Epson HX-20 Operation Manual

Portable computer
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Kenneth Skier
SkiSoft, Inc.
Cambridge, Massachusetts



  Summary of Contents for Epson HX-20

  • Page 1 EPSON HX-20 OPERATIONS MANUAL Kenneth Skier President SkiSoft, Inc. Cambridge, Massachusetts...
  • Page 2 Epson America, Inc. No patent liability is assumed with respect to the use of the information contained herein. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher and author assume no responsibility for errors or omissions.
  • Page 3 Federal Communications Commission Radio Frequency Interference “This equipment generates and uses radio frequency energy and if not installed and used properly, that is, in strict accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, may cause interference to radio and television reception. It has been type tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B computing device in accordance with the specifications in Subpart J of Part 15 of FCC Rules, which are designed to provide reasonable protection against such interference...
  • Page 4: Table Of Contents

    Selecting a different character set..... 4 Using the HX-20 ........
  • Page 5 If you encounter other problems ..... 8 Storing your HX-20 ....... .
  • Page 6: Congratulations

    (Five of these may be BASIC programs.) When you turn on the HX-20, a menu ap- pears on the screen, listing the names of these programs. You can make the HX-20 run any program on the menu simply by pressing a single key.
  • Page 7 HX-20. But if you do wish to learn about programming, the accompanying Epson HX-20 BASIC Tutorial and Reference Manual will teach you every- thing you need to know.
  • Page 8 Only one option ROM can fit inside the HX-20 at a time, but it’s a powerful means of customizing the HX-20 for a desired application-without diminishing in any way its abil- ity to run BASIC programs or to accept option cartridges.
  • Page 9 -a bar code reader, to scan bar- coded programs, songs, and data sheets. As you can see, the HX-20 is powerful, portable, easy to use and expandable. Whether you wish to use it for school, for busi- ness, or just for fun, you could hardly choose a more personal personal computer.
  • Page 10: Cautions

    The HX-20 is not a toy. Although it is solid and well-built, it is not invulnerable. Treat it with the care it deserves, and it should pro- vide you with years of reliable service. The warnings on these pages concern only the HX-20. If you con- nect your HX-20 to any peripherals, be sure to heed any warnings contained within the documentation for those peripherals.
  • Page 11: System Bus Cover

    Do not remove the system bus cover On the left side of your HX-20, you will notice a small strip of dark plastic. This covers up a connector called the system bus. system bus cover...
  • Page 12: Circuitry Cover

    Use only the HX-20 AC adapter to charge HX-20 batteries Your HX-20 comes with a device labelled AC ADAPTER. This unit is designed to charge the batteries in your HX-20. It is not designed to run your HX-20 directly In all cases, you should operate the HX-20 using only its internal nickel-cadmium batteries.
  • Page 13 HX-20 battery charger.) Using any battery charger other than the one that came with your HX-20 may damage the HX-20 and/ or its batteries and could void your warranty. Use only the HX-20 AC adapter to charge HX-20 batteries Don’t overcharge the batteries...
  • Page 14: Printer

    Connect the HX-20 only to appropriate peripherals The sockets on the back of the HX-20 enable you to connect it to an Epson disk drive or an RS-232 serial device such as a modem or a printer.
  • Page 15: Physicalshock

    Plugging in a device that does not conform to these specifications may damage the HX-20 and/or the device you plug in, and may void your warranty. Connect the HX-20 only to appropriate peripherals Protect the HX-20 from physical shock Don’t drop your HX-20, or let it shake about. Like any other electronic product, the HX-20 can be damaged by such treatment.
  • Page 16 95° F (35° C), and above 41°F (5° C). The HX-20 will not work reliably outside of this temperature range. Protect the HX-20 from extreme heat and cold Storing the HX-20 in conditions that are too hot or too cold may damage it permanently.
  • Page 18: Preparing Your Hx-20 For Use

    Check the packing materials for small parts and papers. DO NOT DISCARD THE PACKING MATERIALS! You will need them if you ever ship the HX-20, to protect it during shipment. You should have the following: 1) The Epson HX-20 computer and carrying case.
  • Page 19: Charging The Batteries

    Charging the batteries The nickel-cadmium batteries in your HX-20 hold very little charge when they are new. So charge them now, before using the HX-20. A full charge is necessary to maintain maximum battery efficiency. For optimum battery life, only recharge the batteries when the HX-20 tells you to do so.
  • Page 20: Preparing The Printer For Use

