Fujitsu's Poqet PC Plus Handheld Computer

a review by

Al Wong

(Note: If you found my review useful, please take my survey.)

April 18, 1999


This is my experience with the Fujitsu Poqet PC Plus (PC Plus) portable computer. In many ways, this 1991 handheld computer was way ahead of its time.

I wrote this review about my PC Plus for several reasons:

  1. To put everything about the PC Plus in one place for reference. There doesn't seem to be a another webpage that concentrates on the PC Plus.
  2. To help other owners of the PC Plus use their machines more productively.
  3. To help potential buyers decide whether they really want one.
  4. To add more content to my website.
  5. Hi Mom!

I was looking for a handheld computer to write notes and access email. Faxing would be nice too. I considered and rejected the Palm III because I really needed a keyboard to type things. I also considered the LG Phenom Express, the NEC MobilePro 770 (where can I actually see and touch one of these mythical machines?) and the HP Jornada 680. But these were Windows CE machines and I wasn't sure if I liked the OS. I also considered the smaller laptops like the Sony VAIO 505TX and the NEC Ready 120LT.

During my travels on the Net I also discovered there were DOS based handhelds still on the market. I first discovered the Atari Portfolio. Further surfing brought me to the Poqet PC.

After using the PC Plus for about a week, these are my experiences below. Perhaps they will be useful to another Poqet owner or potential owner. Please note there are still gaps in my knowledge about the PC Plus and I do make a note of it below. If you know the answers to these gaps, please send me an email message. It would be much appreciated.

A company called California Digital located in Gardena, CA still had some Poqet PCs in stock. Since I live in Los Angeles, this company was within driving distance from me. When I arrived there, all they really had for sale were the Poqet PC Plus models. My story starts there.

The California Digital Experience

My Poqet PC Plus was purchased from California Digital located in Gardena, CA in April 1999. The owner, Terry Reiter, says he bought a number of them (700+) from RJ Reynolds Company and that they were used by the sales force of that company. So all the PC Plus computers that CA Digital has in stock are used.

The PC Plus cost me $109 plus $59 for an original Poqet 2MB SRAM card. The computer package included the PC Plus, power adaptor, power cord, and a xeroxed user's guide. No adaptor for the non-standard serial connector (located on the back of the PC Plus) was included and CA Digital doesn't sell them.

I tried to format the 2MB SRAM card on the PC Plus but the DOS FORMAT wouldn't work on it. It turns out you need to run PQFORMAT to format the SRAM card. Once that happens, the SRAM card looks like a floppy disk to the PC Plus, although a 2MB floppy. And both PCMCIA slots were able to format the SRAM card and write to it. Cool. Also, you may make the SRAM bootable as with a regular floppy disk.

The Poqet PC Plus Computer

I give some specifications for my PC Plus below. These specs are my estimations derived from various sources and are unofficial. I believe this is the first time all of this information has been put together in one place for the PC Plus. The information should be good enough for most purposes. A field with a question mark (?) is a guess. I tried to use a few system configuration snooping software but they all did not work correctly on my PC Plus. The user manual I have does not list all the specs for this machine:

2/6/00 Update - I now have an original Poqet PC Plus User's Guide received from Disks N Data in Cherry Hill, NJ. I highly recommend this company! I have found the owner, Jerry Tessler, to be friendly, helpful and quick in his email and USPS mail. I have updated some of the information below to coincide with the User's Guide. It turns out my previous information was on the mark or was very close in most cases.

Computer Fujitsu Poqet PC Plus
Part Number PQ-0201
Poqet Classic is PQ-0164
Poqet Prime is PQ-0181
FCC ID HV6-0201
Speed adjustable at 16Mhz, 8Mhz, 4Mhz, or 2Mhz.
PC-XT compatible.
RAM 2MB standard. This is typically shared as:
640KB conventional RAM
64KB shadow RAM
1.3MB RAM Disk
Drive C: = 1MB Masked ROM
Drive D: = 1MB Flash ROM
Drive E: = 1.3MB RAM Disk
BIOS BIOS is Flash ROM, 128KB
Display LCD, 80 characters X 25 lines,
640 X 200 pixels,
7.25" diagonal screen,
one status line,
CGA/MDA switchable,
PCMCIA Two slots (A: and B: drives). Accepts Type I or Type II PCMCIA cards. Typically these are SRAM cards with battery backup, SanDisk Flash memory cards or modem cards.

