More Pictures

Running the Home time function


Profile view

Graphic and text display close-up

IC Card slot

Inside. Main-display card (top), Keyboard card (bottom)

Components-display side of the main card. Most of the components come from Nec (main processor and memory chips), or Toshiba (LCD driver)

The English/French box

These two price stickers are sticked onto the box. The orange one sticks up 1354 French Francs (about $260), the blue one, only 7.62 Euros
for the same box! More than 10 years have elapsed between these two stickers

User manual

More Info

Review from

Unlike the other palmtops that offer DOS compatibility, high-powered built-in applications, and communications capability, the $319 Casio SF-9500 Executive B.O.S.S. sticks to the basics. It offers the same basic organizer functions as the first-generation Sharp Wizard. The addition of a program card slot to this new model opens up the apability for third-party applications.

The B.O.S.S. 9500 features 64K of expandable memory, a QWERTY keyboard, and a 32-character x 6-line display that pales in comparison to the larger displays of the other palmtops. The comparable Sharp Wizard OZ-8200 is superior to the Casio B.O.S.S. in nearly every area. It offers twice as much memory, a larger display, and several additional built-in applications. An interview with several SF-9500 users on CompuServe revealed that most would choose the Wizard 8200 over the Casio if given the opportunity to do it over.

The built-in applications include a telephone book, appointment scheduler, memo function, business card feature, calendar, home/world time, and calculator. The telephone book and business card applications are similar: Both provide standard address book fields, including name, address and phone number, and six customizable fields. The business card function offers more detailed categories, including company name, position, department, fax number and other relevant information. The SF-9500 provides a flexible search facility which allows for a combined word search.

The memo function has limited usefulness due to the 384 character limit. The Sharp Wizard's word wrap and calc data functions are not available on the SF-9500. The calendar application includes a view showing two months side by side. The integrated scheduler provides a useful timetable display and alarm function. Notably absent from the B.O.S.S. is a repeating appointment feature. The calculator is a no-frills equivalent of a basic calculator. Several options exist to expand the capabilities of the Casio B.O.S.S. SF-9500. The PC Link allows file transfers between the B.O.S.S. and a PC, including the capability to transfer Lotus spreadsheets and other data. A Macintosh version of the PC Link is also available. File conversions include Sidekick, Sidekick Plus, SDF delimited, text, and PC Tools. File transfers can include an entire file or a single entry. A unit-to-unit cable is included with the base model.

Only a handful of applications are available for the Casio, the most powerful of which is the 3D Spreadsheet card. Expense Easy, Spell Checker and Thesaurus, Barron's business & Travel Translator, OAG Travel Planner and several personal programs, including Wine Companion, Weight Loss Companion, and Lottery/Horoscope Diskware are also available. Finally, to expand the internal memory, Casio offers 64K and 128K memory cards.

Many SF-9500 users on CompuServe reported several problems including battery failure without warning, almost non-existent technical support, and confusing documentation. The documentation fails to mention a number for technical support or what to do if the unit is defective. Both experienced and novice users found the Casio difficult to use in comparison to the Sharp Wizard.

The Casio Executive B.O.S.S. SF-9500 is behind the times. Except for the QWERTY keyboard and larger screen, it brings little new to the table from the original Sharp Wizard that was introduced more than three years ago. Users of earlier models of the B.O.S.S. line may find the increased memory and program card slot of the SF-9500 worth upgrading, but new users should look elsewhere.