The Husky Hawk has inherited the very solid case of the Hunter. The screen was well protected with a thick layer of plastic and all the ports had protective coverings. However, it was not designed to take the rough treatment that the Husky could endure. For example, it could not being used in the rain.
The chicklet keyboard featured a numeric and arrow key keypad. However, Husky could produce 'cut down' versions dedicated to particular applications.
Several peripheral could be connected to the Hawk.
The Sidebox was designed to be used on the move and was powered by Hawk's internal batteries. It was firmly locked to the Bus expansion and accepted a portable 1200 baud modem, an analogue to digital converter, RAM and ROM disk expansions and a Parallel interface.
The 'Homebase' expansion required a mains supply and automatically connected the Hawk to a 2400 baud modem and charger whenever it was placed on it.
A 3.5" disc drive unit called Oracle (made in Japan by Brother) and a bar-code reader also could be connected to the mini-DIN serial port.
The DEMOS operating system (for Disk EMulation Operating System) was a very compatible extended version of CP/M 2.2. All standard CP/M software - WordStar, CalcStar, Mbasic... - ran without problems. To overcome standard CP/M 80 column screen output, Husky used a 40 X 8 virtual window on a full size 80 x 25 screen.
For custom application writers, Husky also provided a special version of Locomotive BASIC, a superset of Microsoft BASIC, also well known of Amstrad users. This version took advantage of the special facilities of the Hawk: graphics handling, both serial and infra-red ports, bar-code reader and file management using physical or virtual RAM and ROM disks.
I was part of the original team who built the Husky Hawk! I remember there were about 8 of us in the whole dept. who built and tested these lovely machines. Wow I really loved that machine - at the time it was soooo far ahead of any other handheld computer.
Monday 17th September 2007
To GPSLVR and anyone else interested. I''ve just managed to bring my own Hawk back to life which had got itself into what sounds like a similar state to yours. In my case I had to rebuild the battery pack since the original cells were in a terrible state. One had a hole in the side and there were crystals of dried electrolyte all over the inside of the pack and a few in the body of the Hawk. I remade the pack with four AA NiMH cells, which are the same length as the originals but narrower, I used the temp sensor / cutout thing (not sure exactly what it is) from the original pack, it was slightly corroded by otherwise intact. The resulting pack is somewhat messy compared to the original but does seem to work. Weirdly the secret to getting the Hawk to wake up was in the sequence the various bits were connected up. It was the opposite of what I would have expected. It only seemed to wake up if I connected the battery pack before I connected the ribbon cable to the memory expansion board fitted in the back cover. Really weird. It also made it very difficult to assemble. The charging power connector which has really short leads was very hard to plug in just behind the, already connected, battery pack connector. You know it''s up and running if the red LED comes on when you connect the charger. If you''ve never unplugged the memory expansion cable before make sure you note exactly where it goes because confusingly it has 4 less pins than there are holes in the socket so you can plug it in wrongly very easily. The two pin connectors that bring in the charging power and connect the little speaker are also booby trapped in that there are more pins on the board and you have to note exactly which pins they go on (and the polarity in the case of the charging power one).
I used to write software for Husky Hawks in Finland. We had a system wich was developed for a Finnish Tobacco company for sales-reps to collect orders from their customers and report the sales into our system. ( A.C. Nielsen Finland Oy - haven''t been working there since -93/94 :) )
The system did not eventully end up in full production mainly due to bad modem connections back those days :)
Programming language was C and the compiler was from Australia, Hi-Tech or something like that. Wrote all screen handling routines using ESCAPE codes which were really well documented in the manuals that came with the machine.
Golden era of computing! Try writing a fully functional application now, with 56Kb of ram and some odd Kb''s for data $)
Tuesday 25th September 2012
Markku Helli (Finland)
Husky Computers Limited
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
68 key with numeric/arrows keypad
HD64B180 CMOS enhanced version of the Z80
352 KB Battery backed
96 KB + 32 KB space for user applications
40 chars. x 8 lines backlight LCD screen
240 x 64 dots
Beeper (4 octaves)
SIZE / WEIGHT
21.6 (W) x 15.25 (D) x 2 (H) cm / 0.8 Kg
2xSerial ports (1xDB25, 1xMini-DIN), 37 pin bus extension, Infra-red transmitter
BUILT IN MEDIA
Battery backet RAM disk
DEMOS - CP/M 2.2 compatible
Nickel-cadmium battery - 35 hours autonomy
Modem, A/D converter, RAM/ROM extensions, bar-code reader, floppy disc unit