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comp.sys.palmtops HP100LX Frequently Asked Questions

This posting describes the Hewlett-Packard 100LX Palmtop computer, a tiny PC-compatible machine with organizer software. This file is starting to address the HP 200LX, a new model palmtop which supersedes the HP 100LX.
Archive-name: hp/palmtops-faq
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: 96/01/01

         HP-100/200LX Frequently Asked Questions list.

       Editor: Richard Cochran
This file is and always will be work in progress.  Comments welcome.


Subject: 1. Contents

        1. Contents
        2. How to get this FAQ
        3. Disclaimer
        4. Basics -- What are these HP Palmtops, anyway?
        5. 1MB vs. 2MB models
        6. Hardware and physical characteristics
        7. DOS compatibility
        8. Built-in Software
        9. Add-on software
        10. Programming the 100/200LX
        11. Modems & Telecommunications
        12. Connectivity to desktop computers and other devices
        13. PCMCIA Cards
        14. Batteries, Battery life, AC adapters, etc.
        15. Obscure undocumented tips, tricks, and trivia
        16. Double-speed crystals
        17. Common problems
        18. For more info
        19. HP's future plans
        20. Public Domain
        21. Acknowledgements


Subject: 2. How to get this FAQ

This file is posted to the Usenet groups comp.sys.palmtops,
comp.answers, and news.answers monthly, near the middle (+/- 5 or so
days) of the month.  If this copy is much over a month old, a newer
version probably exists.  Since this document is crossposted to
comp.answers and news.answers, it gets archived at lots of different
ftp sites. Ask your sysop for info on your nearest news.answers
archive, or if there is no nearby news.answers archive, use anonymous
ftp and get


If you have no access to anonymous ftp, send an email message to, subject ignored, body containing

   send usenet/news.answers/hp/palmtops-faq

World Wide Web users may be interested in the hypertext version
of this FAQ.  It's available from the server:


Look for the Usenet FAQ's.  One way to get to this FAQ is to go
through the index by usenet groups through comp, sys, and finally

The html version is automatically generated from the ASCII version,
and thus contains exactly the same information.

Any FAQ that is crossposted to news.answers can be retrieved by ftp,
email, or WWW using similar techniques.  So before posting "Can
somebody send me the FAQ?" to ANY newsgroup, please browse the ftp
archives on or your local news.answers archive.  If you
can't do this, then please follow the netiquette rule of always
reading a group for at least a month before posting.  If there's a
FAQ, it'll probably show up.


Subject: 3. Disclaimer

This file is the work of unpaid volunteers.  It does not represent the
official position of anybody, much less anybody's employer.  It is
likely to be filled with errors.  Mentioning a product or business
does not constitute any sort of endorsement.  If you act on any
information in this file, any damages you suffer are just your tough

This is not intended as a substitute for the 100/200LX manual.  There
are many more useful tidbits located in the manual than will ever be
in this file, and the manual is likely to be more accurate.


Subject: 4. Basics -- What are these HP Palmtops, anyway?

Q: What is the HP100LX?
A: Depending on your point of view, it's either an IBM PC-XT stuffed
into a very tiny case with some Personal Information Management (PIM)
software and Lotus 1-2-3 built into ROM, or it's a high-end electronic
organizer that also runs MS-DOS software.

Q: What is the HP200LX?
A: It's the successor to the 100LX.  It's essentially a 100LX with 
cosmetic changes and the addition of Pocket Quicken, LapLink Remote,
and some feature enhancements for the PIM applications in the ROM.

Q: What is the HP1000CX?
A: It is basically a 100LX/200LX, but without the PIM software in
ROM.  Its only built-in software is MS-DOS.  Hardware is essentially
identical to the 100LX/200LX.  It was originally only available in
lots of 50 or more, made to order by HP, but some places (Educalc, et
al) currently sell individual ones.  It's not targeted directly at
the consumer market.  HP seems to intend for third party
manufacturers to bundle it with add-on hardware/software on a PCMCIA
card for specialized applications.  Contact HP directly for more info.

Q: What's the difference between the 100LX and the 200LX?
A: Pocket Quicken from Intuit has been added to the 200LX.  This is a
limited version of the Quicken financial management software sold for
MS-DOS and Windows.  It does not use the same file format as Quicken
for DOS or Windows. but if you buy the 200LX connectivity kit, you
can share data with the full DOS or Windows version of Quicken. (Like
the 100LX, the 200LX can also run the full version of Quicken for DOS

The DataComm application is faster in the 200LX. It can pretty much
keep up with a 9600 or 14.4 modem.  The painfully slow DataComm
application was a notorious deficiency in the 100LX, so this is a
welcome fix.

The case has changed color.  The keyboard layout has changed slightly,
in order to give Pocket Quicken its own dedicated key.  The labels on
the keycaps have a slightly different, italic, look to them.

The topcard (picture displayed when the machine is turned on, and the
system manager is running, but no apps are yet activated) looks

There is an extra megabyte of ROM (3M in the 200LX, vs 2M in the
100LX).  This is how they managed to add the new built-in software
to the 200LX without deleting any of the old 100LX features.

There is a power-on password feature.

Some extra goodies have been added to the d:\bin drive (in ROM).
Hearts & Bones and Lair of the Squid are two games that are included.
A hexadecimal calculator is also included.

LapLink Remote has replaced the redirector for use with the
connectivity pack.

The appointment manager has a daily pop-up message reminding
users of "to do's" and appointments.

The on-line help has been improved.

The phonebook can present phone and address details in
"business-card" or the 100LX-style "form" format.

Q: What is the same between the 100LX and the 200LX?
A: Most things.  Hardware is virtually identical, including size,
batteries, AC adapter, serial port, PCMCIA port, display, keyboard
(except very minor changes to keyboard layout, and cosmetic changes
to the labels on the keycaps), processor, RAM, availability of 1MB
and 2MB versions, etc.  DOS compatibility is unchanged; both machines
use MS-DOS 5.0 and CGA.  Lotus is the same.  All the same PIM apps
are included, and they can share data between the 100LX and 200LX,
but the 200LX versions have a few enhancements here and there.

Most software written for the 100LX will run on the 200LX.  All
vanilla DOS software should run exactly the same.  Most
100LX-specific software will probably run the same.

Q: What's the difference between the HP-100/200LX and HP-95LX?
A: The short answer is that the HP-100/200LX is faster, has better
and more powerful software, much more MS-DOS compatibility (full CGA
compatiblity), fully standard serial port with hardware handshaking,
longer battery life, and has a PCMCIA Release 2.x slot.

Q: Where's the best place to buy a 100/200LX?  A RAM Card?
A: The answer changes too quickly to put into this FAQ.  Netiquette
suggestion: Read the newsgroup for a few days. If the question hasn't
been asked recently, call around to your local stores, call the
dealers on hpdealer.txt, and post a note listing the best deal you
found, asking if anyone can beat it.  In other words, do a little
homework yourself before asking the net for help.  Consider giving
your local dealer a chance to try and match or beat a mail-order

List price of the 200LX-2MB is $699 (U.S.), $50 less than the
100LX-2MB list.  The 200LX-1MB lists at $549, the same as the
100LX-1MB.  Of course, actual selling prices vary, and they change
too quickly to report in this FAQ.

