Palmtops and Forth 
Author Message
 Palmtops and Forth

I see palmtops mentioned often on this group, so perhaps someone can give
me some advice: I'd like to be able to use a Forth development
environment on a palmtop-ish sized device; specifically I want to port my
own environment, so the obvious thing would be to get a PC-compatible.

My most important requirement is that battery life must be at least ten
hours, and preferably not from a rechargeable cell, as I've never had
good experiences with those.

Secondly, it'd be nice to have a hard drive, but I'll live without if
that would compromise battery life. A full-size screen ditto.

My ideal solution would probably be a small PC on which I could run DOS/
(occasionally) Windows but perhaps I'm dreaming. I'm prepared to consider
proprietary OSs such as Psion's iff I can get at the processor/OS to port
my Forth development environment.
--
Web page: http://www.*-*-*.com/



Thu, 13 May 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Palmtops and Forth

Take a look at the HP 200lx.  It fits your description pretty well.
There are a lot of forths that you can use.  There is even a version
of Pygmy that's been modified to take advantage of some of the special
lx features.

I've been using them since the 95lx days.  On my 200lx I get from
30-35 hours with a pair of Walgreen's alkalines. (These are very
good alkalines and cheap as well).  For the past 3 years I've used
Radio Shack Hi-Cap nicads.  Ive found them very reliable.  The lx
even contains an internal battery charger if you use these.

I have a 10 meg flashdisk which is my C: drive.  I don't use
Stacker with it but most people do.  It's there if you want it.
They're availalbe up to 85 meg currently, with 512 meg announced
for the 3rd quarter 97.  They'll price shouldn't be too much more
than the average car.

It has CGA (and MDA) which is very compatible.  The CPU is an
80186, which has all the 286 non-protected mode op-codes.

As for dos compatibilty, I know people using Word Perfect and
Microsoft Word and dBase.  Who knows why.  :)  Most things
run on it just fine.  Some of the games that go right to the
hardware fail, but most of them work well.  I have Turbo C 2.0
on mine now and it compiles just fine and fairly fast.  I've
tried out a couple of dozen Dos compilers/interpreters and they
do well.  Oh yeah, I also currently have Quick-Basic 4.5 on
board for some stuff I'm fiddling with.  The one compatibility
problem has been C source de{*filter*}s.  Most just simply won't
work on the lx.  I use Symdeb and it works just fine for symbolic
debugging and seems to be my best solution.  Eric Isaacson's D86
works fine till you go into graphics mode and then it locks up.
I forgot to mention that Flight Simulator 4.0 and earlier run
just fine.

I also have a version of Mini-Forth that I've modified to use the
lx features, including it's built-in graphics library.  I'm happy
to share it if you get an lx.  However, since I'm a very weak
Forth programmer, who knows what I might have screwed up :).

The built-in programs include Lotus 123,  Pocket Quicken,  Laplink,
A terminal program with Kermit and a vt100 emulator.  X/Ymodem,
too.  I don't remember if it has Zmodem.  There is a very
configurable flat file database and a scheduler, world time, phone
list, todo list, HP 19B calculator, macro facility, file manger,
note-taker, memo-pad, and some games.  All this is in rom and runs
from a GUI which you can run from DOS, or not, as you prefer.

I guess you can tell I'm a fan.

Barry

: I see palmtops mentioned often on this group, so perhaps someone can give
: me some advice: I'd like to be able to use a Forth development
: environment on a palmtop-ish sized device; specifically I want to port my
: own environment, so the obvious thing would be to get a PC-compatible.
:
: My most important requirement is that battery life must be at least ten
: hours, and preferably not from a rechargeable cell, as I've never had
: good experiences with those.
:
: Secondly, it'd be nice to have a hard drive, but I'll live without if
: that would compromise battery life. A full-size screen ditto.
:
: My ideal solution would probably be a small PC on which I could run DOS/
: (occasionally) Windows but perhaps I'm dreaming. I'm prepared to consider
: proprietary OSs such as Psion's iff I can get at the processor/OS to port
: my Forth development environment.
: --
: Web page: http://www.*-*-*.com/



Sat, 15 May 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Palmtops and Forth

Quote:

> I see palmtops mentioned often on this group, so perhaps someone can give
> me some advice: I'd like to be able to use a Forth development
> environment on a palmtop-ish sized device; specifically I want to port my
> own environment, so the obvious thing would be to get a PC-compatible.

