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Other Advantages of Upgrading Your 95LX

Other Advantages of Upgrading Your 95LX

Inside any computer is ROM software. In most cases it is "low-level" software that has to do with the interaction between a computer's operating system and hardware. The 95LX ROM software also includes the built-in applications (Lotus 1-2-3, PHONE, APPT, COMM, MEMO, FILER, HP CALC, and SET UP).

 All reputable computer companies from time to time "revise" ROMs. They do so to fix any problems they've discovered, or to improve things. HP has issued several revisions of the HP 95LX ROM.

 HP did an exceptional job "getting it right the first time." Except for one problem in some of the very early units described below, users can feel very comfortable that their unit contains a stable, problem-free ROM.

 Having said this, there are some minor ROM software revisions (improvements) that have been made since the HP 95LX was introduced April, 1991. When you send in your unit for a 512K to 1 MB upgrade, you will receive the latest ROM software revisions. This is so because HP upgrades each unit by replacing the main system board which contains RAM, ROM, CPU, and I/O circuitry.

 Here is an unofficial list of some of the improvements in later ROM revisions as discovered by CompuServe users.

  • Serial Port now only turns on when REMOTE or SYSTEM are invoked from FILER otherwise it stays off (thus conserving batteries). Previously it turned on whenever FILER was invoked.
  • The 5 minute default timeout is changed to 3 minutes.
  • The problem with DOS COPY with /V option is fixed. (The COPY /V could cause a system to lock up in previous version.)
  • The save function for large APPT or PHONE files is sped up quite a bit.
  • The long wait searching for non-existent APPT entries has been significantly shortened.



Early units had an additional problem of an insufficient battery-low warning resulting in the potential loss of open unsaved files. HP will fix this problem at no charge by sending them the unit.

 From what we can tell there have been four ROM revisions. From FILER take a look at the Lotus files on your C drive with a .WK1 extension. Those files are either dated 3-20-91, 4-1-91, 6-5-91, or 9-24-91 depending on which revision you have. The 1MB upgrade boards will contain 9-24-91 or later dates.

If you upgrade to 1MB, it will be nice to get the latest revision. But remember, there will always be later revisions: if you are having no problems with your HP 95LX it's not something to be concerned about. (If it ain't broke ...)

 One other note. Last issue we discussed several menuing system that allowed users to run DOS software "on top of" the built-in system manager files based on software developed in UTIL Forth. (See Jan/ Feb, 1992, pages 19 and 31). These "loaders" must be revised to work properly on units with ROMs later than 9-24-91. Updated versions of these loaders are available in the CompuServe HPSYS HP 95LX data library.

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