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HOPE! Development Environment

Mobile Computing System's ports Visual Basic applications to PDAs.

From Pen Computing #7 December 1995

One of the most difficult decisions facing developers is choosing a software environment for a field automation project. Microsoft Windows is an obvious choice due to its popularity and industry support, but it requires a substantial investment in hardware resources to operate acceptably. Developers also face a narrower field of device choices if they need a true handheld form factor running Windows.

To address this problem, Mobile Computing Solutions has created HOPE!(High-performance Open Portable Environment), a new environment for porting applications developed in Visual Basic to a PDA that does not run Windows. By emulating the Windows interface, these ported applications can run essentially unmodified on machines that could never support the hardware-hungry Windows environment.

HOPE! supports most of the standard Visual Basic controls such as forms, buttons, check boxes, text boxes, option boxes, labels, lists, combo lists, and scroll bars. All the Basic file functions are supported to manage data files in an application. Software developers can use in-line code or third-party libraries with HOPE!, adding more flexibility. Windows for Pen Computing is not required to design and test pen-based applications on the development PC.

The initial release of HOPE! supports the Casio Z-7000 PDA and the soon to be released new Casio PA100. The company promises to also support handheld and pen computers from Symbol Technologies, Hewlett-Packard, and Fujitsu Personal Systems.

HOPE! applications coexist comfortably with the Casio Z-7000's GEOS environment. The environment is, in fact, endorsed by GeoWorks as a strong adjunct to their OS for creating cost-effective vertical solutions. HOPE! Professional Utilities is available for US$459. A limited version called HOPE! Lite is available for US$26.

Mobile Computing Systems
Phone: 415-696-1298
E-mail: 102013,

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