SanDisk Flash cards of greater than 32MB capacity (including the newer SanDisk Compact Flash cards) may be used on the PC Plus. I have successfully formatted a 40MB SanDisk Compact Flash card and a 110MB SanDisk Flash card on my PC Plus.

I have discovered only a few variations of the Megahertz XJ1144 modem and the AT&T Paradyne "KeepInTouch" modem will work on the PC Plus.

The User's Guide mentions a LAN card will also work but does not specify which one. If someone figures this out, please tell me!

Operating System MS-DOS 5.0
built-in on Drive C:
Dimensions 5.12" X 9.05" X 1.42"
(130mm X 230mm X 36mm)
Weight 1.83lbs
Battery Rechargeable NiCad
Part# PQ-0502, 2.4V, 1400 mAh
2-8 hour life depending on usage
Recharge time recommended 3.5 hours.

The most I have ever gotten from a rebuilt battery pack is 90 minutes but I keep the display backlight ON all the time.

Bridge battery is a 2 hour NiCad.
Recommended replacements:

NiMH 1.2V 70ma Varta V60R
NiCad 1.2V Vinnicell N65BC
AC Adapter Model# CA01007-0151
Input 100V-240V 0.45A-0.25A 50/60Hz
Output 15V 1.33A
Other Software Included A few drivers for memory management and PCMCIA cards. Also has some other unidentified executables.
Ports Two serial ports.
  1. TTL serial port from a 10 pin miniature non-standard connector.
  2. RS-232C serial port from a 26 pin miniature non-standard connector. Dial-up speed from this port should be set at 9600 baud maximum.
I also have the mapping of both pin layouts to an RS-232 connector.
External Battery Charger Model# PQ-0528
Rating 15V 19W

Can charge two battery packs at once. Features deep discharge and rapid charge functions.

The PC Plus computer itself was in fair shape considering it was used. There are some scratches on the outer casing and some dirt on the screen and keyboard but nothing a damp cloth and some soap couldn't clean.

I also noticed that the PC Plus had four plastic/metal legs that elevated the PC Plus about 1/4 inch and caused it to tip over slightly when the screen was opened wide. I also noticed that the PC Plus had a plastic housing in the back with a standard serial port connector and another flat connector with about 5-6 leads. This plastic housing was not part of the original casing. Terry stated that these machines had been used in some proprietary system for RJ Reynolds and suspected that these connectors were probably soldered on the PC Plus. He never took one apart though so he didn't know for sure.

Terry also kindly brought out a couple Poqet PC Classics (Classic) for me to look at. It turns out the few Classics he still had in stock had a problem with the screen. The status bar on the bottom line wasn't working. I'm glad I didn't buy these Classics because later research in the Poqet mailing list archives revealed that this is a symptom of a failing LCD screen.

Still, this gave me an opportunity of seeing the Classic and PC Plus side by side for a straight comparison. On looks alone, the Classic is a slicker machine. This is because of the higher contrasting colors of the outer case and keyboard and because the Classic is smaller than the PC Plus. Also, the Classic is lighter than the PC Plus.

So much for comparing looks. Functionally, the PC Plus comes out on top. The PC Plus has a non-reflective, backlight screen. The PC Plus accepts PCMCIA Type II cards. The PC Plus has more memory (640K as opposed to 512K on the Classic). The PC Plus uses a newer version of MS-DOS (Version 5.0 as opposed to version 3.3. I believe MS-DOS 4.0 and later versions can recognize hard disk partitions of greater than 32MB). And of course, the PC Plus doesn't have the screen cable breaking problem.

2/6/00 Update - I have created a table summarizing the differences between the Poqet PC Plus and Poqet Classic below.

