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Plenty of Support in Japan for the HP Palmtop

Plenty of Support in Japan for the HP Palmtop

With a NIFTY-Serve Forum, a number of excellent Web sites, and an active group of users, the HP Palmtop is well-supported in Japan.
It is impossible to start any article about the use of the HP Palmtop in Japan without first mentioning the FHPPC forum on NIFTY-Serve. NIFTY-Serve is the Japanese counterpart of CompuServe, started in 1986. NIFTY-Serve, the largest commercial information service in Japan, has a large number of forums. FHPPC is one of them and has always dealt with the LX series of HP Palmtop computers.

When the original HP 95LX was first introduced in Japan, members of this forum were so attracted by the new Palmtop, they started to develop the software necessary to make the Palmtop work in Japanese display Japanese characters, accept Japanese word entries and edit screens in Japanese. Years later, when the 200LX was released in Japan, this software was further refined and released as a mature commercial software: a Japanese Language Kit (JKIT).

Japanese on HP LX series of Palmtops


The Japanese language environment displays the complicated Japanese characters in the Palmtop's graphic mode. Shown above are sample screens from Appointment Book (top), DOS (middle) and PhoneBook (bottom).

 The Japanese Language Kit (JKIT) installs a Japanese language environment on both DOS and System-Manager levels (see previous screens). The Japanese language environment requires that a relatively large set of "device drivers" be installed prior to starting System Manager. You need a system administration driver (which provides API to each component), an EMS driver (if you use extended memory), a display driver for DOS, a font driver, a Kanji conversion interface driver and Kanji conversion driver for Japanese DOS system, also known as FEP (Front End Processor) driver. The FEP driver receives a key input and translates it to a specific Japanese character. This driver consumes a large amount of the conventional memory and was a headache until the EMS driver was developed. (The EMS driver breaks the DOS 640 K limit. These drivers, which require a lot of system RAM memory, make RAM disk space available as extended memory. )

The Japanese language environment displays the complicated Japanese characters (ideograms) in the Palmtop's graphic mode. Applications written for the original English environment sometimes have problems displaying characters due to this video mode incompatibility.

"Off-line" meetings

Social activities within the Palmtop user community are among the most important goals of the FHPPC forum. Almost every week "off-line" meetings are held somewhere. Exchange of information is very active. If you plan to visit Japan, please do not forget to notify us by e-mail. You will be welcome wherever you plan to visit in Japan. (Hal should know very welcome you are.)

Resources in Japan for the HP Palmtop

LXMIDI and other Japanese Software

iPhone Life magazine

Notice about Palmtop.net
The Palmtop Network with its S.U.P.E.R. (Simply Unbeatable Palmtop Essentials Repository) software is now available under the domain name of hp200lx.net.  

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We buy used palmtops, working or broken: HP 200LX, HP 100LX and 1000CX.

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