Howdy, folks.  Well, this is another editorial, here.  I recently started posting some product reviews up on my site.  Check the REVIEWS page if you want to hear my unbiased, professional opinion on many products.

You know, what kind of products is HP churning out these days, anyway?  Back in the good ol' days, HP was for the scientists and engineers.  You wanted the best equipment you could buy, you bought from HP.  They designed and built superior products.  I've heard that they used to test their machines for durability by throwing them in swimming pools.  NOW, maybe it's just me, but I cannot imagine anybody throwing a 320LX into a pool and having it still function after coming out.  A 200LX would stand a much better chance, in my opinion.  A 48GX calculator would certainly make it; people have had an easier time getting rid of nuclear waste than that calculator.  How about the "new" calculator, the 38?  Hmm...

Well, along this line of thought, I decided to test my 200LX for waterproofing.  I filled the sink with water and dropped it in.  Note that I removed the batteries and the flash card first; otherwise, it would just be stupid.  (For those of you who are interested, the 200LX does NOT float.)  I left it totally submerged for 300 seconds and then removed it.  I immediately put the batteries back in and tried turning it back on, but nothing happened.  CTRL-LSHIFT-ON had no effect, either.  So I took the batteries back out, set the palmtop out on a dry towel, and waited for it to dry off.  Here in Las Vegas, the air is usually pretty dry, and the August weather is hot, so water tends to evaporate quickly.  After two days of letting it dry out, I put the batteries back in and turned it on... nothing.  Not an image on the screen.  Naturally, I was a bit disheartened.  Here I trusted in HP engineering, and it had let me down!  Important note here: for those of you who weren't aware, I have two 200LX's, one of which I use, the other of which is used for hideous experiments like this, when my wife isn't looking, since technically it's hers.  :)  Anyway, I thought maybe there was still some moisture on the interior.  So, I whipped out the ol' torx bit and opened up the ol' HP.  Sure enough, there was a broad patch of moisture all over the motherboard, the inside of the case, behind the screen... it seems that, rather than evaporating the water, I'd just created a tiny sauna.  In reflection, I probably should've propped the PC Card slot open before setting it out to dry.  In any case, I dried it all off carefully with a paper towel and then left it disassembled to dry.  The next day, I reassembled it, popped in the batteries, and... nothing.  Okay, I'm just kidding.  This time, everything worked fine.  Everything was erased, of course, but other than that, the unit was good as new.  The clock still runs properly, too, so it would appear none of the crystals were damaged.  Now that's engineering.

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

Return to main page Product Reviews Editorials Downloads Contests FAQs Hardware Hacking HPLX.NET Affiliates Home