100 Series HP 150 Touch Screen


I am looking for as much information as I can find on an 100 Series HP 150 Touch Screen "PC". Features, uses, options, year made, etc...

The model # is "45611A" or "C-147/82"

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Mike Runkel


My 1986 HP catalog lists "HP 150 Touchscreen II Personal Computers" in the index. On the target page there doesn't seem to be any more mention of "150". The Touchscreen II computers (basic part number: 45851A) are 8088 MS-DOS PCs with 160K ROM and 256K RAM expandable to 640K. They use HPIB to connect peripherals including external floppy disk and hard disk. Supported storage devices include the 9133 and 9153 hard disk/floppy disk systems, with hard disks from 10 to 40 MB and DS/DD 3-1/2 inch floppy drives. HP states the floppy formatted capacity as "710K" - according to my 9114B manual, which uses a compatible format, it is a 512 byte per sector, 9 sector per track format and the reduction from 720K that standard IBM PC formats get from he same diskettes is due to "track sparing". The computer seems to be built into the monitor which comes (optionally?) with an IR touchscreen mask. It doesn't say how the touchscreen is supported but touchscreens I have seen for Windows interface as mice. The display is 80 X 27 with the two extra lines used for function key labels and a status line. Pixel resolution - alphanumeric: 640 X 378, graphics: 512 X 390, alternate graphics (not supported by firmware/terminal mode):640 X 400. It used HP-HIL (Human Interface Link) to connect the keyboard. This was like USB in that it was "hot-plugable".

HP provided MS-DOS 2.11 and a "Personal Applications Manager". The catalog says the computer runs more than 600 software packages and "Most of the best selling software packages now run on the HP Touchscreen II family, and have been enhanced to take advantage of such easy-to-use Touchscreen II features as HP Touch, softkeys, and PAM."


I believe the original HP-150 Touchscreen predated the Touchscreen II by a couple of years. I think I bought mine in 1984. I used it with a 9122 Dual floppy, 9134 Hard Disk, 2601 Daisy Wheel Printer and 7470A 6-pen Plotter. Nice compact little system, introduced the 3.5 in floppies that are standard these days and was fun to use. Too bad it didn't catch on.


I was involved with supporting users of these PC's, and also in developing quite a lot of software for them. I still have a soft spot for them.

The original HP150 has a rather small screen and a series of holes around the bezel of the screen to let the IR beams through. In the dusty environment I was working in, these would get clogged with dust and the touchscreen would become unreliable.

Our first solition was to squirt freon into the holes. This tended to blast most of the dust out, but was never a really good solution.

A friendly HP tech showed us how to partially dissasemble the HP150 to get at the IR assembly and give it a thorough cleaning with copious amounts of freon.

HP also brought out a little plastic thingo which covered to bottom holes. (but kept falling off)

We discovered the easiest and cheapest solution was to simply cover the bottom holes with clear adhesive tape.

Soon after the Touchscreen II came out with the larger screen and rather more sensible IR transparent plastic bezel.

I also still remember that a replacement keyboard was listed at $600

p.s. Oooh! Just read the "Terms of use". Two thumbs up from me!


I used them for years because they were the best solution for word processing on the HP 3000 computers. HPWORD was a fat client (to use today's lingo) application running on HP 3000 MPE mini computers. Our users could also run some (but far from all) DOS programs on them and there was a special version of Lotus 1-2-3 for it too. The 3.5" floppy had different sectoring from the later PC's that used the same diskette. However, HP eventually came out with a program that could read PC sectored diskettes.

My favorite thing about them was the touch-screen solitare game that they included! It was about the only thing that worked well with the very low resolution of the touch sensors.



Ah, yes, programming the touch screen

I developed a number of touch-screen enabled programs. My personal favorite was used in a crusher control room. The users poked the screen with their fat fingers to record faults on conveyors, crushers, etc.

The resolution was not a huge problem if the program was designed well.

It worked *much* better if you poked the screen with the blunt end of a pencil.

I guess that is the standard HP finger :-)


Look for a Byte magazine around 1983-1984, the HP150 was the cover story

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