New addition to my collection: 200 LX


Just got my 200 LX today. Wondering if anyone else has one and what they think of it. It certainly does have a calculator app built in. will have to see how programmable. also have solver and plot app. was just wondering if anyone has success in running derive for dos in it and what version would that be.

The ver i have got 2 mb ram, of which you have to split between system ram and ramdisk. But i am sure back in 1996, that was probably a fair amount of memory for a hand held device. 8 mhz cpu...

Interesting to see how far hand held devices has gone. Compare this to the HTC evo 4G with dual core 1.5 ghz, 1gb ram, 16 gb ssd..... well at least the 5.1 inch screen on 200lx still bigger alhough it's only 640x200 CGA...

lets not forget that as ultra powerful as the evo, it's still can't and will not ever be able to run any dos program (unless there's an emulator out there....

So anyone ever try to run derive or program the 200lx?

Edited: 24 Aug 2012, 2:26 a.m.


I got a 100 LX with 2 MB and a 10 MB Flashcard just last week and I'm quite impressed with it. Its a nice little machine, and is IMO by far the best financial calculator thanks to the integration of the very powerful calculator app and Lotus 123. And its ability to run DOS-programs is a nice nostalgia trip :-).

Derive 4 runs without any problems, as does Word 5.5, Turbo C, even LaTeX if you're patient... You can use maxdos and emm200 to give them more memory (the former swaps out the system manager, the latter allows you to use some of that extra MB as expanded memory)

If only HP could make hardware that lasts -- these machines have their own mechanical flaws (the hinge and space and enter-keys are often broken on used machines).

Edited: 24 Aug 2012, 6:19 a.m.


Just got my compact flash 128 MB drive working also. was able to interrupt the boot up so was able to get into dos without going thr 200lx shell.

Anyone got derive 4 they can zip up and send to my email couldn't find my dos disks ;(. Thanks


Maybe you can get help from the Derive User Group:


No luck so far ;(. I guess no one keeps derive 4 around anymore since it's dos and no one uses dos anymore? ;( The company originally made it long ago bought by TI and TI dont even sell derive 6 anymore let alone derive 4 ;(


no one uses dos anymore?

I use it every day! WordPerfect for DOS and QuattroPro for DOS are probably my most used programs. With my old (!) PC/AT keyboard and using the function keys on the left (where they belong!! - I have three more of these keyboards for backup), I can move/replace in WP 5.1 about 10 times faster than in any mouse-driven GUI program!

Anybody else?


The only dos is now on my 200lx ;).

I do have a Viliv S5 which is nearly as small as 200lx but of course can run win7. but it won't run derive very well due to lack of physical keyboard. but i do have derive 6 installed on it. of course battery only good for about 6 hrs of cont use.


Got 5, thought I had 4. Sorry.


is that for dos? if it's for dos, appreciate if can get it thanks.


Congraduatons on your HP-200LX. Fantastic machine. You should check out the following site for programs and info:

The Palmtop Network

I use Turbo Pascal to program on my 200LX. Most of the Turbo program languages will run with no problem.

Enjoy you new toy.



I think that you'll find many of us here that have and use a 200LX. I've been using the 100LX and later the 200LX for 20 years and have programmed on it several languages. The built in apps are fantastic especially the solver in the calculator -- the best solver HP has ever implemented.


I can only support the general feeling here that the 200LX is one of HP's greats, particularly the Calculator application. Its links with the 1-2-3 spreadsheet are also cleverly done.

For a start, for what it is worth, it gives results to more significant figures than any other HP calculator I know, and it doesn't show the "cosine bug". Really the only missing thing is that it doesn't handle complex numbers. As Katie Wasserman says the Solver is brilliant, with the graphing facility enabling one to choose the root you are after.

As many have said you can get a plethora of DOS programming languages for it. Because I'm old I use Fortran, I even wrote a little programme for solving Sudoku puzzles for the 200LX in Fortran. (Fortran is great for working with arrays)

Another plus over more modern machines is that the battery life can be measured in months with average use.

You'll enjoy your 200LX!


Anyone here knows where i can get derive 4 for dos or mine zipping up their derive 4 for me (it's like well less than 1 mb)? Can't find my dos collections anymore.. ;(. Thanks.

Edited: 31 Aug 2012, 8:51 p.m.


If it is your only HP200LX you may keep it in your collection. Otherwise it is a suficcient tool to use.

Some essential SW here:
and there (Tony Hutchins and many others).



The 200LX is really outstanding. The built-in HP Calc is essentially a 19BII, and there's a (greatly scaled-down) 16C clone hidden on D: (hexcalc.exm, I believe).

If you get into Lotus 1-2-3 macro programming, you can do really impressive data entry and analysis applications with minimal development time. If you can find a copy of Using 1-2-3 Release 2.4 (Susan Shaw, Que), you'll be set. I got a copy via Amazon for a few dollars a couple years back. Even the 95LX manual has pretty good 1-2-3 coverage (most of which was removed for the 200LX manual, sadly), though it doesn't get into the really sophisticated macro programming.

