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Some System Compliant Programs Can Cause Data loss

Some System Compliant Programs Can Cause Data loss

As more system compliant software becomes available, users should know about a bug in the HP 95LX that could cause data loss. System compliant software, as chronicled in past issues of The HP Palmtop Paper, are programs with an .EXM extension that must be installed using an APNAME.LST file. Once installed, a system compliant program can be opened with a keystroke and work in conjunction MEMO, PHONE or any of the built-in applications. The 1992 Subscribers Disk contains a number of such files. Only CMCALC has the problem discussed below (later versions of CMCALC(ON DISK ICON) do not have the problem).

Last issue (page 55) a programmer's note was published warning that System Compliant EXM programs must not contain relocations or "fixups." Since then we have received numerous requests to expand upon that warning to allow programmers to have a better understanding of the problem and its solution. Many users have also expressed concern as they do not know whether they have anything to worry about. Space only allows a description of a procedure for end users to determine if they have a problem. Programmers can obtain a more complete explanation by downloading FIXUP.ZIP(ON DISK ICON) from the HPHAND CompuServe forum, by obtaining this issue's Palmtop Paper ON DISK, or by sending The HP Palmtop Paper a self-addressed stamped envelope.

There is an easy way to check all of your EXM programs to determine whether any contain fixups using the DEBUG command hidden in English Language 95LX's. This can be done by going to DOS and entering:

C:\_SYS\DEBUG <path+program>

You will then see the "-" prompt. Enter a "d" and several rows of double digits will be displayed. Examine the first row and count six pairs over. If the next two pairs are not 00 then you have found a program with fixups. Obviously if none of the programs that you use have any, you need read no further. Also, if you find only one program with any you are still ok. If you have found more than one program with fixups, then unless they all have the same number, you need to take the following preventive action to prevent possible data loss. A program that performs the debug function and displays the number of fixups in an EXM will be on the PTP ON DISK.

  1. 1. Inform the author or company that distributes the software of this problem. You might also refer them to this article.
  2. 2. If you must continue to use these programs, make sure you run them one at a time, closing each one before opening another. If you don't remember and close one by mistake, simply reboot. This will clear the memory and prevent potential data loss.
  3. 3. Do not close any previously opened applications while using one containing fixups.
Mark Scardina

CompuServe ID: [76711,732]

iPhone Life magazine


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