Issue Poqet PC Plus Poqet Classic
Max CPU Speed 16Mhz 8Mhz
Conventional RAM 640KB 512KB
Display LCD, non-reflective
LCD, reflective
no backlight
Operating System MS-DOS 5.0
Supports 32MB or greater partitions
MS-DOS 3.3
Supports 32MB or less partitions
PCMCIA Accepts Type I and Type II Accepts Type I only
Battery Life Rechargeable NiCad pack
2-8 hours max.
2 AA batteries
Runs more than 20 hours.
Known Problems Little documentation.
Accessories like serial cable hard to find.
Display hinge may crack on leftside.
Display cable will crack/break over time.
Display hinge may crack.


Looking through the PC Plus user manual and comparing what the manual says to what my PC Plus actually does, I found some discrepancies:

  1. No E: drive?! The user manual mentions a 2MB E: drive but there is no E: drive on my PC Plus. Terry of CA Digital says these PC Plus machines were bought from RJ Reynolds and were customized for that company. Perhaps the E: drives were takened out. If anyone knows more about the missing E: drive, please let me know.

    4/22/99 Update - Someone emailed a message to me that you need to setup the E: drive as a RAM drive. In your CONFIG.SYS file, have a line that reads:


    Make sure the drive and pathname to your RAM drive device driver is correct on your PC Plus. On mine, it happens to be in the root directory of the D: drive. This will create a 1.3MB RAM drive for the E: drive.

    12/15/99 Update - You may squeeze a little more memory into the RAM drive (which becomes the E: drive). In your CONFIG.SYS file, have a line that reads:


    This is because:

    2048K - 640K (conventional memory) - 64K (shadow RAM) = 1344K.

    Make sure the drive and pathname to your RAM drive device driver is correct on your PC Plus. On mine, it happens to be in the root directory of the D: drive. This will create up to a 1,344K RAM drive for the E: drive depending on your other CONFIG.SYS memory allocations (i.e. FILES, BUFFERS, STACKS). With my configuration, I ended up with a 1,333K RAM drive!

  2. Fn-? doesn't work. Pushing the function key, Fn, and F1 (? key) is supposed to display the system configuration but it does not work. Nothing happens.

  3. PQLink? My PC Plus did not come with the communication program PQLink or PQTools for that matter.

What I Did to Make My PC Plus More Useful

  1. The first thing I did was clean it! The machine was pretty dusty. This took a few minutes.

  2. Then I took those goofy plastic/metal legs off of it. It turns out the legs screw right off. It took a pair of pliers to do it though. Then I put on tiny rubber legs instead. No more tipping.

  3. Then I decided to take off the extra plastic housing in the back. You need a small hex wrench for this. It turns out that the serial and flat connectors are on a small PC card. The whole thing can be removed with no harm to the PC Plus! There is no solder connection directly to the PC Plus. The small PC card looks like a serial adaptor for the PC Plus but, as I write below, it barely works. So now I'm looking for the proper serial adaptor for the PC Plus. There is a mapping of the pin layout available too.

  4. Next I wanted to transfer some DOS programs to the PC Plus. I first tried Laplink but the software worked unreliably with the small PC card. Much time was wasted on this. It seems Laplink was testing for more signals than the IN, OUT and GND. The small PC card evidently didn't have all the lines connected.

    However, I was able to connect directly to the PC Plus from another laptop using Procomm and doing the CTTY COM1 trick on the PC Plus side. I was able to send DOS commands to the PC Plus but couldn't send over binary files. There's probably a way to do it using DEBUG, (ie Sending over a hex file in Ascii text and have DEBUG reassemble it), but my DOS power users manual is in storage somewhere and I haven't used DEBUG in years. If anyone knows how to do this, please send me email. I think this method would work in a pinch.