    Insert this plug into the socket labelled “ADAPTER” on the back of the HX-20: DO NOT TURN ON THE HX-20! If you leave your HX-20 power on, your batteries will not be fully charged at the end of eight hours.
  • Page 21: Removing The Printer Cover

    When the HX-20 is shipped from the factory, the ribbon and paper are not installed in the printer. To prepare the printer for use, you must perform the following steps: 1) Remove the printer cover. 2) Insert the paper roll.
  • Page 22: Inserting The Paper Roll

    Now you can look directly into the printer compartment. Inserting the paper roll Note the ON-OFF switch on the right side of the HX-20. Turn the HX-20 on, by sliding this switch away from you, towards the back of the HX-20:...
  • Page 23 HX-20: (Unlike the printer cover, which is removable, the paper cover may not be removed from the HX-20.) You may now look into the paper compartment, which is empty except for a strip of fabric.
  • Page 24 Now you need the roll of printer paper that came with your HX-20. When you use it up, replace it with the same kind of paper (available at your Epson dealer). Do not use any other paper, as it may jam or otherwise damage the printer.
  • Page 25 While holding the paper in place, press the PAPER FEED button. The printer will activate, and a rubber roller will pull the paper into the printer compartment. Hold the PAPER FEED but- ton down until the paper emerges from the top of the printer mech- anism.
  • Page 26: Inserting The Ribbon Cartridge

    Inserting the ribbon cartridge Packaged with your HX-20 is an L-shaped ink ribbon cartridge: Holding it as shown, you may slide it over the paper and into the printer compartment. Be sure the paper goes between the ribbon...
  • Page 27: Replacing The Printer Cover

    Then install a new one, which you may purchase at your Epson dealer.) Note: If you get ribbon ink on the case of the HX-20, wipe it off immediately. Once it dries, it’s hard to remove. Replacing the printer cover...
  • Page 28: Adjusting The Viewing Angle

    The printer cover is now in place. Adjusting the viewing angle The HX-20 uses an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screen. Unlike a television or movie screen, an LCD screen can only be viewed from within a narrow range of angles. You can prove this to yourself by...
  • Page 29 Nevertheless, you won’t have to sit in any particular position while using the HX-20. To adjust the LCD screen to your position, place your finger on the VIEW ANGLE adjustment knob, located...
  • Page 30: Initializing Memory And The Calendar Clock

    Initializing memory and the calendar clock Before you use the HX-20 for the first time, you must initialize its memory and its calendar clock. (If your HX-20 is not on now, turn it on.) The screen will look like this:...
  • Page 31 January. Even though it’s the first month of the year, you may not specify the month with a “1”. The HX-20 expects two digits, so you must enter “01” for the month.
  • Page 32: Selecting A Different Character Set

    The circuit cover should be removed only by an authorized Epson dealer or service center. Removing it yourself will void your war- ranty. You may select special character sets by using HX-20 soft- ware; see The HX-20 BASIC Tutorial and Reference Manual.
  • Page 33 You will see a shiny, flexible flap. Carefully lift this up and out of the way. One component, called a DIP switch, looks like this (enlarged to show detail): The DIP switch is actually a set of four switches. To specify the character set of a given country, look up the appropriate switch settings in Table 3-2, and set the individual switches with a ball point pen or similar object.
  • Page 34 Italy Spain Sweden (Switch 4 has no effect on the HX-20’s character set. Leave it in the off position.) When you have adjusted the DIP switch for the desired character set, let the shiny flap fall back into place, and put the circuitry cover back into position.
  • Page 36: Using The

    Just turn it on, view the menu, and choose an item from the menu. Turning it on To turn on the HX-20, find the ON-OFF switch on the right side of the HX-20, and push it towards the back of the HX-20: A menu will appear on the screen.
  • Page 37 To view another part of the scroll, turn one of the wooden rollers. In a similar fashion, your HX-20 allows you to scroll the menu up and down through the screen. It won’t display a long menu all at once, but it will display any four-line portion of the menu.
  • Page 38: Choosing An Item From The Menu

    Incidentally, the arrow keys have no effect when you are viewing the menu. Choosing an item from the menu The menu lists jobs the HX-20 may perform. But how can you make the HX-20 perform one of those jobs? TABLE 4-1 Effect screen.
  • Page 39 (Press to see the top line of this menu on your screen.) Each line in the menu lists a job the HX-20 may perform, by spec- ifying a key and the job associated with that key. To choose an item from the menu, press the key listed next to that item.
  • Page 40: The Screen Editor

