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The LX-Files, Part 2: The Stuff Is In Here

The LX-Files, Part 2: The Stuff Is In Here

If you ever wondered how you might use a 32 or 64 Mbytes HP 200LX here's the answer. Larry Garwood shows how he made his HP Palmtop his primary computer with the help of several dozen programs.

J. Lawrence Garwood, M.D. and Ed Keefe

The LX-Files consist of more than 30 different programs. Some of them are System Manager compliant; others are MS-DOS programs. Many of them have been around for several years. However, all of them are new to the staff of Thaddeus Computing. If you like to play games, we have some of those. If you like to enhance your Palmtop, you'll have lots of chances to do that with the programs in the LX-Files.

To give you an overview of the software, well begin with an abbreviated list and then expand the list with more details, including some tips, traps, and techniques for using the software.

Where to get the LX-Files

All of these files are available either from www.palmtop.net/ super.html or from the Internet sites mentioned throughout this article. The disk symbols in the listing below indicate that a file is contained on Nov./Dec., 1998, issue of The HP Palmtop Paper ON DISK. Some of the files didn't make it on the disks: there are just too many of them. However, all the LX-Files along with other files that may have surfaced after this issue went to press will appear on the 1999 edition of the CD InfoBase from Thaddeus Computing, Inc.. Stay tuned.

Comments about these programs

These programs are provided "as is". The staff of The HP Palmtop Paper doesn't have the resources to support these programs over the phone. On the other hand, if you discover something more about installing or running the programs, whether it's good or bad, please let us know.

Here then are the LX-Files.

System Manager Compliant Files

CAPPUZ: play a game

ICONEDIT: draw some icons

LFTREE: create a directory tree

LXF107/LF: enhance Filer

TOPCARD: pick your topcard

PJ2T: manage your projects

X-Finder: manage your files

WHERE100: find your files

DOS Applications

APDOS: keep your books

SCOTADAM: adventures

DOOM: track your seconds

FRUIT95: play a wicked game

HPTREK: an old game

ICNVU: view all your icons

ICONVIEW: view all your icons

LO: play this game

OPEN: open a data file

RUN run EXM files

SHEZ: manage ZIPs, LZHs

ST: play Star Trek

VADAS: play a game

ZZT: try this tough game

A more detailed listing

Please note that some of the LX-Files were created by Japanese programmers. Larry Garwood figured out how to make the programs work and we've included his tips and techniques.

CAPUZ11

CAPUZ is a "screen shuffle" game. It captures a screen and lets you decide how difficult a puzzle to make. The trick is to install the game in MoreEXM (not System Manager). Be sure to suppress the clear screen command in MoreEXM otherwise youll capture a blank screen. The syntax for installing the program in MoreEXM.INI is:

C:\<Dir>\cappuz.exm,<Keycode>,1,Capuz

You can use a set of PCX files to create the puzzles. The documentation is in Japanese.

ICONEDIT02C

ICONEDIT (Screen 1) contains a System Manager compliant icon editor somewhat like the DOS icon editor built into the HP 200LX. The program was originally found at http://spock.vector.co.jp/authors/VA003644/. Its author, Kikuyan, has implemented the following features: 1) clipboard viewer--so you can see exactly what you are copying/cutting/pasting. 2) adjustable "cursor" size--handled by the [Shift][arrow] keys. 3) different modes-- a) make the cursor squares black b) make the cursor squares white c) invert the color of the cursor squares.

Install the program in Application Manager and run it. The program is fairly intuitive.

Screen 1: Iconedit Opening Screen.

LFTREE06

For best results install LFTree (Screen 2 above) using the MoreEXM program. LFTree shows a branching directory tree. The left and right arrow keys expand and collapse the branches. To move quickly through the directories, just begin typing the name of the branch and you will be moved there. The ENTER key creates a link to LX-Filer if it is installed with a hot key of ALT+F4.

There may be a limit to the size of the tree. There are no problems viewing the full tree of a 32 Mbytes upgraded HP 200LX, but there may be a problem with a 64 Mbytes flashcard with a complex tree structure.

