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CHALLENGE 2 -- Running DOS Applications.

CHALLENGE 2 -- Running DOS Applications.

In addition to the built-in applications, the HP 95LX is capable of running certain standard DOS programs. These may be the same DOS programs which run on your IBM or compatible desktop system. Or, they may be DOS programs specially written for the HP 95LX.

To run a DOS program on the HP 95LX, you must first close all built-in applications except FILER, then launch the DOS program using FILER's RUN command ((F4)). The requirement of closing all built-in applications to run a DOS program can really disturb the rhythm of using the 95LX. The more frequently you need to run a DOS program, the more inconvenient this is.

The inconvenience of using DOS programs has been partially circumvented by the development of "Loaders". "Loaders" were originally developed using the Util Forth development package, marketed by Essex Marketing Services, Inc. A Loader makes a program "System-Executable", which means you can assign the DOS program to a hot-key and run it without first closing the built-in applications. By pressing the hot-key combination, the DOS program pop-ups over the internal programs. You do, however, lose access to the built-in programs until you quit the DOS application.

Loaders are a great step forward in convenience for those who need to run DOS programs. However, there are some drawbacks. For example, a Loader may not be available for your favorite DOS program. Additionally, Loaders must be set up in the APNAME.LST file just like the System Manager programs mentioned above. And, remember, there is a limit of 8 programs that may be set up in APNAME.LST. (Loader Menu95 * also averts some of this difficulty. However, Menu95 must be custom configured for each DOS application you use.)

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