HP 95LX Frequently Asked Questions

Most Frequently Asked HP 95LX Questions to HP Technical Support

We thank the HP technical support staff for their considerable efforts in compiling for The HP Palmtop Paper readers these answers to the most often asked HP 95LX questions. In this first of a two-part series HP's 900 number support staff answers queries concerning file transfer, programming, printing, phone directory conversion, internal RAM and RAM cards, AC adapter, batteries, and installing the 95LX Connectivity Pack.

By The Hewlett-Packard HP 95LX Support Staff


How can I make my batteries last longer?

First, use the AC adapter whenever possible. Applications which continuously update the screen (i.e. Tigerfox), or use the serial port (i.e. FILER or COMM), use more power than programs which spend most of the time waiting for keystrokes. Use of the AC adapter is especially important with these high power usage programs.

Second, always close the FILER and COMM applications when they are not in use. These two applications turn the power on to the 95LX's serial port.

Third, when you are finished using the HP 95LX, turn it off. The five minute wait before the HP 95LX automatically turns off will add up.

Fourth, if you are running in DOS mode, the serial port is powered on. You can execute the SERCTL /O command in DOS to force the serial port off. See page B-17 in the HP 95LX User's Guide for details on this option. (The System Manager will turn the power to the serial port back on when it is required for the built-in applications).

What is the proper procedure for changing batteries?

Before you change batteries, save the files from your open applications. Make sure all applications are closed and the HP 95LX is OFF before removing the batteries.

Remove the main batteries ONLY if the backup battery is in-stalled. The backup battery provides the power to maintain RAM disk memory. If you take both main and backup batteries out, all of your internal RAM memory will be erased.

My HP 95LX shuts down without giving me any warning and won't restart. After I change the main batteries it starts right up. What's wrong?

The HP 95LX should give you a warning "MAIN BATTERY LOW" while your system still has enough battery left for you to save your files and close all open applications. If your HP 95LX runs out of battery power without giving a warning, then it is malfunctioning. You can send the HP 95LX to the HP Service Center for your area and the unit will be repaired. The last page of the Users Guide identifies the appropriate HP Service Center.


The AC Adapter

What is the required voltage/current for the AC adapter?

The adapter should output either AC or DC at 9 volts. If the out-put is AC, then the minimum current is 350 milliamps. If the output is DC, then the minimum current is 175 milliamps. The DC output plug can be either polarity.

The AC adapter made by HP is the same one used for the HP 82240A

 Infrared Printer.


International versions of this adapter are made to accommodate the AC power in various countries:

HP 82241A for USA/Canada (110v 50-60Hz)

 HP 82241AB for Europe (220v 50Hz)

 HP 82241AU for UK (240v 50Hz)

 HP 82241AJ for Japan (100v 50Hz)

 HP 82241AG for Australia (240v 50Hz)


Connectivity Pack Installation

I keep getting the "SYSTEM RESOURCE MISSING" message when I type APP95 at the DOS prompt on my PC.

You have installed the Connectivity pack on a drive other than C: or a directory other than CPACK. This is okay if the APP95 program can find where you've put the Connectivity Pack modules. To find the modules, APP95 looks to the DOS environment for a variable named PIMS, which should be set with the path to the Connectivity modules. The command to define this variable is set pims=c:\cpack (you should replace C:\CPACK with your own path).

To display the current values of the DOS environment file, type set at the DOS prompt. PATH and PIMS should both contain the path to the Connectivity modules.

The SET PIMS command should be in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. The problem may be that the SET PIMS command is not executed during the start-up process because it is preceded by the execution of another program. To fix this, put the SET PIMS command nearer the beginning of the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. After this is changed, save the AUTOEXEC.BAT file and reboot the PC. After rebooting, type app95 and press <ENTER>.

I get "PACKED FILES CORRUPT" when I try installing the HP 95LX Connectivity Pack on my PC.

This may happen to those with DOS 5.0 on their PC. To fix the problem go to the DOS A:> prompt (or whichever drive has the Connectivity Pack disk) and type loadfix install. For those interested, the DOS 5.0 documentation provides information on the LOADFIX command.


Converting Phone Directories Into HP 95LX Phone Format

How can I convert my database of customer information into an HP 95LX Phone book?

From your database print out a file with the name, phone number, and address fields delimited by quotes and separated by commas. Use the translate utility in the Connectivity Pack to convert this CD1-formatted file into the HP 95LX phone book format. See the Connectivity Pack manual page 4-9 for additional information.