This program is found at www.vector.co.jp/common/dos/util/machine/hp/ and is freeware

LXF107

LXFiler, version 1.07 (Screen 3 above) is a better version of the built-in Filer. For instance, it has a configurable launch menu and can pack and unpack LZH archives and can manipulate file attributes. The Rename function is also easier to use than in Filer.

This program was found at www.vector.co.jp/common/dos/util/machine/hp/ and is freeware.

Installing LXFiler

Install the program as you would any EXM program; i.e., put it in Application Manager or better yet install it in MoreEXM.

The LF.CFG file must be edited so that any paths and menu items reflect your preferences. We have provided an alternative LF.CFG file in addition to the one supplied by the programmer. The alternative LF.CFG file sets the sort order to alphabetical and splits the screen in a familiar way. To let LXFiler deal with *.LZH compressed files you must have LHA.EXE installed somewhere in the DOS Path on your Palmtop. If you install LXFiler with the hot key as [ALT+F4] you'll be able to start it from the LFTree program.

The Command Set for LXFiler

The keys below will perform the actions on the right of the equal sign.

A= Set a file Attribute

C= Copy file(s)

D= Delete file(s)

F= Find a File

H= DOS sHell

K= maKe Directory

L= Change Directory

M= Move file(s)

P= Pack (LZH Compress)

Q= Quit

R= Rename

S= Split/unSplit

T= Time Stamp

U= Unpack (LZH Decompress)

X= DOS eXecute (highlighted command)

Z= Custom Commands (set up in CFG File)

Shift + Letter= Move cursor to next file beginning with that letter

SELICN

SELICN lets you select an icon for insertion into Application Manager from a dedicated icon directory that you set up on your Palmtop. Icons no longer have to be in the same directory as the associated file.

The SELICN.TXT file will tell you how to install the program.

Then you can open Application Manager and highlight the icon you wish to change. Launch SELICN using its hot key and a directory tree will appear which enables you to find your icon directory. Highlight the new icon you wish to use and press ENTER.

For some reason, this program will not select its own icon for itself, but it seems to work well otherwise! The program was originally found at http://member.nifty.ne.jp/~sekiya/download/index.htm and is freeware.

TOPCARD

To make the process of selecting or viewing a topcard easier you can use either of the two System Manager applications in this archive. TOPCARD.EXM and TOPVIEW.EXM let you select and/or view your topcards at the press of a hot key. This archive, with an English documentation file, is available at www.palmtop.net/super.html. It is freeware. Also take a look at the TPCRD.ZIP file. It does the same thing as TOPCARD.EXM using a DOS program rather than a System Manager program.

PJT20012

This Project Management program is also from Japan. The documentation is, of course, in Japanese. However, another Palmtop user, Jeff Malka, has provided the English translation of the documentation.

The archived file is available at www.palmtop.net/super.html and is freeware.

To install the program just unzip the PJT200.ZIP file into a separate directory on the Palmtop. Install it in Application Manager or MoreEXM. Be sure to read the PROJECT.DOC and JAPANESE.DOC text files. The PJT2HLP.MDB file is in Japanese so unless you understand this language just rely on the English documentation files. The program does have some limitations, e.g., 1) the Import function doesn't work in the File menu; 2) there is no text output to the clipboard; 3) databases must reside in either C:\_DAT or A:\_DAT; 4) Find in the Search menu doesn't work; 5) Print is the only function to print out all the data in Comma Separated format.

X-FINDER

Setting Up X-Finder

X-Finder (Screen 4) is a Palmtop version of the Windows Explorer program. It works well, but getting it to work well may take some experimentation. Here is what seems to work best.

Screen 4: X-Finder Opening Screen

Begin by unzipping the archive into a separate directory on the hard disk of your desktop computer. Then unzip each of the .ZIP files into separate subdirectories inside the parent directory. Continue by configuring your Palmtop for a new look and feel.

1) Put the LHA.EXE and the UNZIP.EXE file compression programs along with the PNS200 and RUN100 programs somewhere on the DOS path (X-Finder does not work with the shareware Pkzip/unzip programs.

