(instructions last updated 5 September 1998; link to updated instructions added 26 September 1999; updated link to Aaron Bloom's's instructions added 26 March 2001)
This page describes the procedure for synchronizing an HPC (I have used it with both
a Cassiopeia Windows CE machine and a Philips Velo 1) with a Power Macintosh running
Virtual PC. This procedure has also been used to connect a Compaq C120 HPC to a
Performa 6360 running Softwindows version 3.0 (thanks to Michael Babineau for
his input). If you are using a PPC (a palm-sized CE machine such as a Cassiopeia E-100/105)
you may want to check out
Aaron Bloom's Cassiopeia web page, which is a version of this page tailored for the new palm-sized devices. Thanks,
Connectix (Virtual PC), Casio (Cassiopeia), and Microsoft (Windows CE) all
told me it couldn't be done, but I just synchronized my HPC (a Casio
Cassiopeia Windows CE machine) with a Power Macintosh running Virtual PC.
(Pardon some redundancy here, but I hope it will help miscellaneous
searches to catch this page.)
Here's how I did it (there may be a simpler way, but I decided I'd better
get something that works out there before I forget -- it took me many hours,
many discussions with friends, and no end of trying miscellaneous cables
and adapters before I came up with this solution).
I think the essential ingredients are:
First, assemble the hardware
- the cabling
- using software flow control
- turning off Appletalk in the Chooser (if this doesn't work, try restarting
the Mac without extensions)
The serial cable that comes with the Cassiopeia has a 16-pin connector on
one end, and a DB9 (female) connector on the other. You will need to add
NOTE: A printer cable doesn't work -- not enough of the pins are connected. And
neither does the adaptor cable that comes with the Palm Pilot Mac Pac (Michael
went back and forth between it and the configuration above several times, and
the adapter always failed). "Yeah, but it's DB9 to mini-DIN 8 -- it should work!".
Go ahead; it's your time to waste.
- A serial com port adapter, DB9 (Male) to DB25 (Female) ($7.99 at Fry's).
- A Hayes Modem cable (NOT a null modem cable), DB25 (Male) to Mini-DIN 8
(Male) ($6.95 at Fry's).
Alternatively, the cable provided with the Casio QV cameras which they supply to enable
connection of their camera cable to a Mac serial port worked fine for Adel Malek, MD, PhD
(thanks, Adel), and can be ordered from Casio. It makes for a very short and
simple adapter (only about 5-6 inches long).
If anyone finds a large-supplier source for a DB9 to Mini-DIN 8
connector that correctly does the same thing as 1 and 2 together, PLEASE
let me know so I can update this page.
Put the cables together, but don't plug in either end of the assembly yet.
Next, set up the HPC
You can now turn off your HPC for a while.
- Close all applications on the HPC.
- For safety, create an alternate connection, rather than changing the
- Touch Start, then Programs. Double-click Communications.
Double-click Remote Networking.
- Double-click Make New Connection. Give it a name, and verify
that Direct Connection is checked. Touch Next.
- Select the device that you want to use: Serial Cable on COM1.
- Touch Configure..., and set the connection preferences to
19200, 8, None, 1, Software. OK.
- Finish. Exit back to the desktop.
- Use your new connection.
- Touch Start, then Settings. If the Control Panel does not open (WinCE 2.0),
touch Control Panel to open it. Double-click the Communications icon. The
Communications Properties window will appear.
- Touch the PC Connection tab. Verify that "Allow connection
with desktop computer when HPC is attached." is checked.
- In the Connect using: box, Touch the Change... button. Select
the name of the connection you just created. OK. OK.
Next, set up Virtual PC on the Mac
Next, set up Mobile Devices (HPC Explorer under Windows CE 1.0)
- Disable AppleTalk to free your printer port.
- Start Virtual PC. If it complains that the printer port is in use, quit and restart the
Mac, holding down the Shift key so that extensions are disabled (you can go back
sometime to find out which extension uses the port, but let's get things working first).
- Choose which VPC ports to use.
- Bring up the Macintosh menu bar using Cmd-M if it's not already
- Choose Edit->Preferences from the menu.
- Choose COM1 Port, check the Mac Serial Port radio button, and
set its field's value to Printer Port.
- Choose Ethernet, and set its value to Disable Ethernet Controller.
- Press OK or Restart, whichever is currently displayed.
- Set System port information.
- Touch Start, then Settings, then Control Panel.
- Double-click System. Touch the Device Manager tab.
- Double-click Ports (COM & LPT). Double-click Communications
- Touch the Port Settings tab. Set the values of the fields to
19200, 8, None, 1, Xon/Xoff.
- Touch the Advanced... button. Turn off Use FIFO buffers
(requires 16550 compatible UART). OK. OK.
- Double-click Modem. Double-click Serial cable on COM1.
- Touch the Modem tab. Set the Comm Port to Communications Port
(COM1), and the Maximum Speed to 19200.
- Touch the Connection tab. Set the Connection Preferences to
8, None, 1.
- Touch the Port Settings button. Turn off Use FIFO buffers
(requires 16550 compatible UART). OK.
- Touch the Advanced... button. Turn on Use flow control, and
select Software (XON/XOFF). OK. OK. OK.
(Note for SoftWindows users only: under SoftWindows there is a
Settings pulldown menu where you can configure which Mac port maps
to which PC port (i.e., Printer Port to COM1, etc. There is an option to turn on
Flow Control. Michael left this off for the port connecting to the HPC, and
reports that the linking using this configuration seems very reliable.)
Finally, put it all together
- Launch Mobile Devices. The message "Starting communications..." should
appear, followed by "Waiting for a mobile device to connect..." ("Waiting to connect to
HPC..." under 1.0). If not, one of
the previous steps has been performed wrong or missed -- quit and
go back and check your work.
- Choose Mobile Devices' COM port.
- From the Mobile Devices menu, select File->Communications....
- For the Port, choose Serial cable on COM1. OK.
You're off and running!
- Close Mobile Devices and Shut Down Virtual PC (if you're really paranoid,
you can also reboot the Mac if you did before (again with extensions off) ).
- Start Virtual PC.
- Launch Mobile Devices. You should see the same messages as before.
- Turn on the HPC.
- Plug the mini-DIN 8 into the printer port.
- Plug the 16-pin serial connector into the HPC.
- A window should immediately appear on the HPC stating that
communication is happening.
- Shortly thereafter, the windows described in the "Establishing
a partnership" section of the HPC User's Guide should appear.
If it doesn't work, try disconnecting the cables, resetting the HPC,
and reconnecting, and following other troubleshooting instructions
in the manuals. The Help menu on Mobile Devices can also be useful.
If you restarted with extensions off, you'll need to close Mobile Devices and
shut down Virtual PC (using the Start menu) and restart your Mac
with the extensions on to do much other useful work.
If you find ways to simplify these instructions, please send email to
me at email@example.com. Please don't send any instructions that you
haven't tried more than once and confirmed to work.
If you find mistakes in these instructions, or if they don't work for
you, please send email to me as well. I may have miscommunicated
something or left out a step. Please be sure you've followed the
instructions from the beginning, and if it doesn't work, let me know
exactly what error message you get, from which program, and exactly
where in the process it appears. Thanks much!
Kennita's Home Page
This page last updated 4/26/2001