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HP 95LX EUROPEAN DEVELOPER'S CONFERENCE
Hal talks about some of the products he saw at a conference for European HP 95LX developers and discusses the distribution of The HP Palmtop Paper outside the U.S.
By Hal GoldsteinIn November, I had the good fortune to speak at a conference for European developers of HP 95LX products held in Montreaux, Switzerland. For three days over 70 attendees networked with one another and listened to sessions on the HP 95LX. It's astounding all the energy, creativity, and intelligence going into making the HP 95LX even more useful than it already is.
EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION OF THE HP PALMTOP PAPER
At the conference I made contact with distributors of HP 95LX products from a number of European countries. I have also spoken or written to distributors in other countries. The idea is to have a major distributor for every country with a significant number of HP 95LX users. The distributor will be responsible for selling in the local currency and mailing out The HP Palmtop Paper and related products. That distributor may bundle his own materials with the mailing of The HP Palmtop Paper. In many cases those materials will include an additional newsletter in the country's language dealing with local issues and translating the most important articles from The HP Palmtop Paper.
We have contacted potential distributors in the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, The United Kingdom, and Venezuela.
(If you have an HP distributorship, especially in a country not listed above, fax, write, or call me, and perhaps you can represent The HP Palmtop Paper in your country.)
Five of these distributors were able to respond to our proposal in time to include them in this issue. Next issue we hope to publish a more complete listing of local HP 95LX distributors. At present, users in the following countries can purchase The HP Palmtop Paper and The HP Palmtop Paper ON DISK in their local currency:
BELGIUM and LUXEMBOURG contact: Bytecom SPRL, Luc Smeesters, Av. De La Seigneurie, 28, B-1325 Dion-Valmont, Belgium; Phone: 32 10 223455; Fax: 32 10 241730.
HOLLAND contact: ELDATA, Jan van de Ven, Weteringschans 129, 1017 SC Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Phone: 020 6360 901; Fax: 020 6325 111.
ENGLAND contact: DIP Ltd., 32 Frederick Sanger Road, Surrey Research Park, Guildfort GU2 5XN, United Kingdom; Phone: 44 483 301555; Fax: 44 483 301434.
FRANCE contact: Gilles Queru, President Directeur General, APSYLOG S.A., 8-12, rue Vauvillers, 75001 Paris, France; Phone: 22.214.171.124; Fax: 126.96.36.199.
GERMANY contact: Wilfried Ktz, Geschaftsfhrer, W&W Software Products GmbH, Odenthaler Strae 214, 5060 Bergisch Gladback 2, Germany; Phone: 22 02/42021; Fax: 22 02 / 32794
EUROPEAN PRODUCTS OF INTEREST TO 95LX USERSLITHIUM BATTERIES -- FOUR TIMES THE LIFE OF ALKALINES
Probably the most important product I saw in Europe was a set of 1.5 Volt AA lithium mercury-free batteries given to me by an HP Geneva Support Manager. I only found them in Switzerland. I understand that Eveready will introduce these high- energy lithium batteries in the U.S. sometime in 1992.
I didn't really believe the Support Manager when he told me that these batteries lasted four times as long as alkaline batteries. However, since I was going through a pair of batteries in my HP 95LX on my three week European trip every four or five days, I was certainly willing to try. To my amazement and pleasure, the batteries lasted at least four times as long. During that time period, I put my HP 95LX through rigorous testing, playing the graphics-oriented Tetris game during the European train rides. The battery life indicator (from the Shift Filer menu) seemed to work properly - I couldn't believe how long it stayed on "full." I still got a good two days of work when the "battery low" indicator started flashing.
As I hear more about the availability of the product, I'll report it. Unfortunately, these batteries are priced about four times the cost of Alkaline batteries. Hopefully, as these batteries gain popularity the price will come down.
This "Hi Energy Lithium Battery" is available from, Ralston Energy Systems SA, Chemin Louis-Dunant 17, CH-1211, Geneva, Switzerland.