> My most important requirement is that battery life must be at least ten
> hours, and preferably not from a rechargeable cell, as I've never had
> good experiences with those.

> Secondly, it'd be nice to have a hard drive, but I'll live without if
> that would compromise battery life. A full-size screen ditto.

> My ideal solution would probably be a small PC on which I could run DOS/
> (occasionally) Windows but perhaps I'm dreaming. I'm prepared to consider
> proprietary OSs such as Psion's iff I can get at the processor/OS to port
> my Forth development environment.
> --
> Web page: http://www.*-*-*.com/

COMPAQ has just advertised a Win95 palmtop for $499 !! I paid $629
for my HP200LX and another $100 for a 5 Mb flash-ram card for the
PCMCIA slot. Sadly, HP was not {*filter*} their HP1000LX (the HP200LX
without all the programs I never use :-) at that time. I do not want
to imply I am unhappy with the HP200LX -- I am very pleased with it.
But I would like it better with my usual software on it instead of
3MB of stuff I didn't want, for $hundred$ more.

Regards.

--
Julian V. Noble



Sun, 16 May 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Palmtops and Forth



Quote:

> > I see palmtops mentioned often on this group, so perhaps someone can give
> > me some advice: I'd like to be able to use a Forth development
> > environment on a palmtop-ish sized device; specifically I want to port my
> > own environment, so the obvious thing would be to get a PC-compatible.

> COMPAQ has just advertised a Win95 palmtop for $499 !! I paid $629
> for my HP200LX and another $100 for a 5 Mb flash-ram card for the
> PCMCIA slot. Sadly, HP was not {*filter*} their HP1000LX (the HP200LX
> without all the programs I never use :-) at that time. I do not want
> to imply I am unhappy with the HP200LX -- I am very pleased with it.
> But I would like it better with my usual software on it instead of
> 3MB of stuff I didn't want, for $hundred$ more.

     I'd been wondering how you were getting along with your
HP200LX.

     I still have its predecessor, the used HP95LX I got
last summer. I bought a 2 MB static RAM card (serves as
drive A).

     The main problem is the '95 has a 16 line by 40
character display.  Pygmy runs fine on it, except the editor
expects a 25x80 display, and, so, is nearly useless. I
planned to use the '95 as a pilot project to decide whether
to get an HP100LX or HP200LX (or HP1000LX) some day.  I am
inclined to think the '100 or '200, with its 25x80 display
and with a 2 MB to 10 MB card, would work very nicely for
(many types of) Forth development.  However, on one hand, I
do not think I can afford it.  On the other hand, I balk at
the price, feeling it is too expensive even if I could
afford it.  (I'm not saying exactly that I _think_ that,
just that I _feel_ that.)

     I do not use the '95 regularly.  I've tried to force
myself to use it to see if I could "get into it."  I did
use it fairly regularly for about 2 weeks while I was
out of town.  I used its telephone/address book and I
used its memo facility for making notes and "to do" lists.
I was fairly pleased with it and thought I'd continue to
use it when I returned home.  That was 7 or 8 weeks ago
and I have hardly touched it since.  I thought (and still
think) it might replace the DayTimer calendar I use, but
it hasn't yet.  I'm still on the first set of batteries
(with little use, of course), so I can't complain about
battery life.  It is very portable and can go where a
laptop cannot.

     I have considered reworking the Forth editor for use
with the '95, but can't see how that makes much sense (for
a discontinued product).

