Sharp PC-3000

Everything about vintage DOS based Palmtops goes in here...
azureal
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:44 pm
Favorite Palmtop: Sharp_PC-3000

Sharp PC-3000

Post by azureal » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:04 pm

I am a proud new owner of one of these Sharps, what a cool little computer.

I have been reading up on details of this unit and others as I prepared for my search ad purchase of some DOS Palmtop. This site has been very helpful with some great details. I especially appreciate your "Palmtop Survival Guide", you have some great info and detail there.

I am studying memory expansion now. I have a PCMCIA to CF adapter and a 32MB card in IC Card 1 slot. On startup, the unit gives the message:

"Invalid PCMCIA card A:"

The PCMCIA card is Type-II, 5.5mm. The card fits snugly but is not too big. I have a couple of Type-I DRAM and Flash varieties on order now, they are expensive, but will give try to a few and report back on behavior.

I am searching now for a copy of the SunDisk driver zip file. I have read of it on several forums and blogs but so many sites no longer host the file itself. Please let me know If you have a copy.

Kyodai
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Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: Sharp PC-3000

Post by Kyodai » Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:16 am

Yeah, the sundisk driver is on the software page:

http://www.tankraider.com/DOSPALMTOP/software.html

Just look at the point "Flash disk driver".

You'll still need to get the driver onto the palmtop - so either by serial connection transfer or copy the stuff onto an SRAM PCMCIA card.

azureal
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Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:44 pm
Favorite Palmtop: Sharp_PC-3000

Re: Sharp PC-3000

Post by azureal » Fri Sep 23, 2016 4:09 am

Thanks Kyodai, that's exactly what I needed to find.

I am still looking for a good deal on an SRAM card, I might just bite the bullet and buy one new, I hate to take a chance on such an expensive item only to discover that it will not work and have no chance of exchange.

I was fooled by an inexpensive "DRAM" card which I picked up for 12 dollars, it does not even appear to have a standard PCMCIA 68 pin connector.

I am still waiting on a Flash card from China.

You are right, I need either a SRAM card of 1 - 2 MB or I need to make a null modem cable.

Kyodai
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Re: Sharp PC-3000

Post by Kyodai » Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:32 am

If you have the serial cable (which is unfortunately "rare") you could also hook it up with a PC via laplink or similar software. The rather non-standard connector makes it hard to build a custom one from scratch.

Without the cable only SRAM cards would work. I just saw i made a mistake with the download link, so i have added the full installer to the software page. Just refresh it and get the installer, it should now contain the setup.

These "weird interface" DRAM cards are usually just a RAM upgrade card for older Japanese notebooks.

wintermute
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Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:26 pm
Favorite Palmtop: Sharp_PC-3000

Re: Sharp PC-3000

Post by wintermute » Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:47 pm

Great site and forum, many thanks for putting all this together! I had an IBM Dauphin DTR-1 and a HP 200-LX long ago and am a bit familiar with pleasures and pains of these small machines that still fascinate me.

Now, I just acquired a Sharp PC-3000 (still waiting for it to arrive). I don't wanna post many lame questions here before I get to play with it and read the manual (which will be included with the machine).

I have one question though: how to test whether a SRAM card works in PC-3000? I assume that's something explained in the manual (I guess I would put in a card and try to format and it either works or not?) [ There is a huge old computer graveyard place near where I live and I am gonna visit to scavenge for SRAM cards and other goodies and will be allowed to test whatever I want on the site. ] I also see SRAM cards on eBay, would any of them work? In specific, would Poquet PC branded SRAM cards work? See http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R4 ... rd&_sop=15

wintermute
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Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:26 pm
Favorite Palmtop: Sharp_PC-3000

Re: Sharp PC-3000

Post by wintermute » Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:03 am

azureal wrote:The PCMCIA card is Type-II, 5.5mm. The card fits snugly but is not too big. I have a couple of Type-I DRAM and Flash varieties on order now, they are expensive, but will give try to a few and report back on behavior..
Any luck with any of those cards?

