Palmtop Application Software
(Palmtop-specific and DOS-compatible)
HP's Palmtop Home Page
There is a tremendous amount of software available that was written
specifically for HP Palmtops. Much of this software is listed in
Simply Unbeatable Palmtop Essentials Repository -- a compilation of
almost every software package available for the Palmtop.
(CAUTION: at last count, this page was about 400 kbytes long.
For the most up-to-date additions, try their
New Additions Page.)
However, since the Palmtop is a PC-compatible and runs MS-DOS 5.0,
it can run just about any program that can run on a PC-compatible
under MS-DOS 5.0. More specifically, it will run any program that will
run on an 8086-, 8088-, or 80186-based PC under MS-DOS 5.0. (The
processor in the 100LX and 200LX is an 80186; the 95LX uses a clone
version of the 8086.) Note that 80286-compatible programs will generally
not run on the Palmtops. (Also note that the IBM PC/AT was an
80286-based machine; IBM never used the 80186 in PC's, at least to my
knowledge. AT-compatible software may not run on a 100LX or 200LX.
Some people have reported being able to run Windows 3.0 (but not 3.1)
on the Palmtops, but it apparently takes some doing...)
Among DOS-compatible software I've run on my Palmtops:
It is possible to run MATLAB on a palmtop.
There are a couple of restrictions, however:
- The only version that works is
The Student Edition of Matlab for MS-DOS (a modification of
version 3.5) for DOS. (This has been out of print
for some time. As far as I know, only Amazon.com has it available;
the link here is to Amazon.com's listing for the book, which also
includes the program on disk.) This is the only PC MATLAB version that
does not require a coprocessor. To install it,
perform a regular installation on your desktop or laptop, then
move the resulting directories to your Palmtop using connectivity
software or by moving the directories onto a PCMCIA memory card.
- Although it's theoretically possible to run MATLAB in a System
Manager DOS box, I found the best way is to exit the System
Manager completely (in the Application Manager, type MENU A T
) and run from DOS. This gives you the most available memory,
and memory rapidly becomes an issue in most DOS versions of MATLAB.
- Student MATLAB restricts the size of vectors and matrices
(1-dimensional vectors can have no more than 1024 elements, while
2-dimensional matrices can be no larger than 64x64). This is
clearly a problem for large-scale number crunching, but you
probably shouldn't be doing that on a Palmtop anyway.
- It's slower than cold molasses in January. (You can't run the
regular MATLAB benchmark routine on a Palmtop because of the
matrix-size restriction, but the plotting demo takes around 5
- Communications Software:
I use the built-in Datacomm
program to talk to my Web server, and haven't had any major trouble
with it, even with on-line text editing. I also use
D&A Software's WWW/LX
web software package: it includes a TCP/IP stack, TELNET and FTP
clients, a combined E-mail and news reader, and HV (a PAL-based Web
- Image Viewers:
I use PICEM and LXPIC, both freeware image viewers. They are both
pretty compact (LXPIC in particular takes < 20k)
and display fairly well. I also use my
desktop image editors to convert pictures to 2-bit (monochrome) GIF
before transferring them to the Palmtop: this gives me better-quality
images on the display, and saves space (since the Palmtop doesn't do
colour, why keep the colour info and multiply file size by 2-3?)
- Word Processing and Editing:
I personally use the Memo Editor for most Palmtop editing (including
writing programs), but DOS versions of
Word Perfect (including 5.1, which I have seen described as
"the greatest program
ever written" -- and I agree) will run just as well on the Palmtop
as on PC XTs and compatibles. "Simpler" editors, such as EDLIN (heaven
forfend), Microsoft EDIT (packaged with later versions of MS-DOS, and
IBM's E Editor, work quite well also.
Palmtop Software Archives
Both of these archives contain many freeware and
shareware programs for all three Palmtops. I especially recommend
SUPER -- it's the largest and most comprehensive I've seen.
Palmtop Ring Homepage
Palmtop Ring Site is owned by
Vinay N. Reddy, M.D.
Visit The Webring.
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Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004
Vinay N. Reddy, M.D. All rights reserved.
Written 08/20/96; major revision 04/05/00; last revised 11/04/04