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Editor's Message

Happy New Year, albeit somewhat belatedly, and welcome to the first issue of The HP Palmtop Paper in the 21st century.

 Yes, we're somewhat late with this issue due to updating and upgrading the electronic home of The HP Palmtop Paper (www.PalmtopPaper.com) and helping produce the 2000 CD InfoBase. You can get a sneak preview of these endeavors in the "New Products," "The Lotus Tapes," and the "New, Improved Palmtop Paper Web Site."

 If this issue of The HP Palmtop Paper could be summed up in one word, the word would have to be "possibilities."

 Many of the articles mention possible enhancements to the HP 100/200LX. The articles remind me of a wish list but there's a difference. The people who are doing the wishing are also the ones who can make the wishes come true.

 See Hal Goldstein's and Mack Baggette's articles about their "most excellent adventures" at the Fall 1999 Comdex and afterwards. Even though Comdex did not offer anything directly related to the Palmtop, the intrepid adventurers found several possible goodies that could be great Palmtop add-ons. The one possibility that I, personally, hope comes to market is a new, external keyboard -- one that has an HP label. I still haven't got the hang of typing on the Palmtop's itty-bitty keyboard and have not been able to coax or cajole my Win98 machine into letting me use it as an external keyboard for my Palmtop. OK, I'll admit, my finger dexterity is not that great and the older I get the less likely it is that it will improve.

 Mack Baggette mentions the possibility of putting a '486 motherboard in the Palmtop. He's been working on this for almost a year. In the meantime, the Japanese Palmtop community has begun their own version, the Morphy One. They have set Feb. 2000 as the roll-out date for their own Palmtop. It will be a true handheld computer with all sorts of possibilities. You'll be able to run any operating system (DOS, Linux, Win95) that will work with a CGA display. Though it might be cool to carry a Linux machine in my pocket, I'd miss the System Manager software that I've used for the past seven years. Sure, I could probably find a suitable replacement for my Appointment Book and all my databases, but I have yet to find a replacement for HP Calc's Solver. Both Hal and Mack mention the possibility of a 56K bps, low-power modem for the Palmtop. For a lot of users, this could be the best of all possible enhancements. I'll bet this one gets more rave reviews that either an external keyboard or a '486 handheld. Judging from the exchanges on CompuServe and the HPLX-L mailing list, more people use the Palmtop for e-mail than use it for calculating or keeping themselves on time. Anything that can speed up the online process will be money well spent.

 And speaking of "going online," we're aware that a lot of Palmtop users are also world travelers who take their Palmtop along with the idea of using it to keep in touch with the folks at home. That idea often gets set aside when they encounter a phone system that is twenty to thirty years behind the times. Steve Kropla, a seasoned world traveler has encountered just about every type of phone problem there is. He maintains a Web site to share his solutions. Even though Steve is not a Palmtop user, he graciously gave us permission to print some of the information from his site.

 Ernest Lilley, a reviewer for Byte.com, was also at Comdex and found what he considers a possible interim replacement for the HP Palmtop: the Psion Revo handheld. Take a look at his article. Is he alone in his favorable assessment or is this pocketable, typeable, palmtop worth waiting for?

 Finally, you'll note in this issue that we've added a new column and combined two other columns. Hal Goldstein introduces the "HPLX-L Connection" -- the best of the HPLX-L mailing list and the "Palmtop Tips, Traps and Techniques" column takes the place of the former Basic and Quick Tips columns. Frankly, we've exhausted all the Basic Tips. If you missed any of them, stay tuned, you'll be able to browse through the "oldies but goodies" online in a month or so. Come visit us at www.PalmtopPaper.com and see what we have in store for you.

iPhone Life magazine

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