When pricing memory cards, be aware that some manufacturers package
disk compression software with their cards, and some of these may
advertise a 5MB card with compression software as a "10 MB" card.
(or "10 MB compressed", or "Up to 10MB", etc.)  Quoted disk
compression numbers tend to be optimistic, especially if you're
storing executables or compressed files.  Be sure you do an "apples
to apples" price comparison between different vendors.

Q: How can I upgrade my 100LX to a 200LX?
A:  You can't.  However, it's reported that Edu-Calc is offering a
$225 trade-in allowance for a 100LX, good toward a 200LX.  This is
presumably for a limited time only.


Subject: 5. 1MB vs. 2MB models

Q: Is the 2MB model worth the extra money over the 1MB Model? 
A: The only difference is the extra Megabyte of internal "disk"
storage on the C: drive.  It may be cheaper to buy the 1MB model and
invest the difference in a bigger PCMCIA flash or SRAM card.  But if
you want to keep the PCMCIA slot open for a PCMCIA modem or other
device, you're stuck with internal storage only, and the extra
megabyte may be	worth the money.

Q: Does the 2MB RAM HP-100/200LX have more system memory?
A: No, both models HP-100/200LX are MS-DOS machines which are
inherently limited to only 640KB of system RAM.  But an EMS (not XMS
or himem) driver has been written; see emm040e.lhz or emm100.exe
on eddie.


Subject: 6. Hardware and physical characteristics

Q: How big is a 100/200LX?
A: Approx 16cm x  8.5cm x 2.5cm (6.25" x 3.3" x 1") closed, or about
the size of a checkbook, only thicker.  It has a clamshell-style case.

Q: So tiny!  Can I touch-type on it?  Is the screen too small to read?
A: Touch typing is quite a trick.  The keys are much closer together
than normal adult human fingers.  But the keys have a positive click
feel.  Some people adapt quite well to them, others despise the 
100/200LX keyboard.

The screen is very sharp and contrasty, but your eyes might not be.
Try before you buy, especially if you have trouble reading fine print
in dim light.  The print is quite small in 25x80 mode, but you can
use special key combinations to zoom and pan around, displaying only
a portion of the screen, magnified, on the 100/200LX physical screen.
The screen is not backlighted, and is easiest to read in bright light.

Q: Where can I get a carrying case for a 100/200LX?
A: For a cheap padded case, look for one designed for a pocket 35mm
camera, game machine, personal stereo, or calculator.  For a fancy
executive-style leather case, see ads in the Palmtop Paper, Edu-Calc,


Subject: 7. DOS compatibility

Q: Will it run <Random MS-DOS Software Package>? 
A: The 100/200LX will run just about anything that will run on an IBM
PC-XT with a CGA monitor.  To give you an idea of its compatibility,
here's a partial output listing from MSD.EXE, Microsoft's diagnostic
tool.  This was run on a 1MB 100LX.

  Computer: Phoenix/Phoenix, 80186
    Memory: 636K
     Video: CGA
OS Version: MS-DOS 5.00
 COM Ports: 1

BIOS Manufacturer: Phoenix
     BIOS Version: Version 1.04 A  
                   ROM BIOS Ver 2.14
    BIOS Category: IBM PC/XT
        Processor: 80186
 Math Coprocessor: None
         Keyboard: Non-Enhanced
         Bus Type: ISA/XT/Classic Bus
   DMA Controller: Yes
     Cascaded IRQ: Yes
BIOS Data Segment: None

Video Adapter Type: CGA
      Display Type: CGA Monitor
VESA Support Installed: No

 Operating System: MS-DOS 5.00
Internal Revision: 00
   DOS Located in: ROM

                           COM1:      COM2:      COM3:      COM4:
                           -----      -----      -----      -----
Port Address               03F8H        N/A        N/A        N/A
UART Chip Used              8250

Q: Can I run Quicken for DOS on it?
A: Yes, users have reported success with DOS-based Quicken through
version 8 (most recent Quicken version available as of this writing).
Recent versions may require more memory than is available under the
system manager, but it's easy enough to exit the system manager and
run Quicken directly from the DOS prompt.  The "disable filer" trick
may allow you to squeeze even the latest Quicken in under the system 

Some kind of extra storage (flash or SRAM card) will undoubtedly be
necessary for recent versions of Quicken, especially for the 1MB

Of course, Pocket Quicken is built in to the 200LX, and it's
available separately from Intuit for the 100LX.  It's system-manager
compliant, but some users still may prefer the full feature set of
DOS Quicken.

Q: Can I run 4DOS on it?
A: Yes, but the advantages mostly occur outside the system manager.
For swapping, usage of the EMS driver emm100.exe is recommended.
Unfortunately, if you call DOS from the system manager, it will be
the hard-wired d:\dos\

Q: Can it do Windows?
A: Sorry, try an Omnibook or another larger laptop.  Windows 3.1
requires a 286 or better.  Windows 3.0 is barely possible, but the
100/200LX doesn't really have the speed, processor architecture,
display, or memory to make it a very practical Windows machine.
Forget Windows 95.

Q: Why don't Intersvr, LapLink, Procomm, etc. work?
A: They do work, but not under the system manager, unless you use the
trick described below.  The System Manager slows down the serial
port.  It can also interfere with console I/O. If you're having
trouble running something under the System Manager, try exiting
completely (Menu-Application-Terminate all) and run the program from
raw DOS.

If the program runs under raw DOS, you can probably get it to run
under the system manager by putting an inverted exclamation point
(keystroke Fn-Filer) into the comments field of the Application
Manager.  This effectively disables the System Manager and prevents
switching to another application while the current application is


Subject: 8. Built-in Software

Q: What software is built into the 100/200LX ROM?
A: MS-DOS 5.0, Lotus 1-2-3 release 2.4, an appointment manager
(capable of waking the 100/200LX up and sounding an alarm or running
a program even when the machine is turned off), a calculator (similar
to HP19B, capable of algebraic or RPN), a text editor, a phone book,
a stopwatch/alarm clock, a world time database, a terminal emulator
(but the 100LX version is too slow to use above 1200 baud, you'll
want a different communications program for a fast modem), a general
purpose database, a note taker, a file manager, a keyboard macro
editor, and cc:Mail. Note that, although MS-DOS 5.0 is built into
ROM, not all of the external commands (e.g QBASIC.EXE, EDIT.COM,
ANSI.SYS) are included. These may be copied from a PC running MS-DOS
5.0  (Caution: copying parts of DOS is probably illegal and/or a
violation of your license agreement unless you buy a DOS license for
your 100/200LX).

The 200LX contains Pocket Quicken and LapLink Remote, in addition to
the above.

Q: Does anybody actually use cc:Mail on the 100/200LX?
A: Very few have posted to comp.sys.palmtops claiming to use it.
cc:Mail on the 100/200LX requires that you have access to a full
cc:Mail Post Office set up for dial-up access, and those don't seem
to be very common, at least among usenet denizens.

There is a program to allow you to use the cc:Mail software to
read/write Unix mail using uqwk(1) on the unix host.  Look for on (last seen in the /pub/hp95lx/inbound
directory, but probably soon to be moved).  Free registration for
personal use.

