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Pocket Quicken for the HP 100LX now shipping
[Intuit is now shipping Pocket Quicken for the HP 100LX. See contact information in Product Index, page 55 this issue. Below are some comments from a 100LX user on how he set up Pocket Quicken on his 100LX -- Editor.]
I've been a Quicken fan for several years -- I've been using Quicken for Windows since it came out -- and am currently using Version 4. I just installed Pocket Quicken (PQ) on my 100LX. I also obtained the HP CPACK 200 several months ago to enable me to keep the two Quicken files synchronized.
Installation went smoothly, but the PQ installation does do some things on it's own -- it gives you a choice of path for the main files, but it creates several directories on the C drive for different system files (without asking), and tells you that it is going to add a 2.8K TSR to AUTOEXEC.BAT. It would have been nice if it had put all the files in one directory or at least mentioned it in the manual. Also the TSR line in AUTOEXEC.BAT was put in after BUDDY , so I moved it to be before BUDDY.
Setting up PQ in AppMgr is fairly conventional. The first time I attempted to run PQ it gave me an error message telling me to increase my Static RAM in Setup. PQ started and ran fine after I fixed that.
The User Guide is quite detailed and clear about Importing your DT (desktop) Quicken files the first time. After the import I noticed the ending balances were different, so I made an opening balance adjustment on the 100LX. Then I tried a sync with CPACK 200 to see how it worked. My first attempt ended in an error message indicating that there was a problem reading index file. The CPACK manual mentions that you can back up the files, selecting them by file extension. I had only copied the .XDT files to a directory to sync them. The index file is one of the 7 data files that DT (desktop) Quicken works with.
After copying all 7 files to the sync directory, the sync worked flawlessly with one minor exception. In the Settings field of CPACK 200's Xlate/Merge application you can select how many months' records to keep on the Palmtop. But you end up getting one more month than you select. I selected three and ended up with four. So I set it for two and got three.
PQ is a fairly bare bones version compared to the DT version, but for keeping track of your day to day expenses, it interfaces very well with DT Quicken. It is memory hungry -- according to the status line in AppMgr (and a little math) it takes 336K -- so you won't be doing much applications switching while PQ is running (except to FILER, etc.) I mentioned that I had an ending balance difference when I first set up my PQ data (.PDT) file. After my first sync, I discovered that the sync had created an offsetting entry and I had to go back and undo my correction. Smart little devil!
I had several "Split" and "Transfer" transactions in my DT version. I have entered them in PQ, and the sync with the DT handles them fine.
I have discovered what I think is an undocumented "treasure" in CPACK 200 that makes the sync process much easier. The file, EXAMPLE.BAT, is a template for running any repetitive Xlate/Sync/Merge functions. All you have to do is plug-in the proper variables and it will perform that function any time you run it.
I did not find anything about this in the CPACK or PQ manuals (it may be in the 200LX manual). I tried it and it works very well for the PQ sync function. Syncing your desktop Quicken with PQ becomes a one step operation! The .BAT file with its embedded instructions explains it fairly well.
I did have to do some file maintenance after I got everything working. The PQ install program has you copy the install disk to the 100LX and then PQ Install copies some of them to different locations and leaves duplicates here and there.
In case you didn't know, Intuit is fairly good at fixing problems discovered by users, and posting corrected files on CompuServe. I hope this helps people get Pocket Quicken up and running on their Palmtop a little easier. Quicken has made managing my finances almost fun. With Pocket Quicken on my 100LX it should be even more "fun."
Allen Tucker CompuServe ID:[74720,1470]
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