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JetEye PC Provides HP Palmtop Users with Infrared Link to Desktop PCs

JetEye PC Provides HP Palmtop Users with Infrared Link to Desktop PCs

JetEye PC lets you set your HP Palmtop or OmniBook down next to your PC and transfer files back and forth without the hassle of connecting cables or the expense of memory cards and card readers.

By Al Harrington

The great advantages of the HP Palmtop is its portability and ease of use. It slips in your pocket at a moments notice and goes where you go. When you need to look up a phone number, or write a memo, you pull it out and press a couple of keys. Although the Palmtop provides an almost self-sufficient solution to personal information management, many users still rely on their desktop PC for many tasks and occasionally have to transfer files back and forth between their Palmtop and their desktop systems.

In the past, this procedure has been a little complicated and expensive. Users had a few options. They could purchase a connectivity cable, install file transfer software on their PC and physically connect the two computers to transfer files. They could install a PCMCIA card reader in their desktop PC and use a PCMCIA memory card in their Palmtop's card drive to swap files back and forth. A third, more complicated approach would be to outfit both computers with modems and transfer files between the two computers via a phone connection.

JetEye PC provides infrared file transfer

 A few years back Extended Systems came out with the JetEye Infrared Printer interface. This device connected to the parallel port of a LaserJet printer and let 95LX users and eventually 100/200LX users set their Palmtops down next to the printer and have memos and other documents printed via the infrared port. It eliminated the hassle of transferring files to a desktop PC, or connecting the Palmtop to the printer via a collection of cable and serial-to-parallel adapters.

 Extended Systems has done it again with the JetEye PC, an infrared interface for your PC. Originally designed for the HP OmniBook, it allowed the OmniBook to transfer files to and from your desktop PC without needing to use any cables. Extended Systems recently announced that the JetEye PC will also work with the HP 200LX.

 The JetEye PC allows on-the-go connectivity for the Palmtop. With LapLink loaded and running on your desktop PC you need only put the Palmtop near the JetEye PC and start LapLink Remote. No cables, no hassles.

 Installing JetEye PC

 I was surprised when I opened the JetEye PC box and looked inside -- there wasn't much there. The JetEye PC IR receiver looks like a PC mouse that has been cut in half (see drawing below). It has a cable coming out of it with a 9-pin connector on the end.

Installing the JetEye PC couldn't be easier - you simply plug it into the serial port on your desktop PC (a 9-to-25 adapter is included).

Connecting JetEye to Your PC: Graphic

 There is no specialized software needed for the JetEye PC. It simply redirects data through the serial port. You will need the HP 100/200LX Connectivity Pack software loaded on your desktop PC to communicate with the Palmtop. Refer to the "Connectivity Pack User's Guide for the HP 200LX and the HP 100LX" for information on installing the Connectivity Pack software.

 Using The JetEye PC with the HP 200LX

 The JetEye PC is very easy and convenient to use. Think of it as connecting the Palmtop and desktop PC with an invisible cable and then running the appropriate communications software. You can communicate and transfer files using the Connectivity Pack's version of Filer or LapLink running on the desktop PC. Make sure JetEye PC and the HP Connectivity Pack software are installed as described above. Then follow these steps:

 USING FILER
 
 

  1. 1. Set the Palmtop's IR port next to the JetEye PC.
  2. 2. Start FILER on your desktop PC. How you do this will depend on how you have the Connectivity Pack software installed on your desktop. You can run the CPACK software out of DOS by typing app200 at the DOS prompt and pressing (ENTER). Then highlight the FILER icon and press (ENTER). If you have CPACK installed on a system running Windows, click twice on the CPACK200 icon, then run FILER.
  3. 3. Press (ALT)-(C) to bring up the Communications menu. Press Remote Settings.
  4. 4. Set the Baud rate to 115200.
  5. 5. Set the Interface to the COM port that JetEye PC is connected to.
  6. 6. On the 200LX, open FILER, press (ALT)-(C) to bring up the Communications menu. Press Remote Settings.
  7. 7. Set the Baud rate to 115200.
  8. 8. Set the Interface to Infrared.

  9.  

     

You then should be able to transfer files between the Palmtop and the desktop PC. Refer to the FILER section in the Connectivity Pack users guide for information on how to transfer files using Filer.
 
 

USING LAPLINK

 LapLink Remote Access creates a special kind of link called a "redirector." With a redirector link, your Palmtop's drives appear as additional drives on your PC, providing you with direct access to all of the Palmtop's files.

LapLink should be configured as described in the LapLink Remote section in the Connectivity Pack user's guide (see LapLink Remote, settings in the index). You'll want to make sure that the Palmtop and the desktop PC are set to the same file transfer rate (115200). The Palmtop should be set to the IR port. The desktop PC should be set to the COM port that the JetEye PC is connected to.

Conclusions

 While the Filer method worked just fine, I prefer to use LapLink. I found it to work quite well with the JetEye PC. However, remember that it is much easier to interrupt an IR connection than a cabled connection. If you hit the Palmtop and cause it to point away from the JetEye PC, the connection can be broken. This can cause a problem if a file transfer is in progress. If this happens you will get a "Permission Denied" DOS error and the connection will close. If you move the Palmtop back into IR range the connection will resume in anywhere from 20 seconds to one minute. While the reconnect times varied in my tests, it always reconnected.

 It is nice to be able to walk up to my desktop PC, set my Palmtop next to the JetEye PC and start LapLink Remote on my 200LX. No cables, no hassles.

 Works on the 100LX

 JetEye PC is targeted for the OmniBook and 200LX, and is officially not supported for the 100LX by the manufacturer. However, it will work with the 100LX. You can use the Filer transfer option as is IR is already supported on the 100LX. If you want to use LapLink on the 100LX, you'll have to transfer it over from the HP 100/200LX Connectivity Pack software. (See LapLink Remote, installing on the HP 100LX, in the index of the Connectivity Pack users guide.) Then follow the "USING LAPLINK" instructions above.

 I tested both the Filer and LapLink connection on the HP 100LX. JetEye PC worked as well as it did with my HP 200LX.

The JetEye PC is a great product for Palmtop-to-Desktop connectivity. Cables are a hassle -- the JetEye PC lets you get away from them.
 
 

iPhone Life magazine


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