  -- Frank

  http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~pygmy



Mon, 17 May 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Palmtops and Forth




: > > I see palmtops mentioned often on this group, so perhaps someone can give
: > > me some advice: I'd like to be able to use a Forth development
: > > environment on a palmtop-ish sized device; specifically I want to port my
: > > own environment, so the obvious thing would be to get a PC-compatible.
: >
: > COMPAQ has just advertised a Win95 palmtop for $499 !! I paid $629
: > for my HP200LX and another $100 for a 5 Mb flash-ram card for the
: > PCMCIA slot. Sadly, HP was not {*filter*} their HP1000LX (the HP200LX
: > without all the programs I never use :-) at that time. I do not want
: > to imply I am unhappy with the HP200LX -- I am very pleased with it.
: > But I would like it better with my usual software on it instead of
: > 3MB of stuff I didn't want, for $hundred$ more.

:      I'd been wondering how you were getting along with your
: HP200LX.

:      I still have its predecessor, the used HP95LX I got
: last summer. I bought a 2 MB static RAM card (serves as
: drive A).

:      The main problem is the '95 has a 16 line by 40
: character display.  Pygmy runs fine on it, except the editor
: expects a 25x80 display, and, so, is nearly useless. I
: planned to use the '95 as a pilot project to decide whether
: to get an HP100LX or HP200LX (or HP1000LX) some day.  I am
: inclined to think the '100 or '200, with its 25x80 display
: and with a 2 MB to 10 MB card, would work very nicely for
: (many types of) Forth development.  However, on one hand, I
: do not think I can afford it.  On the other hand, I balk at
: the price, feeling it is too expensive even if I could
: afford it.  (I'm not saying exactly that I _think_ that,
: just that I _feel_ that.)

:      I do not use the '95 regularly.  I've tried to force
: myself to use it to see if I could "get into it."  I did
: use it fairly regularly for about 2 weeks while I was
: out of town.  I used its telephone/address book and I
: used its memo facility for making notes and "to do" lists.
: I was fairly pleased with it and thought I'd continue to
: use it when I returned home.  That was 7 or 8 weeks ago
: and I have hardly touched it since.  I thought (and still
: think) it might replace the DayTimer calendar I use, but
: it hasn't yet.  I'm still on the first set of batteries
: (with little use, of course), so I can't complain about
: battery life.  It is very portable and can go where a
: laptop cannot.

:      I have considered reworking the Forth editor for use
: with the '95, but can't see how that makes much sense (for
: a discontinued product).

:        
:   -- Frank

:   http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~pygmy

There is a version of Pygmy 1.4, called '100Pygmy', that is adjusted to
the 18x64 intermediate size display of the HP100LX/200LX.  I believe the
author is Robert Williams.  I didn't look to see how he did it, but it
didn't look like a difficult job.

While we're on the subject of Forth and palmtops, the next generation of
palmtops is starting to show up.  Most of them run something called
Windows CE.  This is essentially a Win32 API environment; the
development tools are C/C++ running on Windows NT systems.  Most of the
chips so far announced in these palmtops are *not* 80x86!  I'm looking
at maybe porting Norman Smith's Forth-in-C++ to Windows CE, if I can
find an NT box to run on.  Does anybody else have any better ideas?  How
portable is Win32For, for example?  How difficult would it be to layer a
Win32 library on a portable ANS Forth like hForth?

--

Yesterday, I walked by a BMW.  I saw scratches on the bumper, and I stooped
down for a closer look.  It was engraving: "My Other Car is a '73 Pinto!"



Tue, 18 May 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Palmtops and Forth


:
: COMPAQ has just advertised a Win95 palmtop for $499 !! I paid $629
: for my HP200LX and another $100 for a 5 Mb flash-ram card for the
: PCMCIA slot. Sadly, HP was not {*filter*} their HP1000LX (the HP200LX
: without all the programs I never use :-) at that time. I do not want
: to imply I am unhappy with the HP200LX -- I am very pleased with it.
: But I would like it better with my usual software on it instead of
: 3MB of stuff I didn't want, for $hundred$ more.

I've read Microsoft's description of Windows CE which is what the
Compaq, HP, and Casio, et al, palmtops have.  It is not Win 95,
although it does have the same look at first glance.  Windows and
Win 96 software won't run on it.  It doesn't support resizable
windows or popup dialog boxes or many of the other features you
expect to see in Windows.

