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Automatic Daily Backup

Automatic Daily Backup

By creating an appointment that runs a system macro, you can have the files on your palmtop automatically backed up to a flash card.

By Ahmet G. Ozisik

I have created a macro which backs up the files of an HP 200LX to a PC card every day. The macro is activated by an appointment. After the backup is done, the appointment is carried to the next day, automatically, by the macro. Instead of using a repeating appointment and occupying unnecessary disk space, only one macro is used.

This macro is written for those users who have a PC Card and want to make a backup every day. If you do not have a PC card, you can still backup your important files within the memory of HP 200LX. You can use copy instead of backup, specify the directories accordingly and modify the macro according to your needs.

How to write the macro

 It is strongly recommended that you make a backup of everything on your C:\ drive before you begin to write and run the macro.

 1. Enter into the System Macros of your HP 200LX (press (CTRL)+(MORE) ).

 2. Use the DownArrow key to move to whichever macro you'd like to use. My preference is macro #7.

 3. Press ENTER, then write Automatic Daily Backup (or any text of your choice) into the Description field (see Screen 1).

 Screen 1.

 4. TAB down to the Contents field, then type in the expressions below. Be sure not to leave any spaces between the letters.


 5. Press (OK) (F10) to finish the macro. Then type, (MENU) Quit to exit.

 6. Next, go to ApptBook application. Add the following appointment, but don't enter the parenthetical remarks, which are merely my explanations.

Description: ||7 (for macro #7)

 Start Time: 23:30 (my choice; you can use any time)

 Alarm: enabled (otherwise the macro will not operate)

 Repeat status: none (the macro will repeat it)

 Leadtime: 0 (no need for a leadtime)

 View week: unchecked (optional)

 View month: unchecked (optional)

 The current date and time should be earlier than the Start Time of the appointment. Otherwise, the macro will not run.

 Look at Screen 2 to see what the appointment should look like.

 Screen 2.

 7. Press (Done) (F10). Then type (MENU) Quit to exit.

 8. When the appointment time comes up, it will automatically activate Macro #7. I prefer 23:30 as the backup time because it is the last hour of the day.

 9. Be sure to have a PC Card in PCMCIA drive. Otherwise the backup will not occur.

 Description of macro commands

{Filer}{Menu}{Enter}BA:\BACKUP This Prepares HP 200LX for backup to drive A. The directory is A:\BACKUP, but you can change the drive and directory names if you want.

{Alt+O} This overwrites existing files. I prefer this option, but you can also use other options.

{F10} This causes the backup to start.

{Menu}Q This exits from FILER.

{Appt} This opens the ApptBook application.

{Menu}v{Enter} This makes sure that ApptBook is displaying the Appointments, rather than the ToDo list. (If the ToDo list is being displayed, the macro will get confused.)

{F5}{Right} This moves to the next day.

{Enter}{F4}{BackSp}||{F3} This finds the macro.

{Enter}{F6}{Right}{F10} This moves the appointment to the next day.

{F10}{Menu}Q This exits from ApptBook.

 Important notes

 Before trying my Automatic Daily Backup, I strongly recommend that you backup your files using whatever backup methods you are currently using, or that you perform one of the backup methods mentioned in the Users Guide for your palmtop.

There is always a possibility of making a mistake when writing macros, so be sure to write in, exactly, the code as explained in this article in order to avoid problems. You can also use the AUTOBAK.MAC macro file instead of writing the code in and creating your own macro.

 This automatic macro is written for daily backups. However, you can modify and change the frequency of the backup to weekly, monthly, etc. Further, you can use multiple copies of the same macro for different purposes, or to run at different times. Note that the palmtop has a limit of ten system macros. If you'd like to use more than ten macros, you can save macros as files and open and use them when needed.


 The Automatic Daily Backup macro will only work perfectly if all the applications on your palmtop are closed. The macro can be modified so it closes all the applications before starting the backup process. As a good habit, I always close all the applications before turning off my HP 200LX, and I also encourage you to do this. If you do not want to bother with this yourself, you can add close all applications commands to the beginning of the macro Contents field as below: {more}{menu}{Enter}l

 However, I strongly recommend that you keep all the applications closed when they are not in use. Any unclosed programs, especially DOS-based programs, can create problems during the backup process. Even if you are not using DOS-based programs, you may have files that have been modified, but not saved. The macro will not be able to decide if you want to save that file or not, and as a result may stop itself without finishing the backup. So, be on the safe side. Close all your files when they are not in use.

 Use the Automatic Daily Backup at your own risk.

 If you have any comments and/or modifications please let me know.

Shareware/Freeware mentioned in this article

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