    Anyway, since I bought the 2MB SRAM card, I thought I'd try to copy some DOS programs to it from my laptop computer with PCMCIA slots. The problem was I never used the PCMCIA slots before (call me old fashioned). The PCMCIA wizard in Windows 3.1 wouldn't recognize the SRAM card! After much trial and error which included searching for the PCMCIA user manuals and reading them, it turns out my laptop was not configured correctly for PCMCIA when I bought it back in 1996. All that was needed was to reinstall the PCMCIA drivers (again, more searching for the PCMCIA floppies). After this, the PCMCIA wizard recognized the SRAM card but wanted to copy a few extra files to it. The downside of this is that about 10-12 PCMCIA drivers get loaded in the first 640K of memory leaving you with little left.

    So I was able to transfer files onto the SRAM card from my laptop but first, the SRAM card was formatted on the PC Plus and a few files were added to the card by the PCMCIA wizard to make it recognizable on my laptop.

    I copied a few communication programs including an old but reliable shareware program called XPORT which was also released in 1989(!) Using XPORT, I was able to transfer files using the serial port and the small PC card. XPORT only needs IN, OUT and GND signals to work! This made me very happy.

    4/22/99 Update - I tried dialing out using the RS-232C serial port (COM1:), the small PC card and Procomm. I found the fastest speed that this port properly operates is at 9600 baud. I was able to dialup into Unix which is sufficient for email. I still need a proper (more robust) serial adaptor though.

  5. Install a larger capacity memory card on it. 2MB on the SRAM card isn't a whole lot. After doing more research in the Poqet mailing list archive, I discover that SanDisk (SunDisk) Flash RAM cards could be used for the PC Plus. However, I could not find anyone who had actually done this. Also, it wasn't clear what the maximum capacity could be used (Terry from CA Digital said 20MB was maximum but he was quoting from the Fujitsu user manual). I know for a fact that MS-DOS 5.0 does recognize hard disks of greater than 32MB capacity.

    It turns out the standard sized SanDisk PCMCIA cards are hard to find(!) and I live in the Los Angeles area!

    I went to Sandisk's web page and looked up their resellers. I called up their local stores and it seemed everyone had the SanDisk PCMCIA cards on order but no one had them in stock! Now I know (at least partly) why Poqet owners never tried using a Sandisk card. Where are they?! Sandisk, are you listening?

    A few stores, like Staples, Office Depot and CompUSA, had the newer Compact Flash cards but didn't have the standard PCMCIA card adaptor for it. Argh! I finally found the PCMCIA adaptor at Frys Electronics! When I went to these stores, I brought my PC Plus with me to make sure the Flash cards would work on it before I bought it. Everywhere I went, people admired the PC Plus and wanted one. Fujitsu, are you listening?

    Anyway, after I got the PCMCIA adaptor (made by SanDisk, by the way) I went over to Office Depot and wanted to test a SanDisk 15MB Compact Flash card on my PC Plus. They allowed me to do this without a problem opening a new box for me.

    I inserted the 15MB Compact Flash card into the PCMCIA adaptor and put the whole thing into the B: PCMCIA slot of my PC Plus. Next, I typed FORMAT B: expecting the card to format nicely. Instead, I get an error message, disk not ready. Huh??? What do you mean it's not ready? I also try PQFORMAT B: but that didn't work either.

    Now I'm thinking perhaps the Compact Flash is different than the standard Flash card. But I decide to give myself a few more minutes to play with it.

    Fortunately, the sales guy at Office Depot was engaged with another customer so I have time. I was looking around the C: and D: drives for programs that could also format a drive in the remotest sense. What followed was a bit of luck and detective work of piecing together how to format a SanDisk. The funny thing is this all occurred in about a minute.

    I found a executable on the D: drive called PQCARD.EXE and tried running it. The program opened with PCMCIA Card Driver V1.18 but errored out saying the card configuration utility wasn't loaded. Well, this was more PC-ish. I had thought since the PC Plus formatted the SRAM card automatically that no drivers needed to be manually installed. Could it be...

    Next I found a file called PQCCU.EXE. This looked like it could be the card configuration utility wanted by PQCARD. Running this program displayed card configuration utility (Aha!) but also displayed No socket services.