2) Install MaxDOS, IconEdit, LFTree, WhereIs EXM, and the LXFiler programs. Assign the LXFiler program to the [ALT+F4] hot key.

3) Move the ICON.ZIP, ICONFLD.ZIP and FINDER.ENV files to C:\_DAT. These are a few files that might help get you started. You'll probably have to edit them to make them conform to your Palmtops set up.

4) Create a C:\TRASH directory, using Filers MENU, File, Create Dir... command.

5) Edit the FINDER.ENV file so that the paths match those on your Palmtop.

6) Flexpad is my default English editor for FINDER.EXM. My path is C:\TEXT\FLEXPAD\FLEXPAD.EXE. Change this to suit your path. Pal Edit reveals the codes, and therefore is not the best editor for FINDER.ENV. If you don't have Flexpad, you might try the VDE editor.

7) PNS200 is my default Viewer. Change this to suit your viewer.

8) A list of your EXM software with compatible keys can be created with Finder2P. The command line:

FINDER2P >EXM.ENV

will create the text file. Both this and the (provided) PIM.ENV file can be grafted to the correct place in the FINDER.ENV file.

9) File transfer programs for the PC are provided in a separate archive. (XFS.ZIP and IBMXFS.ZIP) The file transfer programs must be run from DOS mode on the PC. The [ALT] key brings up the menu. This gives you the ability to move files from the Palmtop to the desktop in much the same way as you can with the HP Connectivity Pack.

10) I've provided my personal icon archives and FINDER.ENV as modified and modifiable templates.

X-Finder commands

The keys below will perform the actions on the right of the equal sign.

/ = Untag All

* = Alternates All Tags

- = Tag all after cursor

+ = Attributes

. = Move cursor to view up

1-9 = Go to corresponding drive letter

F10 = DOS shell & alternate menu

Shift+a = Changes attributes / date/time stamp

Shift+c = Copy (to same directory, different name)

Shift+d = Delete

Shift+e = Edit

Shift+f = Filter

Shift+h= DOS sHell

Shift+i= Launches ISH

Shift+j= Change Path

Shift+k= GoTo Menu on Function Keys (User Defined)

Shift+l= Log Drive

Shift+m= long naMe edit

Shift+n= reName

Shift+p= Pack (copy to LZH Archive)

Shift+q= Quit

Shift+r= Rename & Refresh

Shift+s= Sort

Shift+t= LFTree (if installed)

Shift+u= Unpack LZH Archive

Shift+v= View

Shift+x= eXecute

Shift+y= filter

Shift+z= diet

WHERE100

WhereIs is a very handy program to find files that may get "lost" on large disk drives.

Tip #1--When the program is first launched, before specifying any filter, run the options key and exclude any virtual drives you may have from the list of drives to be searched. This prevents duplicating the search on the same drive.

Tip #2--After completing the search, specify a multiple file viewer such as PNS200 to look at each file found.

The MS-DOS LX-Files

Besides the System Manager compliant programs, Larry also found several programs that work well from the "DOS side" of the Palmtop. Most of these are games with the exception of a full-fledged accounting program and a couple of utility programs. Here is a brief description of each of these files.

APDOS

Account Pro for DOS was originally a commercial accounting program that ran on MS-DOS computers. The developers have decided to give the program away for free on their Website, www.accsoft-ch.com/ free.htm

The INSTALL.EXE program requires that the LHA.EXE and ACCOUNT.LZH files are available in the same directory.

The Install program asks if your computer is limited to 640K lower memory which would be the case with the HP Palmtop. If you answer Yes, it will modify your CONFIG.SYS file to include a line DEVICE= RAM.SYS. When you restart the Palmtop, this line will create a Ramdisk file in part of the memory that you have available. This is superfluous on the HP Palmtop since the C: drive is already a Ramdisk. But the program wants to find this ram disk in order to work.

If you're looking for a more powerful replacement to Pocket Quicken, we encourage you to try this program and let us know what you think. We hope to have a professional accountant review the program.

