Quick and Easy Networking on the HP 200LX

When the HP 200LX was released in 1994, the most common communication device was the modem, but as the popularity of local networking and the internet increased, more PCMCIA Ethernet options began to appear on the market. The 200LX’s particular PCMCIA implementation, and the limited amount of power that it is able to supply mean that the number of compatible options is somewhat slim. But thanks to the ubiquity of the NE2000 chipset, viable options can sometimes appear in unexpected places. Socket’s Low Power Ethernet CF Card, designed for Windows CE devices, launched a decade after the 200LX, but its foundation on the venerable NE2000, as well as its low-power design, make it a great way to get your palmtop online.

Configuring the LP-E Ethernet CF card for use with the 200LX is relatively simple and trouble-free. First, grab LxCic from hplx.pgdn.de. This replacement for HP’s own CIC100 adds support for a number of additional card types, including networking. Next, download lxeth10b.zip, with contains the LXEN2216.COM Ethernet driver. Add both of these to your AUTOEXEC.BAT as indicated below, and use REM to comment out CIC100.EXE if it is currently being loaded. The /L flag on LXCIC.COM loads it memory-resident (TSR), and the 0x66 refers to the network card’s software interrupt.

LXEN2216.COM 0x66

Restart your device with the LP-E Ethernet CF card and suitable CompactFlash adapter inserted, and voila: you have Ethernet! But what can you do with it? We’ll explore that in our next post!