    Hmmm. There is a file called PQSS.EXE. I bet this is the socket service wanted by PQCCU. Sure enough, it was! So the proper sequence of runniing the executables is:

    PQSS.EXE    ! PCMCIA Socket Services
    PQCCU.EXE   ! PCMCIA PP+/PC+ Card Configuration Utility
    PQCARD.EXE  ! PP+/PC+ PCMCIA Card Driver V1.18
    4/22/99 Update - After poking around some more on the C: drive, I discovered there was a CONFIG.SYS file which had these executables installed as devices (DEVICE=...). But it also works in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. So either way.

    12/23/99 Update - I have received a fax from Fujitsu's technical support regarding installing modem cards in the PC Plus. In this fax, they give an example on how to install the PCMCIA drivers in the CONFIG.SYS file. They also clearly recommend using the CONFIG.SYS file rather than the AUTOEXEC.BAT file.

    Once I had these drivers installed, doing FORMAT B: worked beautifully on the SanDisk 15MB card! Excellent! I then proceeded to see if I could format a drive larger than 20MB (or 32MB for that matter!) Office Depot had a 40MB Compact Flash card (The maximum capacity for the Sandisk Compact Flash card is 48MB but Office Depot didn't have any in stock). And they were nice enough to open a new SanDisk 40MB box for me. Doing a FORMAT on the 40MB card worked too! I am now the proud owner of a 40MB SanDisk Compact Flash card!

    5/12/99 Update - I have successfully formatted a regular 110MB SanDisk Flash card too! It works great!

    After using it for a while, I notice the SanDisk runs hot. It's the only part on my PC Plus that generates appreciable heat.

    Curiously, my PC Plus is now a more powerful machine than my Sharp PC-6200! The PC-6200 is an LCD laptop, 286-12Mhz, 1MB RAM, 20MB HD, and also with no floppy disk drive! This machine weighs about 10lbs. The PC-6200 was released in 1988 with a price tag of $2,500!

    The PC Plus was first released in 1991 so it is of similar vintage. The PC Plus is an LCD handheld PC with a NEC V30(?) 16Mhz CPU, 640K RAM and no floppy disk drive. And the PC Plus weighs about 9lbs less too! My PC Plus now has 40MB Flash RAM card and 2MB SRAM card.

    Afterwards, I was able to download all my favorite DOS programs including XTreeGold 2.0, WordStar 4.0, WordPerfect 5.1 and my trusty Turbo C 2.0. Also, I discovered Rogue works on the PC Plus. If you've never played Rogue, I highly recommend you try it. Rogue is an exciting thinking man's game and is very addicting once you get the hang of it.

    Curiously, I expected the SanDisk card to perform very fast as there are no moving parts and it's just RAM. I've found that there are noticeable pauses when the SanDisk is accessing files. The SanDisk works faster than the hard disk on my laptop but not fantastically so. I am not really complaining but this is something to note.

    Another piece of trivial. The 40MB SanDisk actually cost a little more than my PC Plus and 2MB SRAM card combined! So I have already doubled my investment in the PC Plus. Who said memory was cheap?

  6. I also got a covering case for my PC Plus. The Case Logic ZD Portable Drive Case, Model PDC1, for the Iomega ZIP drive works great! The PC Plus fits snugly in the main pouch and there are two zippered compartments for the power adaptor and power cord! It looks like the case was made just for the PC Plus with good foam protection. All very convenient. Cost was $20.

    8/15/00 Update - I found another case compatible with the PC Plus. The Case Logic CD Player Case, Model DM2, for CD players works great too. This case is slightly bigger than the ZIP drive case and has two extra mesh pockets! It also has good foam protection. Cost was $20.

  7. I am trying to find the serial adaptor of my PC Plus. This search continues. The problem is the serial connectors on the back of the PC Plus are non-standard in size even though they are RS-232C compatible. They are much smaller than the standard sized connectors. I will probably end up making this adaptor if I could find a description of the pin layout and if I could find the non-standard connector.

