HPLX.NET EDITORIALS 8-15-1997


Y'know, I probably should have made some changes between June 13 and now.  Unfortunately, it's been very busy, what with work and school.  But, hey, I finally learned all about object-oriented programming!  :)  Anyway, I'll try to be more up-to-date from now on.  Except, of course, that school starts again in a week... and this time not just one measly summer class, either.  A full load!  Oh well.  Anyway, there has been no progress that I'm aware of on the backlighting front.  There has, however, been significant progress in the area of "flash card pricing."  Card prices have been coming down recently.  Keep your eyes on those 80MB cards... A new flash card sold by Microtech Intl. called the Digital Flash Film card has been made that is 3 times faster at writing than other flash cards.  Even in the less-than-speedy 200LX, you can certainly tell the difference when backing up to your flash card, or when compiling a large program.  So, what's the catch?  Well, the card uses 155-165mA of power for reading and writing.  A tremendous amount for your average 200LX to have to provide during disk operations.  Not to mention that tired-out pair of alkalines you use!  :)  Seriously, folks, the card is a great bargain at $399.00*, and it's very speedy-- but watch out for those disk writes.  Here's a tip: use high-capacity nicad batteries, or lithiums, rather than alkalines.  Alkalines tend to lose voltage as they run out, and by the time your 200LX complains about "low batteries" they've probably dropped from 1.5V apiece to 1.1V.  Nicads don't last as long, but they'll maintain a normal voltage (nicads develop 1.2V maximum) for a lot longer than alkalines.  They'll stay at normal voltage for a long time and then, in a short period, drop down to nothing.  This is what you need for using this flash card, because alkalines will lose voltage during card operations and trigger a low-battery shutdown.  I had batteries at 2.6V drop down to 2.19V during a write, and it shut off the 200LX.  So use nicads.

*for a limited time.


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