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What do you do with your 95LX/100LX/200LX?
06-30-2015, 12:00 AM
Post: #1
What do you do with your 95LX/100LX/200LX?
The point of this thread is twofold:

1. Share useful ideas.
2. Make readers think "Oh bugger, now I've got something else I want to spend $50-$200 on."

Some of the stuff I do with mine...

Call log - I've got a database for recording (personal) business-related phone calls and encounters: who I spoke with, what was discussed, next steps, reference numbers, etc. Very handy for recording my conversations with Cleveland Clinic when they inevitably screw up my bill every month.

Medication database - Another custom database. This one tracks any medications I take currently. I've tried recording this info with Numbers on my iPhone/iPad, and having the info always with me was nice, but I never bothered updating it because the UI is so clumsy. So back to the 200LX keyboard interface.

Tractor info - I've got a 1-2-3 spreadsheet for tracking TCO and maintenance for my lawn tractor. Each entry has a date, optional description, dollar amount, and hours listed on the tractor's engine clock.

Vacation time - Another 1-2-3 spreadsheet that I use to track remaining paid time off. New rows (from the Alt-A macro) default to being a bi-weekly accrual row, or I can modify the data to represent usage.

C coding - TurboC runs pretty nicely on the 200LX. I mostly use it for tinkering, but I do have one legitimately useful program I put together that calculates odds of rolling a given total on an arbitrary number of dice with arbitrary (non-negative, integer) face values. (Anybody have a good System Manager programmers' text editor to recommend? Memo isn't the best for this.)

Financial calculator - If I don't have something with larger, easier-to-use buttons handy, this will do in a pinch, given that it's got all the functionality of a 19BII.

48SX/GX backup - With DataComm, Kermit, and the IR port, you can easily make backups with no cabling needed.
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06-30-2015, 01:00 AM
Post: #2
RE: What do you do with your 95LX/100LX/200LX?
Lately I use my HP-200LX only to do my monthly balance on Lotus 1-2-3.
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06-30-2015, 04:02 AM
Post: #3
RE: What do you do with your 95LX/100LX/200LX?
I haven't used mine lately, but I used to have databases for Car Maintenance, Work Projects, Electrical Utility Bill, Gas Utility Bill. Attached are screen shots of the databases I used. Nothing really complicated, but worked for my purpose.

For a period of six months, I used Quicken to keep track of every penny I spent. I started out with the cash I had in my pocket (including change) and then proceeded to enter every single purchase I made in cash. This included newspapers, candy, etc - every transaction was entered. It was a real eye opener and a real pain in the ----- to do. Any cash withdrawals from the bank was credited to my "pocket" account. Every couple of days, I would verify that the cash in my pocket matched that shown in Quicken. The interesting part was that I could see my spending habits change over time. Not sure if that was due to my getting an education on how much I was spending or just the fact that I wouldn't buy something so that I wouldn't have to enter it. I would carry 3x5 cards to enter purchases on and then, when I had the time, would enter them into the HP-200LX.

There were many other databases that I referred to. Some I remembered were Ham Radio Repeaters for a particular city, Z-80 op codes, my books, football/basketball schedules.

I also kept my phone book on it. There was a company phone book where I entered every single business card I received, a personal phone book, and then phone books of people who attended a conference that I also had attended. Of course, now these are all on my cell phone.

I also used the HP-200LX in conjunction with a REX 3, pcmcia card PDA. There was a program where you could insert the REX into the card slot and then sync the 200LX calendar and phone book.

The best utility for the 200LX is 200Buddy. It greatly expanded the usefulness.

I had written a macro that would call a program that I had written that would create a formatted list of upcoming appointments. This would run every day and create an event for that day which had the list of the next two weeks of upcoming appointments. There was another macro that ran daily and would copy the data files from C: to the A: drive and would also create a ZIP file on the A: drive of the entire Drive C: contents.

The HP-200LX was, and still is, one of the most powerful PDA's a person could have.

Bill
Smithville, NJ


Attached File(s)
.pdf  HP-200LX Databases.pdf (Size: 49.69 KB / Downloads: 46)
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06-30-2015, 06:42 AM
Post: #4
RE: What do you do with your 95LX/100LX/200LX?
Used the 95LX to calculate possible Formula 1 driver scores in Lotus.