Things That Bug Me About the PC Plus

  1. The arrow keys are not in the intuitive inverted T formation.

  2. Slow keyboard repeat. I have a little program called speedkb which accesses interrupt 16h, AX=0305 to speed up the delay and repeat response. This program doesn't seem to work on the PC Plus This makes it a real pain trying to scroll.

    4/22/99 Update - I looked through the on-line tech manual on Bryan Mason's website and discovered I could speed up the delay and repeat times via special interrupt 66h. I wrote a little program to do this. (Make the keyboard go the fastest possible. Written in Turbo C and compiled on the PC Plus!). There is a very noticeable speed improvement.

    I also note if you do a HELP MODE in the DOS command line, there is a description to change the repeat and delay using the MODE CON: command but this syntax does not work! If anyone knows the exact syntax of this command, please let me know. Make sure you get this MODE command working on your Poqet PC Plus BEFORE sending me email! I am getting a lot of erroneous advice from people who have not even tried it.

    On a related note, I also wrote a little program to toggle the key click but didn't notice any difference when the key clicks were ON or OFF. Perhaps Bryan can enlighten me. I know the PC Plus speaker is working.

  3. In fact, I've found the keyboard response is so slow that I can sometimes type faster than it can keep up with me. I find I'm losing characters I know I typed especially in the small words like and, to, but, etc. At first I thought it was me getting used to the smaller keyboard but now, I'm sure there is some keyboard lag.

  4. The screen is a little hard to read. Perhaps I should download one of those display larger font software.

  5. Boot order of drives is not being followed. You may setup a bootup order of the drives in the PC Plus configuration menu. For example, I want the machine to attempt bootup from the A: drive first. If it can't bootup from A:, then attempt bootup from the B: drive. If it can't bootup from B:, then bootup from the C: drive.

    This doesn't appear to be working. When I remove my SRAM card from the A: slot and do a reset, instead of looking at the B: drive, the PC Plus immediately boots from the C: drive.

  6. This is a personal idiosyncrasy. I would rather have the function key, Fn, on the bottom left corner of the keyboard (where the Alt key is now) rather than next to the space bar.

  7. This is another personal idiosyncracy. The Ctrl key should be switched with the Shift and Caps Lock keys. I find it's more natural to shift where the Ctrl key is located.

  8. 4/22/99 Update - This is not a problem with the PC Plus, per se. It seems the rechargeable NiCad battery that came with my PC Plus will not hold a charge for more than 15 minutes. Since this is a used machine, I understand the battery is probably not fresh. I called CA Digital and talked to Terry, the owner. He immediately sent me another battery. This battery turned out to be broken also. I called CA Digital again. Terry said he will send out yet another battery today. I must say I've found Terry of CA Digital very cooperative in this situation.

Nagging Questions for the PC Plus

  1. Where can I buy the serial adaptor for the PC Plus? CA Digital doesn't carry them.

    12/23/99 Update - Fujitsu's Technical Support says they do not carry any cables or other user manuals for the PC Plus.

    04/29/01 Update - If you get one of the PCMCIA modems that are known to work with the PC Plus, this problem is moot. Just use the modem to download/upload files.

  2. If the serial adaptor cannot be found, what is the pin layout in the custom serial connector on the back of the PC Plus? Where can I buy the custom serial connector?

    4/23/99 Update - I have heard back from Fujitsu's Technical Support and was provided the pin layout of the back connectors! I still need to find a source for the custom serial connectors though.

    04/29/01 Update - Again, if you get one of the PCMCIA modems that are known to work with the PC Plus, this problem is moot. Just use the modem to download/upload files.

  3. Has anyone tried using a PCMCIA modem with their PC Plus? Which brands work with the machine and which do not? What does a PCMCIA modem look like to the communication software? How does one dial from the PCMCIA A: drive? Or is this transparent to the user (ie the A: drive automagically becomes COM1:) ?

    6/15/99 Update - In steps:
    1. Bryan Mason replied the only PCMCIA modems that will work with the PC Plus are:

      • Megahertz 14.4K faxmodem with XJack (model XJ1144)
      • AT&T Paradyne "KeepInTouch" card
      • PNB "Samantha" card

      I have seen only the Megahertz modem card still for sale on the Net. Since the first card runs at 14.4K baud, I assume the other ones do too.

