The FAQ as found on, modified to wiki-format and updated. Also the Tips page has been added back to the FAQ.


In 1995 the company SunDisk changed its name to SanDisk. Hence it might happen that some of the PCMCIA-cards listed in this FAQ are available under both names.

This FAQ is also one of the sources for the fact that the Omnigo 120's PCMCIA-slot is better/more compatible than the Omnigo 100's PCMCIA-slot. This might be true. But so far there hasn't been any PCMCIA-card that only worked in the 120 and not in the 100.


OmniGo 100 SpecificationsBearbeiten


  • NEC 16MHz V-30HL operating at 5V
  • CPU mounted on Vadem VG230 chip
  • 80186-compatible


  • 3MB ROM (120ns), 1MB RAM (80ns)
  • ~416KB available for data storage
  • Read/write to SRAM and Flash RAM cards (HP recommends using only SRAM. Nevertheless Flash RAM PC cards (and even CF Cards in a PCMCIA/CF-Adapter) up to 224 MB are also working.)


  • FSTN LCD with analog touchscreen
  • 240 x 240 pixels
  • Up to 15 rows, 30 to 50 columns


  • PCMCIA Type II card slot
  • 10-wire RS-232C serial port
  • Built-in support for the following printers (parallel printers require a serial adapter):
    • HP LaserJet
    • HP DeskJet
    • Epson 24-pin
    • IBM Proprinter
    • 24-pin Canon BubbleJet


  • Single-tone internal speaker
  • 600-20,000Hz frequency range


  • Familiar QWERTY layout
  • 5 function keys

Pen (stylus):Bearbeiten

  • Navigate or launch applications
  • Draw pictures
  • Write text using Graffiti
  • Drag, drop, select, cut, copy, and paste data


  • Size 15.3 x 9.5 x 2.6 cm (6 x 3.75 x 1 in)
  • Weight 329 g (11.6 oz) with batteries


  • Two 1.5V AA main batteries
  • One 3V CR2032 coin cell backup battery

Built-in Software:Bearbeiten

  • Personal information management
    • Appointment Book
    • Book Reader
    • Database
    • Jotter
    • Notepad
    • Phonebook
    • Stopwatch
    • World Time
  • Financial functions
    • Calculator
    • Financial Tools
    • HP 12C financial calculator (emulation)
    • Spreadsheet
  • Pen interface
    • GEOS 2.1 operating system
    • Graffiti handwriting recognition system
  • Miscellaneous
    • Self-running demo
    • Setup utility
    • Solitaire
    • Transfer

Key Features:Bearbeiten

  • View the screen in different orientations, or flip the keyboard behind the screen—it adapts to any work style!
  • Move Jotter pages to an application in which you want notes.
  • Jot notes, draw pictures, and make maps directly on the screen.
  • Enter data easily by pen or keyboard. The Graffiti handwriting recognition system is easy to learn and use.
  • Drag and drop appointments and to-do items. Rearranging your schedule is a breeze.
  • Calculate using advanced financial functions and the built-in emulated HP 12C financial calculator.
  • Create sophisticated spreadsheets.
  • Add additional memory cards for unlimited storage capacity.
  • Connect to PC's, printers, and more with optional HP and third-party accessories.


  • The Connectivity Pack gives you automated file management, backup, and synchronization between your OmniGo and a Windows-based PC.
  • Clip & Go (developed by Geoworks) is the smart, fast, and easy way to transfer data from a Windows-based PC to your OmniGo, or vice versa.
  • Strategy Games (developed by Geoworks) gives you six challenging games and hours of brain-teasing entertainment.
  • Link to Windows is the latest connectivity option for the OmniGo. It is actually a suite comprising IntelliLink's Sync & Go, Clip & Go, Strategy Games, and HP PIM.
  • Bindery (developed by Geoworks) allows you to publish your own electronic books for the Book Reader.
  • HP cables and connectors are the convenient way to connect the OmniGo to other peripherals. The Cable (F1015A) consists of a 4- to 10-pin connector and serial cable; the Connector/Adapter Kit (F1023A) includes a set of four adapters for printers, modems, and PC's (in 9-to-25 and 9- to 9-pin configurations).
  • The HP 12C Owner's Handbook describes in detail all the features of the HP 12C financial calculator.

OmniGo 120 SpecificationsBearbeiten

The OmniGo 120, introduced in September 1996, is identical to the 100 except for the following additions:

  • A brighter LCD screen incorporating Polaroid's holographic reflector technology, Imagix. (Clarification: the new screen is NOT backlit.)
  • Pocket Quicken and a Clip & Go client in ROM.
  • A Pocket Quicken logo above the original GEOS logo.
  • Support for CompactFlash memory cards (via a PCMCIA adapter).
  • A separate manual for Financial Tools and Spreadsheet.


You have a few questions regarding the OmniGo? Well, it's likely at least some of your questions will be answered on this Frequently Asked Questions page. If you do not see a question addressing your problem or curiosity here, check the Tips page because the more technical subjects and procedures are discussed there. If you still cannot find an answer to your question, try posting it on the OmniGo mailing list and I'm sure someone's bound to have an answer. If I notice a string of similar questions flooding the mailing list, I'll append it to this page along with the relevant answer.

There are, to my knowledge, actually four FAQ's pertaining to the OmniGo available on the Internet: Ronald Pike's original FAQ (the one distributed over the OmniGo mailing list), Wayne Venables' updated FAQ based on Ronald's version, the FAQ that complimented a subscription to Thaddeus Computing's HP OmniGo World (no longer in print), and EduCalc's brief FAQ. This FAQ is a derivative of Wayne Venables' version, with some passages taken from Ronald's original version. Apart from the obvious cosmetic differences (e.g., Communication moved to Section 4), I have made the following changes to Wayne's FAQ:

  • Moved parts of the answers to 2.5 and 2.8 to the Tips page.
  • Moved the answers to 5.8 and 5.9 to the Tips page.
  • Moved Section 9 to the Tips page.
  • Left out the links in 1.7 and 3.3.
  • Various minor editing and amendments, and some updating.

My reasons for making these changes are (1) to keep the FAQ as basic as possible while relegating the more technical aspects of it to the Tips page, (2) to remove overlaps with this site, and (3) to maximize the FAQ's accessibility and legibility. I hope this FAQ can be of great resource to you. If not, please let me know—I'm all ears all the time.


General InformationBearbeiten

Q: What is the HP OmniGo 100/120 Organizer Plus?Bearbeiten

A: The OmniGo 100/120 is a small personal computer that was designed to be an electronic organizer. It has a small 67-key Chiclet keyboard, a plastic stylus, and a square monochrome LCD screen. The stylus can be used to draw electronic ink or input and manipulate text using Graffiti handwriting recognition. The keyboard can also fold behind the screen so the OmniGo can be held like a tablet and used solely for pen input (à la Newton).

The OmniGo has a complete set of personal information management (PIM) applications, including an appointment book, a phone book, a calculator, a database, a notepad, and a spreadsheet. It also has a complete set of financial tools, including Time Value of Money (TVM), Cash Flows, Business Percentages, Compound Interest, Solver, List Statistics, Conversions, Date Calculator, and an emulated HP 12C financial calculator. Pocket Quicken is included in the 120 model.

Within Hewlett-Packard's own family of palmtops, the OmniGo 100/120 is positioned below the 200LX and their new Windows CE devices, although it is difficult to compare it with any currently sold portable digital assistants (PDA's) in that it has a unique combination of pen and keyboard input. The OmniGo is in the category of devices such as the Sharp Zaurus, but also competes somewhat with the PalmPilot, Apple Newton, Sony Magic Link, Psion 3a, HP 200LX, and the new Windows CE devices. One USENET poster likened it as being "halfway between a Pilot and a Newton with the best implementation of Graffiti (you can write anywhere on the screen) and a much better built-in application set than either of the others."

Q: What is the difference between the 100 and 120?Bearbeiten

A: The OmniGo 120 has a brighter holographic screen, support for CompactFlash RAM cards (with adapter), and Pocket Quicken and a Clip & Go client in ROM. It also sports a Pocket Quicken logo on the front panel and comes with a dedicated manual for the financial tools and spreadsheet.

Q: How does it compare to other portable digital assistants?Bearbeiten

A: Some possible advantages of the OmniGo over other PDA's are its flexibility in providing both pen and keyboard input options, a large (and surprisingly powerful) set of built-in applications, a relatively open operating system, lots of freeware and electronic books (Content) available for download, fine dot resolution, a screen texture that is easy to write on (unlike screens made of glass or flimsy plastic), rugged construction, a PCMCIA slot, and a low price (it can sometimes be purchased through online auctions such as ONSALE and AuctionWeb for less than $200).

Some possible drawbacks of the OmniGo are a hard-to-see screen with no backlighting, limited amount of memory for storing applications and data, no infrared data port, relatively short battery life, no external power source, two somewhat expensive proprietary desktop PC connectivity options, no built-in Internet connectivity, long initial load times for some of the apps, lack of developer support, and the fact that it is discontinued and some accessories are getting harder to find.

Q: What operating system does the OmniGo use?Bearbeiten

A: The OmniGo uses version 2.1 of the GEOS operating system, developed by Geoworks. GEOS was an early (but technically more efficient) competitor to Microsoft Windows, and like Windows, it runs over DOS and uses DOS file management functions. The OmniGo uses DOS to allow GEOS to boot and create the GEOS file structure. When the OmniGo 100 was first released, there was no way to exit GEOS and put the device in DOS mode; since then, several DOS mode drivers have been written that now allow OmniGo users to run DOS programs (see Section 7: DOS Mode).

GEOS is available on several different platforms. The desktop PC incarnations include Geoworks Ensemble, GeoWorks Pro, Quick Start, and most recently New Deal Office. GEOS is also used in the Zoomer PDA's (from Casio, Tandy, and AST) and the Canon StarWriter 5000. Applications written for any of these platforms may also work on the OmniGo.

Version 3.0 of GEOS has been released, but only in the form of the Nokia 9000 Communicator (a GSM cell phone-palmtop hybrid), the Toshiba Genio PCV (only available in Japan), and Brother's GeoBook. GEOS 3.0 includes, among other additions, the ability to process electronic mail, voice mail, pages, and fax documents through a universal mailbox facility; it also adds a TCP/IP protocol for Internet browsing (via PPP and SLIP) and connecting to wide-area networks. The OmniGo does not include a socketed system ROM chip for upgrading to GEOS version 3.0.

Q: What is Graffiti?Bearbeiten

A: Graffiti is a handwriting recognition system which recognizes characters written using a special single-stoke alphabet (go to the Graffiti page to see what it looks like). It was developed by Palm Computing, a division of U.S. Robotics. An experienced user can write approximately 20 words per minute with 100% accuracy using Graffiti. On the OmniGo, you can either write Graffiti anywhere on the screen or specifically into a Graffiti window. Graffiti can be used to enter text (including extended characters) into any data field; it can also be used to cut, copy, and paste data.