When translating my CD1 (Conventional Data) file into the HP 95LX phone book format, I get 99% complete and then the Translation utility stops and displays the message "INVALID FILE FORMAT." What do I do?

Some programs attach an End- Of-File marker when they produce an output file. To fix this, start the Memo application and open the CD1 file. Page down to the end of the file. There you should find some special characters after the last record. These characters will look like one or more horizontal arrows, (<CTRL>-z). Use <DEL> to remove these characters. Save the file. Run the corrected file back into the translate utility. With these EOF markers gone, the translation should complete successfully.


Printing with the HP 95LX

My printer doesn't respond correctly to the HP 95LX print commands. What do I do?

First make sure that the HP 95LX and the printer are both set to the same baud rate. Then check that the HP 95LX printer driver being used is one that the printer is able to emulate. To check this on the HP 95LX, start the SETUP application by pressing <Shift>-<FILER> and then press printer. This will display the set-tings that the HP 95LX is using. Use the Serial Cable Adapter Kit, part number HP 82224A, to connect the HP 95LX serial cable to a serial printer.

Next, check to see that hardware handshaking is disabled on the printer. This is often done with DIP switches on the printer. Look in your printer manual for instructions. Hardware handshaking is usually done with pins 4, 5, and/or 20. These are not available on the HP 95LX serial port. By disabling the use of these pins, printers are forced to look to pins 2 and 3 for software handshaking-based communication with the HP 95LX.

Finally, check to see that the printer is set up to receive data in the format that the HP 95LX sends it: 8 bits, 1 stop bit, 1 start bit, and no parity bit.

My printer has only a parallel port. How can I print from the HP 95LX?

You can send the files to your PC and print from the Connectivity Pack applications. Or you could purchase a serial-to-parallel converter. These devices convert the serial signals from the HP 95LX into a parallel format that the printer can interpret at its parallel port. Before you purchase one of these devices, be sure that you can disable hardware handshaking on the converter. Try before you buy.



Programming on the HP 95LX

How can I program the HP 95LX?

The HP 95LX is a computer that can execute compiled code written in many languages. The easiest way is to develop programs on your PC and download the executable files to the HP 95LX.

Also, you can load your preferred compiler or interpreter onto the HP 95LX. If it is compatible, you can develop as well as run your programs on the HP 95LX. BASIC and C are the languages most often used in this manner. Be advised that most compilers and interpreters require a large piece of your RAM disk.


RAM Cards

When do I need a RAM card?

If you have allocated as much of the internal RAM to RAM disk as possible, and you need still more space to store files, you may need a RAM card.

Moving files from the internal RAM disk to the RAM card also gives you space to re-allocate internal RAM disk to system RAM.

A RAM card is also useful for storing a backup copy of the files on the internal RAM disk.

How big a RAM card can I use in the HP 95LX?

HP sells 128K and 512K RAM cards for the HP 95LX. The 95LX can use RAM cards as large as 2 MB if they follow PCMCIA 1.0 and JEIDA 4.0 memory card standards.


Transferring Files from the HP 95LX to Other Computers

What do I need to transfer files to my IBM PC?

The Connectivity Pack provides the serial cable and the FILER application software to transfer files to and from the HP 95LX and the PC compatible.

The Connectivity Pack includes the Appointment, Phone, Calculator, Memo, and Setup software which is similar to the software on the HP 95LX, but will run on your PC. The Connectivity Pack includes the following software: Merge, Translate, and DOS connect utilities.

The Merge utility merges phone book files or appointment book files. This is useful when you have a copy on your PC and another on your HP 95LX. The Translate utility converts the phone and appointment file formats of Sidekick Plus, Lotus Metro, and PC Tools into file formats the HP 95LX can use.

DOS Connect, also included in The Connectivity Pack, is software that has the effect of letting the PC use the RAM disks on the HP 95LX as its own additional drives. Using DOS Connect, the normal DOS copy command can copy files back and forth between the PC and HP 95LX.

 The Connectivity Pack does not include Lotus 1-2-3 or the COMM application software.

The Connectivity Pack can be ordered from your HP dealer using part number HP F1001A.

The cable alone can be ordered using part number HP 82222A. Files can be transferred between the PC and the HP 95LX without The Connectivity Pack by using the cable, COMM on the HP 95LX and communications software on the PC.

I keep getting "Cannot Establish a Remote Connection" when using FILER, from either the HP95LX or the PC, to transfer files to the HP 95LX.

