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Tips For Application Manager

Tips For Application Manager

Installing Hot Keys in App Mgr

To set a hot key in App Mgr highlight an icon, press the F3(Edit) key and insert an "&" before one of the characters in the Name field. Don't restrict yourself to just the alphabetic and number keys as hot keys. You can use other characters such as "/", "=", "?", "@", etc. as hot keys.

Eliminating or Changing Hot Keys from the Built-in Applications

This operation requires the use of a program that can edit the C:\_DAT\APPMGR.DAT file.

The built in DEBUG program will work but it's not recommended. We prefer HEX.EXE, a freeware program on this issue of The HP Palmtop Paper On Disk and at www.PalmtopPaper.com/download.htm

If you don't like HEX.EXE, we've also included a shareware hex editor, PSEDIT, on the disk and on our Web site.

Before making any changes to APPMGR.DAT, copy the file to another directory and close the App Mgr program. Once you've saved a copy of the original file run HEX.EXE (or your favorite hex editor) and load the APPMGR.DAT file.

By way of example here's how to eliminate the "H" hot key for HP Calc.

In the hex editor search for "Calc". The string will appear on the right side of the screen as &HP Calc with white spaces on either side of the string. On the left side of the screen you'll see the hex values for the string beginning with "26 48 50....". To eliminate the "&", using HEX.EXE, put the cursor on the "&" and press the DEL key. This will delete the character and shift the other letters to the left. If you're using another hex editor just type over the "&" with "H" and type over the second "H" with "P". You want to shift all the characters in the string one character to the left.

Finally, if you're using the HEX.EXE program, you need to insert a hex 00 byte at the end of the string to make up for the character you deleted. With another hex editor you can type over the last character with a hex 00. You can perform this micro surgery for as many blue key programs as you wish including any of the built-in applications that you don't use, such as cc:Mail, DataComm, LapLink Remote, etc. If you want to change the hot-key rather than eliminate it, just delete the original "&" and type in a new "&" before another character. Make sure that, if you add extra characters, you must also remove a hex 00 character to preserve the total number of bytes in the file.

Save your work and open App Mgr. and examine all the entries by pressing F3 (Edit) for each one. If App Mgr fails to open or shows garbage in any of the items, close App Mgr and copy your APPMGR.DAT back up file over the modified version.

A Roundabout Way to Add Icons

Here's how to add icons to App Mgr without having to put them in the same directory as the associated program.

1. Start App Mgr and press the F2(Add) key. Type a name in the Name field and put an "&" before a hot key character.

2. In the Path field type the path and file name for any icon that's on your palmtop. Don't enter the name of the program yet.

3. Press ALT+I and the icon should appear.

4. Press ALT+P, delete the icon name and substitute the path and file name for the program you want to use.

5. Press F10 (OK) and you're done.

Remember that, when you've added an icon, you can delete the icon file from the Palmtop's disk. The icon is stored in the APPMGR.DAT file. (This tip is courtesy of Avi Meshar.)

Removing the Built-in Apps from App Manager

Can you remove the icons for the built-in applications, e.g. HP-Calc?

Yes, but the following procedure is undocumented and unsupported. You didn't read it here. I'll deny I ever wrote it, but here is what I've heard from a hacker.

Back up the original APPMGR.DAT file. Once you remove the built-in applications from App Mgr, the only way to recover them is to close App Mgr, delete the APPMGR.DAT file and open App Mgr. You'll get the default App Mgr icons but lose all your additions and modifications.

In App Mgr, use the F8 (List) key and the F7 (Order) key to move the unwanted apps to the bottom of the list. Then go back to the icon view and close App Mgr.

Load APPMGR.DAT into a hex editor and search for the strings of characters for the applications you want to delete. Overwrite all the hex values in the strings with a series of '00' bytes. Save your work. Open App Mgr and go to the last screen where you'll find a bunch of icons without any labels. Use the F4(Delete) key to remove the icons. You will now have some more slots that you can fill with your applications.