Q: Where can I purchase an OmniGo?Bearbeiten

A: Although Hewlett-Packard has officially discontinued the OmniGo, some retailers and mail order suppliers may still have the OmniGo and accessories in stock, although it is getting rarer. The best prices for new accessories (e.g., memory cards) are posted at PDApage, or you can use the search engine at ComputerESP—check both sites to compare. If you're in the market for a used OmniGo, your chances of finding one are much higher. You can often find a used OmniGo for sale in the OmniGo mailing list or in a few USENET newsgroups (specifically, comp.sys.palmtops and comp.sys.handhelds); if not, look in the classifieds (online and off) or visit the auction sites. Check out the Links page for more places to purchase OmniGo goods.

Q: What online resources exist for OmniGo users?Bearbeiten

A: Most OmniGo discussions occur in the OmniGo mailing list. To subscribe, send an email to with "subscribe ogo" somewhere in the body. A searchable archive of previous postings to the list is available at Brian Smithson's website.


Q: What are the OmniGo's physical characteristics?Bearbeiten

A: The OmniGo measures 6" x 3.75" x 1" when folded up (15.3cm x 9.5cm x 2.6cm) and weighs 11.6 oz (0.33 kg). It has one Type II PCMCIA slot on the right side of the keyboard and a standard RS-232 serial port on the left side. The black and white FSTN (Film Super Twisted Neumatic) LCD panel measures 240 pixels by 240 pixels (up to 15 rows, 30 to 50 columns) and features an analog touchscreen. The internal speaker is capable of generating single tones in the 600 to 20,000Hz audible range.

Q: What are the OmniGo's hardware specifications?Bearbeiten

A: The OmniGo follows the PC-XT architecture. It features an NEC V-30HL central processing unit (80186 clone) on a Vadem VG230 chip, running at 16MHz on 5V. The VG230 contains a number of controllers mounted directly on the chip, providing "PC on a chip" functionality. The PCMCIA and LCD/touchscreen controllers, along with the standard memory controller, system management unit, 8259 interrupt controller, and 8254 timer, all exist alongside the CPU. The OmniGo also contains an advanced power management (APM) unit, though by default APM is disabled in DOS mode. It should be noted that most components inside the OmniGo were assembled from stock off-the-shelf parts.

The built-in applications are stored in 3MB of ROM (consisting of 1 piece of 16Mbit/120ns and 1 piece of 8Mbit/120ns ROM). Although the OmniGo technically has 1MB of RAM (consisting of 2 pieces of 4Mbit/80ns SRDRAM), less than half of it is available to the user. According to Steve Main, GEOS evangelist and former member of Geoworks' technical staff, "the 1MB of RAM is used this way: 576KB for "heap" space [where the programs run], 32KB for video memory and 416KB for RAM disk [where you store your documents and add-on files. Because the built-in software runs directly from ROM, the heap space allows you to run up to 9 apps at once, which makes switching apps very quick. And the way GEOS uses state files reduces the size of document files substantially, so you can fit quite a bit in the 416KB." (For more information on state files, see question 5 in the next section.)

  • Contact Steve Main at

Q: What kind of batteries does the OmniGo use?Bearbeiten

A: The OmniGo uses two AA batteries in series to provide 3 volts of main power (see the next question for a battery guide). A 3-volt CR2032 lithium coin cell battery provides backup power.

Q: How much battery life does the OmniGo get?Bearbeiten

A: Moderate use of the OmniGo will allow for approximately 4 weeks of use on one pair of alkaline batteries; with the same level of use, lithium batteries could be expected to last 8 weeks. Heavy users of the device report 2 weeks on alkalines and 4 weeks on lithiums. Excessive use of the serial port, PCMCIA slot, or DOS mode will shorten battery life significantly. The following is a listing of typical drain rates for an OmniGo in various activities, followed by usage pointers on different battery types:

Drain mAActivity
1.1Switched off
49Idle in GEOS
60Idle in GEOS with Premax 1MB SRAM card
160Running without SRAM card
200Running program from SRAM card
220In DOS mode
240Running Laplink in DOS
260Transmitting with Laplink

Measurements by Juraj Mucko

Types of batteries:

  • Alkalines. These are the "normal" batteries and work well.
  • Carbon/Zinc. These batteries are cheaper than alkalines, but of course they don't last as long. It might be interesting if you could get them really cheap and are ready to change batteries often.
  • NiCad Rechargeables. These provide less energy than conventional batteries (reports suggest maybe half) and they fade rapidly once their charge is nearly gone, but they are rechargeable, and so offer a cost-effective alternative.
  • Lithium AA. They last longer and are 30% lighter than alkalines, but they are more expensive and do not give you much of a warning once their charge is depleted (so save often). Recommended if you really need long battery life and in extreme conditions. These batteries have a very long shelf life.
  • Rechargeable Alkalines. These batteries don't cost much more than regular Alkalines, but they require a special charger. They get approximately 25 full charges and are about as powerful as regular alkalines.

The OmniGo has two graphical displays showing current battery life: a small battery meter at the bottom of the Home Screen, and a more detailed meter in the Setup utility. Setup also lists the status of the backup battery and alerts you when it needs replacement. A voltage indicator for the main and backup batteries is available in diagnostic mode (press SHIFT-ON-NEXT, then hold down NEXT). There is a freeware program from Marcus Groeber called Battery Watcher that lets you plot battery life over time; you can download it from this site's Software page, Max Mansour's archive, or directly from Marcus Groeber's website.

Some tips to conserve battery life:

  • Disable "Touch Screen to turn on" in Setup.
  • Avoid writes to Flash RAM cards.
  • Avoid formatting Flash RAM cards.
  • Avoid long transfers via the serial port.
  • Avoid DOS mode.

The backup battery should last about a year if fresh batteries are maintained in the unit, and if the change-over time between sets of batteries is kept to a minimum (i.e., if you're going to take out the main batteries, make sure a fresh pair is at hand).

Q: Can I use an external power supply?Bearbeiten

A: Although the OmniGo does not contain a standard AC adapter plug, some users have reported success with adapters plugged into the battery compartment. See the Tips page for instructions on how to build your own OmniGo AC power adapter. Keep in mind that doing something like this may void the warranty.

Q: Can I upgrade the internal RAM?Bearbeiten

A: Presently there is no way to upgrade the OmniGo's internal RAM. You can, however, increase the available storage capacity by adding SRAM or Flash RAM memory cards (though Hewlett-Packard does not sanction Flash RAM cards). The OmniGo 120 can also use the new CompactFlash cards. For more information on memory expansion, see Section 6.

Q: What is diagnostic mode?Bearbeiten

A: Diagnostic mode is a set of routines installed in the OmniGo's firmware for testing its various hardware components (e.g., ROM, keyboard); it is similar to the CMOS setup screen found on PC's, minus the ability to change system settings. To enter diagnostic mode, reboot the OmniGo by pressing SHIFT-ON-NEXT and then holding down the NEXT key. When you exit the diagnostic mode, the OmniGo will continue to boot normally.

Q: Does the OmniGo's screen need protection?Bearbeiten

A: Yes. Although the OmniGo's plastic screen is fairly resistant to scratches when used with light pressure, it is far from scratch-proof (even mineral glass isn't scratch-proof!). Furthermore, the stylus can become scratched or otherwise damaged, which can easily leave scratches. To preserve your screen, never apply more pressure on the stylus than necessary, and pay close attention to its "feel" on the screen—if it feels rough when you write, you're probably scratching the screen.

There is a company called Concept Kitchen that makes screen protectors for a number of PDA's, including the OmniGo. They charge about $28 for a dozen protectors. Their lifespan is about a month each.

If you want to save money, you can make your own screen protectors. Please refer to the Tips page for more details.

Q: My OmniGo will not turn on, what should I do?Bearbeiten

A: On occasion some users have found that their OmniGo refuses to turn on. There are several reasons why your OmniGo may refuse to turn on:
1. The operating system crashed.
2. The batteries are drained or damaged.
3. The battery voltage is too high.
4. Something is fundamentally wrong with your OmniGo.

Fortunately, a fifth reason has not been reported, yet. You should take the following steps to try and get your OmniGo working again (check to see if it is working at each step):
1. Perform a hard reset (push the button on the bottom of the OmniGo).
2. Replace the main batteries.
3. Remove all the batteries and leave them out for a few minutes (this will wipe away all your data for sure).
4. Try a different brand of batteries (avoid 1.25V rechargeables).

Always push the hard reset button before anything else—it is the least damaging. Keep in mind that extreme temperatures can also affect the OmniGo, so don't be surprised if it suddenly stops responding . . . somewhere in the North Pole.


Q: What software exists for the OmniGo?Bearbeiten

A: There is little commercial software available for the OmniGo, however there does exist a large number of shareware and freeware applications. The Software page contains all of the known programs available for the OmniGo 100/120; most of the programs can also be downloaded from Max Mansour's website. You can also go to the Links page for URL's to the authors' websites and download directly from them.

Q: What DOS software can I run on my OmniGo?Bearbeiten

A: The OmniGo is basically a PC-XT with 512KB of conventional memory and monochrome CGA emulation. The DOS reports itself as version 6.22, but the level of compatibility isn't known. Most applications that will run under such limitations should work.

Q: What are electronic books (Content)?Bearbeiten

A: Electronic books, also called Content, are hyperlinked documents which can be read using the Book Reader. An advantage of presenting information as Content is that all text are compressed. The help system used by the OmniGo is actually one big Content file. Content titles are available from Geoworks, Mike Fine (FineBind), Byron Collins, and various other sources (see the Links page); you can also download them from this site's Content page. The Bindery application from Geoworks allows you to create your own Content. For more information on Bindery, refer to Section 8: Developing for the OmniGo.

Q: How do I reset my OmniGo?Bearbeiten

A: There are a couple of ways to reset your OmniGo, as listed below. It is recommended that you quit all applications before resetting the OmniGo (as it will erase any unsaved data).

  • Pressing SHIFT-ON-NEXT will reboot the OmniGo and erase all state files (thus, freeing up memory). This is called a soft reset.
  • Pushing a pin into the small hole at the back of the OmniGo will perform a hard reset. You need to do this if your system hangs and you cannot perform a soft reset. You'll have to re-enter the time and date after using this method.

To return your OmniGo to its factory default (i.e., erase everything), hold down 'C' while the OmniGo is booting. When you see the prompt, "Clear all data? (Y/N)," press 'Y' to confirm; press 'N' if you change your mind. This is also referred to as a system reset.

Q: Why does free memory drop over time for no reason?Bearbeiten

A: The gradual decrease in free memory over time is a result of the accumulation of state files. State files are like bookmarks in applications—they hold bits of information that enable you to close an application, then reopen it later and continue where you had left off. GEOS uses state files to give the illusion of being able to run more applications than can fit into available memory. When you try to load an application that cannot fit into memory, GEOS silently closes one of the other opened applications and saves its current "state" into a state file. When you return to an application that GEOS has closed, it is reopened and its state is retrieved from disk (in this respect, state files serve as a cache). State files are also used to hold user options, such as turning the toolbar off in Notepad.

Unfortunately, state files can take up a lot of memory (one is created for every application you quit or have running in the background). You can force an application to quit without saving to a state file by pressing Fn-F5 to close it. If, however, you like quick access to applications, you can force an application to save its state any time by pressing Fn-F3. Occasionally it is a good idea to clear out these state files, for they can hog as much as 100KB of memory. This can be accomplished by performing a soft reset (pressing SHIFT-ON-NEXT). Applications will open in their default screen configuration whenever their state files are deleted.