Both systems must be running the FILER application for the connection to be established. There are a number of possible causes:
  1. 1. COM port on PC not correctly configured. The most common cause of trouble is that the FILER on the PC is trying to communicate through COM1 and the serial cable is plugged into COM2. To test this, use the PC's FILER Remote-Set command to tell FILER on the PC to use the COM2 serial port (described below). To change COM ports from within FILER on the PC, press <ALT>-F10 (the PC equivalent of pressing the 95LX MENU key). Then press remote-set config interface 2 (to select Com2) quit quit. The HP 95LX should be set to COM1, the 4 pin serial port.
  2. 2. Another PC program is running and using serial port. Another cause of difficulty in getting a remote connection is that another program running in the background on your PC has control of the COM port that the FILER is trying to use. To fix this, move the serial cable to another port and update the Remote Settings configuration. (To update the remote settings, use the same procedure as in the previous paragraph). After the port has been changed, try again to get the FILER to establish a remote connection.


What do I need to transfer files to my Macintosh PC?

The HP 95LX supports file transfers in the COMM application. Both Kermit and Xmodem transfer protocols are provided on the HP 95LX. If you have software on the Macintosh that transfers files using either of these protocols, you only need the cable to connect to the HP 95LX. The cable can be ordered from your HP dealer by specifying part number HP 82223A.

If you do not have communications software for your Macintosh, you may also order the "HP 48SX to Apple Macintosh" serial interface kit (part HP 822094A). This kit includes the serial cable and KERMIT for the Macintosh, as well as some utilities for the HP 48SX calculator.



Using the HP 95LX with a Modem

How do I connect the HP 95LX to my modem?

Use the serial cable HP 82222A and the serial cable adapter kit HP 82224A to connect the HP 95LX to your modem.

You will need to disable hardware handshaking on your modem. The HP 95LX supports only software handshaking. Check the modem manual or contact the modem manufacturer directly for instructions on disabling hardware handshaking.

How can I use a battery-powered modem with the 95LX?

The following modems can be configured to operate in battery mode with the HP 95LX. These modems are manufactured by US Robotics, formerly Touchbase Systems. The brand name is WorldPort. US Robotics' technical support can be reached at 800-982-5151.
  • WorldPort 1200 with any serial number.
  • WorldPort 2400 with a serial number greater than 50,000.
  • WorldPort 2400 with a serial number less than 49,999 after modification has been made to the modem by US Robotics.


How can I configure my WorldPort 1200 to operate with the HP 95LX?

Take the modem case apart and change the internal switches. Set switches 3 and 4 to ON.

How can I configure my WorldPort 2400 to operate with the HP 95LX?

Open the modem case and change the internal switches. Set switch 3to ON.

Next, plug the modem into the AC adapter power supply. Connect the modem to HP 95LX using the serial cable, part number HP 82222A, and the serial cable modem adapter, part number HP 82224A.

Set the baud rate to 2400 on the HP 95LX. To do this press <COMM>, then press <MENU>. From the menu select settings config port baud 3 (for 2400 baud) quit quit. This will bring up the initial COMM screen. Enter AT&D0&W (the modem command) and press <ENTER>.

The modem should reply "OK" if it accepted the command. The WorldPort 2400 should be able to connect to the HP 95LX and operate with or without the AC adapter after this command is accepted. (This command tells the modem to ignore hardware handshaking. This command is written to the modem's internal memory. Until you change it again the modem should continue to ignore hardware handshaking.)

How can I configure my WorldPort 2400 MNP to operate with the HP 95LX?

The 2400 MNP will NOT operate with the HP 95LX in BATTERY mode. However, it can be configured to operate with the HP 95LX while it is connected to an AC adapter.

To configure the 2400 MNP, set switch 3 to ON. The switches are inside the battery compartment.

From this point forward, follow the same steps as for the WorldPort 2400.



Using the 512K of Internal RAM

The HP 95LX comes with 512K of internal RAM. What is the recommended allocation for RAM disk and System RAM?

RAM disk is the area of internal RAM where files are stored. System RAM is the area of internal RAM where programs are executed. The default (an even split) is best until you have a reason to change.

You should expand your RAM disk if you have no more space to store files.

You should expand your System RAM if you don't have enough space to run your programs or your Lotus spreadsheet has the MEM indicator showing. You can also free up system RAM for your Lotus spreadsheet by closing any Phone, Appointment, Comm, Calculator, or Memo applications which are open.