Dr. Reddy's Guide to HP Palmtops

Palmtop Software -- Compilers and Assemblers

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Yes, you can write software for -- and on -- a Palmtop...

An HP 200 LX HP's Palmtop Home Page

Compilers and Assemblers

Palmtop Software Development

Although any program capable of running on an IBM PC/XT or the equivalent can run on a Palmtop, you need special tools to develop programs compatible with the Palmtop System Manager (which runs over DOS and provides I/O, task-switching, and function-key, hot-key, and memory-management capabilities similar to that enjoyed by the built-in Palmtop applications). These tools are found in the HP Palmtop System Design Kit, and comprehensive documentation for them and for the Palmtop itself are in the HP 100LX/200LX Developer's Guide, which is available in package form or as part of the annual Palmtop CD InfoBase from Thaddeus Computing, publisher of the HP Palmtop Paper. The HP tools include software that allows your desktop or laptop to behave like a Palmtop (including all the System Manager calls and graphic capabilities) while you develop your application, as well as a converter to turn your finished EXE file into a System Manager-compliant EXM file so it can be run on your Palmtop. The C header files and the sample software (which includes the source code for the Hex Calculator found on the D: drive of the 200 LX) are written to be compatible with Microsoft C 6.0 or later; Microsoft C is the compiler underlying their Visual C++ package. Although you may have to rewrite the header files to make it work properly, programmers have reported successful Palmtop software development using the Borland Turbo C compilers (see above).

For those of you who don't want to put up with the hassles associated with the SDK, the Palmtop Applications Library provides C-callable functions that can give your software the look and feel of System Manager-compliant programs but will run under standard DOS and compile with any ANSI C compiler (including Borland and Microsoft). The PAL is included with the HP Palmtop System Design Kit and on the Palmtop CD InfoBase, and may also be downloaded from the Internet (see S.U.P.E.R.: the Simply Unbeatable Palmtop Essentials Repository).

I have posted a brief introduction to System-Manager-compliant Palmtop programming. It is still rudimentary, but System Manager novices may (I hope) find it helpful. I will expand on it as (and when) I have time.

Visit the HP Palmtop Ring Homepage

This HP 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, 2004 Vinay N. Reddy, M.D. All rights reserved.
Written 08/20/96; major revision 04/05/00; last revised 05/10/04 counter