VOGONS


First post, by radiance32

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Hi all,

I'm new here, a friend suggested I create an account here and show some of my recent exploits regarding old MS-DOS games and my favorite portable platform of all time,
the venerable HP 200LX Palmtop PC, released in 1994.
For those who don't know, it's a small palmtop PC, it's an IBM PC compatible with an Intel 80186 compatible embedded central processing unit named "Hornet" (it's a system on a chip), which runs at ~7.91 megahertz (which can be upgraded or overclocked to up to 15.8 MHz) and 1, 2 or 4 MB of memory. It sports CGA 640x200 2 color or 320x200 4 color graphics using 4 grey levels on a typical early 90's LCD 😉

I purchased an OPL3LPT from Serdaco a while ago, and recently acquired a PCMCIA to parallel port adapter that works with the HP200LX, and I managed to get some games running using adlib sound.
I made a few videos of it, I think this is true "nerd heaven". 😉 It's a bit limited as it can't run the OPL3LPT TSR (as it's for 386 or higher CPUs), so I have to manage with the adpatch patching utility...

Here's some videos I uploaded to youtube:
mqdefault_6s.webp?du=3000&sqp=CJH5koEG&rs=AOn4CLDl0H8P76HlaznbcrxIKIzweNi8rw
Planet X3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k56E4bNhNVU

mqdefault_6s.webp?du=3000&sqp=CMbdkoEG&rs=AOn4CLAPN1MCib3qEbtNlQWJC2yOTFeqQw
Commander Keen 4 demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AULkiSM7Dco

mqdefault_6s.webp?du=3000&sqp=CP-Ek4EG&rs=AOn4CLCyK8KdW46Vlm-9jkBGD8-IdYJKUA
Leisure Suit Larry 3 demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYJ6Ny4AXDM

mqdefault_6s.webp?du=3000&sqp=CMzskoEG&rs=AOn4CLDUr7ssMDXlVMb8WQEU3KRTWWkldg
Police Quest 2 demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cW--zmcYdX0

mqdefault_6s.webp?du=3000&sqp=CJD4koEG&rs=AOn4CLDq918lRRtQsrrtXzBFle-ATFNc9g
Kings Quest 4 demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xFIFwM1cuU

Next, I'm gonna wait a bit until the serdaco S2P patching utility is a bit work fleshed out,
then see if I can make some videos with proper MT32-like sound on the little 200LX, that would be truly nerd-heaven 😉
Seeing as I played some of these games with an LAPC1 board (a roland mt32 and MPU401 on an ISA board) in my PC back when I was 8-9 years old,
all of this brings back so many memories and nostalgia, especially the sierra adventure games 😀
Have fun watching them 😀

Cheers,
Terrence

Last edited by radiance32 on 2021-02-11, 06:13. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 2 of 11, by radiance32

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
SteveC wrote on 2021-01-23, 23:50:

I love this!

Thanks, I loved making these videos.
I plan to add a few more...
If anone has any suggestions of games that are small (eg can fit in 1MB or so) and use adlib, and can possibly be altered to support the OPL3LPT with the adpatch patching utility,
name them here and I'll see if I can get it to work and post a video of it 😀
I'm also looking forward to seeing what I can do with the Dreamblaster S2P, the MT32 equivalent of the OPL3LPT, but that's for in a few months or so, once it supports more 16bit games without the TSR...

Cheers,
Terrence

Reply 5 of 11, by radiance32

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Byrd wrote on 2021-01-24, 00:13:

Never thought I'd see quality sound come from a 200LX; great work! Is your 200LX modified with any fancy upgrades eg. clock doubler, internal HD space?

This one is'nt, it's a stock 2MB, but I have a few in which I also have a 32MHz crystal oscillator installed (I buy/repair/refurbish/upgrade/mod/sell them).
I'm not sure the PCMCIA parallel port card will work in the double speed ones, I'll have to test it. I generally don't use the mint condition / upgraded ones as they are for sale and I don't want to accidentally scratch/break them...
I also had a few with the clock speed also doubled and that have the internal memory upgraded with piggybacked chips soldered onto the chips on the motherboard (one 10MB (2MB + 8MB chip) and one 18MB (2MB + 2*8MB chip),
but I sold those and am looking around to try to find more of those chips, they are HARD to find 😉

I also have a large amount of Psion machines, Series 3, 3a, 3c, 3mx, 5, 5mx, 5mxpro, revo, repo plus that I repair/refurbish and sell...
I'm also currently developing a sort of mini adobe illustrator with PDF support and support for a Microsoft or mouse systems serial mouse via the RS232-C interface for the Series 3a/c/mx using the SIBO C SDK, as a hobby project, but I've still much work to do... I have to write everything from start, the mouse driver/protocol decoder, widgets/buttons etc... that support mouse activity etc...

