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Bible Software for the HP 100/200LX

Bible Software for the HP 100/200LX

The PC Study Bible and other DOS programs bring Scriptures to the HP Palmtop.

By Joseph Tomasone

Technology is wonderful. Today, I can carry my TV in my pocket, my phone on my belt loop, and my subway tokens in electronic form on a swipe-card. However, even with all these advances, I always wanted one more: a way to carry the Bible and related reference materials with me. When I began searching for a Bible program for my 100LX, I figured that any old DOS Bible program would work. But the programs that would work correctly on the Palmtop offered none of the reference materials I wanted, so I kept looking until I found the PC Study Bible by Bible- Soft.

Customize your Bible software with add-on modules

PC Study Bible is a comprehensive Biblical reference program containing different versions of the Bible with various dictionaries and concordances.

PC Bible Main Screen: Graphic

 From the program's main menu you can easily move to a dictionary, index or concordance. In addition, add-on reference modules can be accessed by a hotkey combination. One of the PC Study Bible's greatest strengths is that almost all of the features of the program are in the form of add-on modules that can be added or removed at will. Examples include:

  • Different Bible versions -- King James comes standard; you can add New King James, American Standard, New International Versions, and possibly more.
  • Nelson's Bible Dictionary -- Contains articles on many bible topics. Similar to an encyclopedia.
  • Strong's Dictionary -- Defines the Greek/Hebrew words in the Bible. Many words have more than one way to translate into English. You supply the chapter and verse of the word occurrence you want.
  • Nave's Topical Bible -- Indexes scripture by topic.
  • Vines Expository Dictionary -- Combination of Nave's and Strong's. Lists all Biblical occurrences of the word you select and their Greek/Hebrew variations.
  • Englishman's Concordance -- a Greek/Hebrew concordance. A standard concordance comes built in.

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The ability to add-on these modules at will allows you to balance features you want against available storage space. The space consumed by these modules can be far from trivial; while the main program takes up only 500K, each Bible version averages 1.5MB, and the reference options use from 2MB to 3.5MB each. On my HP 10MB Flashcard, I have both King James and New King James, Strong's, Nave's, and Nelson's. Together they use a total of just under 11MB. Those wanting a basic setup can do it in 2MB or so with just one Bible version and the built-in concordance.

Configuring your HP Palmtop to run PC Study Bible

I have my system set up as follows:

  1. 1. I have the command FILES=30 in the CONFIG.SYS file.
  2. 2. I have created a batch file named BIBLE.BAT that launches PC Study Bible on the Palmtop. It has the following lines:

  3.  

     

e:

cd\bible30

bible30

assign c:=a:

c:

Pressing (ON)-(/) makes the text read black on white instead of white on black which can be helpful on some of the screens.

[Editor's note: ASSIGN and Stacker or DoubleFlash do not work correctly together. Users with these will have to find a DOS 5.0 version of SUBST.EXE.]

Features, options, and Palmtop concessions

I'll give you the bad news first - the program is no speed demon on an XT-class machine like the Palmtop. On my desktop 486, it is super fast, but on the Palmtop it can be painfully slow. The program allows you to open multiple windows to view or work with several items at once (the same verse in two different Bible versions can be put side-by-side, for example), but the keyboard commands to re-size and move the windows are cumbersome.

Split Screen View In PC Bible: Graphic

 However, switching between, and maximizing the size of the windows are simple affairs. This is often all you need. The windowing capability, by the way, is also one of the greatest strengths of PC Study Bible, and its usefulness should not be underestimated.

The program is not System Manager compliant, and requires more base memory for its multiple windows than can be achieved while System Manager is running. Therefore, you must exit System Manager completely to use the program. (To exit System Manager, from AppManager, press (MENU) Application Terminate All... (ENTER). To return to System Manager from DOS: on the 100LX, type 100 press (ENTER); on the 200LX, type 200 press (ENTER)). The program comes on floppies. Installation is most easily achieved by installing the program modules you want on a desktop PC and copying them to a Flashcard.

On the positive side, while reading a particular verse, the add-on reference modules can be accessed, in context, with just an ALT keystroke. For example, while on John 3:16, pressing (ALT)-(S) will bring up that verse in the Strong's dictionary, and (ALT)-(D) will bring up Nelson's dictionary with topics of Birth, Love, and Forgiveness (among others).

Strong's Greek/Hebrew Dictionary: Graphic

 You can also "chain" them. For example, you can search the concordance for the word "coming", call up Strong's to get the specific Greek/Hebrew term (from among the words that are translated as "coming"), then use Englishman's to find the verses with that specific Greek/Hebrew term. There is a rudimentary notebook editor included, to which you can paste individual verses or entire books. I recommend doing rough drafts in the editor, then copying to a more robust program for editing.

Don't ignore the desktop!

PC Study Bible is wonderful on a desktop. It's quick, though it lacks the graphic pizzazz that make some programs much richer. It also comes in a Windows version which retains much of the structure of the DOS version. Having a mouse makes dealing with the windows a breeze.

Go your way, Daniel...

This is a great program that works very well with the HP 100/200LX. Having the PC Study Bible with me has enabled me to study the Bible at times when it would have been impossible or greatly inconvenient before -- to find that elusive verse that I couldn't quite remember, to finish the chapter I was reading before I left for work, and to enjoy some time in God's word.

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