Q: What is the system manager?
A: It's the core software under which all of the PIM applications
run. It allows multitasking (suspending one application to run
another), keyboard macros, data transfer via a clipboard, and other
nifty stuff. The alarm clock and appointment manager will only wake
up if the system manager is active.  Certain 3rd party applications
(*.EXM files) are "System Manager Compliant".  Applications which are
not system manager compliant can still be run, either by exiting the
system manager entirely, or by opening up a DOS shell under the
system manager.

Q: How can I transfer data to/from the database manager?
A: Read the manual on the smart clip feature, or use the gdbio
software (C source code included) available on eddie to import/export
in comma delimited format.


Subject: 9. Add-on software

Q: What's some good software?
A: The HP-100/200LX is an almost completely compatible MS-DOS machine.
Just about any MS-DOS software will work if it: fits in available
drive space, needs only what MS-DOS system RAM is available, needs
only CGA graphics, and runs in Intel x86 real mode.

Some HP-100LX specific software is at the URLs:

Q: What is 100Buddy?
A: It's a shareware program available on eddie which lets you do lots
of neat tricks, including make the filer automatically start an
application based on a file's extension (e.g. click a .wk1 file to
start 1-2-3), get a shifted value of a character by simply
double-clicking the character, get battery voltage displayed in a
status bar in the filer screen, reprogram the blue application keys,
add password protection to the 100LX (registered users only), display
the world-time map with nighttime areas shaded (also registered users
only), and lots of other shortcuts and tricks.

Q: Is there a 200Buddy?
A: Yes, it was released around the first of 1995.  It's available on in the /pub/hp95lx/NEW directory.  It will probably be
moved into the 100lx directory structure shortly, so you may have to
look around for it.  It is also available on the CompuServe HPHAND
forum.  Note that the filename is; the same version
works on both the 100LX and the 200LX.

Q: What is VR?
A: Vertical Reader, a shareware program available on eddie for
reading ASCII text files while holding the 100/200LX with the hinge
vertical, like a book.  VR has several attractive fonts available,
and allows searching for regular expressions.  This shareware may be
registered by merely sending a postcard to the author, or by donating
$10.00 to Project Gutenberg, an organization which makes
public-domain documents and literature freely available in ASCII text

If you register VR via postcard, note that the author's address has
changed.  The correct postal address as of February '95 is:

   Gilles Kohl,
   Hagsfelder Allee 16
   D-76131 Karlsruhe

Q: Can I use the 100/200LX as a remote control for my TV, VCR, stereo? 
A: The shareware program REMCOM, originally developed for the HP95LX,
works on the 100/200LX and turns it into a universal learning remote
control, using the infrared port.  RC is a similar program which is
also reported to work.  There may be other such programs developed
for the 95LX which work on the 100/200LX.  Unfortunately, the
100/200LX has a fairly weak IR transmitter (weaker than the 95LX), so
the range may be only a meter or two, less than the typical distance
from couch to TV.

Q: Can I use the 100/200LX as a phone dialer?
A: The HP95LX had a D/A converter that could drive the speaker and
produce touch tones fairly easily; sadly, this feature was dropped in
the 100/200LX.  That converter is instead used to monitor battery

However, there is a program, called ATDT, which uses some fancy
tricks to get touch tones out of a standard PC-AT.  It does work on
the 100/200LX, and it's available on in the
hp95lx/unknown directory (ATDT01.ZIP).  It is not integrated with the
phone book application, it requires the video mode be set up
different from standard (see the readme), and, depending on the phone
you use it with, the 100/200LX speaker may not produce sufficient
volume to reliably dial.

There is also a program called TT available, with source code, on  TT comes ready-to-use, but if you have a C compiler
and know how to use it, you can modify TT and integrate it into other
programs.  Like ATDT, TT suffers from the limitations of the volume
output from the 100/200LX speaker, and your success with it depends
on your patience, the sensitivity of your telephone's microphone, and
the placement of the 100/200LX speaker near the microphone.

Q: Is there an EMS driver?
A: Yes, EMM100.EE, available on eddie.  It uses a paging file on C:
and supports EMS 4.0 almost completely.  There is a 200LX version
in preparation; to avoid problems with Lotus 1-2-3 using EMS, copy
D:\BIN\200.COM to C:\100.COM and call 100 to start the system manager
as an intermediate solution.


Subject: 10. Programming the 100/200LX

Q: What programming languages are available?
A: Anything that'll run on a PC-XT, including various flavors of C,
C++, Pascal, Basic, etc.  QBASIC.EXE is not included, but will run if
it's copied from a MS-DOS 5.0 machine.

There are several ways to write "programs" with software in the
100/200LX ROM, depending on your definition of a program.  You have
the keyboard macro application, Lotus 1-2-3, the calculator's solver
application (finds roots of equations, among other things), DEBUG.EXE
(from DOS), and the DOS batch file interpreter.  The calculator's
solver application can be used with Lotus to "backsolve", that is,
adjust the value of one independent cell of a spreadsheet to produce
a desired result in another, calculated, cell.

Q: How can I get information on programming the internals of the HP?
A: The palmtop Developer's Guide is being distributed by Thaddeus
Computing (publishers of the Palmtop Paper).  Price is $79.00 US,
plus $5.00 shipping inside US, $12.00 shipping outside US.  It
contains full documentation on the internals of the HP Palmtops,
plus software for developing system-manager compliant applications.
You'll need to supply your own compiler and/or assembler (MSC 6.00AX
and/or MASM 5.1 are recommended).  Order from Thaddeus Computing, 
57 E. Broadway, Fairfield, IA 52556 (800) 809-5603, (515) 472-1875,

For those who don't want to purchase the full developer's kit, there
is a library called PAL (Palmtop Application Library) which is a
collection of C language functions that provide DOS programs with the
look & feel of HP100/200LX built-in applications.  It provides
graphics functions, support for windows, menus, dialog boxes, etc.
It is free, and available on the HPHAND forum on CompuServe, as well
as,, and

Many of the HP's interrupts are documented in the interrupt list,
maintained by Ralf Brown, available at
<> and elsewhere.

Of course, if you only want to program the HP as a DOS machine,
without accessing any of the palmtop's unique features, there are
plenty of widely available books giving details on DOS programming.

If you need the file formats for the built-in applications, gdbio (on
eddie) has C source code which should provide a good starting point.


Subject: 11. Modems & Telecommunications

Q: What's a good modem?
A: Just about any pocket modem or PCMCIA modem.  A full-sized
external modem will work fine too, but of course it's not as
portable.  Specific features such as size, modulations and protocols
supported, cellular phone support, power drain, and others vary

Q: Should I get a PCMCIA modem or an external one?
A: Advantages to PCMCIA -- Cleaner cable setup, uses same power
supply as HP100/200, smaller overall package.  Advantages to external
-- allows use of RAM card and modem simultaneously, doesn't drain
HP100/200 batteries.

While a pocket modem typically draws power from a battery or from an
AC power supply, a PCMCIA modem draws all power from the palmtop.
Most PCMCIA modems are designed to work on larger machines with
plenty of battery power so most modems also consume as much or more
power than the HP-100/200LX.  This drain can occur whether the modem
is in use or not, consequently battery life is much shorter, as
little as 15 minutes.  Use of an AC adapter is usually recommended.