      My Megahertz modem card is still on order but I assume it needs to be inserted before rebooting in the next step.

    2. To activate the PCMCIA modem, you need the following lines in the CONFIG.SYS file:


      So you at least need the socket services and card configuration utility drivers installed. The /C1 is to set the modem up in COM1:. If you want the modem in COM2: (why?) then replace /C1 with /C2.

    3. On the command line, type "PQSETUP /R=DD". This will disable the internal serial ports. This switch should work in PQSETUP version 3.02.

    4. Now running any communication software should automagically recognize the modem card. My Megahertz modem is still on order so I cannot test this yet.

    8/25/99 Update - I have both the Megahertz 14.4 XJ1144 and the AT&T Paradyne "Express" modem PCMCIA cards and cannot get either card to work on the PC Plus by following the above instructions and variations! When I run the communication software, Procomm Plus, it tries to initialize the modem but then everything freezes. At this point, the only way to gain control is to reboot the machine. Needless to say, this is very frustrating.

    I can only conclude that the PCMCIA slots on the PC Plus are not recognizing the modem cards because these modem cards work perfectly in other laptops. Perhaps there are drivers that are missing? If another person has successfully used either modem card on the PC Plus, I would like to hear about it!

    12/19/99 Update - I have received a fax from Fujitsu's technical support regarding installing modem cards in the PC Plus. In this fax, they clearly state that the AT&T Paradyne KeepInTouch modem will work with the PC Plus.

    2/17/00 Update - I have discovered that there are at least five different variations of the Megahertz XJ1144 PCMCIA modem with XJack. Only three of these variations are known to work on the PC Plus. Fortunately, the differences are plainly visible in the outside packaging of the modems themselves or determined by a few Hayes modem ATI commands.

    If you setup the PCMCIA drivers correctly as described in the fax from Fujitsu's technical support, the Megahertz XJ1144 modem will automagically look like COM1: to your communication software and is transparent to the user.

    2/6/00 Update - I have discovered that there are also different variations of the AT&T Paradyne KeepInTouch PCMCIA modem! It seems they all work with the PC Plus but you must upgrade the firmware on the modem first!


    The Poqet PC Plus is small, convenient, and weighs a little more than a pound. It has a comfortable keyboard and the display is reasonable to read especially with the backlighting. You have to like MS-DOS though (I do). There are hundreds of DOS programs available that will run on the PC Plus. If you want something small to type with, I think the Poqet compares favorably with the handheld PCs now available.

    The negative aspect is there is no built-in modem. You'll have to get an external one if you want to email or fax. Also, the serial adaptor may be next to impossible to find. I may end up making one myself.

    2/3/00 Update - You do not need an external modem as a PCMCIA modem will work. It has been determined a few variations of the Megahertz XJ1144 modem with XJack and the AT&T Paradyne "KeepInTouch" modem will work with the PC Plus. See above.

    I only wish there was a PC Plus model that was 386 based as I need to run a few programs that require a 386 CPU. I am now considering getting a Prolinear PS-3000 handheld because of this. It seems to be similar in size to the PC Plus with comparable keyboard and screen.

    An interesting thing to point out about the PC Plus is that it is Y2K compliant. Not bad for a machine first released in 1991.

    By the way, some of this review (70%) was typed on my PC Plus. I am thinking of putting up some pictures of my PC Plus so check back again soon.

    Related Links

    Below are websites mentioned in this review or complement the information given here. There are other websites in Japanese and in German but I don't know enough of these languages to judge their content.

    • Comparing Fujitsu Poqet PC Plus Computers I have discovered there are even variations of the PC Plus. Some run significantly faster than others! It seems the newer machines were improved. What is the serial number on your PC Plus?

    • Megahertz XJ1144 PCMCIA modems with XJack that will work with the PC Plus. It turns out there are several different variations of the Megahertz XJ1144 modems with XJack and only a few of these variations will work with the PC Plus.

