9:48 PM
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Awesome, really appreciate the info!
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hipacky Page Icon Posted 2022-05-31 11:57 PM
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Quote
michelbel - 2022-05-13 7:22 AM

Ram upgrade can be used in different ways. The initial use was just more C: drive as ramdisk.

But there are programs to use part of that ramdisk as LIM/EMS expanded memory. And some programs, especially Software Caroussel (SC), can also us part of the ramdisk as as swapout memory. I myself have a 32MB 200LX setup to use 5MB as expanded memory for SC.

Have a check at the description at SUPER at http://mizj.com : check the EMM100, EMM200 and EMM240 and the Times2Tech drivers for TechSpeed and TechRAM upgrades.

So yes, you can have only real mode programs, but those supporting expanded memory can profit from extra ram on the LX.

Also maxdos is a useful program that can use EMS. It is a swapper to allow large dos programs to run on the LX by swapping out other programs to ramdisk or EMS .

Michel


Did you really manage to get EMM200 working? I never could. It always gives me the same error that the swap file is not contiguous, and after some research online, I found out that no one from a thread could get it to actually work, getting the same error.
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