    This means that you won’t be limited by the size of the LCD screen, but can interact with the HX-20 as if it had a much bigger display. How can a small window allow you to view the text on a large virtual screen? To understand how this works, tear page 37 out of this book, and use scissors to cut out the white box on that page.
  • Page 41: Thecursor

    Turn on your HX-20 now and select BASIC from the menu. You won’t actually learn any BASIC programming in the following pages, but you must enter BASIC in order to learn how to use the screen editor.
  • Page 43 At the bottom of the screen, you will see a symbol that looks like this: That symbol consists of a “greater-than” sign with a little line underneath it. That little line is called a cursor. On your keyboard, just above the m key, you will notice two keys with arrows on them.
  • Page 44: Scrolling

    Thus, themkeys enable two cursor keys to move the cursor in any of four different directions: left, right, up, and down. To select horizontal movement, do not use alkey. To select vertical movement, you must use alkey. Scrolling Something special happens when you try to move the cursor beyond the edge of the LCD screen.
  • Page 45: Clearing The Screen

    Clearing the screen You can erase the entire virtual screen, just by pressing a single key: This clears the virtual screen, and homes the cursor. Typing on the virtual screen Typing on the virtual screen is as easy as...well, as easy as typing. For example, let’s say you want to type the expression, “NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL GOOD MEN TO COME TO THE AID OF THEIR PARTY.”...
  • Page 46: Virtual Screen Width

    Because the cursor is near the right edge of the screen, something unusual will happen when you type the next character. Press them key. An “O” appears on the screen at the cursor location, but the cursor doesn’t move to the right. Instead, all the text on the screen slides to the left.
  • Page 47: Logical Lines Vs. Physical Lines

    The HX-20 moves the cursor to a new line whenever necessary. You may type one sentence that ends up occupying several lines of the virtual screen-without ever pressing the(lmrawlkey.
  • Page 48: Retyping

    TO COME TO THE AID OF THEIR PARTY.” Here’s why: Pres- sing m tells the HX-20 that you have just completed a logical line. The HX-20 is in “BASIC,“ so it examines your line to see if it is a legitimate BASIC command. Since it can’t figure out what you’re asking it to do, it displays an error message.
  • Page 49: Insert Mode

    You won’t notice any changes on the screen, but the HX-20 is now in insert mode. This means that any characters you type now will be inserted into the text at the cursor location.
  • Page 50: Upper And Lower Case

    Eventually, you’ll want to stop inserting text. To exit from insert mode, hold down a m key and tap magain. Or press any cursor key. Either action will take the HX-20 out of insert mode. Upper and lower case So far, you’ve only typed UPPER CASE LETTERS on the virtual screen.
  • Page 51: Numeric Mode

    If so, do not despair. You won’t have to teach your fingers a whole new pattern of numeric keys. Instead, just press the Nothing will change on the screen, but the HX-20 is now innumeric mode, which changes the behavior of many keys.
  • Page 52 When you want to take the HX-20 out of numeric mode, just press the key or the 191 key. If you press the put the HX-20 into upper case mode. But if you end numeric mode by pressing , you’ll put the HX-20 into lower case mode. Figure 5-1 summarizes the ways in which you may change screen editor modes.
  • Page 53: Graphic Characters

    To generate these graphic characters, the screen editor must be in upper case mode, and you must use the lower right corner of the HX-20 keyboard). For example, hold down the down) press the screen, you’ll see a little musical note.
  • Page 54: Printing The Screen

    You can make a hard copy of the LCD screen whenever you’d like. To do so, you’ll use one of the specialfunction keys. which are located just above the row of numeric keys on your HX-20 keyboard. To print a copy of the LCD screen, just hold down the (located at the left edge of the keyboard) and press function .
  • Page 55 In conjunction with a let- ter key, m yields a lower case character if HX-20 is in upper case mode, or an upper case letter if HX-20 is in lower case mode. If HX-20 is in upper case mode, press- and another key yields a graphics character.
  • Page 56: Using The Special Function Keys