Since there's only one PCMCIA slot, it can either hold a modem or a
SRAM/Flash card, but not both (but see next question).  So a PCMCIA
modem can only transfer data to and from the internal RAM drive of
the machine.

Q: How can I get a both a modem and flash card into one PCMCIA slot?
A: There are two companies which make combination modem/flash cards,
which combine a modem and a flash card into a single PCMCIA card. The
vendors are Smart Modular Technologies (510 623-1251)
<>, and EXP Computers (800 EXP-6922).  The cards are
specifically designed for the HP palmtop computers.  Both cards are
reviewed in the Jan/Feb 1995 Palmtop Paper.

Q: What cable do I use for an external modem?
A: The HP cable will work, but you'll have to use a gender
changer/null modem adapter.  See the description of the connectivity
pack elsewhere in this FAQ.  Or you can make your own cable.

Q: Why is my modem so slow?
A: The System Manager slows down the serial port.  The DataComm
application is even slower, at least on the 100LX.  Together they are
really slow.  The solution is to not use either, although using any
other communications software under the System Manager is better than
using DataComm. MS-Kermit (various version from 60KB to 300KB),
Procomm, Telix, and others are reported to work.  See the
minimal-software-list for details.

Interestingly enough, the built-in DataComm application seems to be
reasonably fast when doing file transfer, it's only when used
as a terminal that it becomes painfully slow.

The 200LX does not suffer from the slow screen update bug on the
built-in DataComm application.

Q: How can I read Usenet and mail offline with the 100/200LX?  
A: There's almost nothing special about the 100/200LX in this regard;
it's just like any other DOS PC.  Check out the newsgroup
alt.usenet.offline-reader.  Their FAQ may be found at


If you want to ask questions over there (AFTER reading their FAQ),
just tell them that your HP is an IBM PC-XT compatible running DOS
5.0 with CGA.

People have reported success using a UQWK/YARN combination to transfer
mail and news via SOUP.

The one area where the 100/200LX is unique is that it has cc:Mail in
ROM.  There is a program to allow you to use the cc:Mail software to
read/write Unix mail using uqwk(1) on the unix host.  Look for on (last seen in the /pub/hp95lx/inbound
directory, but probably soon to be moved).  Free registration for
personal use.

Q: What's a good fax program?
A: There are several good fax programs available that will run on
MS-DOS with CGA.  Your modem may have come with one.  Users have
reported success with the following, but there are probably more.

1. SSFAXER: Shareware on  Must register in order to
   receive faxes
2. BGFAX: Available at 
3. There's a free demo package from TurboPower software that contains
   a small toolkit for sending and receiving faxes.  Can send faxes from
   PCX, TIF, TXT formats.  But fax viewer software only supports VGA, hence
   viewer won't run on palmtop.  This package is actually a demo of
   their Pascal/C++ communications toolkit.  Available at
4. ACEFAX contact info unknown.


Subject: 12. Connectivity to desktop computers and other devices

Q: How do I connect the 100/200LX to a desktop PC?
A: For the 100LX, HP sells the connectivity pack, (HP F1021A) which
comes with a serial cable, (HP F1015A) a package of various adapters
for different serial connections, (HP F1023A) and software for the
PC.  The PC software includes versions of the 100LX PIM software (but
no Lotus 1-2-3, sorry).  The filer applications let you transfer
files back and forth, and the redirector program lets you use one
machine's disk drive from the other machine (but it's slow).

A similar connectivity pack is available for the 200LX (F1021B,
w/English docs, F1021C with multilingual docs).  The 200LX
connectivity pack includes software to integrate Pocket Quicken with
Quicken for DOS or Windows, in addition to updated versions of the
software in the 100LX connectivity pack.

A "software-only" version of the 200LX connectivity pack is also
available, for those users who already have cables and such from
a 100LX.

Q: What if I don't want to buy the connectivity pack?
A: If you don't want to buy the connectivity pack, you may connect
the palmtop and desktop with a serial cable and use your choice of
DOS connectivity software.  The interlnk/intersvr programs that come
with DOS 6 work fine.  One way to start is to transfer intersvr.exe
to the palmtop using the built-in telecom application on the palmtop
and any terminal emulator on the desktop.  The Kermit file transfer
protocol works well enough.  Then install interlnk on the desktop
according to the documentation, and run intersvr on the palmtop.  Now
you can access the palmtop's drives from the desktop.

200LX users may take advantage of the built-in LapLink Remote
software in the HP's ROM.  A brief sketch of how to do this is:

1. Add the following line to your Palmtop's AUTOEXEC.BAT before
   sysmgr is started.
   Then reboot your palmtop.

2. Copy the following files from D:\BIN on the 200LX to a directory 
   on the PC (use the built-in datacomm application and a terminal 
   emulator, or any other method you choose).

3. Edit the TSI.INI file on your PC as follows:
     In [general], change ComputerName= to something else (eg desktop)
     In [Redirector], change Enabled= to Yes.

4. Edit the LLRA.BAT file on your PC, changing all file paths from 
   D:\BIN to the PC directory you copied them to in step 2.

5. With the PC and palmtop connected via serial cable, enter the
   AppMgr on the palmtop and start the LapLink Remote Access program.

6. On the PC, change to the directory where you copied the LapLink
   files, and type "LLRA".  In a few seconds you should hear beeps
   from both the PC and palmtop indicating that a connection has
   been made.

7. On the PC, type "LLRA /M" to display the drive mapping.

8. To Unload LapLink from the PC, type "LLRA /U".

Q: Where can I get just the HP-100/200LX serial cable without the
Connectivity Kit?
A: EduCALC, etc.  HP sells it as part no. F1015A.  The same cable is
used for HP's calculators (it comes with an adapter to fit their
serial connector), so check the calculator section of a well-equipped
store if you don't see the cable near the HP100/200LX display.

Q: Where do I get an adapter to use HP's serial cable with a modem,
serial printer, Sun workstation, etc.?
A: HP sells a connector/adapter kit (HP F1023A).  The HP serial cable
ends in a female DE9 connection with a null modem, so it's ready to
plug directly into the standard DE9 serial connector found on most
desktop PC's.  The adapter kit contains four adapters, which make
the COMBINATION of HP serial cable + adapter look like:
   0) female DE9 with null modem (stock cable with no adapter)
   1) male DB25 with null modem (for serial printer)
   2) male DB25 without null modem (for modem or other devices)
   3) female DB25 with null modem (for PC with DB25 serial port)
   4) male DE9 without null modem (for modem or anything else you'd
      plug into your desktop's DE9 port).

Try the serial printer adapter to connect to a Sun workstation's DB25
port.  Some other unix workstations are reported to use
MacIntosh-style serial ports, and the MacIntosh serial cable will
work with these.   Similar adapters should be available at any well
equipped computer/electronics store, or you can build your own.  The
adapter kit comes with the connectivity pack.

Q: Where can I get a compatible serial port connector?
A: EduCALC sells a cable with the appropriate connector at one end and
bare wires at the other.  For those who want to make a cable from
scratch a contact and part numbers follow.

