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Five Programming Languages Built Into the HP 95LX

Five Programming Languages Built Into the HP 95LX

You don't have to use an "imported" language to program your HP 95LX. Believe it or not, the 95LX contains no less than five built-in programming languages: HP CALC's Solver language; Lotus's macro language, DEBUG's arcane assembler, SETUP's CHAR language, and MS-DOS's batch command language.

Without a doubt, the Lotus macro language is the most popular programming language that has ever been developed. More applications have been written in this language than in any of the structured languages.

Most of the spreadsheet applications have been designed to solve unique problems and, hence, do not have wide appeal. We're still awaiting a collection of 1-2-3 macros tailored to the HP 95LX's small screen and ROM-based operation.

Trying to master assembler language programming with DEBUG is best left to experts, most of whom would probably reply "No thanks!"

CHAR macros (User Defined Function Keys) developed in SET UP are limited to the size of the editing buffer, 255 key strokes.

Solver's language is great for developing quick-and-dirty solutions to problems that can be solved with a business calculator. However, Solver is not a full-blown language. It doesn't have any obvious ways to create loops and branches. For those who want to see more of what Solver can do, look at this month's "Through the Looking Glass" column beginning on page 27.

Perhaps the least appreciated programming language in the HP 95LX is MS-DOS's batch command language. The batch language commands are few and awkward to use. There are no easy ways to create loops, no obvious way to implement subroutines and only a few ways to implement branching. Yet creating elaborate batch files has become a favorite pastime of many programmers, including yours truly.

Let me share with you a couple of batch file techniques that I've learned over the past several years. Perhaps they will inspire you to come up with your own techniques.

iPhone Life magazine


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