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By Ed Keefe

49top.gif (24796 bytes) HP 49G Calculator and 1999 Calculator Conferences

Many HP Palmtop users migrated to the Palmtop after their favorable experiences with HP calculators. Here's some news that may be of interest to those who are still attached to these powerful tools.

The Hewlett-Packard Calculator Division has recently announced the successor to the HP 48 scientific calculator, the HP 49G.

The calculator uses the same Saturn CPU as the HP 48 calculators but reportedly runs almost 10 times faster than its predecessor. There is no infrared device but wire connectivity is vastly improved. There is no way to add a memory card.

What the picture doesn't reveal is the color of the HP 49G, robin's egg blue, and the fact that the keys are rubber rather than plastic. Supposedly keyboard entry is also faster than on previous calculators.

To read more about the HP 49G itself, visit the Web site, www. hpcalc.org/hp49g.html.

The HP Calculator Operation (ACO) has been based in Australia for the past two years after having made a stop-over in Singapore. Look for some good things from "down under."

Handheld Conference

On August 20-22, 1999, the ACO will sponsor a Handheld Conference in Vancouver, WA, U.S.A. to formally present the HP 49G. To learn more about this and other HPCC conferences visit the Web site at www. hpcc.org/conf99.html.

Outlook and the Palmtop

Recently, two new programs have been advanced as partial solutions to data transfer between the Palmtop and a Windows-based computer. The first program, is from Curtis Cameron, the author of many game programs for the Palmtop. Curtis's program provides a two-way data-conversion between PhoneBook on the Palmtop and the Contacts application in MS Outlook. The archive file is called OLC2LXinst.EXE (version 1.8) and may be obtained directly from members.aol.com/freewhL44/ lxgames.html. Several users who have tried the program attest that it is simple to use, works quickly and generates PhoneBook (.PDB) files that work on the Palmtop and with Cpack on their desktop. Curtis warns that this version is still a program-in-process and should be used only after you have made backups. Here are some of the features of the program.

It supports standard (.PDB) phonebooks and non-standard (.GDB) contact files

It can handle data from Outlook 97, 98, and probably 2000.

You can select multiple contact folders in Outlook by holding the CTRL key and clicking on the folders.

You can map the fields between Outlook and the Palmtop's PhoneBook any way you want.

You can assign multiple Outlook fields to each PhoneBook field. In case an Outlook field is blank, it will go to a second or third field to find data to put in a PhoneBook field.

You can separate Outlook's multi-line street address fields into their first, second, or third lines and assign them separately to Palmtop fields. The field mapping is stored for each different Palmtop file you use, so you can have several different files and it will remember the mapping for each. This information is stored in the same directory as the Palmtop file, using the palmtop file name, except with a .MAP file extension.

If you pass a palmtop file name on the command line, that palmtop file, along with all its mapping info, will be loaded when it starts.

If you also pass the string "/run" after the file name, then the conversion process will begin automatically.

The Palmtop's extended characters are converted correctly to Outlook but not the other way.

To use the utility, you must have these things: MS Visual Basic 5 (SP3) runtime files, available from www. hotfiles.com by searching for "vb5 runtime." You must have Outlook installed on the computer running this utility. You need to check the field mapping to make sure things is going where you want.

The other program is by Juha Husgafvel (juha.husgafvel@progman.fi) and is designed to export Outlook Calendar and Task information to HP 200LX Appointment Book (.ADB) format. The current version converts files one way only.

The archive file is called OL2LX_02.ZIP and may be obtained directly from www.tuug.org/~hysky.

OL2LX has been tested with Outlook 98 and HP 200LX (4MB) and the APPTS.EXE program from the Windows version of the Appointment Book. It exports the following Calendar fields: Start date, End date, Subject, Body, Recurrence pattern, Reminder set, Reminder time. It also exports the following fields from Outlook's Tasks application: Start date, Due date, Subject, Body, Recurrence pattern, Reminder set, Reminder time. It will not export other information from Outlook. The programmer reports that there are some known problems with the program, namely, weekly repeated appointments, in Outlook, are simulated with Palmtop's Custom Repeat feature but there is no way to get the frequency of repeats. Likewise the program can't handle repeating tasks in Outlook 97 that have been deleted yet it will do so with Outlook 98.