CLOCKDM

CLOCKDM, the Clock-o-Doom marks the time when something is going to happen or has already happened. The clever thing about this full screen clock is that you can create your own large and small fonts for the display. Simply create the fonts using Windows Paint program and then use the BMP-DOOM program to convert the Windows .BMP files to Clock-o-Dooms .FNT files.

FRUIT95

This game program was originally written for the HP 95LX but since it is a DOS program it will run on the HP 200LX. The game is similar to the Sokoban game and is diabolically difficult and clever. The file may be downloaded from www.palmtop. net/super.html or from the original site at ftp://eddie.mit.edu/pub/hp95LX/

Rules for Playing Fruit95

In the game, you can move your marker by using the number pad. You can push an arrow from behind or from the side (space bar). If you push an arrow into a wall or the side or back of another arrow or into a fruit the arrow will dissolve. Two arrows head to head cannot be altered. Collect all the fruit by walking into it.

TIP: If you use Buddy you'll find that the double-click feature interferes with this game. You can disable Buddy by running the game after you have closed all applications including System Manager. Then run FRUIT95 from the DOS prompt.

SCOTADAM

The adventure games by Scott Adams started out as commercial software but Scott Adams is now distributing them as shareware. They are a "must-have" set of games for those who enjoy "text-adventures".

Brian Howarth also wrote some adventure games using the same format as Scott Adams. He distributes his games as copyrighted freeware.

The games run best if you first run ScottFree in monochrome mode using Setit on the palmtop. (SETIT is available on the 1996 Powerdisk from Thaddeus Computing) This is most easily done using a program call LXPlore which is available in the HPHand forum of CompuServe and on this issue of The HP Palmtop Paper ON DISK. We have included a menu file that you can use with LXPlore.

By the way, here's a tip for anyone using LXPlore: don't use the Buffmove.com program or you'll mess up LXPlore.

The SCOTADAM.ZIP archive includes:

1) SCOTT.ZIP- Including the Scott Adams and Brian Howarth adventures with ScottFree.exe and the opening logos for the games.

2) ADAMS2.EXE is a self extracting archive of the shareware edition with a Windows Player!

3)LXP-MENU.ZIP contains menus for use with LXPlore.

To restore a saved game, the command line should be something like:

SCOTT.EXE ADV .DAT .SAV

The first time you play a particular game there wont be a saved game so you can omit that part of the command line.

TPCRD

TOPCARD.COM/TOP CARD.BAT by Lord Jonin will pick a .PCX file at random and make it your current TOPCARD. The program is not intuitive. It requires that you read the documentation before trying to install it. TPCRD.ZIP is freeware available as TOPCARD.ZIP from www. best.com/~jonin/palmtop.html. We renamed the file to TPCRD.ZIP to avoid a file name conflict with the Japanese TOPCARD.ZIP archive.

HPTREK

An older version of the classic game of Star Trek with Kirk, Spok, and Scotty, this version of HPTREK is a DOS program that was originally designed for the HP 95LX. It is available in the HPHAND forum on CompuServe.

ICNVU2

IcnVu (Screen 5) displays 44 Icons from multiple directories. It permits Icon editing and deletion. The program was written by Owen Samuelson and is freeware. This version of the program will let you link to other icon programs such as IBrowse, IconSaver and Icon200. IcnVu is found at: www.hom.net/~owensam/ptidx. html

Screen 5: The IcnVu Viewer

ICNED100

This archive contains a Windows based icon editor that lets you create HP LX icons on your desktop. The documentation is in Japanese, but just unpack the file in a separate directory and run the ICN_EDIT file under Windows. Created by N. Yamazaki. This program was found originally at www.vector.co.jp/common/dos/util/machine/hp/ and is freeware.

Setup: You must have the Japanese version of the visual basic run time library (included). This usually goes in the same directory as the program. The rest of the files go into their own directory.

