"What a great time to own a 200LX."  My last  editorial began with these words.  Since then, I have received some enlightening information.  A new version of XT-CE is out, one that is not only faster than its predecessor, but which includes excellent INT5F support.  Translation: apps written for the 200LX can now be run on XT-CE, even better than on a desktop with INT5F or CGAGRAPH loaded.

This is definitely a bad thing.

Now, bear in mind that I'm not trying to insult Ian Dean's wonderful DOS emulator.  His application is certainly one of the best things I can imagine ever being written for Windows CE.  The crippled OS without the ability to run "real" programs can now do just that.  But unfortunately, it may spell death for the 200LX.  Just think: once the newer, faster WinCE devices come out, XT-CE's DOS performance will overtake the 200LX.  With the benefit of color, backlighting, and touch-screen mouse emulation, it will be difficult for potential palmtop buyers to think of a reason NOT to buy a Windows CE machine.  I imagine this scenario:

Me: Hey, Chuck, considering buying a palmtop?
Chuck: Yeah.  I'm going to get one of those new HP 820LX's, with the 150MHz processor.
Me: Um... considered the 200LX?
Chuck: I looked at it, but... I can run all the apps just as fast with my copy of XT-CE, and in color.  And with a backlight.
Me: Well... yeah... but think of the battery life!
Chuck: In a year they'll be coming out with batteries that have a 20,000 mAh capacity.
Me: Um... uh... Bill Gates profits from Windows CE!
Chuck: Good point.  200LX it is.

Naturally this is a bad thing for the 200LX community.  When it gets to the point where our only complaint is that WinCE adds more to the Gates coffers, we're on weak ground indeed.  So now is the time to launch an all-out offensive against Windows CE.  It will be kind of like the illegal army in Clear and Present Danger.  Here's the ultra-secret plan:

Step 1.  All HPLX-L members, go to your local stores that sell Windows CE devices.  Wear a uniform that looks official and say you're from the gas company, or the phone company, or some other utility company.  Say you have to inspect their stockroom.  Once in, have an accomplice throw a brick through the front window.  While all the managers and staff are distracted, quickly open up all the Windows CE packages and open up the machines themselves with your tiny electric screwdriver.  Take out all the internal circuitry and put dead bugs inside instead.  Repackage the machines and quietly slip out the back.

Step 2.  If you ever see a friend, co-worker, or anybody in general using a Windows CE handheld, casually slip up next to them and say "Wow!  Cool!  Neat!  It's a little computer!"  A few seconds later, keel over clutching your head, and shout "OOOOOH!  My brain feels like it's going to explode!  It must be the steel plate in my head!  But the doctors told me this would only happen if I was exposed to a strong radiaton source!  Say, just exactly what is making that backlight glow, anyway?"

Step 3.  Advertise a free upgrade to Windows CE 3.0 on the newsgroups for only $99.95.  Make up a list of wonderful features.  Collect many checks in advance.  Deposit them into a phony account under the name of "William Gates" and then write back, saying "Our release of the new Windows CE 3.0 upgrade has been indefinitely delayed.  Your contribution is appreciated.  You will be placed first on a waiting list for the new upgrade, if we ever release it.  Thank you for your time."

After all this, then we'll begin the massive Windows CE virus campaign.  LONG LIVE THE 200LX!

Copyright 1999, David Sargeant.
Last Updated 1-2-1999

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