Q: What are IZL applications and how do I run them?Bearbeiten

A: IZL applications are software written using John Feras' IZL compiler and require the IZL interpreter to run them. You can download a shareware version of IZL (interpreter only) from this site's Software page or from Max Mansour's archive. (It is no longer available at the author's website because he is no longer officially supporting it.) To find out more about the IZL language, see Section 8: Developing for the OmniGo.

Q: What is an "event" and how do I create one in Appt Book?Bearbeiten

A: Events appear at the top of Appointment Book's daily schedule and have no start or end times. They are useful for birthdays, anniversaries, and other repeated events. To create an event:
1. Select "New" from within the appointment book.
2. Enter the event's name in the description field.
3. Backspace out the start and end times; they will change to NONE.
4. Choose the appropriate date and alarm/repeat options.

Q: How do I use passwords to lock my OmniGo?Bearbeiten

A: First, go into Setup and choose a password. To lock the OmniGo, select the key icon in the lower left corner of the screen. Your OmniGo is now locked. If you locked your OmniGo while the screen is rotated (in tablet position), then you'll have to use the stylus to enter your password. The OmniGo password is case sensitive: MYSECRET is different from MySecret. If your password is lowercase, but you last used uppercase, do the "reset CAPS" stroke first (straight line going up to northwest). The case setting is indicated by a tiny up arrow in the lower left corner of the screen.

Q: What is on the OmniGo Wish List?Bearbeiten

A: The following list is based on Byron Collins' survey held from May 25 to June 7, 1997. Some entries from the original list have been left out while new ones have been added in an effort to make the list more realizable and up-to-date. (All new entries are marked by the submittee's initials, with their full names listed in Acknowledgments.) The original survey was managed using a NewFile database, and all hardware-related entries were excluded. This list is by no means "complete."

  • Applications
    • ArtSCom with support for Class 1 modems
    • Charting app for Spreadsheet — T.D.
    • Flow charting program — T.D.
    • Genealogy program (for viewing and editing)
    • Java compiler/interpreter
    • Libraries for a C compiler (Turbo C? GNU C?) — C.B.
    • Math program (e.g., Derive)
    • Outliner — J.U.
    • Rexx-like batch programming language
    • Sample program with source for the card library
    • Token (icon) creator/editor — T.D.
    • UNIX Fortune program
    • Web browser *
    • Word processor
  • Utilities
    • Clip & Go for the Macintosh
    • File converters (Notepad/RTF, Database/DBF, etc.)
    • File transfer in GEOS * — T.D.
    • FTP program — T.D.
    • GEOS Wastebasket — T.D.
    • Gopher (graphical FTP)
    • HP 48G/GX emulator
    • Microsoft Outlook sync software
    • Mini-EMACS (for editing HTML, Java, C code)
    • More advanced scientific calculator
    • Network Time Protocol (NTP)
    • Screen dumper * — T.D.
    • Sidekick for the PC — C.B.
    • Short Message Service (SMS) for connecting to GSM phones
    • System-wide spellchecker
    • Telnet (X-Windows emulator?)
  • Games
    • Bridge
    • Chess for GEOS
    • Load Runner — T.D.
    • Nibbles or Tron
    • Old Atari games (Pacman, Space Invaders, etc.) — T.D., C.B.
    • Peg Solitaire — B.C.
    • Poker, other card games
    • Sokoban — D.V.
    • Text-based adventure games — T.D.
  • Book Reader
    • Book of math/physics formulae — T.D.
    • City guides *
    • Dictionary/Thesaurus
    • Encyclopedia
    • Grammar guide — T.D.
    • Street maps — R.I.
  • Drivers
    • Support for digital cameras
    • Support for Ethernet cards
    • Support for PCMCIA CD-ROM drives
    • Support for SCSI devices
    • Support for sound cards — T.D.
  • Miscellaneous
    • A small GEOS font that can display 80 columns
    • Greek, Serbian, and Cyrillic languages support

( * Indicates a project is being worked on or is completed in one form or another.)


Q: Can I read Internet email with the OmniGo?Bearbeiten

A: Yes! ArtSCom, developed by ArtSoft, can be used to send and receive Internet email from your OmniGo using SMTP and POP3. It supports only PPP connections and you might have trouble if your Internet service provider uses an unusual login procedure. A preview release of ArtSCom is available from this site's Software page or directly from ArtSoft's website. It will expire on a certain date and limits the number of messages you can send.

If you only have a UNIX shell account, Ray Schuler's OgComm program can be used to log into your account and send and receive email using the MAIL command (see the Tips page for more details). OgComm can be downloaded from the Software page or Max Mansour's archive.

If you're lucky enough to own a radio modem, you can download WyndMail and try out Wynd Communications' wireless email/fax service. For more information, visit their website.

Q: Can I use my OmniGo to surf the Web?Bearbeiten

A: No, not at the moment, at least in GEOS mode. The closest thing to a GEOS Internet browser for the OmniGo is Breadbox's WebMagik, an HTML file viewer. It supports most HTML 2.0 tags, but it does not support frames, tables, and forms; also, only GIF images are supported. You can download a beta version of WebMagik from Breadbox's website or from this site's Software page. Future versions of WebMagik will incorporate Internet connectivity, so don't give your hopes up.

For the more adventurous person, DOS opens up new possibilities for the OmniGo. For instance, some users have reported using Net-Tamer to access the Internet with much success. Net-Tamer is not only a DOS Web browser, but also a capable offline email/newsgroup reader, FTP utility, and Telnet client. More information is available at the Net-Tamer homepage.

Q: Can I fax from the OmniGo?Bearbeiten

A: Yes! ArtSCom, developed by ArtSoft, can be used to send WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) faxes from your OmniGo. A preview release of ArtSCom is available from this site's Software page or directly from ArtSoft's website. It will expire on a certain date and limits the number of faxes you can send.

Q: What modems work with the OmniGo?Bearbeiten

A: There have been reports of successful PCMCIA modem use with the OmniGo, but some of these modems may not function in the OmniGo because of the high level of power required by them. PCMCIA modems that are most likely to work with the OmniGo are those that draw the least amount of power (a table listing various PCMCIA modems' power usage can be found at Chris De Herrera's website).

Some battery- or transformer-powered "pocket" modems will work with the OmniGo and have the benefit of not drawing from the OmniGo's internal batteries. Note that if you use the serial cable to connect to an external modem, you will need to use a null modem adapter.

Desktop ConnectivityBearbeiten

Q: How do I connect the OmniGo to my desktop?Bearbeiten

A: In order to connect your OmniGo to the desktop for synchronization, you'll need an OmniGo serial cable and connectivity software. If you just want to transfer files between the OmniGo and the PC, a PCMCIA memory card can be used instead of a serial cable. Memory cards are discussed in Section 6.

Hewlett-Packard offers two different options for connecting your OmniGo to a Windows PC: the older Connectivity Pack and the newer Link to Windows. Both allow you to backup and restore data and include basic PIM software. In order to install applications on your OmniGo from a Windows PC, you'll need the Install Manager from Geoworks. Geoworks also sells Clip & Go, which allows Windows and the OmniGo to share a common clipboard. If you do not use Windows, there are various shareware and freeware programs available for Macintosh, DOS, UNIX, and OS/2.

In order to get a compatible serial cable, you can either buy one of the above connectivity options, order one from an HP vendor (or directly from HP), or build your own. If you're interested in building your own serial cable, a pin-out diagram is available on the Tips page.

Q: What is the Connectivity Pack?Bearbeiten

A: The Connectivity Pack is Hewlett-Packard's first attempt at connectivity software for the OmniGo. It primarily duplicates the functionality of the OmniGo's appointment book and phone book applications, and synchronizes that data between the PC desktop and the OmniGo. The Connectivity Pack runs on both Windows 3.1 and Windows 95. The serial cable is also included. (The Connectivity Pack initially had problems synchronizing to-do items, so HP released a patch for it. An improved version with the bug fixed was released in December 1996.)

Q: What is Clip & Go?Bearbeiten

A: Clip & Go, developed by Geoworks, allows the OmniGo and your Windows PC to share a clipboard. This means that you can cut text, ink, or spreadsheet cells from the OmniGo and paste them into a Windows application. It also allows you to paste text and spreadsheet cells from Windows to the OmniGo.

The Clip & Go application uses the following conversion criterion:

  • Spreadsheet data converts to WK1 format, which you can paste into Lotus 1-2-3, Microsoft Excel, and Quattro Pro spreadsheets. Excel and Quattro Pro paste only surface values (no formulas), so Clip & Go saves a complete copy of the WK1 data to a separate file.
  • Electronic ink converts to Windows bitmap format (BMP) with a resolution of 72 dots per inch. Ink data will not copy back from Windows to the OmniGo.
  • Text converts to plain ASCII text and rich text format (RTF).
  • Records from Phonebook, Appointment Book, World Clock, and Database convert to both ASCII text and RTF.

Clip & Go and Sync & Go (see the next question) are currently the only ways to convert OmniGo spreadsheet data to a format readable by Windows software. Link to Windows includes Clip & Go. The OmniGo 120 contains the Clip & Go client in ROM.

Q: What is Link to Windows?Bearbeiten

A: Link to Windows is the latest connectivity option from Hewlett-Packard. It is actually several applications working together to provide a complete connectivity solution. At the heart of Link for Windows is IntelliLink's Sync & Go, which allows you to import, export, and synchronize your OmniGo data with various PIM's; it also lets you backup and restore your data files. If you do not have one of the compatible PIM's to synchronize with, you can use the included HP PIM software, though it is relatively basic. Geoworks' Clip & Go is also included, allowing you to cut and paste data between the OmniGo and Windows. The Strategy Games pack from Geoworks is thrown into the mix, along with a copy of Install Manager and a serial cable.

The Sync & Go application is compatible to some degree or another with the following programs:

  • ACT! for Windows 2.x
  • Advantage 1.0
  • Day-Timer Organizer 2.x
  • HP PIM
  • Lotus Organizer 2.1
  • NetManage ECCO 3.03
  • Now Up-to-Date 1.5 for Win 3.1, Win 95
  • Paradox 3.5, 4, 5
  • Schedule+ 1.0, 7.0
  • Sidekick 1.0, 2.0 for Win 3.1
  • Sidekick 95 1.00

Q: What is the Install Manager?Bearbeiten

A: Software and electronic books (Content) for the OmniGo are often available in the form of a "package." A GEOS package (with the .GPK extension) contains the files to be installed. Geoworks' Install Manager, also referred to as the Installer, allows you to install and uninstall the files contained within packages directly to the OmniGo or to a PCMCIA memory card. It makes managing your collection of software and Content a breeze because even after you've uninstalled an application or Content title, it still appears on the checklist, so you can install it again if the need arises; there's even a description for each item.

You can assemble your own files into a package by using a program called Shipper, also from Geoworks. The Install Manager and Shipper are available for free download from Geoworks' website (or from this site's Software page), but they only come in Windows flavors.

If you do not have Windows, there is a freeware IZL application called UNGPK that can be used to extract the contents of a GPK file on the OmniGo. For UNIX and OS/2, Asher Hoskins' OgInst and OgFTP programs can be used to install GEOS packages.