    Display leftmost portion of virtual screen. Scroll right. Using the special function keys Your HX-20 contains eight special function keys, labelled as follows: Delete from cursor to end of logical line. Move cursor to rightmost portion of virtual screen. Same as Horizontal tab (8 columns).
  • Page 57 0 sets the slowest LIST rate; 9 sets the fastest LIST rate. Other keys set intermediate LIST rates. lets you see the HX-20 menu. Even if the HX-20 is in BASIC, or is running some program, it will return to the menu if you press the key.
  • Page 59: Connecting Your Hx-20 To Other Devices

    Once you have a cassette recorder, you will need a cable to con- nect it to the HX-20. This cable, available from your Epson dealer as part #702, looks like this: Chapter 6...
  • Page 60: To A Cassette Recorder

    At each end of the cable you'll find three plugs, colored red, white, and black. Take the three plugs at one end of the cassette cable and plug them into the following sockets on the right side of the HX-20: P l u g...
  • Page 61: To An Rs-232 Device

    HX-20. Connecting your HX-20 to an RS-232 device The RS-232 socket on the back of your HX-20 enables it to com- municate with an external printer, modem, or other RS-232 compatible device. (Note that you cannot connect the HX-20 to a printer or other device that features only a parallel interface.) You...
  • Page 62: To A Bar Code Reader

    HX-20 to use any desired proto- col. (See the Epson HX-20 BASIC Tutorial and Reference Manual.) Connecting your HX-20 to a bar code reader On the right side of your HX-20, you will notice a socket marked “BAR CODE.” TABLE 6-2...
  • Page 63 As of this printing, Epson has provided only the hardware inter- face for a bar code reader. But when you read this, a bar code reader might be available.
  • Page 65: What If You Have Problems

    HX-20 will give you trouble-free service for years. Nevertheless, even the most intelligent systems can become confused. This chapter will show you what to do if your HX-20 fails to work properly. If you can’t turn off your HX-20...
  • Page 66: If The Menu Displays Garbage

    The RESET switch will interrupt the HX-20, no matter how busy it may be. Once interrupted, the HX-20 will notice that the ON-OFF switch is in the “OFF” position, and it will stop processing. This will make the screen go blank.
  • Page 67: Storing Your Hx-20

    Storing your HX-20...for a few hours to a few weeks If you know that you won’t be using your HX-20 for at least a few hours and perhaps for as long as a few weeks, turn if OFF before you put it away.
  • Page 68 Then store the HX-20 in its original box and packaging materials, in a place with acceptable temperature and humidity.
  • Page 69: Specifications

    If you are just learning about computers, ignore this chapter. Turn instead to the Epson HX-20 BASIC Tutorial and Reference Manual, and learn how to program your HX-20. For detailed specifications, see the Epson HX-20 Technical Reference Manual. All specifications are subject to change without notice.
  • Page 70 LCD display, and clock. The slave microprocessor controls the micro- printer, speaker, and external cassette. The cartridge interface has ports for both the main and slave microprocessors. HX-20 Architecture 6301 MAIN CPU 6301...
  • Page 71: Expansion

    ROM or microcassette cartridge may be installed in place of the dummy cartridge. Connectors located at the back of the HX-20 enable it to be connected to a printer with a serial interface, a computer, or a modem; and to a floppy disk unit and display controller via a serial bus.
  • Page 72 Specifications CPU and Memory Main CPU Slave CPU Internal Expansion External Expansion Built-in Features Display Printer Clock Speaker Interfaces Interface Power Capacity (each pin and total) VB (direct from battery) +5V (switched) VC (Power for RAM) Communications RS-232C (Full and half duplex) Connector Input/ Output Level Baud Rates...
  • Page 73 150, 600, 4800, 38400 I: GND, 2: TXD, 3: RXD, 4: O U T . 5 : I N C G = G r o u n d Special-Epson 1: SII, 2: SI/01l, 3: S01, 4: SI/02, 5: SI/03,6: SI/04,7: VB(Battery),...
  • Page 74 AC Adapter (Battery Charger) Input Voltage Frequency Consumption Isolation Switches Internal External Keyboard and Character Set Type Function Total Number of Keys Function Keys Special Keys Ten Key Numeric Pad Graphic Shift International Character Set Environmental Temperatures Operating Charge Data Integrity Data Storage Humidity Operating/ Non-operating...
  • Page 75 4 NiCad batteries; AC adapter/ charger (1 15V + 10%, 60 Hz); F l o a t i n g c h a r g e w i t h A C adapter H00DC-IA H00SB-JA H-702 H00AAA H00RP H00CR-BA (** See your Epson Dealer)