BTW, I found some information on cards and Sharp PC-3000 on these links:
https://kogs-www.informatik.uni-hamburg ... c3100.html
(links are broken but i figured out where the PC-3000 Manual is: https://kogs-www.informatik.uni-hamburg ... 3km-en.pdf)
http://www.verycomputer.com/25_5ec891fc851bd923_1.htm
http://www.vcfed.org/forum/archive/inde ... 13819.html
http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap ... ead=245532

More links with various general PC-3000 information:
https://kogs-www.informatik.uni-hamburg ... reads.html
http://home.freeuk.com/hieroglyph/pc3story.htm
http://www.ericlindsay.com/palmtop/pc3100.htm
http://www.hpcfactor.com/forums/forums/ ... ?tid=14557
http://www.verycomputer.com/25_93bc86ac1fc36289_1.htm
http://www.atari-portfolio.co.uk/librar ... porty2.txt

Kyodai
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Re: Sharp PC-3000

Post by Kyodai » Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:55 pm

Like 99% of all SRAM cards should work. At least the SRAM cards in sizes of 512KB, 1MB and 2MB never had any problems in any of my palmtops (And i have nearly all from the list),

The 4MB cards (Mitsubishi MelCard for example) did not work in some palmtops. I guess some rather obscure cards that are even larger might also have problems. Also some older SRAM cards "With attribute" might cause problems in some palmtops.

Common problems for SRAM cards are usually "dead battery" (Pretty obvious problem) or "bad partition" / "bad format", so you should always use the tools included in your palmtop to format/partition the card if you have problems. In the PC-3000 just use the DOS "format" command, it is a special version to prepare the SRAM card in drive A or B.

A valuable tool is also the HP 100LX/200LX - the included "FDISK100" utility will remove all partitions on a card and make one with the maximum size - which is very helpful if someone made a weird setup of partitions on a card.

wintermute
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Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:26 pm
Favorite Palmtop: Sharp_PC-3000

Re: Sharp PC-3000

Post by wintermute » Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:38 pm

Kyodai wrote:Like 99% of all SRAM cards should work. At least the SRAM cards in sizes of 512KB, 1MB and 2MB never had any problems in any of my palmtops (And i have nearly all from the list) [...] In the PC-3000 just use the DOS "format" command, it is a special version to prepare the SRAM card in drive A or B.
Thanks for the confirmation!

My Sharp PC-3000 should arrive today. I already ordered one Poqet PC 2MB SRAM card (and will scavenge for more soon). Reading the PDF version of the manual in the meantime...

I am also getting (for free, from a friend) an old Thinkpad T42 laptop with PCMCIA slots which I will try to use to bootstrap data on SRAM cards. It has Windows XP though and hopefully it will recognize them.

Kyodai
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Re: Sharp PC-3000

Post by Kyodai » Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:28 pm

Afaik Windows XP can NOT handle SRAM cards. Well it does work somehow with the "attribute" SRAM cards, but for like pretty much all "normal" SRAM cards XP just lacks the driver.

I have spent much time with that myself and just gave up - defaulted to using an old "Windows 98" laptop to transfer stuff to SRAM.

Some instructions here:

http://www.tankraider.com/DOSPALMTOP/tips.html


The Sharp PC-3000 is definitely among my favorites. If it just didn't have these proprietary cables... It's actually much more fun with a mouse, but for that you obviously need the serial cable. The handbook has details about the pinout for the serial and parallel port, but i haven't met anyone yet who made a custom cable (For the tidalwaves i have custom port replicators which are even better than the original cables). With a mouse loads of old games like "Nuclear war", "Monkey island" etc and of course Windows 3.0 are loads of fun. Still for Leisure Suit larry and such the Sharp is loads of fun even without any mouse.

wintermute
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Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:26 pm
Favorite Palmtop: Sharp_PC-3000

Re: Sharp PC-3000

Post by wintermute » Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:13 pm

Kyodai wrote:Afaik Windows XP can NOT handle SRAM cards. Well it does work somehow with the "attribute" SRAM cards, but for like pretty much all "normal" SRAM cards XP just lacks the driver.
Would any of those "attribute" cards work in Sharp PC-3000?

I visited the graveyard but they did not have any SRAM cards -- only modems, wifi, bluetooth and other random PCMCIA stuff. At least I got two plastic PCMCIA protective cases for free.

I got the free laptop, it's an IBM Thinkpad T42. It had Fedora Linux on it so I had to deinstall it and reinstall Win XP (for which it was originally made). I wonder whether downgrading it to Win 98 would work and would it make it read the SRAM cards (if the attribute ones don't work)...

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