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User Profile: Author/Seminar Leader Uses Palmtop to Write New Book

User Profile: Author/Seminar Leader Uses Palmtop to Write New Book

What's the best computer you own? The one you use all the time!

By Tad James, M.S., Ph.D.

[Note: With the exception of Pocket Quicken, the HP 100LX and HP 200LX have the same built-in applications. The author's comments refer to the 100LX, and, for the most part. apply to the new 200LX Palmtop PC.]

The HP 100LX is certainly the best computer I've ever owned. I'm an author and seminar leader, and almost everything I do is impacted by the HP Palmtop. I use it for scheduling, organizing, phone numbers and addresses, keeping track of my reading list and expenses. Perhaps more importantly, I use it to draft the books I write.

My wife and I started out with the 95LX. Our family owned four of them by the time HP came out with the 100LX. Fortunately, conversion to the 100LX was no problem, and The HP Palmtop Paper showed use how to use it most effectively. We now own two 100LX's.

Paperless with the Palmtops

We've been paperless ever since we got the 95LX's. That means that all business cards, all phone messages, and all notes go into the 100LX. I even ask for all office reports to be on disk. We transfer the files to the 100LX using ZIP.COM which we got on the PTP Subscriber's Disk. (I use it all the time!!) Being paperless also saves trees, and helps us feel ecological and green. (Oops! Does that make us politically correct? If yes, don't tell anyone.)

Staying on Top of Schedules

My wife and I lead very full lives and are on the go most of the time. Ardie and I teach seminars called the Secret of Creating the Future all over the world. We are on the road two to three weeks out of each month. In addition, we are teaching longer training sessions (up to 2 weeks) in the areas of Neuro Linguistic Programming, Time Line Therapy, and Hypnosis in Kona, Hawaii for 12 weeks a year. This year we'll be all over the US, Canada, London, and Sydney, Australia. For example, last February we taught four seminars in Dallas, Irvine (Los Angeles area), and San Diego in almost three weeks -- we were on the road from February 2nd to the 20th. The seminar is very popular, and in between the dates, we were doing interviews, and seeing clients individually.

Being on the road for three weeks at a time, we find it a little hard to maintain a sense of continuity. When we're in Dallas, we're in Dallas, and when we are in San Diego, we are in San Diego and Dallas is forgotten. The 100LX helps us maintain a sense of continuity. The APPT scheduler really helps. My wife and I exchange scheduling information at least once a week. We either exchange information through the infrared ports, or we talk and one of us adds the appointments to the schedule. This process has allowed us to really coordinate what we do more closely than ever before. In addition, the ToDo List reminds me to do the stuff I promised to do in Dallas, but forgot by the time I got to San Diego. I use the alarms to get me up in the morning, and to keep me on time during the day. I'm sure that I must use 4 to 6 alarms each day!

Trip Planning with Appointment Book

My wife and I plan out our trips on the APPT function. The month at a glance view allows us to see where in the world we are, and that the appointments are in the right context based on where we are. We keep all the flight information, and the hotel information in the notes field, so when somebody says, "Where are you going to be?" We can open up the file, and get hotel information with telephone numbers and fax numbers right away.

Batch file backup

In addition, I have created a batch file to automatically back-up the C: drive to the A: drive every other night. I want the batch file to run at 3 a.m. when I am, hopefully, asleep. So I enter |a:\backup.bat into the 3:00 a.m. slot in APPT. This runs BACKUP.BAT, which looks like this:

@echo off

rem ****** once a day only *******

ECHO Unattended Backup Process.


cd \


rem ALREADY.COM tells you if it

rem already ran today



rem Today is a Quick Basic File that just

rem writes a file to disk saying when the

rem last back up was.

a:\bac c:\_dat\*.?db a:\files\dbs

rem BAC.COM is a backup program that

rem checks the date so it won't over

rem write more recent files D:\DOS\xcopy

rem could perform the same function.

a:\bac c:\_dat\*.txt a:\files

a:\bac c:\_dat\*.ws? a:\files

a:\bac c:\*.txt a:\files

a:\bac c:\*.bat a:\__BACKUP

a:\bac c:\*. a:\__BACKUP

a:\bac c:\_dat\*.wk? a:\_wks

Goto END


ECHO Already Backed Up!

