Using the HP Connectivity Pack with a desktop PC running Windows 95

By Barry Miller

The HP Connectivity Pack

The HP Connectivity Pack is a vital addition for many HP Palmtop users because it gives them the ability to connect their Palmtop to their desktop PC and transfer files between the two. This lets them backup data files, transfer Memo files to desktop word processors for editing and formatting, and share important data with colleagues.

The HP Connectivity Pack (CPACK) comes with a serial cable and several serial adapters that let you physically connect your Palmtop to almost any PC compatible computer. The serial cable and adapters also let you connect the Palmtop to modems and printers. CPACK also comes with desktop versions of many of the HP 200LX applications plus a Translate/ Merge utility for reconciling Appointment Book, Phone Book, Database, Note Taker and Quicken files.

Of particular interest is the desktop version of Filer in the Connectivity Pack. This provides a communications link from the PC to the Palmtop. With both computers connected and running Filer, you can easily transfer files back and forth between the two.

The Connectivity Pack also comes with Traveling Software's LapLink Remote Access redirector (LLRA). This provides a second or alternate method for linking the Palmtop and a desktop PC together. Once the Palmtop and desktop are physically connected and LLRA is loaded on each computer, LLRA "maps" the Palmtop's drives onto the desktop PC. In essence, the Palmtops drives become additional drives on the desktop PC. You can access the Palmtops drives from any desktop application, load files from the Palmtops drives and save files to them. Although possible, we don't recommend opening data files across an LLRA link (e.g., starting the CPACK version of PhoneBook on your desktop and directly opening the PhoneBook data file on your Palmtop). If the LLRA link goes down for any reason, the data file can become corrupted. If you want to open any data file in a CPACK application, copy the data file to your desktop first, and then open it up.

The HP Connectivity Pack software is DOS software that can be run directly from the DOS prompt of your desktop PC. It has also been successfully run from earlier versions of Windows. However, there is a problem running the CPACK software from Windows95.

Problems running the Connectivity Pack software from Windows 3.0 and 3.1

We've been told that there is a problem associated with the mapping of the drives that affects both Windows95 and earlier versions of Windows on some, but not all desktop PCs. On Windows 3.0 and 3.1, normally only LLRA1 .EXE needs to be loaded before Windows is run. When CPACK is installed on a desktop PC, it puts or suggests the user put a line like this into the AUTOEXEC.BAT file:


This causes LLRA1.EXE to always be in memory, ready to go . Later, when Windows is running and the LLRA icon is clicked, the other LLRA modules (LLRA2, LLRA3, and LLRA4) load and LapLink Remote is up and running from Windows.

If the user is having trouble with LLRA running in Windows 3.0 or 3.1 because of the lack of system memory or conflicts with network drivers, then all LLRA programs should be loaded before Windows is run. This can be done by running LLRA.BAT, a batch file that comes with CPACK. LLRA .BAT loads all LLRA programs. No icon needs to be clicked in Windows to access the new drive letters.

Running the Connectivity Pack software from Windows95

Windows95 lets you run programs written for DOS out of a DOS box. In order to make LLRA work within a Win95 DOS box, the DOS session must be set to disallow programs from detecting Windows. Here's how you do it.

  1. 1. Connect your Palmtop to the desktop PC. Make sure the Connectivity Pack is installed on the PC.
  2. 2. On your Win95 PC, open a DOS box. This must be running in a window, not full screen.
  3. 3. Click on the MS-DOS icon in the upper left corner of the DOS box.
  4. 4. Click on Properties.
  5. 5. Click on the Program tab, then on the Advanced button.
  6. 6. Click the check box labeled Prevent MS-DOS programs from detecting Windows and then click OK. You will see a message box. Click OK twice more to close the dialog box.
  7. 7. Close the DOS box and restart another one.
  8. 8. Go to your CPACK200 directory and run LLRA.



Some users have noted that LLRA is a little unstable running under Windows95. Copies and backups occasionally fail to complete. For this reason we do not recommend that you access data files on the Palmtop from an application running on the PC. Copy a data file from the Palmtop to the PC and then open it in the desired application. When you are finished, save the file and then copy it back to the Palmtop.

We found that the Connectivity Pack installed in a straightforward manner and, aside from the LLRA problem, worked like a charm. Since Win95 looks like its here to stay, HP will undoubtedly update LLRA to operate properly in the Win95 environment.

Using PalmConnect-LX on a PC running Windows95