Philadelphia Area HP Handheld Club Meeting

Thursday, June 5, 1997 - Drexel University


HP300/320LX in the Stores

Both the HP300LX and HP320LX Windows CE palmtops are now available in the stores, and the feedback so far has been generally favorable. Although several readers of the comp.sys.handhelds newsgroup see this as the downfall of the HP200LX unit, Hewlett-Packard insisted that they would support it as long as there was a demand. The introduction earlier this year of a 4-meg RAM version of the 200LX is some proof of this support. One wonders if this is the final release of any DOS-based HP handhelds, however.

Microsoft Has More Windows CE Plans

According to published reports, verison 2.0 of Windows CE will make its debut this fall at the November COMDEX show in Las Vegas, and it will come in three "flavors." Support for half-pound, one-pound and three-pound hardware platforms are apparently in the works with the smallest version aiming at the Palm Pilot market, the middle group updating the current crop of HPC devices and the large group defining a new niche for handhelds. This larger form factor has appeared before and has never really caught on in the marketplace; however this time with full VGA screens perhaps things will be more positive.

Omnigo Organizer is a Goner

With the release of the latest machines, some folks expected that the HP Omnigo 100/120 organizer products would be expendable, and it seems that this is now the case. Apparently, the HP Windows CE product introduction also signalled the discontinuance of the Omnigo units due to lackluster sales. Any rumored followon versions have probably been cancelled.

HP Web Site Mentions Obsolete Handheld Support

Over on HP's Handhelds portion of their web site, they now have an area which mentions support for discontinued machines. They list hardware and software support for the HP42S until 8/1/2000 and for the HP48S/SX until 7/1/98. Also, three outside sources of accessories and limited repair for discontinued machines are listed, one of them being Jim Lawson's Handi Calc business. Jim has been attending our weekday evening meetings for a few years now, and has a keen interest in all of the HP handhelds, new and old. Jim's product list is available at on the web. Also, HP lists suggested replacement products for discontinued calclators, and the only products for which they suggest no replacement is the HP-01 watch and the HP94 data collector. Check all this out at HP's page at on the web.

HPCC London Conference Upcoming

The September 20-21st HP Handhelds Conference at the Imperial College in London, sponsored by the HPCC group, is beginning to take shape, with registrations being accepted and speakers solicited. It should be an interesting affair, especially if representatives from the Singapore (handheld/palmtop) facility can attend. By then, there should be a clear picture as to the early success or failure of the Windows CE-based palmtops, and perhaps we'll learn of the direction that will be taken with the existing product lines, which have been diminishing in breadth ever since Singapore took over the responsibilities. Check for conference details.

Eric Vogel's Visit on 6/5/97

Our special meeting on June 5th was an unqualified success. Toward the final two weeks leading up to the meeting date, we were able to secure a meeting room in Drexel's Psychology/Sociology/Anthropology building. It turned out to be excellent, and thirteen people showed up to hear Eric speak. He brought the product which his current team had just completed, that being the HP Logic Dart, an advanced logic probe with various functions for troubleshooting digital logic boards. The effort sounded like one to generate a new handheld calculator or palmtop, with many of the same constraints and requirements. The group got to see a Logic Dart in action and also to see one disassembled and described right down to the individual electrical and mechanical components. All had an enjoyable evening. The meeting lasted until past midnight, and it was videotaped, as always. This tape lasts a bit over four hours and is available for anyone interested. (See our videotapes page at Below are several photos from the meeting.

For additional information on the Logic Dart, check on the web.

Eric Vogel speaks on the Logic Dart and more.

Photo courtesy of Eric Hafler.

  The Logic Dart is demonstrated. Shown from left to right is: Eric Vogel,

Jesse Lieberman, Leonard Pough, Mike Antanis, Jim Lawson (holding the

product) and Mike Minard. Photo courtesy of Eric Hafler.

Remainder of the photos by Jake Schwartz, captured at 640 by 480 resolution with a Snappy 2.0 image grabber

from the Hi-8 videotape shot with a Canon ES-2000 camcorder

Eric speaks to the group....   More of our Philly gang.
Some of us had to bring our calcs along...   Here's what the Logic Dart box looks like.
...and here's how it's packed inside   Here's the Logic Dart in the hand
Top end view showing AC adapter plug (center) and

IR output LED (right)

  Here's the LCD - similar to HP48 but with no annunciators and much

higher contrast

Top portion of the keyboard   Lower portion of keyboard; also showing ports for the three probes
Here's the promotional lapel pin/test circuit which comes

with the unit.

  The back shows the test circuit for getting started with the LD.
A couple of shots showing demonstration of the Logic Dart utilizing the test circuit on the back of the promo LD pin.
Taking the unit apart, with the case, keyboard and circuit board


  Circuit board with LCD attached.
The silicon-rubber keyboard   Here's one of the "Easter Eggs": one of 3 development team


Logic Dart circuit board from the under side. The upper half of the board on this side is all power-supply circuitry.
Logic Dart circuit board from the top side with the LCD removed. The board contains over 450 parts.
Two graphite forms from which the metal case molds were made   Logic Dart ad as it appeared in recent technical magazines
A side-by-side size comparison between LD and HP48GX.   Eric describes how HP and Fluke products are a perfect match to fill in

gaps in each company's product lines and distribution channels

One explanation of the derivation of the Logic Dart name from

"Objet D'art"

  Eric discusses HP Corvallis' and Singapore's handling of handhelds in

the recent past, with concentration on palmtops and less emphasis on

calculators.... Jim Lawson (right) listens to the explanation.


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