After loading a Windows Icon, you will see a little picture of it in the upper right window. The three toggle bars will titrate the amount of each color desired before the conversion. The big button makes the conversion and the ICN file will appear in the lower right hand window. If you don't like it, you can manipulate the toggle bars and then convert again to produce the icon to suit your tastes. The 12 box inverts the image. TIP: Be sure to associate the ICN extension with this program so you can view HP icons from File Manager or Explorer.

ICONVIEW

IconView does basically the same thing as the IcnVu program. However the icons included with this viewer are exceptional and are well worth looking at. The file was originally found at www. best.com/~jonin/palmtop.html and is freeware.

LO_080

The object of the "Lights Out" game is to turn off all of the lights on the board. This is freeware by Eric Wong. It was found originally at ftp.netcom.com/pub/eg/egwong/lo_.zip

MAKI_100

Here is another freeware game from Eric Wong. In Maki your challenge is to remove contiguous blocks from a board. This sounds easy but its not. Its a challenging diversion to keep you awake during meetings. Download from ftp.netcom.com/pub/eg/eg wong/maki_.zip

MEMVIEW

MEMVIEW is one of the smallest hex/ASCII viewers Ive run across. It lets you peek into the working memory of the Palmtop. You could do the same thing with DEBUG, but MEMVIEW is easier to use. It is freeware and was found at www.tu-darmstadt.de/~hwenzel

OPEN100

OPEN.EXE was one of the programs that came with the Japanese book, "The HP200LX Software Bible". It is now available as copyrighted software and may be found at www.palmtop.net/super.html

A typical use would be to open a DOS window in System Manager by pressing CTRL-123 and then typing OPEN MY.PDB. This would open the Phonebook and load the MY.PDB data file. You could do the same thing with a keyboard stuffing routine but OPEN is easier to use.

MURK

Murk is yet another set of games for the Palmtop. This one comes in three editions: for the HP95LX, for the HP200LX, and for Windows 95 (not included in this archive). The file also includes a level editor as well as an icon. The file was originally found at http://cheesy.simplenet.com/murk.htm. Be sure to go there for the Windows version.

RUN100

Run100 is a program that will launch an EXM file from a command line. It picks up where the OPEN program, above, leaves off. You can combine this with MoreEXM and FILER.INI to run any System Manager compliant program by pointing at it in Filer and pressing ENTER.

The X-Finder program needs RUN.EXE to be in your DOS path statement to link icons with ICONEDIT.EXM.

RUN100 can even be used to launch EXM programs from HDM! (That is if HDM is running in SysMgr and if its DOS window hasn't consumed all of the memory.)This program is written by Sekiya and is found at http://member. nifty.ne.jp/~sekiya/download/index.htm and is freeware.

SHEZ

Shez was one of the earliest "shell programs" for handling any of the file compression programs. It lets you compress tagged files, expand selected files from an archive, view text files without extracting them, etc. It is still available as a DOS shareware program from ftp.sonic.net/pub/users/jderr

ST010

ST.EXE is another version of the classic Star Trek game. The text file is in Japanese, but the crew of the Enterprise all speak English. The game is freeware and is available at BXD05136@niftyserve.or.jp

TYPERV

Now you can play TyperV in color on the desktop. This version also works in mono mode on the Palmtop and will create a speed graph of your typing efforts. Its a freeware program that is available at KFF00642@niftyserve.or.jp

VADAS102

Vadas is the original number crunching game. It was available on some Casio watches as far back as 1976.

In the game, numbers march across the screen and your task is to obliterate them by pressing selected alphabet keys. The game is freeware and may be found at KFF00642@niftyserve.or.jp

ZZT

Epic Megagames is giving away ZZT! These formerly commercial games run in monochrome on the Palmtop and are most challenging. They are available at www.epic games.com/zzt_info.htm. You'll want to set aside some time to download the large compressed file and then set aside some more time to read the documentation and even more time to play the games.

Where To Find This Software

The programs including "Formerly Commercial Software" in the 3-article Software Bonanza section will be available as part of the 1999 CD InfoBase and at www.palmtop.net/ super.html.

Formerly Commercial Software

iPhone Life magazine


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