Philadelphia Area HP Handheld Club Meeting | Thursday, October 29, 1998

Drexel University

New "Handheld" is Really a Small Notebook

Hewlett-Packard just introduced a new "handheld" PC dubbed the Jornada 820, but it more resembles a mini-notebook than a palmtop. This is their entry into the new "Windows CE Professional" ranks, codenamed "Jupiter" by Microsoft, and it is over 7-by-9-by-1 inches in size. This competes sizewise more with Toshiba's Libretto, than the Mobilon or Velo. (Actually, Sharp now has the Mobilon Pro, which is in the same category as the Jornada.) The CPU is an Intel StrongArm chip (which Intel licensed from DEC) running at around 190 MHz, so it should have some significant horsepower. The usual Windows CE applications are present, along with a few more. There are no disk drives, but PC-Card and Compact Flash slots provide capability to add capacity. There is a built-in 56K modem for communications and the LCD is 640-by-480 with 256 colors. The display is not a touchscreen type but the pointing device is a touchpad located in front of the keyboard, much like larger laptops. At $999., the price may be right. However, with its size, I'm not sure why people wouldn't just opt for a Libretto and run a "real" OS with "real" application software. We'll see if this beastie goes any farther than the HP Omnigo handheld organizers went (which wasn't very far). Also, with my personal dislike for any product whose name is a fictitious word ending with the letter "a" (and there are DOZENS of these on cars, computers, software and other things), I've already been negatively prejudiced towards the Jornada.

Two "Lost" PPC Journal Issues Found

Back in early October, Richard Schwartz (an original PPCer from the beginnings of the calculator days) emailed me that he was in possession of two PPC Journal issues which had never been published, following PPC's demise in mid-1987. I told him that I was keenly interested in getting copies so they could be incorporated into the PPC CD-ROM disks for distribution to all interested parties. A few weeks later, he met with Richard Nelson, whereby he handed over issues V14N6 and V14N7, dated June and July of 1987. Richard Nelson quickly mailed me copies and I was able to shoehorn them into PPC CD#2. This disk is now up to version 2.0, which is its fourth version (following 1.0, 1.01 and 1.02 which contained minor cosmetic fixes). So, if you order a set of PPC CD disks, you will receive the two lost PPC Journal issues as a bonus. For those who already own older versions of the disks, I have posted the two issues on the website for free downloading. You may find them at

HP Give Nod for Old Manuals on CD

At the Vancouver HP Handheld Conference at the end of August, I posed the request to the attending Hewlett-Packard people for permission to make low-cost CDs containing all the manuals for HP's discontinued handhelds from the HP35 up to the present day. At the conference, HP-Australia's Nigel Hooke assured me that he would seek a response from those in charge when he got back home. Just a week or so ago (around 10/18), the email from Nigel came back with the response we were waiting for: HP has given the nod for the old-manuals-on-CD project. So, my work is now cut out for me. I would like to begin with the "classic" series machines (HP35 through HP67) for the first disk, and will probably begin scanning the manuals fairly soon. Stay tuned for details on PPC CD disk #3.

A Loss for Us

It is with regret to report the passing of Barbara Brook. She first met up with us at the HP Handheld Conference in 1992 and became an irregular attendee of weekday evening and Saturday afternoon meetings up until earlier this year. A real calculator fan, she attempted to get her math students involved with handhelds throughout the time we knew her. She will be missed.


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