Digi-Key Corporation
701 Brooks Ave. South
P.O. Box 677
Thief River Falls, MN 56701-0677
800-344-4539 800-DIGI-KEY
218-681-3380 fax
$25.00 minimum order or $5.00 handling charge

part# H2004-ND Hirose Electric Co., A3B series 10-pin dual-row, 2mm 
                           connector (HP 100/200LX)
part# H9999-ND Hirose Electric Co., socket terminals, quantity 100
part# H2013-ND Hirose Electric Co., A4B series 4-pin, single-row, 2mm 
                           connector (HP-48, HP-95LX)

If you already have the HP cable, it comes with an adapter to plug the
10-pin connector into a 4-pin HP95 or HP48.  One clever use of this
adapter is use it as a mold to make a "bump" on Digi-Key 10-pin
connector using 5-minute epoxy.  This "bump" is not essential, but it
may help prevent you from inserting the 10-pin connector

Q: How can I connect the 100/200LX to an Apple MacIntosh?
A: HP sells a serial cable to connect the 100/200LX directly to a Mac;
it's part #F1016A.  This handles the physical link, reducing the
problem to "How can I get a Mac to talk to a PC across a serial link?"

DataViz (1-800-733-0030) is a company which makes a product called
MacLink Plus/HP Palmtop, which handles file transfers, and converts
the HP100/200LX application's files (memo, database, phonebook, etc.) to
popular Mac formats (Excel, MacWrite, Word, etc.).  One current
shortcoming is that the "Notes" section of the 100/200LX
Database/Phonebook programs is not supported in the Filemaker
translation.  But this is reportedly being worked on.

MacLink Plus works with all the HP Palmtops (95/100/200).  It
includes the serial cable.  File translations include:

Memo to: MacWrite, MacWrite II, MS Word 4 & 5.x, MS Works, Mac WP
2&3, WriteNow 2, RTF.

Appt book to: Excel 2,3,4, Lotus WKS, MS Works SS 2,3, SYLK, Comma
Separated, Tab Separated, Tab Text

Phone book to: Address Book Plus, Dynodex 2,3, Excel 2,3,4, Filemaker
Pro, Lotus WKS, SYLK, Comma Separated, Tab Separated, Tab Text

Database to: FileMaker Pro, MS Works DB 2,3

Palmtop Lotus to: Excel 2,3,4, Lotus WKS, Ms Works SS 2,3, SYLK,
Comma separateed, Tab Seeparated, Tab Text.

Among other places, it's available directly from DataViz or from
MacWarehouse (1-800-255-6227).

The best answers to generic PC/Mac connectivity are probably found
outside this newsgroup (anyone know where?), but here's a shot at
some alternatives:

Most any terminal program on the 100/200LX (including the built-in
DataComm) will handle simple file transfers via kermit, xmodem, etc.

MacLink Plus/PC is a commercial package made by DataViz which is
intended for use on any IBM-Compatible, and is reported to work on
the 100/200LX, and allow easy file transfer.  But see above for a
customized HP version that supports the HP apps.

Q: How fast is the highest speed for serial port?
A: For a vanilla 100/200LX, the maximum speed for the internal UART
(8250 serial port controller implemented in the 100/200LX) is
19200bps.  With a buffered UART, (NS16550, implemented in many PCMCIA
modems) speeds up to 115200bps work fine.  Note: this does not mean
that 100/200LX can actually send data at 115200bps.  It means that
palmtop can RECEIVE data at 115200bps, without lossage.  For a
100/200LX with double-speed crystal, 38400bps seems to be the maximum
speed with the internal UART.

Your milage may vary depending on the communication software you are
using.  Try using communication software with a very good interrupt
handler implementation.  If you can read Japanese, you may want to try
siam available at:

Also, as described above, do not forget to quit system manager

Q: Intersvr complains about the E: drive when I start it.  What can I
A: This is a stacker/interlink incompatibility.  You could stop using
stacker, but a less drastic solution is to get a copy of SUBST.EXE
from a PC with MS-DOS 5.0 and include the statement 
"SUBST E: A:\somedir" in your AUTOEXEC.BAT.  "somedir" refers to any 
existing directory on your A: drive.


Subject: 13. PCMCIA Cards

Q: What's the difference between flash memory and SRAM?
A: SRAM is fast, expensive, requires battery back-up, doesn't take
much power to use.  Flash memory is cheaper per megabyte, available in
larger sizes, will hold data forever without power, very slow for
writing (on the order of the speed of a floppy disk), requires
significant power for writing, and will eventually wear out when
written to many times (though some flash cards have a lifetime
guarantee, and nobody has yet posted that their flash card wore out).

Both technologies have plenty of satisfied users.

Q: Will <Random PCMCIA Card> work in a 100/200LX?
A: Best answer: ask the vendor, and be sure you're allowed to return
it if it doesn't work.  Most vendors will know if their cards are
compatible with a machine as common as the 100/200LX.

Longer answer:  The 100/200LX PCMCIA slot is PCMCIA 2.0 compatible,
and able to accept type I or type II cards.  It supplies 5 or 12
volts.  It can only supply 150mA, so it has trouble with certain
cards which attempt to draw high current.  Most modems, SRAM cards,
and ATA (Sundisk-style) flash cards work fine.  Most ethernet
adapters and GPS receivers draw too much current to work. Intel-style
flash cards (like the Newton uses) are not supported, but see next

Common confusion:  PCMCIA _Type_ is always listed in roman numerals,
and refers _only_ to the thickness of the card.  PCMCIA _Release_ is
listed in arabic numerals, and refers to the version of the interface

If a card draws too much current to work in the 100/200LX, using the
AC adapter won't help.

Q: How can I use a Newton flash card in a 100/200LX?
A: This is not for the squeamish.  HP does not support Intel-style
flash cards on the 100/200LX, so if you have any problems making it
work, you're pretty much out of luck.

However, some users have reported varying degrees of success with
them.  They require that you obtain MS-FLASH.SYS for normal use, and
MEMCARD.EXE is required to format the card. These files are NOT
public domain, and not available at any ftp site.  Some people have
reportedly pirated them from an Omnibook (probably illegal). If
anyone knows of an official way of obtaining up-to-date versions of
these files, please tell the editor.

At least one user has reported that there is some incompatibility
between the system manager (or at least the database apps) and
MS-FLASH.SYS, such that the flash card could only be used in raw DOS
mode outside of the system manager.  Other users have reported that
continually writing and moving files around on the card slowly
consumes small amounts of disk space, which can only be recovered by
backing the card up, reformatting, and restoring.

Note that this entire discussion is about Newton flash cards, not
Newton SRAM cards.  Several posters have been able to use Newton SRAM
cards without difficulty.

Q: How can I use a PCMCIA ethernet adapter?
A: Most ethernet adapters draw more power than the palmtop can
provide.  An exception is a card made by Silicom Connectivity
Solutions (800 474-5426 or 206 882-7995) which was designed with the
palmtops in mind.

The Socket Communications and Xircom ethernet adapters are reported
to come close to working, though there are problems getting the
supplied drivers to work on the 100/200LX.


Subject: 14. Batteries, Battery life, AC adapters, etc.

