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Partial Glossary of Terms Used in This Article

Partial Glossary of Terms Used in This Article

A/D converter - analog to digital converter allows the computer to read a continuous signal (i.e. battery voltage) and convert it to digital information the computer can use (calculate battery strength).

BCD math library - a collection of computer software subroutines for performing math operations on numbers which are represented in a format called Binary Coded Decimal.

BIOS - Basic input output system is the program in a PC that starts the computer when it is turned on and checks the memory, keyboard screen and disk drives. It is stored in the read-only memory on the mother board of your computer.

Boot -- to start your computer, usually by turning the power on or pressing (CTRL)-(ALT)-(DEL).

Bootstrap code -- a small program that loads the software needed to start up and run a computer.

Card Port Support - the support software and hardware that makes it possible for the 95LX and 100LX to read and write to PCMCIA cards.

CPU - Central Processing Unit is the "brain" of the computer. It is also referred to a micro processor.

Debug - The name of an assembly language compiler built into the 95LX (C:\_SYS\DEBUG.EXE) and the 100LX (D:\DOS\DEBUG.EXE). Debug also refers to the process of locating and fixing errors in a computer system, either software or hardware.

EPROM - Electronically Programmable Read Only Memory is a memory chip that can be programmed or reprogrammed (with software) by writing information on it at a higher than normal voltage.

EXMs - refers to programs with .EXM file extension that will run in the System Manager on the 95LX and 100LX.

IC - Integrated Circuits are the "chips" that are inside all computers. They are made up of thousands of electronic components etched onto small pieces of silicon.

Interrupt Controller - This is the circuit in the computer that helps determine what functions (such as pressing a key) will get the Central Processors attention.

Interval Timer - a programmable circuit used to generate a CPU interrupt at fixed intervals of time.

LCD - Liquid Crystal Display is the screen on your palmtop. It is made up of a liquid material that becomes opaque when an electrical charge is applied.

Logic Chips - The chips containing the circuits that give a computer the ability to "make choices." Logic circuits are the primary building blocks of Integrated Circuits (IC).

Low-level graphics - a set of software routines included in the Palmtop system ROMs and used by applications to draw to the graphics display.

Mapping - creating a table or scheme for the computer to find items. It has to be able to find the serial ports, memory locations, display screen, disk drives, keyboard, etc.

Memory Management - how memory is used and allocated for different functions.

MS-DOS - Microsoft Disk Operating System, a program that lets the computer manage the communications between the user, the disk drives, memory, etc. The 95LX uses MS-DOS 3.2 and the 100LX uses MS-DOS 5.0.

NEC V20 CPU - an 8088 compatible CPU manufactured by NEC and used in the HP 95LX. The 100LX uses an Intel 80186 CPU (minus some of the 80186's peripheral control circuits).

Oscillator clock - a crystal that generates a frequency that runs all timing processes in a computer.

Parsing -- translating a string of characters into logical units that the computer can process.

RAM - Random Access Memory is the computer's memory which it can access at any location in the same way you can open a book to any page and read any word.

Real Time Clock - Is a clock inside the computer that keeps track of the time in human terms (i.e. days, months, years, minutes, seconds).

ROM - Read Only Memory, on the HP Palmtops the operating system and applications permanently etched into silicon (in ROM).

RPL - Reverse Polish Lisp, the language used for writing the system programs in the HP calculators.

Saturn CPU - a proprietary HP microprocessor that is used in many HP calculators. It is not compatible with the processors made by Intel that run IBM compatible PC's.

Tone Generator - the "chip" that converts the computers digital information into an audible tone. It is a type of analog/digital converter.

Trap-Door - an undocumented command that takes you out of the main flow of the program.

TSR - a Terminate and Stay Resident program is a DOS program that can be started on a PC and can be called up after other programs have been started.

UART - Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter is the "chip" in the PC that translates the parallel data that the CPU uses into the serial data that is sent out the serial port and the IR port.

UNIX - multi-user operating system created by Bell labs and commonly used on large workstations and "mini-computers".

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