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Four Extraordinarily Useful Software Packages -- each under $50

Four Extraordinarily Useful Software Packages -- each under $50

95Buddy and Switch! add a number of useful features to the HP 95LX, and make it easier to run system compliant and DOS programs. Useful Notes adds electronic "post-its" to your Palmtop and Useful Macros greatly expands the 95LX's macro capabilities.

Introduction by Hal Goldstein

During the last few months four inexpensive yet well-conceived and useful programs have come to our attention. Two of these programs, 95Buddy and Switch!, were written specifically to remedy some of the limitations of the HP 95LX. The other two programs, Useful Notes (UNO) and Useful Macros (UMA) are programs originally written for the IBM PC but adapted to the 95LX.

95Buddy fixes many of the awkward keystroke combinations and inconsistencies of the HP 95LX. For example: It automatically saves and exits built-in applications when going from FILER to DOS. It lets (MENU) File Open do the same thing across all built-in applications, makes _*.WK1 disappear from your directory, and allows you to choose the default directory you want for MEMO. 95-Buddy lets you go into FILER, put your cursor on a TXT or WK1 file, and press a couple of keys to be editing that file in MEMO or 1-2-3.

SWITCH! helps you with new DOS and system compliant programs. Let's say you've got a RAM card, and a growing number of DOS programs and System Manager compliant programs. You are frustrated by the 95LX's limitation of 8 installed system compliant programs; you can't remember the hotkeys you assigned to the system compliant programs; you can't remember the names of all your DOS programs or where they're stored.

With SWITCH! you no longer have to fool around creating the undocumented, temperamental APNAME.LST file to install your hotkeys. You also don't have to remember where your DOS programs are, or be limited to 8 system compliant programs. Start SWITCH! and immediately you have access to any DOS or System Manager compliant program on your A drive. SWITCH! also includes utilities to check your battery, turn the Serial Port on and off, set the 95LX's auto time out feature, and much more.

Useful Notes (UNO) addresses the need of 95LX users to easily store and retrieve information. UNO is a free-form database. That means you put whatever information you like in computerized post-it-like notes. A file created in UNO consists of a pile of these notes. You can link these notes and access what information you need.

Finally, there's Useful Macros (UMA). Suppose you feel limited by the HP user-defined function key (macro) capability. This capability is good as far as it goes. However, suppose you would like a user-defined function key to move you from one of the built-in applications to a DOS program, or for another to work in a DOS program, or for another to take you from a DOS program back to, say, MEMO. Suppose you need more than 10 keys defined, and want to use different key stroke combinations, like (ALT)-P, for the macro key. Suppose you would like the macro to pause to let you type in some information and then continue when you tell it to. The solution is UMA, a powerful, easy-to-use macro program for the diminutive 95LX keyboard. UMA lets users avoid typing repetitive keystrokes.


All four programs are inexpensive. The real price must be measured in terms of the amount of system resources used. UMA, UNO and 95Buddy normally stay resident in the background. That means in order to run these programs you will have to increase System RAM from SET UP. Uno demands almost 100K whereas UMA needs roughly 15K and 95Buddy needs 6K. In addition, these programs take up some disk space (when Dieted, the minimum required is: UMA-15K; UNO-30K; 95Buddy-7K). SWITCH! requires a RAM card and about 65K of disk space.

The nice thing about all four programs is that you start being productive with any of them in less than an hour -- in some cases fifteen minutes -- and that includes installation time.

iPhone Life magazine

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