Pocket Viewer

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PV-S1600

Pocket Viewer (Casio PV) was a model range of personal digital assistants (PDAs) developed by Casio.

Description[edit]

Pocket Viewer was a model range of PDAs from Casio. Early models used Intel x86 based processors (manufactured by NEC). Later models used Hitachi processors from the SuperH family. Both models ran Casio's proprietary OS 'CASIO PVOS'. The functionality of the pocket viewers extended beyond the digital diary segment and targeted consumers who needed more compute power in their personal organizers. The pocket viewers competed directly with the then market leader in the segment the Palm-pilots. They were priced under $200 at first release.

The pocket viewers, weighing under 5 ounces, were light and portable. The face of the device was almost entirely covered by a monochrome liquid crystal display. Towards the bottom of the LCD there were a few navigation keys. The lower most part of the LCD had quick short cuts to the standard applications permanently indicated. The short-cuts include off, back-light, Scheduler, Contacts, Quick Memo, Sync Start, Escape, Menubar. The standard applications available on the pocket viewer include Expense, PVsheet, Quickmemo, Contacts, Scheduler, ToDo list, Reminder/Calendar and Alarm. The starting interface consisted of a scrollable two column list of icons. Clicking on the icon starts the application. Text was entered via an on-screen keyboard. The pocket viewer did not have in-built hand writing recognition support. A third party GPL addin PVMerlin may have attempted to provide hand writing recognition.[1]

Pocket viewers used conventional 2 x AAA batteries and under normal use a completely charged battery lasted around 2 months. When not actively being used the pocket viewer switches off the display and goes into power saving mode. The specifications stated that it could function for 50 hours on alkaline batteries without use of back-light. Except for PV-S1600 which used Universal Serial Bus (USB) 1.0, all the other pocket viewers used a COM (RS-232) port to communication between a personal computer and the pocket viewer.

Casio made the pocket viewer SDK available. Using the SDK users could create their own applications called add-ins, which could be downloaded to the pocket viewer using the synchronization software. In time, a small user base who created and made their add-in applications available on-line for free or for profit emerged. User forums such as pocketviewer.de, pocketviewer.com, pocket-viewer.ru and pocketviewer webrings flourished in their time and have since closed. During 2005-2010, the second hand market was on the vane. OWBasic, a third party add-in, provided the easy to learn and use BASIC interpreted programming language on the hand-helds, expanding their functionality to also being programmable hand-held calculators/computers. The device had the computer power and functionality as the home computers of the 80s.

The pocket viewers ability to access the internet was limited. PC software could synchronize email with the device which was not convenient. The device had a specialized serial port, and could theoretically communicate with other devices using the Serial Line Internet Protocol and execute modem AT commands.[2]

Casio also provided some additional applications. Enterprise Harmony, which enabled Outlook 2003 synchronization of Outlook contacts, calendar On windows. PVsheet, a spread sheet application, which could upload/download comma separated spread-sheets. Travel phrase guide, which could translate preset text between English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese.

The Casio pocket viewer series was sandwiched between digital dairies and the pocket PC series Casio Cassiopeia. Casio discontinued the pocket viewers as the pocket PCs became popular and their price came down.

Models[edit]

Generation Model Year Data Storage Interface Processor Display Expandable Market Extra Features
1. PV-100

PV-200

1999 1 MB

2 MB

RS-232 NEC V30MZ 128x128 - Worldwide
1. PV-170

PV-270

1999 1 MB

2 MB

RS-232 NEC V30MZ 160x240 - China
2. PV-250X

PV-450X

2000 2 MB

4 MB

RS-232 NEC V30MZ 160x160 (by OS-Update) Europe
2. PV-200A

PV-400A

2000 2 MB

4 MB

RS-232 NEC V30MZ 160x160 - USA
2. PV-750 / PV-750Plus 2000 2 MB RS-232 NEC V30MZ 160x160 yes Europe IrDA-Interface
3. PV-S250

PV-S450

2001 2 MB

4 MB

RS-232 NEC V30MZ 160x160 yes Europe
3. PV-200e

PV-400Plus

2001 2 MB

4 MB

RS-232 NEC V30MZ 160x160 - USA
4. PV-S460

PV-S660

2002 2 MB

4 MB

RS-232 NEC V30MZ 160x160 yes Europe
4. PV-S400Plus

PV-S600Plus

2002 2 MB

4 MB

RS-232 NEC V30MZ 160x160 yes USA
5. PV-S1600 2003 12 MB USB 1.0 Hitachi SH-3 160x160 yes Worldwide

Gallery[edit]

Technical details[edit]

  • The PV-100 did not have a back light. While the back light was available on PV-200 onwards, Casio by default did not allow the back-light to remain on more than 30 seconds. Casio did not recommend extending the duration of the back light citing damage and battery drain. as A third party application back light extender add in was required to keep the back light on beyond the default duration. The back-light was Casio's trade marked EL-back-light, which is an electro-luminescent panel that causes the entire face to glow.
  • The PV-S1600 did not use a NEC V30MZ processor, but used a Hitachi SH-3. The processor architectures are not compatible hence programs compiled for the earlier architectures do not work on the PV-S1600 without recompilation. OWBasic programs will work as they run in an interpreter.
  • The NEC V30MZ was a 16 bit processor which used a segmented memory space. An indirect consequence is that those models can download a maximum of 16 addins
  • The file system is divided into PVOS modes and sub modes. Each record is part of a file that is specified by mode and submode. Depending on the mode data sets are null-terminated in either binary or text format. Binary data sets are to 3 KB or 32 KB (records that are greater than 3 KB, can be loaded only into the far-segment, PV-S1600 has no restriction), text data sets to 2 KB (PV-S1600: limited 32 KB).
  • The PV-750 has an IrDA port. Using IrDA, it is possible to send and receive email messages using a GSM-enabled mobile phone. SMS can also be sent on the PV-750Plus. The address book of the mobile phone can also be synchronized with that of PV. Casio's operating system update for the PV-750 gives it the same functionality of the PV-750Plus.

Notes[edit]

  • The HP 200LX a palm top computer, also used a 80186 chip
  • The Casio ClassPad 300 is a maths orientated update of the pocket viewer.
  • Casio did not provide any official linux support. Casio had contracted a 3rd party vendor for PC communication, and hence could not disclose any internal communication protocols. Apart from Casio PC sync and Enterprise Harmony, shareware Xlink/Win[3] also provides communication with windows. An open-source GPL Linux application by the name PVlink is available with limited guarantees.
  • Since 'Casio PVOS' was a small proprietary OS, it did not benefit from main-stream platform support that Linux, or other proprietary OSes such as Pocket PC or Palm OS had.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wittawat Yamwong,Stefan Hellkvist. "PVMerlin". ittawat Yamwong,Stefan Hellkvist. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  2. ^ Yaswanth Narvaneni. "A Study Of Handheld Devices for Application In e-Governance (PV-S660)". Yaswanth Narvaneni. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  3. ^ cnet. "Casio Pocket Viewer PV-200 reviews". cnet reviews. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 

External links[edit]