I recommend to look for used LXs *with* manuals only.
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06-30-2015, 11:33 AM
Post: #5
RE: What do you do with your 95LX/100LX/200LX?
DOS runs Ubasic v8, Matlab 3.5, Derive v3, Aribas 1.14.

HP Calc application second to none calculator, has been my touchstone for years, now gradually being replaced by WP 34S.

Lotus 123.

Organizer.

Stop watch.
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06-30-2015, 11:41 AM
Post: #6
RE: What do you do with your 95LX/100LX/200LX?
(06-30-2015 06:42 AM)Thomas Radtke Wrote:  Used the 95LX to calculate possible Formula 1 driver scores in Lotus.

I recommend to look for used LXs *with* manuals only.

More specifically, you want one with 95LX manuals, regardless of which model you buy. They removed the extensive 1-2-3 documentation from the 100LX and 200LX manuals. Most of the other apps have pretty good built-in help via the F1 key.

Another excellent option is to look for a book covering 1-2-3 release 2.4 (or 2.2 for the 95LX, but the two are very similar). You'll get more detailed macro docs and examples usually.
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06-30-2015, 02:00 PM
Post: #7
RE: What do you do with your 95LX/100LX/200LX?
When I was field service rep and was required to track expenses I was using a speadsheet on a 95LX for that. The one annoying thing that would happen some time the batteries would go flat and it seemed the backup battery would follow shortly after and I would lose everything. A battery backed RAM card made that a little less annoying. Perhaps there is a fault in the 95LX causing excessive battery drain, but I have never pursued that. I still have it but very rarely turn it on anymore and the battery cover latch is broken. I also have a 200LX which seems to be a much improved design, but I don't use it for much, on it I have used the calculator APP more than anything.
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06-30-2015, 02:05 PM
Post: #8
RE: What do you do with your 95LX/100LX/200LX?
(06-30-2015 02:00 PM)Paul Berger (Canada) Wrote:  The one annoying thing that would happen some time the batteries would go flat and it seemed the backup battery would follow shortly after and I would lose everything. A battery backed RAM card made that a little less annoying. Perhaps there is a fault in the 95LX causing excessive battery drain, but I have never pursued that.
This was my observation also.
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06-30-2015, 02:24 PM
Post: #9
RE: What do you do with your 95LX/100LX/200LX?
Mine sit on a shelf behind glass. I have used a 200 loaded with a program called Xtratra by John Rusch from Danville California for work on a light rail line back in '99. TDS also wrote a suite of surveying programs and two guys out of Concord used that to good effect. Nice big screen for lots of output but you definitely had to have it in the battle case for field work. That hinge.....
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06-30-2015, 02:49 PM
Post: #10
RE: What do you do with your 95LX/100LX/200LX?
(06-30-2015 02:00 PM)Paul Berger (Canada) Wrote:  The one annoying thing that would happen some time the batteries would go flat and it seemed the backup battery would follow shortly after and I would lose everything. A battery backed RAM card made that a little less annoying. Perhaps there is a fault in the 95LX causing excessive battery drain, but I have never pursued that.

There was a Sundisk flash card that would work with the HP-95LX. It required a driver to be loaded before you could access the card. If the HP-95LX batteries died then you wouldn't have the driver loaded to access your backup files on the card. The solution I used was to have a battery sram card with the drivers on it. If needed, I could insert the SRAM card, copy the drivers and autoexec/config files over, then reboot with the Flash card and have access to my files.

One problem was that the HP-95LX would always supply power, even when off, to the pcmcia card (this would be required for memory cards but not required for flash card) . So you always wanted to remove the flash card after turning the 95lx off - otherwise you could drain the batteries.

Bill
Smithville, NJ
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06-30-2015, 02:53 PM
Post: #11
RE: What do you do with your 95LX/100LX/200LX?
There also was a HP-1000CX which was a msdos machine only - no rom programs.

Does anyone have one of these? Since they were dos only, did it give you a bigger memory free than a 200lx would?

I've always been curious about the 1000cx.

Bill
Smithville, NJ
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06-30-2015, 03:24 PM
Post: #12
RE: What do you do with your 95LX/100LX/200LX?
Until about two years ago I used a 200LX as a calendar and appointment scheduler, as a phonebook/addressbook, for taking notes, for keeping track of my finances, for shopping lists, for planning projects and organising my life, for keeping my diary/journal, for general text editing and programming, for reading e-books, for games like free cell solitaire, and for email. (I had a small external modem and a dial-up account long after such things became rare.).