Q: What if I use DOS?Bearbeiten

A: OmniCom is a freeware DOS file transfer program for the OmniGo. It allows you to perform basic file management (e.g., create directory) as well as upload and download files. OmniCom is a useful utility even if you already own the Install Manager, for many of the procedures in this FAQ and the Tips page require you to use it (not to mention that it transfers at 19,200bps versus Install Manager's slow 9,600bps). OmniCom is included with IZL, which can be downloaded from this site's Software page or from Max Mansour's archive.

Q: What if I have a Macintosh?Bearbeiten

A: If you have a Macintosh, you can use MacPCCOM and Mac On The Go (available from the Software page) to backup and restore data. You'll need a proper serial cable to connect your Macintosh to the OmniGo. In order to install applications stored in GEOS packages (files with the .GPK extension) you'll need an IZL utility called UNGPK. The whereabouts of UNGPK is unknown, but you can download the two Macintosh utilities from this site's Software page or from Max Mansour's archive.

Q: What if I use UNIX or OS/2?Bearbeiten

A: If you use UNIX or OS/2, you'll need a copy OgFTP, from Asher Hoskins, to connect the OmniGo to your UNIX or OS/2 workstation. OgFTP will allow you to transfer files to and from the OmniGo. To install applications stored in GEOS packages (.GPK extension), you'll also need a copy of Asher Hoskins' OgInst. Both programs can be freely downloaded from the author's website or from this site's Software page.


Q: How do I increase the OmniGo's storage capacity?Bearbeiten

A: You can increase the OmniGo's storage capacity infinitely by using PCMCIA memory cards. The OmniGo supports both SRAM and Flash RAM cards for storage, though Hewlett-Packard . The OmniGo 120 also supports CompactFlash cards with an adapter. These cards plug into the PCMCIA card slot on the right side of the unit and act like an additional disk drive. Keep in mind that these extra "disk drives" draw additional power from the main batteries whenever they are present in the OmniGo (even when idle).

NOTE: The engineers who designed the OmniGo strongly recommend that you use only SRAM cards. Consult the GeoInfo Database for more details.

Q: What is the difference between SRAM and Flash RAM?Bearbeiten

A: SRAM cards use solid-state Static RAM to store information; they are generally limited to 4MB. SRAM is capable of storing data using a very small amount of charge, but requires constant refreshing in order to retain the data. SRAM cards use a tiny coin cell battery, which typically lasts about two years, to keep the data in memory; the manufacturers recommend replacing it once every year to be safe, because if the battery goes, so does the card's contents (though you'll get a few minutes to insert a new battery). An SRAM card never wears out and theoretically could last forever, needing only a new battery every year or two. SRAM is quite expensive, so a typical SRAM card costs more per megabyte than a Flash RAM card. The advantage of SRAM is that it doesn't require as much power to write to as Flash RAM.

Flash RAM is a type of Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EPROM); they can be in excess of 20MB. When writing information to a Flash RAM card, the data is "burned in" (i.e., the Flash chips are physically modified). To write to the same area again, it must be "flashed," or cleared of the previously stored data (this process is automatic). Eventually the chips get used up and you can no longer write new data to the card. The number of disk writes that can take place before this happens is in the hundreds of thousands, so under normal usage a Flash card has a life expectancy of several years. Writing to Flash RAM requires considerably more power than SRAM cards. Reading from memory, however, requires about the same amount of power as SRAM. The advantage of Flash RAM is that it is less expensive per megabyte than SRAM. In addition, Flash cards are non-volatile, meaning they do not need any source of power to retain data in memory. Thus, you do not have to worry about losing all your data because the battery ran out of juice.

The reason why Flash RAM cards are not recommended for the OmniGo 100/120 is that they demand a significant electrical charge to initialize. There's actually a driver on the OmniGo that supports many Flash cards, and if your batteries are brand new, you might be able to insert and use one for a short while. However, when the batteries are down by even one third or so, they might not have enough power to initialize the card, and that could result in data loss both on the card and on the OmniGo itself. There may be some new low-power Flash cards that work around the power issue, but as of this writing, Hewlett-Packard has not certified those cards for the OmniGo (with the exception of CompactFlash cards), so your warranty for their use resides with the cards' manufacturer.

Q: What are CompactFlash cards?Bearbeiten

A: CompactFlash cards are similar to Flash RAM cards, but they are much more "compact"—about the size of a matchbook. SanDisk, one of the first manufacturers to endorse CompactFlash, claims that it offers other benefits over standard Flash RAM; you can read more about it at their website under Support. Only the OmniGo 120 supports CompactFlash cards out of the box (with a PCMCIA adapter), though it might be possible to use these cards in the OmniGo 100 by copying the required driver(s) from the 120.

Q: Why don't all SRAM and Flash RAM cards work on the OmniGo?Bearbeiten

A: Like many PDA's, the OmniGo can only accept certain kinds of memory cards. This is partly because not all cards are compatible with the OmniGo software and partly because the OmniGo can't supply enough power to PCMCIA cards designed for larger machines. Your best bet for finding a compatible SRAM or Flash RAM card is to read all available online forums for posts relating to other users' experience with that particular brand and model, and ask the card supplier if it has been successfully tested on the OmniGo. Most SRAM and ATA Flash cards should work in the OmniGo without any special drivers. If you plan to purchase a Flash card, make sure that it is "ATA" or comes with an OmniGo-compatible driver. (See the notice in the answer to the first question if you're considering ATA Flash cards.)

One trick that has been reported as occasionally successful in getting non-responsive SRAM cards to work in the OmniGo is to remove their batteries for at least 24 hours, replace them with fresh ones, and then reformat the cards. Apparently the SRAM card's non-removable internal bridge battery sometimes needs to be fully discharged before reformatting can take place.

When formatting cards greater than 6 MB on the OmniGo 100/120, you'll most likely encounter problems, especially due to week batteries. Hence it's better to format the card in another Laptop/Notebook/PC's PCMCIA slot. Unfortunately formatting under XP will sometimes result in unreadable cards. So it's better to format the card under Windows 98 ME or any other DOS/Windows-version prior to this.

Press releases about PCMCIA-cards designed to work with the OmniGo:

User reports about PCMCIA-cards to work with the OmniGo:

Q: Why does my OmniGo take up to 5 seconds to react after being turned on?Bearbeiten

A: When the OmniGo is turned on, it scans your SRAM card to make sure that it is valid. With some SRAM cards this can cause up to a 5-second delay. Cards that exhibit this problem lack attribute memory. To guarantee that your SRAM card will not have this problem, make sure to specify that it must have 2KB of attribute memory when you make a purchase. (Flash RAM cards do not suffer this delay.)

Q: Where can I purchase memory cards for the OmniGo?Bearbeiten

A: You can usually purchase memory cards for the OmniGo from any vendor that carries PDA's, or you can order directly from the card manufacturers (see the Links page). Most OmniGo users recommend ordering SRAM cards from Pretec. Other SRAM cards that have been proven to work in the OmniGo include those from ACE Technologies and MagicRAM. When making a purchase, make sure to specify that you want an SRAM card with 2KB of attribute memory in order to prevent access delays (see previous question).

If you're in the market for a Flash RAM card, you can usually find them where SRAM cards are sold. Pretec carries a selection of Flash cards that work in the OmniGo. Cards from MagicRAM require a special driver, which you can download from this site's Software page or directly from their website. SanDisk also makes Flash cards, along with the new CompactFlash cards supported by the OmniGo 120. Before you purchase a Flash card, make sure that it follows the ATA standard. (See the notice in the answer to the first question if you're considering ATA Flash cards.)

Q: Can I increase storage with a file/disk compressor?Bearbeiten

A: Yes! The GEOS operating system used in the OmniGo relies on DOS for all file and disk functions; you can take advantage of this to increase storage capacity by using DOS file and disk compressors. Marcus Groeber has successfully installed the dLite runtime file decompressor. Stacker, a disk compressor, has also been successfully used on the OmniGo. Instructions on how to install and use dLite and Stacker can be found on the Tips page.

DOS ModeBearbeiten

Q: What is OmniGo DOS mode?Bearbeiten

A: The OmniGo contains a special version of DOS in its ROM. This version of DOS is normally not accessible because, by default, the OmniGo boots directly into GEOS. You can, however, prevent GEOS from loading and work directly in DOS.

Q: How do I get to DOS mode?Bearbeiten

A: Before you get on your way to the DOS prompt, be sure to backup all the vital files on your OmniGo just in case something goes wrong.

What you'll need:

  • A DOS mode driver (recommended: OmniSwp).
  • A file transfer utility (recommended: OmniCom).
  • A text editor (recommended: OgEdit).
  • Some knowledge of DOS.

How to enable DOS mode:

  1. Upload a DOS mode driver to the OmniGo's B:\ directory.
  2. Open B:\AUTOEXEC.BAT with OgEdit or use OmniCom to download it to your PC and open it in DOS Edit or Windows Notepad.
  3. Remove "geos" from the last line of the AUTOEXEC.BAT file and add the name of the DOS mode driver. If you were to use OmniSwp, your edited AUTOEXEC.BAT file would look something like this:
    1.  :runGEOS
    2. b:
    3. cd \
    4. cd geoworks
    5. omniswp i
  4. Save the AUTOEXEC.BAT file (if you were editing it on your PC, upload it back to the OmniGo).
  5. Reboot your OmniGo (SHIFT-ON-NEXT). You'll now be in DOS mode.

When you're in DOS mode, keep in mind that the OmniGo's screen is limited to about 30 characters across, and the keyboard does not map directly to DOS; so if you plan to spend a lot of time in DOS, it would be wise to install a keyboard remapping program along with a virtual 80-column driver (OmniSwp does both). DOS device drivers might also work on the OmniGo 100/120, as GEOS uses a CONFIG.SYS file to start up the PCMCIA drivers.

Q: How do I get back into GEOS from DOS mode?Bearbeiten

A: You can load GEOS by simply typing "geos" at the DOS prompt. If you have a keyboard remapping program installed, such as OmniSwp, you'll need to uninstall it before loading GEOS.

Q: Why do my batteries drain faster in DOS mode?Bearbeiten

A: Your batteries drain faster because there is no power management in DOS, therefore the OmniGo runs at full power all the time. This can cause significant battery drain. There is, however, a freeware program called OGPower that enables power management in DOS mode (you can download it from the Software page). It is not recommended that you run in DOS mode very long without any sort of power management unless the OmniGo is hooked up to an external power source (see the Tips page for instructions on how to build your own AC adapter).

Developing for the OmniGoBearbeiten

Q: How do I develop for the OmniGo?Bearbeiten

A: You can develop software for the OmniGo by using the OmniGo SDK, IZL, or by creating applications that run in DOS mode. There's also a Geoworks application called Bindery, which lets you develop electronic books (Content). Bindery is not really a programming environment, for there is no programming involved.

Q: What is the OmniGo SDK?Bearbeiten

A: The OmniGo SDK (US $100) is a collection of tools and documentation for creating native OmniGo GEOS applications. OmniGo applications are usually written in C with a special preprocessor called GOC (GEOS Object C). GOC adds syntax to C to access the object-oriented features of GEOS. You must have Borland C versions 3.1 to 4.51 in order to compile GEOS applications. For debugging purposes, a second computer connected via a serial cable is required, as well as an OmniGo for testing.