Terrence

Reply 6 of 11, by radiance32

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
radiance32 wrote on 2021-01-24, 00:31:
This one is'nt, it's a stock 2MB, but I have a few in which I also have a 32MHz crystal oscillator installed (I buy/repair/refur […]
Show full quote
Byrd wrote on 2021-01-24, 00:13:

Never thought I'd see quality sound come from a 200LX; great work! Is your 200LX modified with any fancy upgrades eg. clock doubler, internal HD space?

This one is'nt, it's a stock 2MB, but I have a few in which I also have a 32MHz crystal oscillator installed (I buy/repair/refurbish/upgrade/mod/sell them).
I'm not sure the PCMCIA parallel port card will work in the double speed ones, I'll have to test it. I generally don't use the mint condition / upgraded ones as they are for sale and I don't want to accidentally scratch/break them...
I also had a few with the clock speed also doubled and that have the internal memory upgraded with piggybacked chips soldered onto the chips on the motherboard (one 10MB (2MB + 8MB chip) and one 18MB (2MB + 2*8MB chip),
but I sold those and am looking around to try to find more of those chips, they are HARD to find 😉

I also have a large amount of Psion machines, Series 3, 3a, 3c, 3mx, 5, 5mx, 5mxpro, revo, repo plus that I repair/refurbish and sell...
I'm also currently developing a sort of mini adobe illustrator with PDF support and support for a Microsoft or mouse systems serial mouse via the RS232-C interface for the Series 3a/c/mx using the SIBO C SDK, as a hobby project, but I've still much work to do... I have to write everything from start, the mouse driver/protocol decoder, widgets/buttons etc... that support mouse activity etc...

Terrence

The Psion drawing app is supposed to look like this in a few weeks (or months), I've just contents of the tabs and tabs themselves to code etc...
there's a video of the mouse working I filmed a few weeks ago here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmqYAHtmLOs

Terrence

Attachments

Reply 7 of 11, by lolo799

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

That's very cool.
Which parallel port pcmcia card do you use?

General Midi is an option too using the Roland SCP-55 but it draws more current than what the power supply can give...

PCMCIA Sound, Storage & Graphics

Reply 8 of 11, by radiance32

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
lolo799 wrote on 2021-01-24, 13:40:

That's very cool.
Which parallel port pcmcia card do you use?

General Midi is an option too using the Roland SCP-55 but it draws more current than what the power supply can give...

Hi,

It's a PCMCIA parallel port card from "Trans Digital Corporation" and it's called the "Trans PC Card Universel Parallel Port".
It's especially made for the 200LX and even has the 200lx and it's quirks in it's user manual, but, it also works on other PCMCIA ported PCs and OS'es from the day.
Remember that the 200lx's PCMCIA port is non-standard and only supports a small subset of all the PCMCIA products out there, usually with customized drivers,
and the current draw must be less than 150mah....

Terrence

Reply 9 of 11, by lolo799

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

From what I remember without looking for the hardware bible, your card is one of only two parallel cards it supports I think.
The low max current draw is annoying, there were 1/2 slots pcmcia extender adapters with an extra power adapter, to go around that problem.

Do you have a parallel storage device, zip drive or CF adapter, or anything else?
Could you use that along the opl2lpt adpatched games, as long as you don't access the drive at the same time, or unload the drivers for the storage device?

PCMCIA Sound, Storage & Graphics

Reply 10 of 11, by radiance32

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
lolo799 wrote on 2021-01-25, 11:42:
From what I remember without looking for the hardware bible, your card is one of only two parallel cards it supports I think. Th […]
Show full quote

From what I remember without looking for the hardware bible, your card is one of only two parallel cards it supports I think.
The low max current draw is annoying, there were 1/2 slots pcmcia extender adapters with an extra power adapter, to go around that problem.

Do you have a parallel storage device, zip drive or CF adapter, or anything else?
Could you use that along the opl2lpt adpatched games, as long as you don't access the drive at the same time, or unload the drivers for the storage device?

Hey,

I don't have any other parallel devices at the moment, no zip drive etc...
I do have a number of CF -> PCMCIA Adapters and various CF cards of 16, 32, 64 and up to 512MB...

Terrence

Terrence

Reply 11 of 11, by radiance32

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

If anyone's interested, I made 2 more videos using a CVX4 on the same PCMCIA parallel port card,
which is a covox clone, and I made 2 youtube videos with Mod Master playing some 4 channel mod files here:

Videos of HP200LX Palmtop PC with CVX4 sound-board plays mod music with Mod Master beta 26

Cheers,
Terrence