For some unknown reason, Outlook tasks that were marked as completed and then unmarked show up as two separate tasks.

All in all, this is a large first step but nowhere near a complete synchronization program. It is definitely worth a try if only to give the programmer some feedback on other features that need to be tackled.

New Palrun Makes Programs Look Better on a Desktop.

If you want to run programs, based on the PAL library, on your MS-DOS computer, you need to set up the computer to handle the graphics and other features supported by the Palmtop. To do this you first run the Palrun program and then a program such as PalEdit or HV.

Palrun has been available for over a year now. Andreas Garzotto has just released an updated version that corrects a couple of bugs and adds some new features.

The most notable feature is that the 6X8 sized font used on the Palmtop is mapped to an 8X8 sized font on the desktop. This makes PAL-compliant programs look better on a desktop computer.

If you like using the PalEdit editor, you should see what it looks like in full screen mode. Palrun, ver. 1.03 will let you do this.

VDE Is Now Y2K Compliant

If you prefer the VDE editor from Eric Meyer, you'll want to get version 1.87a of this program before the end of the current millennium. Eric has made sure that all the features of VDE are Y2K compliant and has added some new features which make it possible to read and edit Word 97 files.

Tired of the Same Old ToDo List?

If you're growing weary of looking at that growing list of ToDo's that never seem to get done, perhaps a new ToDo list will help. A slight change in perspective may be just what you need to overcome procrastination. (Then again, maybe not.)

TODO.EXM is a new System Manager Compliant program from Taiyo, a Japanese Palmtop programmer. The TODO21.LZH archive may be downloaded directly from http://hp.vector.co.jp/authors/VA014919/soft/todo.htm The program's documentation is in Japanese but help in exploring the program's features is available from several people on the HPLX-L mail list. The above Web page also has an archive file TODO21S.LZH that contains the Turbo C source code for the program.

TODO.EXM displays ToDo's in a spreadsheet-style format with columns A-Z and 99 rows (see Screen 1). Each cell can have a ToDo note with a start date, due date and last time edited date. You can adjust the size of each cell, which will show more or less cells on the screen at once. There is a size adjustable data card window, which will show all of the text for the currently selected ToDo cell. You can put a title on each column. You can sort columns in different ways. You can jump around the rows and columns quickly. TODO.EXM is one of those programs that is worth a try if only to see if it helps.

Screen 1: TODO.EXM displays ToDo's in a spreadsheet layout.

Finally, a Use for cc:Mail

The HP Palmtop started its life as a Hewlett-Packard and Lotus Development Corp. product. At the time it was the only palmtop device to feature a spreadsheet program from a major corporation: Lotus 1-2-3.

Lotus Dev. Corp. also wrote the original version of System Manager and added cc:Mail Remote to the software that would run under SysMgr.

However, to use cc:Mail on the Palmtop you had to have access to a server running cc:Mail: something hard to come by.

Now you can, if you want, use that blue key and receive and send email using a standard POP3 protocol.

The ccLXPOP (clicks-pop) program by Brian McIlvaine will let you use cc:Mail as the email reader and composer and then connect to a POP3 email server when you want to send and receive messages. ccLXPOP makes use of the LXTCP utilities written by Rod Whitby and has the following capabilities:

1. It can send and receive email using cc:MAIL as the means to view and generate email. You can access multiple email accounts for receipt of email.

2. It can be used to read newsgroups. You can download newsgroups and then index that mail in cc:MAIL into a separate folder where your email goes. This indexing is done off line.

3. ccLXPOP can be used on a desktop or laptop computer as well as on the Palmtop.

4. The address book and address list functions work cleanly and efficiently.

Status Report: Synchronizing the HP Palmtop PIMS with MS Outlook

iPhone Life magazine


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