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newt
July 20th, 2013, 09:14 AM
I thought I'd share my experience getting an HP palmtop online in 2013:

I have an HP 1000CX, which is nearly identical in hardware to the classic 200LX organizer, but missing any PIM software. It's basically an XT-compatible computer running MS-DOS 5 that runs off two AA batteries.

(anything I explain in this post can be applied to the 100/200LX with very little modification)

The HP palmtop has a PCMCIA 2 slot that can power any 5V card with maximum 150mA of power. Unfortunately, this means most modern network cards won't work. The search is further limited to cards with a compatible DOS packet driver.

Luckily, I've found one card that fits the requirements (with some software tweaking). The Sohoware ND5120 is a 10Mbps 16-bit LAN card with the universally supported NE2000 chipset. There seems to be a few on eBay at any given time.

You'll need the following software to get it working:

"LxCic (http://hplx.pgdn.de/lxcic.zip) (V2.1, 17K, 22-OCT-99) is a I/O card enabler and thus a CIC100 alternative on the Palmtop. LxCic may be used nonresident or resident. If loaded resident, it only takes 1200 bytes of memory and may be unloaded at any time. Currently supports modem and network cards. Source code included." -http://hplx.pgdn.de/

"LXETH (http://sourceforge.net/projects/rwhitby/files/HP200LX%20Ethernet%20Drivers/1.0/) (The HP200LX Ethernet Packet Driver) is an open-source freeware packet driver for ethernet cards that are compatible with the HP200LX palmtop." -http://lxeth.hplx.net/

KILLMSG (http://super.hplx.net/anonftp/pub/killmsg.zip): Whenever the palmtop is brought out of standby or rebooted, the Sohoware card draws a little bit too much power for the system's liking and you get an annoying low battery warning. KILLMSG.COM disables this.

Here's what I put in the AUTOEXEC.BAT. REM the CIC100 line as it's being replaced with LXCIC:


KILLMSG.COM /M /C
LXCIC.COM /L
LXEN2216.COM 0x66

From here, you can install and configure mTCP (http://www.brutman.com/mTCP/) or whatever other stuff that can fit on the tiny drive. My palmtop has a 2MB RAM disk, of which 640KB is allocated to conventional memory, leaving about a floppy diskette's worth of space on the C: drive.

The HP 100LX/200LX/1000CX has an 80186 CPU running at about 8MHz, so networking options are somewhat limited. I chose to cheat a little and simply telnet into a router running OpenWRT as a wireless client and SSH from that into a remote system to do things like email and web browsing. Honestly, a serial connection into the router would do the exact same thing and use way less power, but it was fun tracking down the old info and parts to make this convoluted, roundabout setup work!

14446

angel_grig
July 21st, 2013, 02:46 AM
Very good information!Thank you newt and welcome to the forums!

natcha
July 21st, 2013, 08:12 AM
Very interesting.

I never tried to use a network card with my HP-200LX. But years ago I did run a ham radio TCP/IP package called NOS on the 200LX. It was connected by the serial port to a Packet controller which was then connected to a Handheld radio. It had full TCP/IP capability including email, ftp, and a BBS. A lot of fun.

There even was a version that could be run on the HP-95LX.

I've thought a few times about digging out the old software and run it just to see it work again.

It's amazing what the HP-95/100/200 series can do.

Enjoy your networking.

Bill
Smithville, NJ

newt
January 1st, 2014, 05:15 PM
I recently picked up a Baypac modem off ebay for $5 and hooked it between the palmtop and a scanner. Set it to 144.390 and started receiving APRS packets! Might make amateur certification a project this Winter, as packet radio looks like a lot of fun