There are two caveats to be aware of if you use this trick. (1) You will not be able to use the MENU, Application, Close All command to close applications that have been removed from App Mgr. For example, if you have cc:Mail open in the background and remove the entry from Application Manager, you will only be able to close cc:Mail by switching to it and using the Menu, Quit command. (2) You may not be able to add more than 8 or 9 additional EXM programs to App Mgr. However, the next tip will give you a workaround for this restriction.

Temporarily Fooling App Mgr

System Manager and Application Manager limit you to 8 or 9 additional System Manager compliant (.EXM) programs.

Here's one way to get around this limitation. The workaround is based on a tip from Jud Hardcastle (CSi: 71155, 1761) in the Nov/Dec 1994 issue of The HP Palmtop Paper.

Begin by creating a dummy .EXM program. Do this by using the Filer, Options, DOS command and at the DOS prompt, type REM > C:\_DAT\TEMP. EXM. This will create a file, TEMP.EXM, with 0 bytes.

Type Exit and press Enter to get back to System Manager. Start App Mgr and press the F2 (Add) key and fill in the fields with Name: &What Ever, Path: C:\_DAT\TEMP.EXM.

Pick the empty icon supplied by App Mgr and press F10. When prompted for a hot key, select one that is not currently in use, e.g. CTRL+F10. Press F10 (Done). You can move this icon anywhere you want in the list.

Here's how to use this setup to temporarily fool App Mgr.

Suppose you have a System Manager compliant program called RARELY.EXM that you use on rare occasions and you don't want it taking up a slot in App Mgr. You can still run the program without installing it.

Use Filer to copy the RARELY.EXM program to C:\_DAT\TEMP.EXM replacing the current TEMP.EXM file. Return to App Mgr and point at the WhatEver icon and press F3 (Edit), F10 (OK) and press Enter.

The Edit and OK commands are critical. If you don't Edit and close the WhatEver entry the program will either not run or it will crash the Palmtop hard. You can automate most of the procedure with a System Macro, e.g., {F2}C:\_DAT\TEMP.EXM {Enter}Y{More}{F3}{F10}{Ctrl+F10}

Adding Data Files to App Mgr

Here's how to add a database file, a NoteTaker file, a Lotus 1-2-3 file, etc. to the list of applications in App Mgr?

For example, in my App Mgr Work session I have an icon for the SUPER.GDB file. When I point at the icon and press Enter the SUPER database comes up on the screen even if I have another database file running in the background.

To make this happen, I opened an Add Application screen (F2) in App Mgr, filled in the Name field with S&uper and installed the SUPER.ICN using the procedure from the "Adding Icons" tip given above. In the Path field I entered the line A:\utl\OPEN.EXE A:\DB\ super.gdb AND put an upside down "?" question mark (Fn+3) in the comment field. This last step is critical otherwise you'll get an "insufficient memory" message when you try to open the file.

The program that makes this possible is OPEN.EXE (version 1.10) which is available on this issue's The HP Palmtop Paper ON DISK and at www.palmtop.net. You can use the OPEN program to start almost all of the built-in applications with an appropriate data file.

Switching Software Carousel Sessions

If you have Software Carousel you can create App Mgr items that will let you switch from your System Manager work area to any other Carousel work area.

To make this work you'll need the LXBatch program on your Palmtop.

Here's an example of how to fill in the fields in the Add an Application screen to create an item that will switch to SC work area 2.

Name: &2Car'sl


Key Assignment: Ctrl+123

Comments: <upside down ?, Fn+3>

Icon: <any suitable icon>

How you fill in the Path field will depend on your particular setup. The upside down question mark in the comment field is critical.

The advantages to this technique are that switching to a different work area requires only a single keystroke. To return from a different work area to App Mgr you only need to press the [&...] (More) key in the other session. The only disadvantage comes about if you have more than 4 or 5 work areas. You could use up a lot of icons in App Mgr this way.

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