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HP OmniGo 700LX corner

HP OmniGo 700LX corner

This is the first of a continuing column for users of HP's new OmniGo 700LX. Gilles Kohl will look at developments in the 700LX, answer common questions, and give some useful tips.

By Gilles Kohl

[Note: The OmniGo 700 LX is the Palmtop/cellular phone combination we reviewed beginning on page 29 of the November/December 1995 issue. I t has been introduced in parts of Europe and Asia, but is not yet available in the U.S., pending adoption in the U.S. of the communications protocol used by the 700LX.]

This is the first installment of a regular column I'll write for users and prospective buyers of the new HP OmniGo 700LX. I'll try to answer frequently asked questions about the 700LX that surface on the CompuServe Hewlett-Packard Handhelds, Library 6 (the section dedicated to the 700LX, type GO HPHAND, Section 6). I'll also provide users with 700LX tips and tricks, especially in connection with the mobile phone, fax, data, and SMS functionalities.

Frequently asked questions

Q: What is the difference between the HP OmniGo 700LX and the OmniGo 100 or the HP 200LX?

A: The OmniGo 100 and the 700LX are really two very different animals. The OmniGo 100 is a GEOS-based Palmtop that can be used with a pen as well as with its built-in keyboard.

The OmniGo 700LX was based on the HP 200LX Palmtop computer and comes with its built-in applications. It does not have the pen interface of the OmniGo 100 and is based on the DOS operating system and HP's System Manager shell.

The OmniGo 700LX adds to the 200LX a docking cradle for the Nokia 2110 cellular phone (and compatibles), and a built-in Nokia datacard fax/modem. This adds wireless communications capabilities to the Palmtop. It also comes with an enhanced infrared port and flashing LEDs that indicate when the phone is in use, if an appointment is due, and when the battery is low. The AC adapter for the Nokia cellular phone can be used to charge both the Palmtop and the Nokia phone simultaneously (with the phone docked).

Q: Can I use the 700LX in my area?

A: Your geographical area must first have GSM coverage. Most of Europe, Australia, and parts of Asia have this coverage.

In addition, your cellular network operator must support GSM fax, data and short message service -- be sure to inquire about this before subscribing. Some providers differentiate between outgoing and incoming fax/data services, the latter requiring an additional monthly fee. Decide whether you need incoming data and fax calls in this case. When selecting a GSM cellular operator (you may have more than one available), also ask about short message service support, especially outgoing -- called SMS-MO (mobile originated).

And finally, if you're frequently mobile outside your country, ask cellular service providers about roaming agreements they have with other countries" service providers. Make a list of countries you are likely to visit on business, and ask about those specifically.

Also ask about support for GSM fax, data and SMS roaming in these countries. OmniGo 700LX tips and tricks

Getting Short Message service center numbers

To be able to send short messages, you will need to store the phone number of the "service center" either in your phone, or in the "Phone settings" dialog of the SMS application. Ask your local provider for this number, and make sure that you enter it as an international number, that is, with the + sign and your country and network prefix.

Accessing CompuServe from your 700LX

Some operators have installed network-wide CompuServe access numbers. This is true for the German operators, for example. For D1, the number is 22202, for D2, it is 22111, and for E+, 123123. Maybe your operator has such a number too ? It is usually much less expensive to call than an access number in the regular public switched network.

Calling your home computer or another 100/200LX or OmniGo 700LX using Filer on the 700LX.

It's possible to connect the 700LX to another Palmtop or PC running HP Connectivity Pack software and transfer files back and forth via the File application. Note that this capability is an undocumented feature of the 700LX and not supported by Hewlett-Packard. In addition, it may not work on all cellular networks. Here's how it works.

TRANSFERRING FILES TO A PC

These instructions assume that you have a PC connected to a phone line via a modem. They also assume that you have the HP Connectivity Pack software installed on your PC.

Step 1: Open the Connectivity Pack version of Filer on your PC, press (MENU) Communications Remote Settings... and configure the communications settings for 9600 Baud, no parity, one stop bit. Set the interface to the COM port number your modem is connected to.

Step 2: Instruct your modem on your PC to answer the phone. Do this by sending it the command: AT*S0=1 [RETURN]

(Use a terminal emulation program with the same settings to do this.) You must leave the PC running the Connectivity Pack Filer or it won't connect

Step 3: Open Filer on your OmniGo 700LX and configure your remote settings the same as on your PC. The only exception is to select Phone as the COM port on your 700LX, and enter your home phone number in the Phone field. (You may save battery power by switching to the "Phone" port only when you actually need the connection.)

Step 4: Dock the Nokia phone into its 700LX cradle, switch to Filer (the phone LED should blink now) and press (F6) (Remote).

Your Nokia should dial your home phone number, connect to your home phone and establish a remote Filer connection. Your home PC's files will appear on your 700LX in Filer's remote window. You can use Filer to copy, move, delete, rename, etc., files either on the 700LX or the PC you are connected to.

Transferring files to another OmniGo 700LX

The procedure used to connect to and transfer files between another OmniGo 700LX is almost the same as described above. Go to the Remote Settings screen of the "target" 700LX (the one you are connected to) and configure it as described above, with the following exceptions:

  • You don't need to enter a phone number in the Phone field.
  • You must make sure that the Server Mode is enabled (in the Remote Settings screen) so that a remote connection can be established.
Connect and transfer files in the same manner as described in step four above.

[Note on security: Some users keep the Server mode disabled and enable it only when ready to use it as a server. It is rather unlikely for an unwanted connection to happen though. For this to happen, your machine would need to be on, and Filer running, at the moment the intruder calls. The OmniGo 700LX does not wake up when a mobile phone call is coming in. (This would require powering the datacard all the time). The same precaution can be applied to your office or home machine. Then, when you want to connect to it remotely, call someone to switch on your modem or launch Filer just before you attempt to connect.]

Using DOS telecommunication programs over the Nokia phone

When you want to use a DOS communication program on the 700LX to communicate over the phone, you can run into a problem. Most of these programs do not let you set them up to communicate over the Palmtop's "Phone" port. However, there is a way to force the Palmtop to use the Phone port before running the DOS communications program. Before launching your communications program, run the SERCTL command.

Go to the DOS prompt, enter SERCTL /P and press (ENTER).

This will set COM1 in the Palmtop to refer to the Phone interface setting instead of the serial port (you will see the phone LED blink). Set your DOS communication program to use COM1 at 9600 baud and it should work fine.

The acCIS CompuServe access program uses a DOS-based online port (for acCIS contact information, see page 44). If you want to use it on the 700LX, add the following line to the STARTUP.SCR file located in \ACCIS\ASI:

d d:\bin\serctl /p

After you are finished using a DOS communications program on your 700LX, do not forget to set up COM1 to refer to the 700LX's serial port. Quit the communications program and from the DOS prompt, key in SERCTL /O and press (ENTER). This command also switches the COM1 serial port off to conserve power. SERCTL /W will switch it back to the wired external port.

Under SysMgr, the fastest way to switch off the phone LED is to launch

and immediately quit the DataComm application (Ctrl-Quicken key).

iPhone Life magazine


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