The older Geoworks Ensemble SDK can also be used to develop GEOS applications for the OmniGo; similarly, the OmniGo SDK can be used for the creation of Ensemble applications.

Geoworks also sells a software development kit for the new Nokia 9000 Communicator that runs in Windows NT and removes the necessity of using a second computer in order to debug. Such an SDK can be used to write GEOS applications for the OmniGo. Geoworks has information on all their GEOS SDK's on their Developer Relations page.

Q: What is IZL?Bearbeiten

A: IZL stands for Integrated Zoomer Language and was originally developed for the Zoomer PDA's by John Feras. It is a small, BASIC-like interpreted scripting language that allows easy creation of OmniGo applications. Each IZL program is compiled into a format which can then be executed by the IZL interpreter. The IZL-package is released as freeware and can be downloaded here:

John Feras has been concentrating his efforts on CASL (Compact Application Solution Language), a development environment for the PalmPilot similar to IZL, and is no longer officially supporting IZL. A port of CASL to the OmniGo was at least planned, but never produced/released. Visit CASLsoft's website at

Q: What is Bindery?Bearbeiten

A: Bindery (US $29) is an application from Geoworks that lets you develop electronic books, or Content, that can then be read using Book Reader (regardless of platform). Here's an excerpt from Geoworks' Bindery page:

Geoworks Bindery Features:

  • Format documents with full-featured word processor and drawing program. No programming is required to produce electronic books quickly and easily.
  • Structure documents using hyperlinking, graphical hot spots, and rich formatting. These features enable books to have rich display and customized content.
  • View features are fully controllable. The author controls the reader's interaction with the content by tailoring the viewer features to the content. The document can be easily navigated, making information more accessible to the reader.

It should be noted that Bindery is not a Windows application but a stripped-down desktop version of GEOS. So, theoretically you can save some money by getting Bindery for under $30 and installing only the software that you need (it already includes GeoManager, GeoDraw, Scrapbook, Screen Dumper, and Book Reader; and Bindery is a powerful DTP-capable word processor in its own right).

International InformationBearbeiten

Q: Can I purchase cheaper OmniGo goods from the U.S.?Bearbeiten

A: For the most part, yes. It seems that the U.S. is better served with OmniGo accessories than some other countries. For instance, in the U.K. the U.S. prices are generally a lot more attractive than the local prices, and some new software is available in the U.S. first.

There are American companies who will ship to other countries. The basic process is to contact the company by phone, fax, email, or snail mail and establish the availability of goods, cost, delivery cost, and delivery time. The onus is on you to ensure that you are purchasing correct and compatible goods. Determine if the deal is worth it. In the U.K., and probably most other countries, you will be charged duty at the local end. Place and pay for the order—paying by credit card is the most convenient method. On delivery, be prepared to pay local duty and taxes. In the U.K., payment is made to the courier (express delivery); for regular mail, you must go to the post office to pay and claim your parcel.

Examples (submitted by Brian Inwood):

  • February 1997. From XXX, to UK work address, contacted via fax. Paid with Visa card, details in 2nd fax. HP Connectivity Pack (USD 89) + express delivery (USD 33). Ordered Tuesday afternoon, delivered Thursday afternoon. Duty paid to courier (GBP 19). Total cost: GBP XXX + fax costs. Local cost: software not yet available, but the older version is GBP 90.
  • March 1997. From Reboot Technologies USA, to UK address, contacted via phone. 1MB Grid SRAM (USD 40). Delivered in 13 days via normal post. Pick up and pay duty/VAT at post office (GBP 9). Total cost: GBP 43 + five-minute phone call. Local cost: GBP 99.



Building your own OmniGo AC adapterBearbeiten

Although the OmniGo does not contain a standard adapter plug, some users have reported success with adapters plugged into the battery compartment. The following is a typical design of an AC power adapter. (See the illustration to get an idea of what it will look like.)

Items needed:
  • 1 AC to DC converter, 120VAC to 3VDC, 300 mA minimum (an 850 mA converter is recommended; it has better power stability, and if you're using several accessories or printing, you'll need the power). These are available at Radio Shack for about $9-$15, depending on mA.
  • 1 1/2-inch diameter wood dowel. This can be found at your local hobby store for ~$1.30. Cut to a length of 95mm (this is maximum, slightly less is OK).
  • 2 input wires, preferably insulated stranded type (not solid). Cut each wire to a 12-inch length; strip the insulation off the ends.
  • 2 metal wood screws, ~3/32-inch diameter shanks.
  • 1 roundhead , 1/2 inch long, 1/4-inch diameter head (NEG pole).
  • 1 countersunk flathead, 1/2 inch long, 3/16-inch maximum diameter head (POS pole).
  • 1 female connector plug (goes from AC/DC converter male plug to input wires). Get one that matches the AC/DC converter you have; DO NOT get a closed circuit type, as this will short the OmniGo terminals upon disconnection of the AC/DC connector plug. These are available at Radio Shack.
  • Electrician's tape.
  • Voltmeter (to check polarity and voltage).
Assembly instructions:
  1. Drill a hole into the center of each end of the dowel, slightly less than the diameter of the screws.
  2. At the midpoint of the dowel (47.5mm away from either end), drill one hole through the dowel large enough for both wires to fit through.
  3. Cut or carve a lengthwise channel from each end of the dowel to the center hole (I used a Dremel power tool) to provide a recess for each wire in the dowel.
  4. Screw almost all the way in both screws in the previously drilled ends, leaving enough room to wrap a wire around.
  5. Pull both wires through the center hole; place each wire into its own channel, and wrap the stripped wire end around the screw beneath each screw head.
  6. Tighten the screws. NOTE: the countersunk screw head MUST protrude from the end of the dowel at least 1/16 inch. If it doesn't, it will not contact the pickup on the OmniGo.
  7. Wrap electrician's tape around the dowel over the wire in the dowel groove to keep it in place.
  8. Twist the remaining wires together except for the ends (helps keep the wires together).
  9. Twist or solder (recommended) leads onto the female connector. Wrap with electrician's tape, separating the bare wire leads to prevent contact.
  10. To check polarity and voltage, plug the AC adapter into the female plug, plug in the adapter to 120VAC, and test with the voltmeter across the screws BEFORE placing it in the OmniGo. The flathead countersunk screw is the positive end (mark with a pen on the dowel) and the roundhead screw is the negative end (it will sit against the spring in the OmniGo).
Once you feel confident with the set-up, place it in the OmniGo and work away. My set-up measured 3.21 volts (ran great). Another adapter I tested produced 4 volts on the 3-volt switch setting. The OmniGo ran fine, but I wouldn't recommend using the OmniGo at this higher voltage.

Design by Jeff Hinman

Making your own screen protectorsBearbeiten

You can make your own screen protectors using transparency film for overhead projectors. David Virga recommends the type for inkjet/dye-sub printers, which does have a coating but does not have an opaque strip. Window cleaner removes the coating nicely. With careful marking and cutting, you can easily get nine protectors out of one letter-size transparency sheet. You can even devise a template using Freelance, PowerPoint, etc.; print it on the sheet, cut apart and then clean off the coating. Each sheet lasts about three weeks before it gets marred to the point that it becomes too distracting. I don't notice a significant degradation in touchscreen performance, and this film is stiff enough to install and stay in place well.
The OmniGo's screen is 2 1/2 inches (64mm) by 3 3/8 inches (84mm). A 1/16-inch (2mm) tab fits under the edge of the screen with no apparent problems. So, try an overall template size of 2 5/8 inches (68mm) by 3 1/2 inches (88mm), and scoop out the sides to make tabs. Use a good straight-edge ruler and a sharp hobby knife for best results.
Design by David Virga

Building your own OmniGo serial cableBearbeiten

How to make a serial cable to connect a Hewlett-Packard OmniGo 100/120 (or other HP portable devices) to your PC for file transfer:
  1. Obtain 2mm connector. The serial port connector uses pins spaced 2mm apart and is *not* compatible with a normal ribbon cable connector. Best source for the connector and pins (in USA) is Digi-Key (1-800-DIGI-KEY); a good source in the UK is RS Components.
    Digi-Key Part No.
    • H2004-ND Hirose Electric Co., A3B series 10-pin dual row, 2mm connector (HP 100/200LX)
    • H9999-ND Hirose Electric Co., socket terminals, quantity 100
    RS Components Part No.
    • RS 842-826 (2mm connector)
    • RS 842-854 (socket terminals)
    [NOTE: If you can't obtain a Digi-Key 2mm connector, a 2mm-spacing female printed circuit board connector (from some older hard drives) or a mini-IDE connector (from laptop hard drives) would also do. You would just have to saw off what you need and solder on the wires.]
  2. Make a cable with the above connector on one end and a female DB-9 connector for the PC on the other end. The crimp pins on the 2mm connector are really tricky to attach without the right crimping tool, but it can be done with small needle-nose pliers and some care.

Here's a pin-out diagram of the OmniGo's serial port shown from the outside of the OmniGo looking in. If necessary, carve the end of the cable connector into a shape similar to this one so that it will fit snugly into the serial port.


Here's how the pins are wired:

    OmniGo pin         IBM-PC pin (DB-9)
    1  <--------------->  1
    2  <-----RX/TX----->  3
    3  <-----TX/RX----->  2
    5  <------GND------>  5
    6  <--------------->  4
    7  <----RTS/CTS---->  8
    8  <----CTS/RTS---->  7
    9  <--------------->  9
   10  <------GND------>  6

Pin 4 on the OmniGo is not connected to any of the pins on the PC. Make sure you connect all the other pins because the OmniGo uses the handshake signals. Information on serial flow control can be found in the GeoInfo Database. There has been no reported problems using a custom-made serial cable to backup data and transfer files using OmniCom.
Information provided by Alan Tan, Claudio Maierovicz, Craig Peacock, Davide Rossi, Eric Hazen, Franklin Eekhout, and Stu 'B'.
Original diagram by ?, modified by T.D.

An alternative case for your OmniGoBearbeiten

Just go to your nearest Walmart and browse for a leather camera case. I've used one for a year. It also has a small outside zipper pocket that I keep RAM cards etc. in. It also has a belt clip so I can always have my baby with me. [Note: If you're *really* on the move, another solution is to get a mini belt pouch or fanny pack with multiple pockets. T.D.]
Tip by Craig Ueltzen

Making your own extra-durable stylusBearbeiten

Materials needed:
  1. Piece of antenna rod cutoff from a two-way radio shop.
  2. Small piece of heatshrink tubing, 3/32 inch.
  3. Contact cement, or rubber cement.
  4. Drafting pencil lead holder. Typical: Office Depot for $3.95
  5. Palmtop or handheld computer to use the stylus on. (duh)
Tools Needed:
  1. Bench grinder.
  2. Cloth buffing wheel. The sewn together in layers type, not the metal hub "fluffy" type.
  3. Fine grit grinding wheel for above. Note: if rod needs to be cut shorter, do not attempt to use Lineman pliers!! Doing so will leave a nice round hole where the cutting edge should be. Use the grinding wheel to cut it off.
  4. Polishing compound block. White rouge works best.
  5. 5-10X eye loupe to check the polishing job. If the end doesn't look like a mirror, your PDA screen will get scratched!
  6. Cigarette lighter or match to shrink the tubing.