Q: What batteries does it use?  How long do they last? 
A: The 100/200LX uses 2 standard AA cells, either Alkaline or NiCad.
It also uses a miniature lithium "button" battery for memory backup
when the main batteries fail.  Battery lifetime varies a lot, based
on how much you use the machine, what kind of PCMCIA card you use,
how much you use the serial and IR ports, how good your batteries
are, etc.  As a rough guess, several users have reported needing to
recharge their NiCad's approximately once a week, when running it a
few hours a day with a flash card.  Users have reported in excess of
a month of regular usage from fresh lithium AA cells, down to an hour
or less with a power-sucking PCMCIA modem and NiCads.  The HP manual
claims that "for typical use without the AC adapter, fresh Alkaline
batteries should last from 2 to 8 weeks.  Rechargable batteries ...
will get less life ..." (p A-2 of 100LX manual).

Although the manual only recommends alkaline or NiCads, users have
reported success with lithium AA cells.  Lithium cells have a much
longer shelf life and running life than alkalines.  Setting the
machine up for alkalines works for lithiums.  Others have cautioned
that inserting lithium cells backwards can permanently damage the
machine, and the discharge curve for lithiums is very steep, leaving
little time between the first "low battery" warning and completely
dead batteries.

The 100/200LX can charge installed NiCads by simply plugging in an AC
adapter and selecting the option from the setup application.  No
separate charger is needed.

Rechargable alkaline or NiMH batteries can be used, just like regular
alkalines. However, to charge them, you must take them out of the
100/200LX and put them in a charger specially designed for
rechargable alkalines or NiMH batteries.

Q: Why won't my NiCad batteries hold a charge anymore?
A: You probably use the AC adapter most of the time, and have NiCad
charging enabled.  There's plenty of mythology, folklore, and an
occasional fact or two regarding NiCad "memory effect", which won't
be repeated here.  Suffice it to say that you can damage NiCad
batteries by repeatedly overcharging them when they're already
charged.  The 100/200LX has two charge rates: for the first 6 hours
after the adapter is plugged in, the batteries charge at a high rate
(100mA), then charging switches to a low-current "trickle charge"
(45mA).  Each time you plug in the adapter the cycle repeats.  If you
plug the machine in each day at work, and again when you get home,
you can kill the batteries fairly quickly.

Simple way to avoid trouble:  if your NiCads have a full charge or
close to it, and you want to use the AC adapter, then disable
charging.  A slightly less conservative approach is to use 100Buddy
or the shareware batset program to limit the fast charge time to one
minute, since trickle charging isn't likely to damage the batteries
as quickly.

Q: What kind of AC adapter does the 100/200LX use? 
A: CAUTION:  It's different from the 95LX!  The 100/200LX uses 12VDC,
negative tip, up to 750mA, approx 5.5mm OD barrel-type connector.  

HP recommends their part no F1011A, which is about the size of a
credit card, except that it's an inch (2.5 cm) thick, with fold-away
AC prongs.  It will take any input voltage from 100 to 240 Volts, at
50/60 Hz, an advantage for world travellers.

Radio Shack Cat no 273-1652B seems to work, and is probably cheaper.
It's only rated at 500mA, so there may be problems when using with
high-current PCMCIA cards.  It appears to work ok with flash cards
while charging NiCad's, though, and current measurements indicate
that the 100/200LX draws much less than 500mA with this adapter even
when writing to a flash card, charging NiCads, and using the serial
port simultaneously.

Other compatible adapters are certainly available from various
sources.  The 100/200LX does not include an adapter in the box.


Subject: 15. Obscure undocumented tips, tricks, and trivia

Q: What is xine?
A: It is a built-in file compression program (D:\BIN\XINE.COM).  To
use, type "XINE infile outfile".  If infile isn't compressed, xine
will compress it to outfile.  If infile is compressed, xine will
expand it to outfile.  CAUTION:  Don't specify infile and outfile
as the same name, or you'll lose your data.  Xine is not documented,
although it appears in all versions of the 100/200LX (including
non-English versions).

Q: What is pushkeys? 
A: Pushkeys is a program to run keyboard macros from a DOS batch
file. It's in D:\BIN, but it has its hidden file bit set, so you must
use "dir /a:h" to see it.  Run it once with the /i argument, and it
installs itself as a TSR.  Run it again with the name of a .MAC file,
and it run the 10 macros in sequence.  Pushkeys is not documented,
and may be missing from some non US-English versions of the
100/200LX. It does appear in the European-English 100LX, however.
International users who don't have it built-in may be able to get a
copy from the Palmtop Paper.

Q: What is hexcalc? 
A: It's a programmer's calculator that supports hex, octal, binary,
and decimal.  It's System manager compliant, and included in the
200LX ROM, but not automatically included in the system manager menu.

Q: What is ICN200LX.COM?
A: It's a simple icon editor in the 200LX ROM.

Q: What are the special characters I can use in the comments field of 
the Application Manager?
A: An inverted question mark (keystroke Fn-3) inhibits the "Press any
key to exit from DOS ..." message after finishing the application.

An inverted exclamation point (keystroke Fn-Filer) disables the
system manager and prevents switching to another application while
the current application is running, giving the application total
control of the console and serial port.  This is needed to make
certain DOS programs (intersvr, terminal emulators, etc.) work

Neither special character is documented in early versions of the
100LX manual, though both appear in the 200LX manual and in later
editions of the 100LX manual (they work the same on both machines).

Q: How can I customize the fields in the phone book?  (e.g. add an
e-mail address)
A: Close the phone book, open the database manager, select file/open
and open the phone.pdb file (the file formats are the same for the
database manager and phone book, only the extension is changed).  Now
use file/modify database to add/subtract/move fields to your heart's
content, quit the database manager, and use the phone book.

Be aware that certain other software which reads phone book files
expects the fields to be "vanilla", so don't use this trick (or at
least back up your data and test it first) if you plan to transfer
your phone book data to such software.  The "Xlate/Merge" feature
of the connectivity pack is one program which wants the files to be

Q: How can I get the filer to run a program based on a file's type?
A:  On the 100LX, get 100Buddy.  On the 200LX, you can create the
file c:\_dat\filer.ini, containing file extensions and commands to
run, as shown in this example:

   ICN=D:\BIN\ICN200.EXE %

When you select a file and press ENTER, if the selected file has the
extention ".ICN" the icon editor on drive D: is started and the file
name (the `%' is replaced by the name of the selected file) is given
as argument. If the selected file has the extention ".ZIP" it is
automatically unzipped (assuming PKUNZIP lives on a:\bin).

Q: What's the "disable filer" trick?
A: As shipped by HP, the application manager always keeps the filer in
memory, consuming approx 58K of RAM.  This is so that, if you run out
of disk space while using an application, you can enter filer, delete
some files, and save your work.  The "disable filer" trick allows you
to completely terminate the filer, and recover that 58K of RAM.  This
is undocumented, unsupported, and nobody at HP has recommended it,
although several users have reported success with it.  Nevertheless,
please back up your disk before trying this.  To disable the filer, do
the following:

1) Activate the application manager (press {More}).
2) Move the filer to the first position, using F7.
3) Close the application manager.
4) Start DOS (cntl-123), and type the following:
   debug c:\_dat\appmgr.dat
   e 10a 01
5) Start the application manager and move the filer back to its
original position, if desired.