Goto FIN


ECHO Back Up is Complete!



rem RTN.COM just exits back to the

rem Scheduler without the "Press Any

rem Key to Return to DOS"

The above batch file uses two small utility programs: ALREADY.COM tells you if the batch file already ran today; BAC.COM checks the date so you don't overwrite recent files.

No use loosing data, so back it up while you sleep!

Tracking Seminar schedules, and class lists

Our longer 2-week Neuro Linguistic Programming certification seminars are often quite large, running into the hundreds of people. Keeping track of them can be a real chore. I keep a list of all the students in a wordprocessor (VDE) with notes about their proficiency at the training. I also keep a seminar schedule in Lotus 1-2-3, so I can keep track of where we are in the seminar. Without it, it is almost impossible to keep all the segments organized and in the right order.

Schedule in 1-2-3:  Graphic

 Sometimes I'll make improvements to the class content or class schedule during the course. In the past I might forget the changes and improvements might not make it to the next course. Now I enter the changes into the schedule I keep on my Palmtop when they occur to me. The program manager's multi-tasking capability makes it easy for me to switch to MEMO where I keep the seminar outline, make changes, and go back to my student list in Lotus.


I use my HP 100LX for follow-up communications. I can write a letter on the 100LX and fax it to the person with my Chaplett 14,400 Ego Fax-Modem, or upload it to CompuServe. If the other person doesn't have a fax, I can print the letter directly to my Citizen PN48 printer (an excellent printer) using VDE. I use the Practical Peripherals Serial-to-Parallel converter to connect the 100LX serial cable to the Citizen's parallel port. I've added Citizen PN48 printer codes to the VDE printer driver so I have additional fonts available. Using VDE's set-up program, VINST.EXE, I manually modified the Epson Printer driver with codes I found in the PN48 documentation so I could access the fonts and print with a minimum of hassle.

On-the-Spot Author

The greatest benefit I've gotten from the HP 100LX is the ability to do word processing wherever I am. I'll sometimes have ideas at the oddest times -- driving with my wife to a restaurant, shopping for clothes, or sitting in an airplane. The 100LX is there with me, ready to write and edit when the ideas come.

I use VDE Ver.1.72's in the 100LX's 60x16 character mode because the display is very close to WYSIWYG (the stuff on the screen looks like what you'll see on the printed page). VDE's spelling checker displays corrected words in any screen mode (40x16, 60x16, or 80x25). I originally tried FastWRITE by ACE Technologies. (FastWRITE is a version of VDE, a program created for the 95LX.) Unfortunately, it would not work in the 60x16 mode (the mode I like to edit in). In addition, in a 40 column mode spelling check, Fast rite's pop-up spell checker box pops up over the word that's wrong and you can't see it.

My wife Ardie and I wrote our most recent book, Lost Secrets of Ancient Hawaii, on the HP 100LX. I had each chapter in a separate file and really appreciated VDE's ability to open up multiple files at the same time. This let me open up old articles that I had written and use the cut and paste feature to copy them into the right place in the book.

When the book was finished, I used ZIP.COM 1.71 to transfer the files to my laptop computer at the end for the final indexing, spelling check, and page numbering. Then I put all the files together into one big file and sent it over the Internet to my friend in California, who transferred the file into a typesetting format. We communicated back & forth by E-Mail, and I got to discover that E-Mail on Internet is as easy as sending regular CompuServe Mail!

When the book was completed, I found that I had written, edited, and spell checked almost all of its 300+ pages on the 100LX. 100Buddy's SmartCaps feature made entering text easier by automatically capitalizing the proper words!

Database Helps Organize My Life

I collect books on Psychology, Hypnosis and Mental Healing prior to 1930. I have over 450 books in my library and tend to forget what I've already purchased. I had given up on dBase II and III and settled on using spreadsheet databases to organize my collection.