This is a view of the finished stainless steel rod. The photo is actual size. I laid mine on a flatbed scanner to get this view. The red stuff is a piece of heatshrink, with glue applied to the area where it is shrunk in place with heat. The heat shrink piece is needed to keep the smooth rod from sliding into the lead holder during use.

Rod zoomed

Extremely magnified view. Grind the end to a rounded shape, then use polishing compound and buff the end to a mirror finish. Check your work often with at least a 5X eye loupe. This operation will take some time, as the antenna rods are very hard.
Place finished stylus into your favorite drafting pencil lead holder, and voila—you're ready to write in Graffiti on your PDA screen.
I scratched my screen (@*%$#!) with the original plastic stylus. I looked at it under a 100x scope. The plastic scratches too easily and then marks up the PDA's screen!! The Stainless one is too hard to wear out. If it's dropped on the end, just re-polish it back to a mirror again. I can almost guarantee you'll never go back to the plastic stylus again!! The full-length pen is nice, too. I don't like the half-length styluses that come with the machines. By the way, the fancy $30-$50 styluses you can get are plastic, too!
Design, illustration, and photographs by Craig Ueltzen

Notes on attaching a power socket to the OmniGoBearbeiten

These are not instructions, but a note about how I attached a power socket to my OmniGo 120. I don't recommend anybody else do this, but my notes may help if they decide to try. Each time I re-read this I find spelling mistakes, typos and bad grammar, please ignore these, it's just notes. I'm sorry for those for who English is not their first language!
The socket is at the bottom right of the LCD, which is not ideal. The power socket. I took a socket from an personal stereo (because it is small). It has three pins; 1 is battery +ve in, 2 is ground (-ve) and three is +ve out to board. As a plug is pushed into the the socket, the connection between 1 and 3 is broken, and instead power is taken from the outside of the plug.
Opening the omnigo. Take a backup of the omnigo data and remove all batteries. The omnigo is in three parts; keyboard, battery shell and screen. The screen is opened by lifting off the thick plastic sheet which surrounds the screen. The screen is best peeled from the right hand side as there is nothing delicate at its outside edge. It is held in place with tacky glue and can be peeled away. The touch screen will start to lift but should be held back with the rest of the display. Now the touch screen is loose and its connector is visible in the top left. Also visible are four torx screws (the kind common on PCs). My T6 torx driver fitted. With all four screws out the casing is still secured with internal clips which will probably get broken as the shell is levered apart. Don't put pressure on the display panel as there is a thin glass sheet between the touch sensor and the LCD panel. Open the case by levering the top part open first (opposite the hinge), many of the internal clips are friction popers and gently pull away, but at the hinge there are clips which should not be forced -- mine broke. The popers along the bottom are hard to get apart and the glass sheet is vulnerable. Lift away this half of the plastic shell. With the OmniGo flat on it's back with the keyboard nearest, the inside of the top hinge-pivots are visible. The right hand side has a metal friction device, the left hand side contains cabling: a ribbon connector and power from the battery. The ribbon cable dissapears under the LCD panel, the power leads are what require modification. The origins of the power leads are not visible without looking insinde the battery housing. It is hard to fully open, but the friction poppers can be prised apart to see into the housing. Two leads connect the -ve battery terminal to the board in the keyboard half of the OmniGo. These are not visible without opening the battery compartment and keyboard shell and access is not required for this modification. The keyboard shell is not easily opened; I could not get mine completely apart.
My socket would barely fit in the available space and the ribbon must not be constrained as it moves when the omnigo is folded open and closed. This next bit will be hard to describe, I cut a notch in the outside half of the omnigo casing that was the same size as my socket, then I could glue the plug in place so it becomes part of the casing. This has pros and cons. Pros: plug is securely fixed and takes up less space in the organiser; Cons: internals are fixed to the casing (harder to maintain insides in the future) and it looks like a hack. With the omnigo folded shut, the socket casing is visible. Note how the metal friction device is installed in case it falls out of the battery casing shell. The back of the shell display will lift away leaving the LCD panel on its metal screening tray. Watch not to damage the ribbon connector when soldering, and that none of the power terminals touch the unshielded side of the ribbon when reassembled. With the socket organised and secured, the +ve from the battery compartment is disconnected from the board and now connected to the +ve in of your socket (use a continuity meter to determine how the socket works), new lead connects +ve out of the socet to the board where the battery +ve was connected, and another a new lead connects -ve of the socket with the existing -ve from the battery on the board.
Check the transformer. I have a multivolt transformer that output six volts on the three volt setting, so be sure to check with a meter first. The transformer I now use is a 3 V, 500 mA unit. It should be possible to test your omnigo at this point. With luck everything works. Reassemble display casing. The existing glue should be strong enough to hold things in place. I was asked a couple of questions after my initial posting: Where do I find a T6 Torx tool? This is the six pointed star shape screw driver. I got mine from work. The RS part number is 662-541. Is there room for socket and a diode (needed to prevent charge from going back through the batteries.)? The design of the socket disconnects the battery +ve when a plug is pushed in. RS call these "PCB Mount, dc Power Sockets" like Stock No 486-656. Here are some pics:

Og-case Og-overview

Please feel free to ask any questions if you decide to try this modification. And don't blame me if it all goes wrong!
Notes and photographs by Peter Taffs

How to charge your batteries while running on ACBearbeiten

The omnigo can also have an AC adapter in another way, if you want to keep the batteries in and run the omnigo while the batteries charge, you can modify the plastic battery cover by drilling two small holes where the two plastic pieces are sticking out and glue metal wire to the inside of the holes with one end going into the holder support holes on the omnigo where the plastic parts went, there are metal contacts back there, and when the contacts connect to the metal, you can have a connection to a charger. The reason that I don't think that it should be without batteries is that sometimes the connection gets screwed up, the other problem is that you can only operate it in the upright position, make sure to sand the outside contacts so that they won't scratch the inside of the omnigo. Then make a circuit that will charge the batteries and will hold against the drain of the omnigo (I'm guessing about 250 to 350 milliamps). If you want a circuit design already tested, MAIL me and I'll try to get a drawing out to you. It is basically a Flip-Flop with a compractor and a few transistors and 2 regulators to keep the charging and the integrated circuit units in the right range.
Instructions by Philip Hoffman


Organizing the OmniGo's Home Screen 1Bearbeiten

Some time ago, people asked about ways to remove infrequently used apps from the home screen of the OmniGo to make room for the icons of additional applications. The following steps describe a fairly simple way for achieving the desired results:
  1. Prerequisites: Apart from an OmniGo, you will need a GEOS-based file manager (probably the one written by Nathan :-)), a PC with an OG file transfer program (OmniCom, OGFTP, ORC) and a DOS prompt driver on your OG.
  2. Use the file manager to create a subdirectory in WORLD in which to place the icons of the apps you want to remove and copy the apps from WORLD into that directory (each of them will take only 512 bytes of memory, so don't worry too much about duplicating them). You cannot *move* them because the files are stored in ROM, even though they show up on the RAM disk.
  3. Use the file transfer program to download copies of the apps in the newly created subdirectory to your PC. Do not try to copy them from the WORLD directory, because there is a bug in the ROM file system of GEOS which results in parts of the files being lost when downloaded directly from ROM.
  4. On the PC, enter the following commands for each of the program files just downloaded (they will all have names ending in .GEO, which are not identical to the ones found on the OmniGo):
    4a. At the DOS prompt, type "debug <filename>.geo" (for example, JDEMO.GEO for the Demo application).
    4b. At the "-" prompt, enter "e 128 3".
    4c. At the "-" prompt, enter "w".
    4d. At the "-" prompt, enter "q".
  5. Now upload the modified files to the \GEOWORKS directory of the OG. You cannot upload them to the WORLD directory, because there are already other files of the same name there.
  6. Reboot the OmniGo to get to the DOS prompt. Go to the B:\GEOWORKS directory if you are not already there. For each of the files copied, enter "copy <filename>.geo WORLD\<filename>.geo". After copying it, you can remove the original by typing "del <filename>.geo".
  7. After copying all the files, you can enter "geos" to relaunch GEOS. You should now see the reorganized Home Screen.
To make the icons reappear on the Home Screen, use either the DOS prompt or the file manager to remove the files from the WORLD directory. The icons will come back after the next reboot.

[For the technically inclined...] How it works: The applications you see on the Home Screen are "mirrored" from copies originally residing in ROM. These small (280 bytes) files in ROM in turn point to the actual application code which is not visible in the file system. By copying files by the same name which are marked as non-applications (this is what the DEBUG patch is good for) into the WORLD directory, these files actually "shadow" the ROM copies, making them invisible for the Home Screen application.
A note: what this modification does is only rearrange the icons visible on screen, *not* free any memory (as said, you will even lose about a KByte for every application moved because of the duplicated "pointer" and "shadow" files). This isn't possible anyway, because unused apps will only occupy ROM, not RAM. Tip by Marcus Groeber

Organizing the OmniGo's Home Screen 2Bearbeiten

By default GEOS is configured to scan the ROM SYS: drive for programs and documents before looking in the B: and C: drives. By editing your GEOS.INI and NET.INI files, you can make GEOS ignore the programs on the SYS: drive. You can then copy only the programs you want on the Home Screen from the ROM drive.

Please see the note and warning at the beginning of the Tips page.
What you'll need:
  • File Manager or OmniCom.
  • Text Editor or OgEdit.
  1. Use File Manager or OmniCom to copy NET.INI from the A:\GEOWORKS directory to B:\GEOWORKS.
  2. Use File Manager or OmniCom to create a new directory called B:\GEOWORKS\WORLD\APPS.
  3. Use File Manager or OmniCom to copy all the files in B:\GEOWORKS\WORLD to B:\GEOWORKS\WORLD\APPS.
  4. Use File Manager or OmniCom to copy GEOS.INI to GEOS.NEW.
  5. Use File Manager or OmniCom to copy GEOS.INI to GEOS.BAK.
  6. Using Text Editor or OgEdit, open the GEOS.NEW file (or use OmniCom to download it to your PC and edit it there).
  7. Change:
      ini = A:\GEOWORKS\NET.INI

      ini = B:\GEOWORKS\NET.INI

  8. Using Text Editor or OgEdit, open the NET.INI file (or use OmniCom to download it to your PC and edit it there).
  9. Change:
      top = SYS:\

      top = B:\GEOWORKS
      userdata = SYS:\USERDATA
      system = SYS:\SYSTEM
      document = SYS:\DOCUMENT

  10. Using Text Editor or OgEdit, open the AUTOEXEC.BAT file (or use OmniCom to download it to your PC and edit it there).
  11. Change:
      cd \geoworks

      cd \geoworks
      copy \geoworks\GEOS.NEW \geoworks\GEOS.INI

    NOTE: Press Fn-2 to get the backslash.
  12. Reboot your OmniGo (SHIFT-ON-NEXT); if you were editing the files on the PC, upload them back to the OmniGo before rebooting.
  13. When GEOS is finished loading, you should see nothing in your Home Screen except the APPS directory and any programs which you have installed.
  14. Use File Manager or OmniCom to selectively move the files you want from the WORLD\APPS directory to the WORLD directory.
And that's it, you're done. You'll now have complete control over all the ROM applications. You can move them, rename them, delete them, and even place them in subfolders. If you are finished with the APPS directory, you can delete it.
Source: Wayne Venables' FAQ

Preserving state files on soft resetBearbeiten

text missing

Entering recurring anniversaries or birthdaysBearbeiten

To enter recurring events like anniversaries or birthdays, just create an appointment with no start or end times. This is called an "event" and will show up at the top of the schedule for that day.

