Everything HP200LX: Knowledge, Products, Service

9 years, 100's of pages of HP Palmtop Paper, jammed with tips, reviews and how-to's

Most useful, up-to-date Web sites devoted to the HP 200LX

Direct link into 1000's of pieces of Palmtop software

Tips from Our Techs

2008 Catalog
(PDF, 2.6 MB)

Contact Us/About Us

Weekly Palmtop Paper Newsletter
(Palmtop tips, latest happenings, and HP Palmtop Paper Store information)



Privacy Policy

Tips on using DOSSHELL

Tips on using DOSSHELL

  1. 1. Save your work before switching from one DOS session to another DOS session, just in case.
  2. 2. Read the owner's manual. If you are using DOSSHELL, read the section in the DOS 5.0 or DOS 6.0 manual. If you are using Software Carousel, read the instructions. This article is not intended to serve as a substitute for the publishers instructions. There are many features that are not documented here.
  3. 3. The HP Palmtop System Manager does not directly allow DOSSHELL to switch out of the built-in applications to DOS. However, I have discovered three work-arounds.
  4. a. Download BIGTIME.EXM = from library 11 of CompuServe HP Hand Forum or from America on Line. Bigtime is a System Manager compliant digital clock that also displays the main battery voltage. Set it up in the Application Manager using the method of setting up an application described in the HP 100/200LX Users Guide. When you want to switch to an active program or to the DOSSHELL, first switch to Bigtime. Then the (ALT)- (TAB); (ALT)- (ESC), (CTRL)- (ESC) and the blue Hot Keys work as they are supposed to work. This is my preferred method.
  5. b. Run a DOS program using any of the methods used to run a DOS program from within the System Manager. Then DOSSHELL switch keys and Hot Keys will all work.
  6. c. Modify the System Manager Program listing in DOSSHELL as follows:
i. Press (Alt) File Properties, tab to Advanced and press (ENTER).

ii. Tab to Video Mode and select Graphics.

You'll now be able to switch applications when you are in the System Manager. Notice that this method results in some scrambling of the screen when you return to the System Manager. In order to get the screen corrected press (&...) and then (ESC). This method does not appear to result in any data loss. My DOSSHELL.INI configuration file implements this and other set up choices.

  1. 4. When you load a DOS application outside System Manager, using DOSSHELL, Appointment Book alarms will not activate. You will need to install ALARM.COM = and follow its instructions in order to have an alarm sound when you are not in System Manager. Every time you run ALARM.COM it checks the Appointment Book data file and "remembers" the date and time of the next alarm. When the Palmtop's internal clock reaches that date and time, the alarm goes off. Unfortunately, ALARM.COM only remember one alarm at a time. Every time an alarm goes off, you have to load the next one. I use a batch file to do this, and run it from Filer each time an alarm sounds. The two lines in the batch file are as follows:
c:\alarm.com /e


Name the batch file ALARM.BAT. (This batch file assumes that ALARM.COM and your Appointment Book data file are in the root directory of the C drive.)

  1. 5. You need to have patience when switching between DOS applications using DOSSHELL. There are ways to speed up the time required to do this:
  2. a. Stacker (or DoubleFlash) almost doubles the time required for DOSSHELL to task switch. Consider taking stacker off and not doubling your PC Card.
  3. b. Using DOSSHELL, I have found the Ace DF+ cards switch faster then the SanDisk cards. Note that Ace cards seem to work faster when the batteries are freshly charged (assuming you are using rechargeables).
  4. c. Set your DOSSHELL temporary file directory to be on the C drive (see instructions for installation). This speeds up the switching. The downside of this approach is that setting the temporary file directory to the C drive limits to two or three, the number of programs you can switch to on a 2MB 100/200LX. Every time you start a program in DOSSHELL, the program currently opened gets saved to this drive, consuming approximately 200K to 500K of the C drive's file storage space. This method may only be suitable for those wanting to switch between one or two DOS applications and System Manager.
  5. d. Forego the DOSSHELL file manager its slow! This is because whenever you switch out of a program to DOSSHELL, its file manager reads the entire contents of the File Allocation Tables. You may want to use it from time to time by enabling it under DOSSHELL's View options. It may be useful for showing hidden files, etc.
  6. e. When you first start DOSSHELL, you can make DOS programs Active (available for swapping to them) without actually starting them. You do this by moving the cursor to the program that you want to activate and pressing (SHIFT)- (ENTER). This procedure lets you activate 2, 3, 4 or more files very quickly. When you want to use one of the programs, press one of the hotkey combinations. Note: you cannot activate Act! this way (I do not know why).
  7. 6. I use the (CTRL)- (SHIFT)- (BlueKey) or (ALT)- (SHIFT)- (BlueKey) combinations as hotkeys because they do not conflict with key sequences used by DOS or System Manager applications. (One additional benefit is that you can press (CTRL)- (SHIFT) at the same time with the left thumb. This leaves the right hand free to press the other key. To help me remember, I associate hotkey combinations with the BlueKey of related applications. For example:
Application HotKey combo

Xtree Pro (CTRL)- (SHIFT)- (FILER)


LetterPerfect (CTRL)- (SHIFT)- (MEMO)

Grammatik III (ALT)- (SHIFT)- (MEMO)

Lotus Agenda (CTRL)- (SHIFT)- (123)

iPhone Life magazine

Notice about Palmtop.net
The Palmtop Network with its S.U.P.E.R. (Simply Unbeatable Palmtop Essentials Repository) software is now available under the domain name of hp200lx.net.  

We Buy
We buy used palmtops, working or broken: HP 200LX, HP 100LX and 1000CX.

Copyright 2010 Thaddeus Computing Inc