My 200LX was probably my most-used possession, and the best tool I ever used.

The main drawback for me was the cracks that would form in the lid of the case near the hinge. I'd get about two years of use out of one before I had to send it in to Thaddeus for repair. I had two units so that I'd always have one that was in working order.

The last repair went very badly (truly terrible customer service and quality of work from Thaddeus, suddenly, after years of exemplary work). I decided I couldn't afford to stay in the game or keeping a working 200LX. (I felt, perhaps incorrectly, that the plastics in the case were getting even more brittle with age, and that the hinge cracks were starting much sooner.)

I decided to try a smartphone instead, to do the things I'd done on my 200LX. Huge mistake. Even though my smartphone has maybe 1000 times the processing power of my clock-doubled LX, as a computer it is not nearly as capable. Like a Fisher-Price kitchen, a smartphone looks a bit like useful tool, but it is just a toy.

The smartphone now only gets used for its calculator (RealCalc), text messages, and phone calls. To the extent my life gets oraganised at all, it happens in Emacs on a real computer. But even the smallest notebook computers are far too big, and I miss being able to pull my computer out of a pocket and start working on it instantly, anywhere, even with only one hand to spare.
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06-30-2015, 03:30 PM
Post: #13
RE: What do you do with your 95LX/100LX/200LX?
(06-30-2015 02:05 PM)Thomas Radtke Wrote:  
(06-30-2015 02:00 PM)Paul Berger (Canada) Wrote:  The one annoying thing that would happen some time the batteries would go flat and it seemed the backup battery would follow shortly after and I would lose everything. A battery backed RAM card made that a little less annoying. Perhaps there is a fault in the 95LX causing excessive battery drain, but I have never pursued that.
This was my observation also.
In the 200LX (don't know about the 95LX), you could use Nickel Cadmium batteries and charge them in the unit. They'd last about a week on a charge, if I recall, and there was a good battery level indicator, so no reason to have the batteries go flat.

I used the blue and silver Energiser Lithiums / Energiser Photo cells in mine and replaced them exactly every three months. I had found that they'd last almost to four months but not quite, and I couldn't afford to have them going flat.

I only ever changed the coin cells when I had a unit repaired, so that would be about every eighteen to thirty months, I'd guess.
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06-30-2015, 03:42 PM
Post: #14
RE: What do you do with your 95LX/100LX/200LX?
Regarding the 95LX battery issue, there's a flaw with one of the surface-mount capacitors that causes the 95LX to eventually start reporting perpetually dead batteries. ("MAIN BATTERIES LOW" every time you turn it on.) I don't know if this affects the actual battery consumption, but it's a relatively easy fix if you're good with a soldering iron. I just replaced the cap with a compatible ceramic disc I had laying around, and the battery gauge immediately started working again. The EEs on here no doubt have more appropriate surface-mount caps available.

For the 200LX hinge, you can do a rather easy and permanent (if just a bit unsightly) fix using a floppy disk and a little superglue. Just cut a small piece from the shutter, and glue in place. Pic attached; mine's been this way for several years, and shows no signs of worsening.

   
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06-30-2015, 04:02 PM
Post: #15
RE: What do you do with your 95LX/100LX/200LX?
(06-30-2015 03:30 PM)nlj Wrote:  
(06-30-2015 02:05 PM)Thomas Radtke Wrote:  This was my observation also.
In the 200LX (don't know about the 95LX), you could use Nickel Cadmium batteries and charge them in the unit. They'd last about a week on a charge, if I recall, and there was a good battery level indicator, so no reason to have the batteries go flat.

I used the blue and silver Energiser Lithiums / Energiser Photo cells in mine and replaced them exactly every three months. I had found that they'd last almost to four months but not quite, and I couldn't afford to have them going flat.

I only ever changed the coin cells when I had a unit repaired, so that would be about every eighteen to thirty months, I'd guess.

My solution to this problem of losing all memory is to use non-rechargable cells (Energizer lithium are great) and keep the 200LX plugged into an AC adapter when I'm not using it for any length of time. So there's effectively three levels of power -- AC, AA cells, CR2032 cell. While I could use nicad cells instead, but they tend to die/leak over time.