Now, you can close the filer by first opening it, highlighting it in
the application manager and pressing F6, or by menu/application/close
all.  The filer's quit command will behave as before, just putting
the filer to sleep, not recovering the RAM.  If the filer is asleep,
the application manager CANNOT close it.  The filer must be open
(awake) for the application manager to close it.  If the filer has
been completely terminated (not just put to sleep), it will take two
presses of the filer key to open it up again.

Q: How do I prevent the 100/200LX from powering down while on batteries?
A: There are several utility programs to do this, but the following
procedure will create a short assembler program that should do the
trick.  Warning: back up your machine before running this, as a
typing error might wreak all sorts of havoc.

The computer says:      You type:

A:\JUNK>                debug
-                       a 100
1970:0100               mov ah,46
1970:0102               mov bx,0000
1970:0105               int 15
1970:0107               int 20
-                       r cx
CX 0000
:                       9
-                       n
-                       w
Writing 00009 bytes
-                       quit

Now, you've just created a short program, called, that you
can run to inhibit the automatic time-out feature.  Re-booting will
restore the default timeout limit, or you can create a corresponding
"" program, by following the above procedure except change
the second mov statement to "mov bx,0c9a", and change the n statement
to "n".  The number after the "mov bx," is a hexadecimal
integer equal to 18 times the number of seconds desired for automatic
power-down.  0433 corresponds to 1 minute, 0c9a means 3 minutes, 14ff
means 5 minutes, 3efd means 15 minutes, etc.

Again, back up your machine before running either of these programs,
until you're confident the programs work correctly.

Q: How can I get owner info and date/time on a custom topcard? 
A: Name the file "TOPCARD.PCX" and put it in the \_SYS or \_DAT
directory on the A: or C: drive.  There may be other directory names
which work, but most random directory and/or filenames will not
display the owner info and date/time.

Q: How do I get the keyboard self-test diagnostics to work?
A: Press each key, in order, starting at the top left, going across,
and finally ending up at the bottom right.  For further explanation
of the self-test sequences, see the manual.  

Q: What are the various ROM revisions?
A: (incomplete list of bugfixes/features, need 
    help here)

The ROM versions are listed here with the earliest known serial number
prefix containing that ROM.  For example, the SG342 by 100LX ROM
version 1.04a means that it was introduced around the 42nd week of
1993.  There may be a few weeks' time when the two different ROM
versions were being manufactured simultaneously.  See the description
of what's encoded in the serial number, below, for more details on
decoding the serial numbers.  E-mail the editor if you have an earlier
serial number with a given ROM version.

Ver.  Ser.#   Comments
1.01a SG3??   Original version.  Some were eproms
1.02a SG325   Infected by the HEU bug
1.03a SG336   HEU (sHift kEy bUg) fixed, speed up for carry-forward todos.
1.04a SG342   Last ROM version prior to 2MB Model.  Does not need
                FS.COM that comes on the CPACK disk for the redirector.
1.05a SG351   Added support for 2MB
1.06a SG412   Final 100LX version.  Some cc:Mail bugs fixed.  Found on
                latest 2MB units, and on some 1MB models.

At least one user reported a dramatic (2x) speedup in the calendar
app monthly view when updating from 1.02a to 1.04a.

Ver.  Ser.#
1.00a SG425
1.01a SG430
1.02a SG448

Q: How do I determine which ROM version I have?
A: Reboot the machine (cntl-alt-del) and watch the screen.

Q: What is the Shift Key Bug (HEU)?
A: It is a bug that occurs on 100LX ROM versions 1.02a or less.
Occasionally, the key that is pressed after the shift key is ignored
and the next key pressed is capitalized.  If you try to write "Shift
Key Bug" it becomes "Hift Ey Ug".  This problem is intermittent and
not all users observe it.

Q: What information is encoded in the serial number?
A: The week it was manufactured.  A serial number is of the form:


Where y is the last digit of the year of manufacture, ww is the week
of manufacture, and nnnnn is the individual serial number.  Thus
SG45101234 is the 1234th unit manufactured in the 51st week of 1994.
The "SG" is the country of origin (apparently all are manufactured in

It seems a similar scheme is used for many HP calculators.


Subject: 16. Double-speed crystals

Q: What is the "double-speed crystal technique?"
A: It is a hardware-modification technique which makes a 100/200LX
faster by swapping crystal oscillator with a faster (usually
double-speed) crystal. It requires:

	- faster crystal
	- soldering tools
	- torx screwdriver
	- And most importantly your courage and soldering skills

WARNING: Do this at your own risk!

Q: If I swap the crystal, what happen to my warranty?

A: Doing this will void your wararanty.  If you are well-trained in
soldering, you can replace the original crystal before sending it to a
service center.  Of course they may notice the difference in solder,
and then your warranty will become void.

Q: What happens if I replace the crystal?
A: Short answer: Your palmtop will run faster!

Long answer:

There are many troubles that arise with the speed-up.  The speedup
will cause the clock will go faster and serial communication port will
not be able to sync to other machines, Also, if you use 100%-faster
crystal, the LCD screen will become unreadable, or some noise will
appear on the screen, and battery voltage detection go unstable.

In order to fix these problems, you will need a software driver to
tailor your palmtop to the new frequency rate.  There are several
drivers available on the Internet.  Here are rough description for
those drivers.  For details, refer to document comes with the drivers:

	- (by Robert S.Williams, on and other places)
	  Fixes: clockspeed
	  Problems remaining: LCD/battery voltage
		This program is not made to avoid the problems listed above.
		Why does it work?  It is almost coincidence.
	- clockup.sys (by Jun-ichiro Itoh, on
	  Fixes: clockspeed/LCD
	  Problems remaining: battery voltage
		It supports crystals with non-exact frequency too. (see below)
	- clkup31m.sys (by K.Terasaki & K.Mitsuya)
	  Fixes: clockspeed/LCD/battery voltage
	  Problems remaining: (maybe nothing)
		The required driver is product of NIFTY-Serve (CI$ in Japan)
		FMODEM forum, and they are sold in Japan, or can be downloaded
		from FMODEM forum.  It seems that it is NOT a free software.
		It is now exported to Germany and some other countries,

There are also application-specific troubles that arise related to
timing.  For example, you cannot use REMCOM data (learning
remote-control software) that was recorded on a vanilla 100/200LX.
Speeded-up palmtops will need to learn the remote-control signal by
themselves.  Also, TT.EXE, a program for generating DTMF tone with the
internal speaker, will generate incorrect tones. (because it generates
a sinewave by doing loops, instead of using timer chips)

NOTE: The above mentioned crystals should oscillate with "fundamental
mode", i.e. at exact frequencies mentioned above.  Usually crystals
made for above 20 or 30MHz operate with "3rd overtone mode" and those
crystals won't make your HPLX any faster.  It is highly likely that
you'd end up with a slower unit at about 2/3 of the original speed.
So, never try to use such crystals for replacement.