When I got my HP 95LX I went crazy, putting lists of all my books in several .PBK files. I carried up-to-date lists with me on my Palmtop and finally was able to avoid purchasing duplicate books.

When the 100LX came along I was in "Database Heaven." The built-in Database application was the easiest to se tup and use that I've ever come across. Adding a field was as easy as pressing (MENU) File Modify (F2) (Add). From the Modify Database screen I could Tab to any field and use the arrow keys to change its size or move it around (press (F3) to toggle between Move and Size).

My book database files now have fields for TITLE, AUTHOR, DATE published, and a note field for PUBlisher's information. I can press (F7) from the main database screen to sort them by any field. I can press (F6) to create or select any kind of subset I want. For example, my book database has subsets for Healing, Hypnosis, and Psychology.

Three Stooges Database:  Graphic

 When I realized how easy it was, I made more databases, including files for; the rest of my books, my Three Stooges Videos (gotta have humor), my favorite book stores, local CompuServe numbers, the bibliography for my most recent book, and a list of graduates from our seminars. The Three Stooges Video database has fields for the TAPE location, the TITLE of the movie, the YEAR, WHO was in it (we like the original Curly), what the SUBJECT was, the NUMBER of the movie, and a field for NOTES. I added the NOTES, and the NUMBER fields later, after I had been using the database for a while. "Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!"


What originally sold me on the 95LX was that the fact that it had enough RAM memory and file storage space to run QuickBasic (QB) programs. Before the 95LX I owned an Atari Portfolio. I quickly found that its 64K of internal memory and the 128K of disk memory was not enough. The 95LX was a great advance and I bought it right away.

I use QB 3.0. It's an older program, but it does everything I want and it's smaller than current programs. I use QB to run personnel profiling programs I have written.

My latest endeavor is a Numerology program that takes your name and birth date, and generates up to seven pages describing who you are. I used to use traditional methods of profiling and predicting behavior. Three years ago, however, I was trained in Numerology and find it far more accurate.

I have a subdirectory on my 100LX for QB, and a separate subdirectory for the Numerology program. To run QB on either Palmtop and compile programs, I have to take the SYSMGR out of memory. However, after compiling the Numerology program, I was able to run it on the Palmtops. I used Diet to slim down both QB and the finished .EXE programs. I am developing a commercial version of the numerology program for the 100LX and will let The HP Palmtop Paper know when it is available and how to purchase it.

Lotus Helps Track Expenses

I'm on the road a lot and have had a difficult time keeping close track of expenses. Fortunately, a Lotus spreadsheet has helped change that. I use a modified version of the expense template (_EXPENSE.WK1) found on Drive C:\ in the 95LX. (The built-in spreadsheets from the English version of the 95LX are also found in_HPWK1.ZIP ).

I enter the expenses into the spreadsheet when they occur, put the receipt in the envelope, and print out the expense spreadsheet file when I get home. I'm out to keep as much of what I earn as I legally can, and now track 10-15% more legitimate deductions with the help of my Palmtop.

Managing the Business is Easier

The HP 100LX helps my wife and I manage our company more efficiently than ever before. The NOTE TAKER, Lotus 1-2-3, and the APPT applications let us plan out schedules and projects, keep them organized, and remind us to help our people stay on track. For example, I'll set an appointment to remind me about a specific project or deadline. An alarm will go off while I'm on the road, and I'll fax a reminder to the office. I feel like we've more than doubled our efficiency in managing our people using the HP Palmtop.

So now you know what my 100LX does for me. I think it's probably the most important single influence for managing information and people. Perhaps the amount of time I use it (4-6 hours a day) says something about how important it is to me. I am absolutely sure that I could not do what I do today without my 100LX. [BEEP, BEEP, BEEP] Oops! Gotta go ... my next appointment is in 5 minutes!

NLP, Time Lines, and Creating the Future

iPhone Life magazine

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