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User to User: Recent Freeware and Shareware

User to User: Recent Freeware and Shareware

Hal shares his first impressions of some of the new software available for the Palmtop.

By Hal Goldstein

I hope you have had a chance to try out some of the software from Japan mentioned last issue. Much credit and gratitude should go to Toshiki Sasabe, NIFTYServe sysop, NORI, their team of users, and the software authors. Many hundreds of hours were devoted to creating mostly free software and then translating it so Westerners could use it.

I have only begun going through the software, but I've really liked what I have seen. I think we could devote a whole year s issues to the uses of software from Japan, and still have plenty to write about.

What follows are a few of my first discoveries. An early favorite is ZOOMC<ON DISK ICON>. ZOOMC, like Magnify from ACE, magnifies the Palmtop s built-in application screens. I actually like ZOOMC better than Magnify. Once installed, a hot key lets you enlarge a screen, letting you see more clearly a phone number, an appointment, calculation, or other built-in application data. Once you hit the hot key (I use (Alt)-(Filer)) you can then toggle with the Zoom key ((Fn)-(SPACEBAR)) between two enlarged sizes.

A normal Phone Book screen, without using ZOOMC.>

After installing ZOOMC, when I press (Alt)-(Filer) I get a magnified view of the DataCard.>

Pressing (Fn)-(Spacebar) toggles to a different enlarged size.>

ZOOMC acts intelligently. Suppose, for example, that you start ZOOMC in Phone on your 200LX. The ZOOMC hot key blows up just the data card. Toggling with the Zoom key, you can get an index view with the data card.

ZOOMC is very practical for poor lighting situations and for those of us who normally require reading glasses.

Rob Tillotson created this version of the Hearts card game specifically for the Palmtop.

If you need a diversion from serious work on your Palmtop, try the game 777.

One gotcha. You must be sure to install MOREXM <ON DISK ICON> and follow the ZOOMC instructions for the MOREEXM.INI hot key file. (For more information on using MOREEXM, see Quick Tips, page 54.) If you use a number of application manager hot key EXM programs, you'll want to use MOREEXM, anyway. With MOREEXM, you can install as many EXM files as you wish.

As a child I took violin lessons. I still pick it up on occasion. I have a reasonably good sense of pitch, but an awful sense of rhythm. TUNE<ON DISK ICON>helps. It provides a metronome, a tuner and the capability of playing major scales.

For music lovers who can tolerate the Palmtop s limited ability to play tunes, there are some additional goodies. PLAYEX <ON DISK ICON> lets you play sound (.snd) files that can be used as Palmtop alarms. The Japanese have made available Bach classics (BACHSND6.LZH<ON DISK ICON>, BACHSND7.LZH<ON DISK ICON>), plus Japanese and U.S. folk music, from Yankee Doodle to Turkey in the Straw (JUNKSND.LZH <ON DISK ICON>).

A fun diversion is the Tetris-like battery-draining game called 777 <ON DISK ICON>. Numbers fall. Manipulate them as they fall so that, if consecutive ones total seven, they disappear.

On the game front, an American author created a Palmtop version of one of my favorite card games, Hearts (HEARTS.ZIP <ON DISK ICON>). It runs well, although even the more sophisticated, registered version s opponents aren't t all that bright. In the registered version, there is a Jack of Diamonds option, but as the author, Rob Tillotson, explains, not much intelligence is built-in to trying to capture the Jack. It s still fun to play and to try to "shoot the moon." Hopefully, if the author gets enough $10 registrations, he'll improve the quality of passing and playing.

All 51 pieces of Japanese software that were mentioned in last month s issue of The HP Palmtop Paper (Vol. 6, Number 1) are available on a two-disk set for $33.00. Alternatively, the software can be downloaded from our Thaddeus Computing web site (http://www .thaddeus.com).

Shareware/freeware mentioned in this article

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