It's remarkable how well this old version of 1-2-3 compares with even current spreadsheet programs, largely because macro programming can make sheets incredibly efficient to work with. (The fact that it's entirely keyboard driven also helps.) It makes me wish I had an iPad version of 1-2-3.

Most of my sheets end up having an Alt-A macro to 'A'dd a new row to a table, format the new cells and enter any formulas, etc. It typically looks something like this:

{goto}NEXTROW~  (Move the pointer to the next blank row.)
/wir~ (Insert a row to move the NEXTROW range name down.)
/cROWTEMPLATE~~ (Copy the ROWTEMPLATE range to the current cell.)
{EDIT}{CALC}~ (Freeze @NOW function in first column.)
{r} (Move to the right for data entry.)

Presto, instant data-logging application (assuming you've got the named ranges set up in appropriate places). Then you can do pretty respectable cross-tab summaries with the /Data Table commands combined with the database functions (@DSUM, @DCOUNT, etc).

The biggest hardware flaw is the infamous "hinge crack", but I found it pretty easy to deal with this using a piece of metal cut from a floppy disk shutter, and a few drops of Gorilla Glue. I would imagine just about everybody on this forum has at least a few 3.5" floppies still laying around.


great to see so many people still have this. seems to me though that there is no really any built facility for programming. So i guess there's no way to program it with just only the built in apps to find fibonacci numbers and such. I guess the plus side is that there is plenty of power to run ms dos non gui programs.

Think i am going to get the connectivity kit. Anyone knows how well it works to get it to work with usb?

Also, any recommendation on the memory PCMCIA cards? guess ebay probably the easiest way to find one?


You'd be surprised what kind of procedural programs you can pull off with the solver. I know I've done Fibonacci numbers on my 17BII, which has the same solver. Plus you can always copy QBasic from a DOS 5 or 6 installation, or install something like Turbo Pascal or Turbo C.

For storage cards, I'd recommend compact flash, no bigger than about 64 MB. I've successfully used cards up to 1 GB (though cards larger than 256 MB generally need the Acecard driver), but having a large number of allocation units causes DOS to become really slow when checking free space. I have a 64 MB card formatted with an 8 KB block size (giving 8,023 allocation units), and the DIR command will still stall for a couple of seconds at the end while DOS figures out the amount of free space left. It will only do this once each time you power on or switch cards, but as easy as the 200LX makes it to power on/off, that becomes surprisingly frequent. With large cards, I've seen this delay go over 10 seconds.

And the advantage of using compact flash over full size PCMCIA cards is that it's vastly easier to find USB compact flash readers for transferring files. I don't think I've ever seen a USB adapter for full-size PCMCIA cards. If you're using an older laptop that has such a slot, then it becomes a non-issue.


I will echo that smaller capacity cards flash are perfectly suitable for the 200LX. I have a Kingston FCR-HS2/ATA PCMCIA USB 2.0 reader that works really well with almost all of my PCMCIA cards. An older Lexar USB 1.0 reader was much more picky, and is now gone. Compact Flash seems to be the best between my machines. I would think 32 or 64 MB would more than adequate, and just about free.

I have used QBASIC quite a bit, mostly to run programs primarily developed on a desktop. Also, mostly for fun, an older Lahey Fortran compiler. Love the built in solver.


A very powerful number cruncher is UBasic.



Just got my 200 LX today. Wondering if anyone else has one and what they think of it.

I have one that I got at a flea market a few years ago. It's a nice little machine, and the fact that it runs DOS programs makes it very powerful and flexible. Pity about that hinge, though.

Back in the 1990s, I was in the market for a portable computer, and I took a long and hard look at the 200LX (or was it the 100LX at the time? I forgot). In the end, I decided to buy a Sharp PC-3100 instead, mostly because its keyboard was much more comfortable. It was also a physically bigger machine, but it fit in a large pocket.

The Sharp PC-3100 was a wonderful computer. I set up a pretty nice Turbo C developing environment on it and had a routine of uploading netnews (from another computer) so I could read Usenet offline on the subway on the way to school.

Sadly, my PC-3100 died from a leaky AA battery. I tried to get Energizer to pay for a new one, as they advertised, but they gave me the runaround when I told them the computer was worth more than $600 and I eventually quit trying.

These days, I often carry a Ben Nanonote. It's smaller, with a worst keyboard, and some weird rough edges and limitations stemming from its free-hardware origins, but it's much more powerful than 1990-era pocket computers and can run Linux. I use it as a music player mostly, but it's got Octave installed and ready to take on complex calculations.

Edited: 28 Aug 2012, 10:49 p.m.


They are great fun. A family portrait: HERE

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