Also, the Casio, which is the only one which is available to be
seen so far as I know, has been reported to have a screen that is
far less readable than the 200lx.

I have no doubt that this will develop into a first rate product
if there are sales to warrant it, and that it will become very
useful.  But the early reports seem to indicate that that may
still be some way off.

I'd say that for the near future, you've got the right machine.
A couple of years from now, I suspect that could change.

Barry



Wed, 19 May 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Palmtops and Forth

I'd like to find a Forth for the HP 48GX since I already own one.
--
                     Jeffery




Wed, 19 May 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Palmtops and Forth

Quote:

>I see palmtops mentioned often on this group, so perhaps someone can give
>me some advice: I'd like to be able to use a Forth development
>environment on a palmtop-ish sized device; specifically I want to port my
>own environment, so the obvious thing would be to get a PC-compatible.
>My most important requirement is that battery life must be at least ten
>hours, and preferably not from a rechargeable cell, as I've never had
>good experiences with those.
>Secondly, it'd be nice to have a hard drive, but I'll live without if
>that would compromise battery life. A full-size screen ditto.

The HP200 or 100 LX would seem to be ideal for you.  They have a full CGA
screen and run almost anything you can throw at their 80186 compatible
processors.  They run DOS.

I like my OmniGo, but its screen is nowhere near big enough to hold even
CGA-- it's compatible, but part of the display just won't show.  It's cheap,
though, and also runs Geos, which would provide another outlet for
experimentation.  (No Forth yet for Geos-- I still plan on it, but BOY am I
sidetracked.)

Quote:
>Web page: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/users/rrt1001/

-Billy


Wed, 19 May 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Palmtops and Forth

Thus spake barrym:

Quote:
>I've read Microsoft's description of Windows CE [...] >It is not Win 95,
>although it does have the same look at first glance.  Windows and
>Win 96 software won't run on it.

The rumors I've heard are:

 - The Windows CE (WinCE) machines are about useless w/o a Win95 desktop
   machine for occasional docking/backup.

 - *SOME* Win95 stuff might be able to run on it.

If Apple weren't selling the eMate 300 exclusively into the educational
markets at this point, I'd be scrambling madly to find $800 to get one.
It's more of an ultralight laptop running Newton OS than a palmtop, but
seriously -- you need a keyboard for writing Forth anyway.
--
Larry Kollar, Dawsonville GA  | *** Hatred is {*filter*} *** (1 Jn 3:15)

               "So don't try to turn my head away
                Flirtin' with disaster every day"



Fri, 21 May 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Palmtops and Forth

Quote:

>Thus spake barrym:
>>I've read Microsoft's description of Windows CE [...] >It is not Win 95,
>>although it does have the same look at first glance.  Windows and
>>Win 96 software won't run on it.
>The rumors I've heard are:
> - The Windows CE (WinCE) machines are about useless w/o a Win95 desktop
>   machine for occasional docking/backup.

I've heard that.  That's certainly what they were designed for, although I
can't vouch as to whether they won't work with anything else.

Quote:
> - *SOME* Win95 stuff might be able to run on it.

Only with a complete recompilation.  Nothing *runs* on it; some stuff can be
*compiled* for it.  Sheesh, OS/2 is a lot better for desktops, and Geos
works better for both desktops and palmtops.  Sigh.

Quote:
>If Apple weren't selling the eMate 300 exclusively into the educational
>markets at this point, I'd be scrambling madly to find $800 to get one.
>It's more of an ultralight laptop running Newton OS than a palmtop, but
>seriously -- you need a keyboard for writing Forth anyway.

This is one I hadn't heard of.  Interesting; they've decided that that form
factor can't do everything.  At last.  Well, my OmniGo still works (even
though its screen is too small).

Quote:
>Larry Kollar, Dawsonville GA  | *** Hatred is {*filter*} *** (1 Jn 3:15)

-Billy


Sat, 22 May 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 
 [ 10 post ] 

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