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Thread: Portables

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    Portables

    Has anyone here ever owned/used a handheld computer such as a Poqet PC or an HP 200LX?

    Just been looking at these and the term "iWant" sprang to mind.

    The Poqet and HP run MS-DOS, have QWERTY keyboards and run off AA batteries.

    Newer HPs run Windows CE and tend to be cheaper on ebay, as well as more plentiful. Maybe these days a DOS system would be more useful than A CE system, probably due to compatibility with desktop computers.

    I've also been having a look at some PSION systems, which look nice, but might be a bit limiting to me due to running EPOC OS.

    I watched a video on YouT00b of someone using a TRS-80 Model 100. That looks nice. It has a good keyboard and BASIC interpretter, but again, is a bit limited if you are not writing your own programmes. It also looks rather big.

    Meanwhile, for the ultimate in portability, someone is selling an IBM 5155 on ebay, currently at GBP320: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...m=150584313837

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    Not really from that era. The closest I owned back in the 80's was a Sharp PC-1403 (or it might have been the PC-1500). It was more like a scientific calculator, with basic programming built in and a full qwerty keyboard layout. Was still fun to play around with and I did manage to code a couple of games and a database on it. It also used a CPU similar to a Z80, so quite a few Spectrum and CPC programs could be altered to work.

    And at work in around 2000-2001 I had an HP iPAQ Pocket PC. It was the design studios rather than my own, but I tended to use it the most for multimedia and new media development. Was quite a cool device for its time. Obviously current touch screen smart phones can now do much more than it ever could with its Windows CE 3.0 OS, but it was definitely ahead of its time back then. It was one of the early models that used a sleave design, where you could slide different jackets over the iPAQ to add posts and card slots. The one I had was a 400MHz colour version. I forget the model number but I remember it has 32MB ram so would have been the H3950 probably. It was also used as the device to demo future 3G technology ideas, using a wi-fi card plugged into the iPAQ to similar 3G functionality to potential clients of Lucent Technologies.

    I also owned a personal organiser that opened like a book with the screen on the left and the keyboard on the right, plus a card slot below the screen. I can't remember the make or model of that, but it was quite a nice little system.

    Regarding the old 70's/80's portable computers, I never did see the point in those huge things with the tiny monitor and detachable keyboard. They were more desktop PCs that could be carried around, and their weighed a ton!

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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    Regarding the old 70's/80's portable computers, I never did see the point in those huge things with the tiny monitor and detachable keyboard. They were more desktop PCs that could be carried around, and their weighed a ton!
    I bet the keyboards are better than most modern laptop ones.

    I am curious to know how easy it is to type on these new touch screeny things, such as the iPad.

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    It takes some getting used to typing on a touch screen, and even with the best technology it is no where near as accurate as a real keyboard, or even as fast as typing on a mobile with real keys when texting. Most devices these days do use some form of feedback as you press each letter, to make it feel like you are pressing something physical, which helps, but it is far from good enough to type more than a short email or forum post.

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    Burn! Hot Blooded Rhythm Soul! Staff Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Coates View Post
    I am curious to know how easy it is to type on these new touch screeny things, such as the iPad.
    As you might expect, at first it is a little bit weird, but it is something that is quickly adjusted to. I doubt many people would want to use to to type an essay length piece of text, but for browsing/SMS/short emails the iphone is absolutely fine. I imagine the ipad is a bit better due to the larger screen size, but then the larger physical size may make it a bit tricker to hold (possibly needing a table or lap to pop it on for support, rather than hand holding).

    For iphone/ipad you could of course substitute any number of touch screen devices. The apple screens are rather nice to look at and and to use, though.

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    RetroSteve! My location

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    I got an HP 100LX off ebay

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...m=200593537772

    I look forward to getting it.

    As it runs MS-DOS and has a proper keyboard it will probably be a lot more useful than the Newton Messagepad which I used to have.

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    I remember those early Palmtop PCs. Quite expensive though for such an old and pretty obsolete piece of hardware. Do they normally go for that price? What are you going to use it for?

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    That seems to be a reasonable price. A 200LX sold the other day for about GBP60.

    It has a PCMCIA slot and a serial port and is basically just a miniature PC/XT so I'm sure it will be useful for something .

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    Can it run the Gorilla game in QBasic?

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    It arrived this morning. The words 'wow' and 'cool' spring to mind.

    It should run Gorilla and Nibbles, but QBasic is not included on the machine. I would have to transfer it on using a serial cable, or maybe using the 1MB PCMCIA SRAM card, which needs its battery replacing.

    I will have to find out whether a compact flash card will work.

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