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DOCK 101: Attach a Big Keyboard to Your Palmtop

DOCK 101: Attach a Big Keyboard to Your Palmtop

Keytronics has recently introduced its Dock 101, a full-sized keyboard that works with both HP Palmtops. (At this time it only works in DOS on the 100LX. Keytronics is writing a new driver for the 100LX that should be available in the first part of 1994.) The Keytronics Dock 101 keyboard comes with driver software for the HP 95LX and MS-DOS/Windows laptops, an AC adapter to supply power to the keyboard, a manual, and a stand to support the computer at a comfortable height for viewing the screen.

Installation is very straight-forward. Copy the driver, HP95101.COM, to your C: drive and with memo add the line HP95101 just before the $SYSMGR to your AUTOEXEC.BAT file. Press (CTRL)-(ALT)(DEL) to reboot the 95LX and you're ready to plug in the keyboard. You'll need the serial cable from the Connectivity Pack to plug into the supplied gender changer and the keyboard cable. After all the cables are connected and the AC adapter is plugged in, connect the serial cable to the 95LX serial port and turn on the 95LX.

HP 95LX Features

  • The DOCK101 worked perfectly. I was suddenly able to enter data into my HP 95LX just like any full size desktop computer.
  • All well-behaved DOS and System-Manager Compliant applications that leave the serial port alone should work fine.
  • Both the regular keyboard and the Dock101 are active at the same time. You use the blue keys from the regular 95LX keyboard.
  • The F12 key on the Dock101 is the MENU key.
  • Pressing any key on the Dock101 turns the 95LX on. This happens because the 95LX turns on upon receipt of serial port data.
Drawbacks for the HP 95LX

  • The keyboard does not work with the FILER and COMM applications or with any other program that alters the serial port status or attempts to use the serial port for data communications.
  • If you want to use the serial port for anything else, you have to remark out the drivers command line in CONFIG.SYS and reboot the Palmtop.
  • The driver software uses up some system memory, however this is less than 4K bytes.
  • You have to be near an electrical outlet to use the Dock101. It does not have an option for batteries.
  • Some programs bypass the keyboard buffer and poll the keyboard directly. The keyboard may not work with these programs.

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