This Surprisingly Responsive Website Is Hosted on an HP 200LX Palmtop From the Early ’90s


Traditional computing fanatic Terrence Vergauwen has put collectively a web-based server with a distinction: it’s a Hewlett-Packard 200LX palmtop, a standard little little bit of moveable computing from the Nineties now boasting twice the processing power at a blistering 16MHz.

“This HP 200LX palmtop is an IBM PC/XT appropriate MS-DOS system with a 16-bit 80186 CPU and CGA graphics system-on-a-chip, a serial port, and a 16-bit PCMCIA progress slot containing a 2GB CompactFlash card for predominant storage,” Vergauwen writes of “Felix,” the codename given by HP to the machine which could develop into his web server.

“It has been upgraded with a double velocity crystal, doubling the CPU’s clock frequency from 8MHz to 16MHz, and a 2MB RAM progress board, elevating the complete amount of RAM inside the palmtop to 3MB.”

This battery-powered palmtop from the 90s is driving a recent website, due to better than barely ingenuity. (📹: Palmtop Tube)

Even with twice the processor velocity and three instances the RAM, the HP LX family was on no account purported to behave as a web-based server — notably not one for buyers visiting inside the 12 months 2022 from modern browsers. The HP 200LX was first launched in 1994 as a follow-up to 1993’s HP 100LX, which was in flip a successor to 1991’s HP 95LX.

Designed for moveable computing, the pocket-size system runs MS-DOS with a custom-made graphical interface on prime — whereas its PCMCIA progress slot, ready to only settle for a modem, meant it found a home with road-warriors in search of to maintain on-line whereas touring inside the age sooner than smartphones.

Vergauwen’s occasion, though, wouldn’t go wherever. As a substitute, it stays plugged in and serves his website, Palmtop Tube, over a PCMCIA Ethernet card — connecting to a network-attached storage machine over Ethernet for bulk file storage, in a single of some stunning concessions to the traditional palmtop’s comparatively restricted specs, and using a considerably additional modern Raspberry Pi as a reverse proxy for SSL connectivity.

“[The] palmtop server can push out, within the path of HTTPS buyers, on widespread um about 377,000 hits — about 15.23GB per day,” Vergauwen notes. “With a direct connection — HTTP, unencrypted — we’re getting roughly 5 and a half hits a second, about 328 a minute, about 20.000, virtually, per hour, and, yeah, virtually half 1,000,000 a day.”

An in depth video on the creation of the palmtop web server is obtainable on Vergauwen’s YouTube channel, when you may go to the website your self at PalmtopTube.com.



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