Sharing GeoCalc and OmniGo spreadsheetsBearbeiten

You may successfully transfer spreadsheet files between the OmniGo and GeoCalc provided you originally create the files in GeoCalc. If the spreadsheet is created on the OmniGo, it will not open in GeoCalc on the PC. The reason is that GeoCalc on the desktop inserts information about the graphics layer into the document file. Even if there is no data in the graphics layer, GeoCalc puts a "placeholder" of sorts into the document file. The OmniGo, having no graphics tools in its spreadsheet, ignores the graphics layer if one exists in the document file, so the OmniGo can read spreadsheet files created in GeoCalc. The OmniGo spreadsheet does not put the placeholder into the files it creates. GeoCalc on the desktop cannot deal with document files created on the OmniGo because they do not have the placeholder.
If you have an OmniGo and GeoCalc on the desktop, and you want to share files, create at least one spreadsheet in GeoCalc and transfer it to your OmniGo. Then on the OmniGo, when you need to create a new file, do not create one from scratch. Instead, duplicate the one that you transferred from GeoCalc, clear its cells, and use it for your new spreadsheet.
Source: GeoInfo Database

Game strategy: SameBearbeiten

I've come really close at times, and won only TWICE out of too many to count. The best strategy is to work on the left side of the screen. The symbols flow to the left as they are removed. I hope you have symbols turned on, as the colors are worthless on the LCD screen. This game plays the same (pun) on the desktop version of GEOS too. (not to mention a 100 times faster)
As the bricks (or whatever they are called) are removed, they fall down and line up. Try to plan ahead to get like types to fall onto each other. If a single type of brick gets isolated on the right side, there isn't any hope if matching it up to another of it's type to get rid of it. Remember to work on the left side of the playing field because the bricks work their way to the left. The more bricks stacked and eliminated at one time makes the most points too. Time is also a factor. Also, if there is a like type of brick between other types, try to stack the most up of the other type, then the first ones will come together and line up.
Sometimes I will see a better way to play a game #, and will replay the same one. I can usually get a lot closer the next time around because I can see a better way to line up a large mass of bricks to remove, and not isolating a single brick on the right side.
Tips by Craig Ueltzen


Implementing an offline email system using OgCommBearbeiten

This document is split into three parts: hardware, software, and configuration. The hardware and software parts are pretty straightforward. The configuration part is the real trick, and requires comfort using UNIX.
The goal is to enable the OmniGo 100/120 to be used as an email reading/writing system. And to do so offline, since the very nature of the OmniGo is to be mobile, and you can't be mobile when you're tied down to a phone line. My methodology relies a little on non-standard ways of doing things, i.e., it's a bit of a hack. But it does work. I used it reliably on my honeymoon. I have proposed improvements, and if anyone would like to help me implement them, I'd be grateful.

  • OmniGo 100/120 ((I've only used the 100, but I assume it will work just as well on the 120).
  • OmniGo PC serial cable.
  • Null modem (Radio Shack part# 26-264).
  • External modem (I use a Supra fax/modem v.32bis 14.4k).
  • Pin adapter if necessary (my Supra is a 25-pin, if your modem is a 9-pin, you should be okay; I make no promises for other modems. Radio Shack part# 26-1388).
Hook the OmniGo to the modem using the cable and pin adapter (if necessary); supply your own power and phone lines. Everything from here on down also applies to those using PCMCIA modems, except that the PCMCIA slot uses COM 4.
  • OgComm.
  • Text Editor.
  • UNIX shell account for email.
OgComm SettingsBearbeiten
    COM Port 1
    Baud Rate 19200
    Parity Bits NONE
    Data Bits 8
    Stop Bits NONE
    Data Mode RAW

At this point you should test your modem. Hook everything up and run OgComm and select COM 1.
If you get "OK" then try dialing.
Type ATDT nnnnnnn <ENTER>, where nnnnnnn is the dial-up number.
You should be able to dial up and log in. If you get to a UNIX prompt, you're ready. It will be hard to resist the temptation to play around in UNIX right now, but don't expect to do too much. The best part is yet to come.
Log off.
Here's the fun part...

UNIX ConfigurationBearbeiten

The OmniGo screen is small. We all know this. Also, OgComm doesn't support VT100 emulation. If you played around at all when you logged in, you found that you can't do much. If you try running Pine or Lynx, you get a bunch of garbage.
So our goal is to just grab all our email, and then later send up our new email. Our modem connection is just a pipe. We're not going to try and run any software that needs a regular (80 x 25) VT100 screen; we're just going to pull down all our mail through the pipe.
To do this, we'll use the simplest of all UNIX mail programs: Mail. Mail is all you need. Mail doesn't require VT100. It works line by line.
I suggest you log into your account using a full-size shell on a PC and play around with Mail there to get accustomed to it. You should copy this entire message into Notepad or something and open your shell.
At the prompt, type mail <ENTER>
What happens next and how the program works depends on your configuration. You should get a special Mail prompt (mine is the "&" character). You can enter commands here. I leave it to you to learn all the in's and out's; I'll just tell you the ones you need to know for now.

Mail commands:
    mail  creates a new message; must be followed by an address
    t     prints mail messages one page at a time
    p     prints mail messages without pausing at each page
    d     deletes messages
    x     quits Mail and returns you to the UNIX prompt
    ?     prints a list of available Mail commands

When you're entering a new message, you may be prompted for a subject, after which you type the message. You type it line by line. You can't 'up arrow' to make corrections. You just keep typing. When you're done, enter "." on its own line and hit return and your message will be sent. You're then returned to the "&" prompt.
Command examples:

    mail  begins a new message to me
    p 1-2                 prints messages 1 and 2
    p *                   prints all messages
    d 1-5                 deletes messages 1-5
    d *                   deletes all message

To configure Mail to work best (we're still working on the PC now), create a file in your root directory called ".mailrc"; use PICO or your favorite text editor. In that file put the following:

    unset crt
    set noheader
    set searchheaders
    set escape=_
    set quiet
    set ask
    retain from subject
    set indentprefix >

This will take care of everything. If you want to know what these things do, use the online help in Mail to figure it out. (This is my config file; all these lines may not be strictly necessary, but it will work this way.)
Now we'll run through the operations you'll need to perform on the OmniGo. Do this on the PC first just to see what will happen.
First, we'll send ourselves some mail.
At the UNIX prompt type: mail <ENTER>
You'll be prompted for a subject; enter one and press return. Now you're into the message body. Type a short message, and when you're done go to a new line and type:

    . <ENTER>

Try it again, but this time from the "&" prompt; it works the same. Then type x and hit return to quit.
Now to read your mail. From the UNIX prompt type mail and hit return.
Then type p * <ENTER>
All your mail will scroll by. Now type x to return to UNIX.
Now, for some fun. Rewrite the following text with your address in it:

    This is the first test
    This is the second test
    It has two lines

Mark and copy the text to the clipboard. Go back to the UNIX shell and paste the text. Watch what happens. (Ctrl-V probably won't work; you'll have to go through the menu. If your terminal program has a "send text" option, you could put the above text into a text file and send it.)
Now check your mail to confirm it was sent okay.
Now you're ready to do it on the OmniGo. Log in again to your shell account using the OmniGo. When you get to the prompt, repeat the exercises above in the little OmniGo window and see how it works the same.

Working OfflineBearbeiten

After you're logged in using OgComm, get back into Mail. At the "&" prompt, type p * but DON'T HIT RETURN yet.
Grab your stylus and select File/Open DWNLD.TXT, then hit return. After the mail has scrolled by, select File/Close DWNLD.TXT. Then exit Mail by entering x.
Now run Text Editor and open DWNLD.TXT (it should be in the DOCUMENTS directory). Voila! There's your mail.
While still in Text Editor, open a blank file. Type the same text that you copy/pasted earlier and save it as UPLOAD.TXT. This is how you will compose any new mail on the OmniGo. IMPORTANT: if UPLOAD.TXT is still open in Text Editor, OgComm may not be able to read it. Fn-F3 didn't seem to work either. I go to File/Switch Document and load any other document before exiting Text Editor.
Go back to OgComm. Be sure you're at the UNIX prompt and select File/Send UPLOAD.TXT. Away it goes! You've just read and written your first email offline.

  • In OgComm, select Term/No Screen Update while uploading or downloading files — they will go much faster. OgComm is very slow at redrawing the screen. While downloading with screen update off, you see a series of "#" characters to let you know the download is in process. When the file's done, the characters stop drawing. While uploading, a single "#" will inform you the upload is done. Term/Screen Update will restore screen redraw.
  • I keep a copy of all important email addresses handy on the OmniGo so I don't have to remember them all.
  • There is an "escape" function in Mail that lets you, among other things, add a signature file by using the code "_r .sig" where '.sig' is the name of your signature file and '_' is the escape character specified in the .mailrc file. (The default is something else, I forget, but it was not available on the OmniGo keyboard.) Both the .mailrc and the .sig files exist on the UNIX account, not on the OmniGo.
Message ManagementBearbeiten

It's up to you how you want to handle mail on your server. You may want to delete all the messages after you've downloaded them ("d *"), but keep in mind that if anything were to go wrong with the OmniGo file system, you could lose all those messages. I've never had a problem, but just keep it in mind. After using "p *" all those messages should be marked as read. There may be an alternative command that only lists unread messages, so you can leave them on the server without downloading them again and again.
Also, your sent mail is not being stored anywhere. It's up to you to deal with old UPLOAD.TXT files. You'll be overwriting that file the next time you want to send mail, so you may want to archive them.
Also, if you're on any mailing lists (like the OG list for example), you may have too much mail to download, especially if your OmniGo is low on storage space (another benefit of an external modem, use those RAM cards). You may want to look into Procmail to filter your mail. It's beyond the scope of this document, but I used Procmail to send all OG list mail to a separate file, so it wasn't downloaded by this method. (I basically just blew it off until I got home from the honeymoon.) Type "man procmail" at the UNIX prompt to learn more, or search for it on the net, that's how I learned it.


This is definitely a hack. I tried to write a program in QBasic that would let you use the WyndMail email software to read and write offline. The code almost worked, but there was some glitch in the way QBasic writes to text files. I've since removed the DOS mode (thanks to a PCMCIA modem-induced crash that required a "hold down the C" total reboot), but may put it back in and try again to write the code in C.
For a hack, it works really well. It's been completely reliable for me. You just have to be sure to format your UPLOAD.TXT file correctly.

    Type the subject on this line.
    Start the body here.

    You can include blank lines.
    When you're done, just use the period on it's own line.
    You can even include a signature.
    _r .sig
    second message

    You can do multiple messages in a single file.

