A new connectivity product, The HP Palmtop Software Kit, is now available. Included in the kit, which is distributed by Yellow Computing, is Transfile Win 200, a connectivity software package that allows you to connect your PC desktop computer (running Windows 95/NT/ 3.1x) to your HP 100/200/700LX and transfer files between the two computers. Maximum baud rate for transfer is 56,200.
The package also allows you to backup the palmtop to the desktop by simply dragging and dropping the relevant files from one window to another.
Because the Transfile Win 200 interface is similar to the familiar Filer interface that we are all used to on our palmtops, its real easy to use. And since the connectivity software comes equipped with English, German, Spanish and French versions, the package should have a large international appeal.
In addition to the Transfile Win 200 software, the kit also contains a serial connectivity cable for the HP Palmtops, a serial-to-parallel converter, a 3.5-inch diskette with Transfile Win 200 on it, and a CD containing the HP Palmtop Software Kit.
The CD contains the connectivity software, Transfile Win 200, Windows versions of the Phone Book and Appointment Book, and Minitel software, which enables you to use an HP 200LX as a Minitel terminal. (However, as the Minitel software can only be put to good use in France, it is only available in French.)
The Windows versions of the Phone Book and Appointment Book allow you to enter and edit data into these applications on your desktop computer, then easily copy the files to your palmtop.
Also on the CD is shareware for the HP Palmtops, Videos, the HP OmniGo 700LX Quick Reference Guide and 200LX manual (both in Adobe Acrobat format), and E-text from the Project Gutenberg library of electronic text.
Setting up the CD on a Windows 95 machine is as simple as putting the CD into the CD tray. The Autorun file starts the installation and gives you the choice of where you want to put the files that are copied to the hard drive, and also asks if you want to install the free Adobe Acrobat reader. It then sets up the icons for both the CD and Acrobat reader. The setup in Windows 3.1x is similarly painless, and the CD has a nice graphical interface that is pleasant to look at.
The shareware section of the package contains approximately 320 pieces of software in such categories as applications, tools, pictures and sounds, games, programming, science and technology, databases, communications, as well as miscellaneous files.
You are able to view the file details in two different modes. The first mode shows short descriptions of the files, and contains a small screen capture capability. The second mode provides more detailed descriptions of the files, as well as a larger screen capture function.
When you have found a piece of software that you are interested in putting on your palmtop, you can select the Transfile Win 200 button from the shareware page and download the file to your HP Palmtop right then and there. This is certainly a nice feature to have available, and prevents you from having to write down the filename and location of the file for later downloading.
Some of the shareware items included on the CD are ABC/LX, DBCALC, PALEDIT, FLEXPAD, VR, F-PROT, BAT100, PKZIP. Also included are many other programs that have been mentioned and included in The HP Palmtop Paper, The HP Palmtop Paper on Disk, and our HP Palmtop Paper CD InfoBase, as well as a few that we have never had in the past. There is a pretty good mix of different kinds of shareware in the approximately 320 files on the CD.
There are five videos included on this CD: an OmniGo 700 promotional video, an OmniGo 700 users video, a 200LX users video, a video showing a Russian Cosmonaut on the space station MIR using his 200LX to remind him to call the earth, and an OmniGo 700 German video. These are all cute, but are really just marketing videos from Hewlett-Packard.
The included manuals are in Adobe Acrobat Reader format and are hyper-text. This means that, if you are viewing, for instance, the Table of Contents, and you see a section that you want to go to, you move the mouse cursor over the section you are interested in. This causes a hand icon on the screen to turn to a pointing finger, telling you that this is a hyperlink. If you now click the left mouse button, you are taken to that section of the manual. Its super easy.
The E-Text (electronic text) included is from the Project Gutenberg, and contains about 32 E-
Texts, ranging from the Communist Manifesto by Friedrich Engels, to Aesops Fables, to Doctor Dolittle, by Hugh Lofting. Again, you can download the E-Text directly to your connected palmtop by highlighting the file you are interested in and clicking on the Install Book button. The E-Text section also has two different readers that can be downloaded to the HP Palmtop.
The Transfile Win 200 software has been available free on Hewlett-Packards Handheld Web page (http://hpcc920.external.hp.com/handheld/). However, there is so much more in The HP Palmtop Software Kit in addition to Transfile Win 200, that the larger package should be seriously considered by those who want to expand the usefulness of their palmtop computer.