HP 110 System


I just got a HP110 portable computer with thinkjet and diskdrive. I'd actually like to use it with my HP3421A datalogger. Does anybody know of a programming software (HP BASIC) for the HP 110?
I don't see any means using it as a HPIL controller without any additional software.

Thanks for helping


My 1986 HP catalog has an index entry for 110 but the target pages never mention the model number but only refer to the unit as the Portable PLUS. Then in that text there is a reference to "Software Choices" a couple of pages ahead. Ironically, that page has been torn out of the catalog! And I think I know why, the pages in between are for the HP85 and 86. One of my first forays into HP collecting was trying to identify an adapter that came connected to an HP plotter. It turned out to be an HP85 interface, and that led me to search for an 85. I know I got this catalog at work and back then I guess I didn't think of it as a valuable resource. Luckily, since I never throw anything away, that page is around here somewhere!

The description of the Portable PLUS doesn't mention an HP Basic for the unit, just GW-Basic and Lattice C that can be loaded from diskette. It says it has 192K of ROM: I take it that MS-DOS 2.11 is in the ROM along with the following which are described as "bundled": "PAM - Personal Applications Manager", "HPLINK - For the Portable-Desktop Link", "TERM - Terminal link for HP 2622 emulation", "SECURE - Password protection utility", "EDLIN - Low-level MS-DOS text editor" and "self-diagnostics utility". In the overview list of featues it says "HP Link and Portable-Desktop Link for data and peripheral sharing" which sounds like those are two separate programs.

"HP Link" sounds like the name of the program that comes with the HPIL card for the PC. That loads device drivers that provide general HPIL communications. Those can be called from assembly language programs and probably from "USR" routines or whatever GW-Basic calls embedded machine language programs. I just looked at the documentation for the 82973A HPIL Interface card for the IBM PC/XT on the MOHPC CD-ROM #3. HPLINK is a program that turns the PC into an HPIL device so that another computer can use the PC's printer and disk drives. The 110 is used as the example HPIL controller in this case. There is another program, HPIL.SYS, that makes the PC an HPIL controller and provides device drivers to control external HPIL disk drives, tape drives, and printers. They mention that if the 110 is to be used as a device, it must be running software to make it do so - that might be what "HP Link" on the Portable PLUS is for.

I know I've got some documentation that tells how to call the 82973A HPIL.SYS drivers directly. When I find them, I'll email you. I imagine the 110 always loads something like it with MS-DOS to be ready to use the HPIL. See if there is a default CONFIG.SYS on the ROM Disk.

Applications software was also available on ROMs which plugged into a ROM drawer, they mention Lotus 123 and Microsoft Word. Apparently there are two slots which can contain either RAM or ROM drawers. With two ROM drawers you can add up to 24 32K or 128K ROMs, or 32K EPROMs. The software that manges the ROMs is call a ROM Disk, there is also RAM Disk software. It doesn't say, but I imagine you partition RAM between system memory and RAM Disk.

The neatest thing about that unit is that it has from 128K to 896K of continuous user RAM. Battery life is 20 hours which HP calls two weeks average computing time. Battery service life 5 years. It says the battery is "Three permanently installed lead acid gel D cell batteries" which sounds like the 2.5 A-H Gates Cyclon cells which are pretty readily available.

Other features: Microprocessor is Intel 80C86 at 5.33 MHz. Graphics resolution is "200 X 480" pixels - I think they have swapped X and Y (I hope!)

For peripherals and accessories the catalog refers you to the Peripherals section; on that page there is a column for "the Portable" which lists as compatible devices the 9114A and the 9122D/S and other HPIB hard disk/floppy disk units. I wonder if there was an original "Portable" that had HPIB and HPIL?



I am a 110+ power user. BASIC was not available. Only GW-Basic and that was on disc, not plug in ROM.

Do you have a 110, or 110+ or a GLOWORM?



Many thanks for the response so far. The machine is a 110 (no plus). I'm wondering if it's possible to control HPIL as it is possinble from eg. the HP71B. Does GW Basic support HPIL? Id' find it a neat machine to control all my measurement apparatus.

Cheers Daniel


Hi Daniel,

isn't there a menu point in PAM for BASIC ?

At least in my Integral-PC the BASIC/UX is built-in.

Hmmm. I just looked into my HP-110 Owner's Manual.
Nothing about *using* HP-IL, only some notes about connecting...
And PAM doesn't seem to have a 'BASIC' menu point.




> At least in my Integral-PC the BASIC/UX is built-in.

Yes but even for the IPC the Basic ROM was optional. Consider yourself lucky.



Nope. BASIC is not built into any 110- the 110, the 110+ or the Gloworm. None of the three has it, it must be added.

FYI, I used the HP150 and portable plus combo as late as 1997!

I love those machines!

John Kercheval


GW Basic does not support HPIL as far as I know. I looked through the manuals to find a keyword for that without luck.

You may be able to control the IL by finding a Serial to IL
converter- plug the serial side into the serial port on the 110, then use BASIC or other commands to drive the serial side with the converter box swiutching the code to IL automatically.

The converter may be hard to find. But they made them!

john Kercheval

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