    • AT&T Paradyne KeepInTouch PCMCIA modems that will work with the PC Plus. It turns out there are at least three different variations of the AT&T Paradyne KeepInTouch modem and all of them will work with the PC Plus but you must upgrade the firmware on the modem first!

    • Fax from Fujitsu Technical Support regarding installing PCMCIA modem cards in the PC Plus. In this fax, they clearly state that the AT&T Paradyne KeepInTouch modem will work with the PC Plus.

    • Pin Layout of the Connectors for the Fujitsu Poqet PC Plus contains the pin layout of both non-standard connectors on the back of the PC Plus.

    • Poqet PC...QRPer's Field Computing Dream I am not sure what QRP means, but this is one of the few websites for the PC Plus that recently sprang into existence. It leans toward ham radio operators(!) but also contains some information of interest to all PC Plus owners. George Heron linked to my website here but did not tell me. This is my reciprocal link back to his website!

    • Bryan Mason's Poqet PC Page contains all sorts of information on the Poqet but mostly concentrates on the Poqet Classic model rather than on the Poqet Prime and PC Plus models. There is an FAQ, a mailing list, an on-line technical manual and other resources. Definitely worth a look.

    • Rogue was here before video games existed. It's amazing how addictive the game is even today. An MS-DOS version of Rogue may be downloaded from this website. A blast from the past for those who worked on DEC Vaxen with Unix and VMS. (This website appears to be down now.)

    • Star Trek Before Pong, before Rogue, there was Star Trek! This is the classic Star Trek game played in the 1970s on TTYs of mainframe and mini computers everywhere. A real blast from the past! The ZIP file contains the executable that will run on PC-XT compatible computers (i.e. PC Plus). You again can battle the Klingons, Romulans and figure out the Tholians! (I had a link here to an executable but my new ISP does not support anonymous FTP. Sorry.)

      I originally found this game at Tom Almy's Classic Super Star Trek website but the executable would only run on 386 or higher machines. Fortunately, Tom generously provided the source code for this game. I recompiled the code using Turbo C 2.0 and it now runs great on the PC Plus!

    • XPORT works very well to transfer files to the PC Plus via the serial port. XPORT uses IN, OUT and GND signals only. You will need to use the small PC card and a null modem cable though.

    • Palmtop Reviews is a text file containing reviews of five different palmtop computers including the Poqet PC.

    • Computer Archeology - The Poqet PC contains a review of the Poqet Classic but includes a picture of the Poqet PC Plus!

    • Andy Key's Seal of Approval - PoqetPC contains a review of the Poqet Classic. As you can probably tell from the title, the review is favorable.

    • Obsolete Computer Museum contains a brief description and several pictures of the Poqet Classic.

    • Older Poqet PC FAQ dated May 18, 1994. May have some historical value.

    • Disks N Data, (800) 833-6893, This Cherry Hill, NJ business does not have a webpage for their computer hardware yet but I wanted to mention them here. I have found Jerry Tessler, the owner, to be very friendly, helpful and quick to reply to email. I have received outstanding value and service from him when I bought a backup PC Plus. Their PC Plus inventory came from an insurance company although Jerry does not know which one.

    • California Digital All their PC Pluses are used machines that were acquired from RJ Reynolds. They had about 700 in stock when I was there. I bought my PC Plus from them. I know others have been left cold over the phone by them but I've found the owner, Terry Reiter, very friendly once he gets to know you. They also have a few brand new Poqet Classics left but the status bar on the display isn't working on them.

    • Keyways, Inc. has a few brand new Poqet Prime machines for sale. I found the owner, Mitch Miller, very personable.

    • SanDisk sells Flash memory cards that will work on the PC Plus. Their Compact Flash memory cards will work too but you need to get a PCMCIA card adaptor to use them. I managed to format a 15MB and a 40MB Sandisk Compact Flash cards and a 110MB Sandisk PCMCIA Flash card on my PC Plus.

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Last updated : March 12, 2003
Copyright 1999-2003 Al Wong, Los Angeles, California, USA