The HP Support Manager who told me about the batteries also mentioned to me his experience with the Voyager modems. Compared to the modems he has tested he felt the Voyager won, hands down. The Voyager was able to run trouble-free from battery mode with the HP 95LX in a number of the European countries.
Mark Needham of Widget Software Ltd handed me the Paralink 3, a small battery-powered device that looks like a cable adapter. In fact this 2.75" by 2" adapter connects to the HP 95LX serial cable and turns it into a parallel cable. Connect the 95LX to this adapter and you can print to parallel printers.
Richard Hill of CM Software finally got me to install Pocket Sales Force at the end of the conference. I wish I'd had it at the beginning so I could have used it rather than Lotus as my contact manager. Pocket Sales Force is System-Manager-compliant program, which means it works in conjunction with the built-in HP 95LX applications. And it's only 55K, which means it can be used even without a RAM Card.
I never had the chance to test it, but the manual and user interface seemed straightforward. I talked with two participants who used the program regularly and swore by it. Its advantages are its system compliancy, its simplicity, its small size, and the fact that it is shipping!
TWO OTHER CONTACT MANAGERS
I am looking forward to trying DYNaXX 's Contact 95 and 4 Software's INFO Manager data base / contact manager program. Both programs sport many features. Where Pocket Sales Force is a simple program, Contact 95 is apparently your mid-sized contact manager. For a full-featured data base program that requires a RAM card or a custom ROM card, 4 Software's INFO Manager fits the bill. See "Contact Management," page 42 for more information on these programs. INFO Manager's author Johann Khberger won praise from the HP 95LX Corvallis developer support engineer for creating the first successful large-sized XIP (execute in place) application. That means that INFO Manager will execute out of ROM and not take much System RAM space similar to how Lotus 1-2-3 operates.
Another set of programs that won high praise from users at the conference was Deltasoft Ltd's 1-2-3 add-in financial functions @invest, @leasing, @loan. David Branston, president of Deltasoft, told me that U.S. users could order directly from his company until he finalizes arrangements with U.S. distributors. (See page 42 for more information.)
Finally, a most technically interesting product is the GPS pack. This combination of the HP 95LX and Rockwell's NavCore V GPS Receiver will be available in mid 1992. GPS pack uses information from the Global Positioning System's 24 orbiting satellites to enable a marine, aviation, or other user's receiver to calculate position, altitude, and velocity, anywhere in the world.
GPS pack interfaces directly with the 95LX via the HP Mobile Data Link Cradle, or serial cable.
The GPS pack software will be fully System-Manager-compliant, allowing data to be transferred to other applications (data can be transferred into Lotus spreadsheets for conversion, graphing, etc.).
The 95LX with GPS pack could be used in marine and aviation navigation, surveying, expeditions, etc. This product fits in the same HP Mobile Data Link Cradle built for the Motorola Pager. (See Fall 1991, page 4 for more information on the Mobile Data Link Cradle.)
For more information contact: General Engineering & Systems S.A., 45a rte des Acacias, CH 1227 Geneva, Switzerland; Phone: 41(22) 42 78 06; Fax 41(22) 42 78 05.
DER PALMTOP HP 95LX
We've received favorable reports of this book published in Germany by Markt & Technik.
ALTEC CARD DRIVE
This drive has received praise from those who have used it in Europe. (See page 42 for more information.)
ORDERING EUROPEAN Products from the U.S.
The quickest, most reliable way to do this is to Fax orders or requests for information, and pay by credit card for simpler currency transfer.
IPPO - EUROPEAN VENDORS BAND TOGETHER
A number of the conference participants discussed the possibility of forming an organization of European developers and marketers of HP 95LX products. The feeling was that a valuable synergy could be created by a European-based organization dedicated exclusively to developing and promoting 95LX products and related services. Those interested in IPPO ("Independent Palmtop Product Organization") should contact: Richard Hill, CM Software, England, Phone: 081-449 1558, Fax: 081 441 0189; or Heinz Schulte, ALTEC, Germany, Phone: 0511/6308836, Fax: 0511/6308849; or Johann Pellicaan, ICT International, Netherlands, Phone: 031-4192 19585, Fax: 031-4192 19595.
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