Q: What kind of crystal should I use?
A:The Hornet chip, which controls the low-level hardware of 100/200LX,
allows some specific CPU clock speeds only:
	10.738636MHz	15.836773MHz	21.477272MHz	31.673550MHz
The original crystal of 100/200LX is 15.836773MHz, therefore you
should use a 21.477272MHz(35% speedup) or 31.673550MHz (100% speedup)

Unfortunately, these frequencies are not very common for ready-made
crystals.  Also, the crystal must fit into a very small space inside
your palmtop.  Therefore, you should order a special crystal unit with
a small case and one of the above frequencies.

Reportedly a small tolerance in frequency seems acceptable, but causes
some small problems with the clock speed.  A report says that the
clock will go 1% faster with 32.000MHz crystal, though this will be
corrected when you shut palmtop's the power off.  32.000MHz is 102%
speedup, therefore there's 1% tolerance in a double-speed
crystal. (32.000000/31.673550 = 1.01) Reportedly there are some
ready-made crystals fit into a 100/200LX, that have a 32.000MHz

Q: Where can I purchase a faster crystal for my 100/200LX?

A: No answer is provided in this document.  See above.  Your local parts
shop may have an appropriate ready-made crystal for your palmtop.

Q: What happens to the battery life if I use faster crystal?

Your battery life will be shortened, but many people report this as
being a negligible difference.


Subject: 17. Common problems

Q: Why can't I unzip this file?
A: This isn't really a 100/200LX question, but it's been asked
frequently enough.  PKZIP works the same on the 100/200LX as on any
other MS-DOS machine.  Chances are you don't have your file transfer
software set up in binary mode.  If you're absolutely positive that
the file was transferred in binary every step of the way, then maybe
you have an old version of PKZIP.  2.04g is the most recent as of
this writing.

Q: I can't turn it off while it's charging the batteries!
A: That's right.  It needs to be awake to monitor and regulate the
charging rate.  LCD screens don't suffer "burn-in" from continuous use
(think about LCD watches), so it's really nothing to worry about.

Q: Help! My machine is stuck! What do I do?
A: The manual's "Getting Started" chapter contains some suggestions.
Try the following, listed in order from least likely to destoy data
to most likely.

1. Reboot with cntl-alt-del.  If the machine starts to boot, but freezes 
   up during the boot process, you have a problem with something in your 
   config.sys and/or autoexec.bat.  Boot from the D: drive (press alt 
   during boot for menu) and use the memo editor to remove the offending 
   line(s) from the startup files.
2. Press cntl-shift-on.  Cntl-shift-on will ask if you want to destroy 
   your C: drive, so be careful.  It will also alter battery settings 
   from the setup application (if you were using NiCads, for example).
3. Replace your AA batteries with fresh ones and try again.  Replacing 
   batteries while the machine is hung up may destroy the data on
   your C: drive.
4. Remove PCMCIA card and all batteries, including backup battery,
   from the 100/200LX (but if you have a SRAM card, leave its battery
   installed while the card is out of the 100/200LX!).  Let the machine 
   sit without power for awhile, and reinstall fresh AA batteries 
   BEFORE replacing the backup battery.  This will, of course, 
   erase your C drive, reset the clock, and in general make the 
   100/200LX forget everything you ever taught it.  Data on the
   PCMCIA card should survive this process, unless you have a SRAM 
   card with a dead battery.  But there's no guarantee that your
   PCMCIA card wasn't already trashed by whatever crashed your system.
5. If none of this works, your machine may need service.  Try running
   diagnostics by pressing esc-on, and following the menu if one comes
   up.  Follow the instructions in the manual for obtaining service.

Any time any MS-DOS machine crashes hard enough to require a reboot,
it's a good idea to run chkdsk on all drives, to clean up the file
systems and recover any clusters that may have been lost.

Q: How do I fix a loose hinge?  A loose latch? 
A: First, call HP and see if you can get them to fix it, preferably
at no charge under warranty.  Both the hinge and the latch problem
seem to be somewhat common after a year or so of use.  Posters have
generally had very good results with HP's express exchange service in
dealing with these under warranty.  If your unit is currently under
warranty, you may be able to extend it by two years by paying a fee.
Contact your country's HP branch for details (see the manual).

To fix the hinge yourself, pull off the left end cap (it should come
straight off using no tools harsher than a fingernail), and insert a
rubber band in the vertical slot under the cap.  Trim off excess and
replace cap.  You probably just voided any warranty you may have had.
Be careful not to get the hinge too tight, or else it may break after
repeated use.

To fix a loose latch yourself, you can stuff something compressible
behind the latch.  Posters have suggested rubber bands, surgical
tubing, packaging foam, and other similar materials.


Subject: 18. For more info

Q: Where should I read and post articles concerning the HP-100/200LX?
A: The Usenet newsgroup comp.sys.palmtops.  The comp.sys.handhelds
group is for calculators, not palmtops.  The commercial services
include Compuserve HPHAND, America OnLine PDA section.

If your question concerns using DOS on the 100/200LX, perhaps one of
the comp.os.msdos.* groups might be appropriate.  Just tell them the
100/200LX behaves like a PC-XT with CGA and 640K, running DOS 5.0.

Q: Where is palmtop info on the Web?
A: Try the HP100/200LX site at


Q: What's the Palmtop Paper?
A: It's a newsletter, published 6 times a year, that covers the HP
palmtop computers.  It's filled with tricks and tips, stories of how
people use their palmtops, and ads for all kinds of accessories and
software.  Contact Thaddeus Computing at P.O.  Box 869, Fairfield, IA
52556 (515) 472-6330, FAX:(515) 572-1879


Subject: 19. HP's future plans

Q: What are HP's plans for future palmtops?
A: HP is introducing a new GEOS-based PDA/Palmtop called the OmniGo
(formerly known by its codename, Jedi).  It is scheduled for
availability on or around Oct. 15, or about the same time as this
edition of the FAQ is being written. Read comp.sys.palmtops for more
details, because as this is being written. very little reliable
information is available, but a flood of information should be
quickly forthcoming on comp.sys.palmtops. 


Subject: 20. Public Domain

This file is in the public domain, which means you can basically do
with it what you wish (though you can't legally claim you wrote it).
If you post or distribute it, the editor prefers that you keep it
unaltered in its entirety.  If you extract excerpts from it, the
editor would appreciate a credit to "The Usenet comp.sys.palmtops
HP100/200LX FAQ".


Subject: 21. Acknowledgements

Special recognition to Anthony Stieber <> for
maintaining the 95LX FAQ and for starting this document.  Special
recognition to David McLauchlan <> for being a
200LX consultant, since the editor only has access to a 100LX.

Also recognition to all the folks who have shared info via

The following people have contributed to this FAQ by e-mailing
information to the editor:

Jim Breen <>
Dan Buckler <>
Sylvan Butler <>
Tony Clark <>
Andreas Garzotto <>
Andrew Gryc <>
Jun-ichiro Itoh <>
Sheryl Katz <>
Wee-Meng Lee <>
Wolfgang Lierz <>
Rob Logan <>
J. Marot-Lassauzaie <>
Phillip Nichols <>
Clark Ochikubo <>
Stephen Panarelli <>
John Seymour <>
H. Shrikumar <>
Edmundo Silva <>
Charles Stroom <>
Peter van der Landen <>
Stefan Wolfrum <>
Narutoshi Yoneda <>

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