-katie

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07-03-2015, 10:46 AM
Post: #16
RE: What do you do with your 95LX/100LX/200LX?
(06-30-2015 12:00 AM)Dave Britten Wrote:  The point of this thread is twofold:

1. Share useful ideas.
2. Make readers think "Oh bugger, now I've got something else I want to spend $50-$200 on."

Some of the stuff I do with mine...

There are so many things I want to say here. For years, I always carried one of the LX'es with me, even using a holster to save my jacket pockets. Right now there are a total of 8 of these devices in the house (95LX, 100LX, 200LX).

Today I don't take them everyplace, but still do prefer my best 200LX for taking notes during meetings with Memo.

There are quite a few equations in the HP Calc Solver that I use for doing RAID calculations when configuring storage arrays.

I maintain a database with my watches, noting the description, date I acquired them, battery changes, repairs, and many other details. With the increasing number of calculators in the house, I should probably adapt this for another collection.

Some of my favorite games like Sudoku, Blackjack, Hangman, Golf solitaire, and Yahtzee.
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07-04-2015, 09:13 PM
Post: #17
RE: What do you do with your 95LX/100LX/200LX?
(06-30-2015 12:00 AM)Dave Britten Wrote:  The point of this thread is twofold:

1. Share useful ideas.
2. Make readers think "Oh bugger, now I've got something else I want to spend $50-$200 on."

Some of the stuff I do with mine...

Call log - I've got a database for recording (personal) business-related phone calls and encounters: who I spoke with, what was discussed, next steps, reference numbers, etc. Very handy for recording my conversations with Cleveland Clinic when they inevitably screw up my bill every month.

Medication database - Another custom database. This one tracks any medications I take currently. I've tried recording this info with Numbers on my iPhone/iPad, and having the info always with me was nice, but I never bothered updating it because the UI is so clumsy. So back to the 200LX keyboard interface.

Tractor info - I've got a 1-2-3 spreadsheet for tracking TCO and maintenance for my lawn tractor. Each entry has a date, optional description, dollar amount, and hours listed on the tractor's engine clock.

Vacation time - Another 1-2-3 spreadsheet that I use to track remaining paid time off. New rows (from the Alt-A macro) default to being a bi-weekly accrual row, or I can modify the data to represent usage.

C coding - TurboC runs pretty nicely on the 200LX. I mostly use it for tinkering, but I do have one legitimately useful program I put together that calculates odds of rolling a given total on an arbitrary number of dice with arbitrary (non-negative, integer) face values. (Anybody have a good System Manager programmers' text editor to recommend? Memo isn't the best for this.)

Financial calculator - If I don't have something with larger, easier-to-use buttons handy, this will do in a pinch, given that it's got all the functionality of a 19BII.

48SX/GX backup - With DataComm, Kermit, and the IR port, you can easily make backups with no cabling needed.

I am developing a serial control program for Elecraft brand ham radios. The K3 / KX3 / K3S all have built in digital data encoding or decoding, so PSK31 will be possible even with the 200LX.

I also use my 200LX as a secure wallet for all my internet passwords.
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07-06-2015, 05:59 PM
Post: #18
RE: What do you do with your 95LX/100LX/200LX?
Thanks for all the cool input, everyone.

I've got a couple more to add:

Cat food database - Occasionally I track whether or not my cats like an assortment of varieties of canned food, or if it makes them throw up. Simple, but effective.

Block time tracking - Our clients often buy consulting block time, and I've got a directory for 1-2-3 sheets to track their purchases, used time, and balances. The stop watch is also useful in this context.
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06-29-2016, 11:50 PM
Post: #19
RE: What do you do with your 95LX/100LX/200LX?
Recommended: Get good glasses or either an eye surgery (had cataract).

It's a pleasure to use the 200LX in conjunction with CPACK 1.02 with SVN-DAUM DOSBOX (supports printing to file!!!) for all my financial consulting business.

Broad range of "stolen" (Tony Hutchins) but also self-developed equations touching the limit of executable RAM in TCALC covering "classic" finance up to stochastic analysis.

Best regards
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07-03-2016, 04:51 PM
Post: #20
RE: What do you do with your 95LX/100LX/200LX?
I use mine as a secure password repository. I don't trust online password managers and with Intel's iAMT / vPro features I don't trust my computer any more either.
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