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Without a Modem, What does Freeware/ Shareware Mean to Me?

Without a Modem, What does Freeware/ Shareware Mean to Me?

I have noticed in the HP Palmtop Paper a lot of references to going "on line" to get wonderful freeware. However, I only have the HP 200LX 2MB and I don't have a modem or anything else to go on line with. Is there anything you could do, in future articles, to make suggestions for people like me who don't have this kind of access? All I have is my Palmtop and an auxiliary drive. It seems like half your paper talks about going on line to get a program. It doesn't help me to read about these other programs when I can't get them.

Ron Clayton,

Austin, TX

[We include references to freeware, shareware and commercial products because they significantly expand the usefulness of the Palmtop. We realize that the shareware and freeware in particular are difficult to come by for people who don't have online access. That is one of the reasons we make it available on The HP Palmtop Paper ON DISK. You can subscribe to that service for one year, or purchase an individual issues disk.

Going online requires the proper equipment and a subscription to an online service like CompuServe. If the Palmtop is your only computer, you can use a PC Card modem or external modem to physically connect the Palmtop to the phone lines. You can also use another PC with a modem to connect up. For more information on connect up to online services see the following articles in this issue (Access the Internet... page 12; Tapping the Treasures of CompuServe page 24).

If a friend or business associate already subscribes to CompuServe or another online service, you may be able to get him or her to download files for you.


Our new CD InfoBase CD-ROM has the current versions of the ON DISK software mentioned in the 1991 through 1995 issues of The HP Palmtop Paper (see ad, page 8). In addition, a company named Walnut Creek is marketing CD-ROMs with shareware and freeware, some of which may be useful to Palmtop users (see third party products, page 7 this issue). A library might also allow you to use their CD-ROM equipment.

We also list references to on file locations for the software, when they are available. Commercial software is listed in our Products Index (now at the end of each article) and references include price and contact information. Occasionally a shareware/freeware source will list contact addresses and phone number(s), but most of the time they prefer to distribute their software through online services.

Finally, there are a number of companies that make shareware/ freeware available on floppy disks. The way they usually work is that you get their catalog or call them with the name of the program you are looking for. If they have it, you pay a modest fee for the disk and shipping (around $5-10 per disk). You normally get one program per disk. If the program is large, it may take more than one disk. You still need to pay shareware registration fees, if they apply. The software available at one of these companies varies widely. You'll see ads for these companies in popular computer magazines.

If you get your software on disk, CD-ROM, or download it to a PC, you'll still need a way to transfer it from your PC to your Palmtop. You can do this from a PC with a PC card drive by copying the desired files to a PC memory card and then inserting it in the Palmtop. You can also connect your Palmtop to your PC via the HP Connectivity Cable and transfer files via a number of different file transfer programs.

Finally, you can connect the Palmtop to an external floppy drive and copy files from the drive to the Palmtop.

All of these methods require a time investment to learn how to use the equipment and software, and an investment in money acquiring the equipment and service subscriptions. Unfortunately, there's no way around this investment -- Rich Hall.]

iPhone Life magazine

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