Using this method, I've been able to get in and out being logged on for only a couple minutes at a time (important when calling back to my ISP long-distance).
I'd love to hear if other folks have success with this, or if they have any improvements. Programmers, please look at my notes about this system. All we need is a program to do some text translation and we could use the free WyndMail software to read and write instead of Text Editor.
Good luck!
Article by Mike Halleen

An email search engineBearbeiten

A useful tip for those OmniGo users having installed some kind of email retrieval system (e.g., CompuServe for GEOS or ArtSCom):

Send an email to with "iliad query" in the subject section and "?Q:xxxxxxx" in the message body, where xxxxxxx represents any subject of interest (don't type the quotation marks). This represents an Internet search engine by email (like AltaVista). After 2-5 minutes you'll get several email replies with all sites and text contents regarding your subject.

Hint: Be specific on your search topic. Use AND relations by typing two search topics in between quotation marks. For exampel:

?Q:"Omnigo Geos-Games"

Otherwise the number of results you'll get via email will bust the OmniGo's memory!

Tip by Thomas Scheen


Increasing storage capacity with dLiteBearbeiten

The dLite package consists of two files: DLITE.COM and DPRESS.EXE. DPRESS.EXE is a utility to compress files and DLITE.COM is a resident program which decompresses files on demand and in the background whenever they are accessed. This program will take away about 12KB from the memory available to GEOS, which should reduce the OmniGo's performance a little, but so far no visible differences have been reported.

To use dLite, you will of course need the distribution archive of the program, whose latest version as of now is DLITE111.ZIP. To install the program on the OmniGo, follow these steps:
  1. Open B:\AUTOEXEC.BAT with OgEdit or use OmniCom to download it to your PC and open it in DOS Edit or Windows Notepad.
  2. Change the last lines of the AUTOEXEC.BAT file (starting with the ":runGEOS" label) to read like the following:
      cd \
      dlite /I /F+
      cd geoworks

    The important line in the above is of course the one starting with "dlite." The /F+ switch tells dLite to return the original file size instead of the compressed size (this is important, e.g., for the Transfer app to work properly).
  3. Use OmniCom to upload DLITE.COM and the modified AUTOEXEC.BAT (if edited on your PC) to the root directory of the OmniGo's B: drive.
  4. Use the DPRESS utility on your PC to compress any files you like and upload them to the OmniGo, where you can use them just as you normally would.
NOTE: Please remember that dLite is shareware, and as far as I know, the author will still accept registrations for it; so play fair and register if you go on using it.

Instructions by Marcus Groeber

Increasing storage capacity with StackerBearbeiten

Stacker is commercial disk compressor from Stac, which can be used to compress your SRAM and Flash RAM cards.

What you'll need:
  • Stacker 3.0 or newer with STACPALM.EXE.
  • A DOS mode driver installed.
  • A file transfer utility such as OmniCom.
  • A text editor such as OgEdit.
  • An SRAM or Flash RAM card to compress.
How to install Stacker on your OmniGo:
  1. Use a transfer utility to upload STACKER.COM and STACPALM.EXE from your PC to B:\STACKER on your OmniGo.
  2. From DOS, run STACPALM as follows:
      stacpalm d: / /R=n.n

    where d: is the drive letter of your RAM card (C: for SRAM and E: for Flash RAM), is the size in MB that you want to compress, and n.n is the expected compression ratio. If you leave off the size, the default is to compress the entire card. If you leave off the compression ratio, the default is 2.0.
  3. Use a text file editor to add the following line near the bottom of your CONFIG.SYS file:
      device=b:\stacker\ d:

    where d: is the drive letter of your RAM card.
  4. Save the file and reboot. You will now have a stacked drive.
  • STACPALM does not compress existing files on the RAM card; it simply creates a stacker volume using the remaining free space. When the Stacker drive is mounted, you'll be unable to access information stored in the uncompressed part of the card.
  • If the OmniGo appears to lock up during startup, then there might have been an error and it's pausing so you could press a key. Press a key and it should boot normally, but you won't have access to the stacked partition.
  • You can dynamically mount and unmount stacker drives by using the STACKER.COM program in DOS.
  • To get rid of Stacker, unmount the drive, format the card, then take STACKER.COM out of your CONFIG.SYS file. If you don't want to reformat the card, you can unmount the drive and then delete the STACVOL file (you'll need some way to remove the read-only, hidden, and system attributes).
  • Leave a little uncompressed space on your RAM card to store backup copies of STACKER.COM and the DOS mode driver. If all of the OmniGo's data ever gets erased, then the uncompressed portion of the card will become visible and you'll be able to use the DOS mode driver to reinstall Stacker.
Source: Wayne Venables' FAQ

Storing user data on memory cardsBearbeiten

The following note from Mitsu Hadeishi describes how built-in applications can store their data on SRAM memory cards and not just in the OmniGo's internal RAM:

    You CAN have the built-in apps store their data on external cards. You have to use the IZL transfer program (OmniCom) or a file manager application of some kind. First, close the application (save your data from all apps by selecting each and closing them, then doing a soft reboot to clear the state files. You could also just save the data, close the application, and manually delete the state file for the app from \GEOWORKS\PRIVDATA\STATE). Copy the data file from the \GEOWORKS\DOCUMENTS directory on the internal RAM disk to a \GEOWORKS\DOCUMENTS directory on the card, and then delete the file from the internal RAM disk. When you launch the application, it will look for the data file first on the RAM disk, and when it doesn't find it there, it will look on the card. When it finds it on the card, it will continue to use the card for storing the file. Note: if you take the SRAM card out and try to run the application, when it doesn't find the file on the SRAM card it will create a new, empty file on the internal RAM disk. So if you remove the SRAM card for data transfer, do not run the application with the data on the card until you have put the SRAM card back in your unit. If you make a mistake, it's no big deal — you just have to delete the file from the internal RAM disk again.
Source: Ronald D. Pike's FAQ


GEOS.INI explainedBearbeiten

text missing in FAQ found on the internet - please refer to Kommentierte Geos.ini (Stand: Geos 2.0)

Understanding PCMCIA cards, RAM, and modems on the OmniGoBearbeiten

Terminology or semantics can sometimes be misleading. The RAM on the OmniGo is not upgradable in the sense that you can add RAM to your PC. A PCMCIA card adds storage space to the OmniGo, like adding a hard drive to your PC; it does not increase the RAM where your programs run. Since GEOS 2.1 uses XIP (execute-in-place), the software runs directly from ROM insofar as possible, reducing the need for RAM and allowing more active apps at the same time than was possible on the Zoomer, for example.

"RAM" properly describes both the chips that store the currently running code and the chips in a PCMCIA card that is used as a Ramdisk. When you remove the PCMCIA SRAM card, your storage space is reduced while you use a PCMCIA modem. However, you still have the Ramdisk portion of the 1MB that is built into the device to store files, programs, and data—and you can copy data from the Ramdisk to the SRAM card after your communications session. An alternative is to use a modem that connects to the serial port.

Source: GeoInfo Database

Resetting the Omnigo fails when using a SRAM-PCMCIA-cardBearbeiten

Resetting the Omnigo sometimes fails when an SRAM-PCMCIA-card is in the device. This seem to depend on the SRAM-PCMCIA-card's brand/model. The only fix seems to be to remove the card before doing the reset. (When you don't do this reset because of a crash, don't forget to press to tell the omnigo that you'll remove the card by using the proper function keys on the home screen.)

Understanding XIP and the Vadem VG230 CPUBearbeiten

The Vadem VG230 CPU in the OmniGo 100/120 has mapping registers which allow for translating address blocks (in increments of 16KB) above 1MB (0x100000) into space below 0x100000. There are 26 registers, each of which will translate a 26bit address into one of the 26 16KB blocks between physical address 0x80000 (512KB) and 0xf0000 (1MB - 64KB). There is a 32KB "hole" in the middle of this range at 0xb8000 where the CGA buffer is.

So, XIP is simply done by "mapping" some portions of ROM which sit above 1MB into some number of these 16KB blocks, then accessing that ROM via the standard physical memory below 1MB. The mapping is necessary because the VG230 has only 20 address lines, therefore it is only capable of generating addresses up to 1MB. By "moving" portions of ROM down into this address space, much more code "space" (or data space for that matter) is available. If you are familiar with the ideas behind EMS, this stuff will make sense—that is what these registers do for VG230 systems running plain old DOS. Visit Vadem's VG230 Product Brief page for more information.

Source: GeoInfo Database

HP OmniGo 100 and 120 - Reverse Screen DisplayBearbeiten

ISSUE: The screen display has been changed on the HP OmniGo 100 so that the black and white screen is reversed. What is the key combination to change it back?

SOLUTION: Press forward slash (/) and "on".

Source: HP

Resetting the OmnigoBearbeiten

Before resetting
Understanding the difference between a hard and a soft reset is important in deciding when to use them.
Soft reset
A soft reset (also called a "warm boot") is similar to restarting a desktop PC. A soft reset restarts the operating system and closes any opened applications without losing any saved data. Performing a soft reset resolves many issues and serves as a good first step to troubleshooting problems.
Hard reset
A hard reset (also called a "factory default" reset) restores the HP Jornada to its original state, erasing everything added after it came out of the box from the factory. To ensure the safety of personal information in case a factory default reset is necessary, regularly back-up data to the desktop PC (using Microsoft (R) ActiveSync or Windows CE Services) or to a CompactFlash or PC Card (using the HP Jornada backup application). Perform a hard reset only when the HP Jornada does not respond to a soft reset.

Soft reset:
Press the RESET button on the bottom of the device.
Hard reset:
Remove the main and backup battery for five minutes.

Source: HP

HP OmniGo 100 and 120 - Backing Up OmniGo File To SRAM CardBearbeiten

ISSUE: How do you back up data from the HP OmniGo to a PCMCIA SRAM card?

SOLUTION: Here is a copy of the instructions found in the HP OmniGo Quick Start and User's Reference Guide:
"First, make sure the HP OmniGo is turned off when the card is added. If the unit is not turned off when the card is added or removed, a system error may occur resulting in loss of data. The correct method for removing the card is to tap the Card Removal Icon, which is located on the Home screen (F4), and follow the instructions.
After the card is inserted, tap the Transfer Icon. If the card has not been formatted, it can be formatted at this time. Once the card is ready for data transfer, select the files to be transferred from the HP OmniGo to the card. This is done by using the arrow keys to toggle between memory files and using the space bar to select each file for transfer.
Once all files are selected, select Copy (F2). This will move the files to the card. Once this is done, tap the Home Icon and remove the SRAM card in the appropriate manner. A restore of the data from the card to the HP OmniGo is performed in the same manner, except the files on the right side of the transfer screen must be selected and Copy (F3) must be used."

Source: HP

Removing HP Omnigo batteriesBearbeiten

Removing the main batteryBearbeiten

The main battery cover plate is found on the bottom of the device near the back. Remove the cover and remove the batteries. Reverse the process to reinstall the battery.

Removing the backup batteryBearbeiten

The backup battery is located in a compartment on the left edge of the device near the display. Slide out the battery tray to replace the battery. Reverse the process to reinstall the battery.

Source: HP