The 1993 PowerDisk

The 1993 Subscriber PowerDisk is packed with software to help you get the most out of your 95LX or 100LX. It includes software to monitor batteries, compress files, create DOS/System Manager macros, play music, and more.

By Ed Keefe

[Editor's note: The HP Palmtop Paper subscribers can expect one Subscriber PowerDisk for each year they subscribe. That means most of you will be receiving the 1993 PowerDisk shortly. What follows is a preview of the new disk. Hal]

Each year's Subscriber PowerDisk presents a new challenge. This year we faced the challenge of wading through almost four megabytes of programs, data files and text files to come up with the most useful software for HP Palmtop Paper subscribers.

Our criteria was that the programs be useful or enjoyable and free. We did make several exceptions. There is some "postcardware" where the author asks you to register your software if you like it, by sending him a postcard. We also decided to include the latest version of 95BUDDY, a truly exceptional piece of software that will enhance your HP 95LX in ways you have never dreamed. If after a trial period, you decide to continue to use 95BUDDY, you are required to send in a shareware fee.

We had to double the size of this year's PowerDisk to accommodate the growing amount of useful or enjoyable programs available for both the 95LX and the 100LX. Last year we fit all the programs on one 360K floppy. This year only by compressing 1.2MB of files were we able to fit them all onto one 720K floppy disk. What you'll find on this year's PowerDisk are programs that will add value to your palmtop and pleasure to your computing practice.

We've selected files that will benefit both HP 95LX and HP 100LX owners.

Many of the programs on the disk are available on such services as CompuServe and American On Line. However, the PowerDisk also contains new files that have not appeared elsewhere that enhance the 95LX and 100LX.

Compression programs are very useful for palmtop users tight on disk space. Archiving features of many compression programs allow users to group related files into one large file. This year we include LHA, an excellent freeware compression/archiving package.

The software on the PowerDisk is compressed into self-extracting files. To decompress the file, copy it to a disk that's big enough to hold it and it's decompressed files. Then at the DOS prompt, type the name of the file without its file extension. For example, to decompress TAB95.EXE, copy it to your hard drive and type tab95 at the DOS prompt.

The SETUP.BAT and DECOMP.BAT batch files included on the PowerDisk helps simplify the whole process.

Using the PowerDisk: Hardware and Software Requirements

You'll need an external floppy drive or a desktop PC with a floppy drive to install the PowerDisk software. Your floppy drive will have to be able to read a low-density (720K) 3.5" disk or a high-density (1.2MB) 5.25" disk. Ideally, you will have a hard disk on your PC to expand the compressed files before transferring them to your Palmtop.

You'll also need an HP serial cable (F1015A) to connect your palmtop to a desktop PC or an external disk drive.

Finally, you'll need the HP Connectivity Pack or a communications program such as Kermit or ZIP.COM to transfer the files from the desktop PC to your HP Palmtop. ZIP.COM is included on the disk in the compressed file, ZIP163LX.EXE.

Macintosh users will need a connectivity program like MacLink Plus to transfer files to the HP Palmtop. The files can be decompressed on the palmtop or on the Mac with the PC emulation program Soft PC.

Sparcom Drive95 users need only the Drive95 to transfer and decompress the files.

Getting Support

Almost all of the files on this year's PowerDisk are either DOS applications or data files. The authors of these files have included instructions telling you how to install and use the files. The instructional file has the extension of .DOC or .TXT. Please read all the appropriate document files and follow the directions as given. If you have difficulties with a shareware or freeware program, contact the author directly. Contact information is usually included in the documentation.

At this time, Thaddeus Computing does not have the staff or resources to support a disk of over 30 programs for 15,000, or more, users. We ask that you do not phone us directly with questions.

The best way to get help with any of the software on the disk is to contact the author of the individual program either by mail or via CompuServe. We recommend subscribing to CompuServe. The authors of most of these programs frequent the HPHAND forum almost daily and are more than willing to help. If the author doesn't respond immediately, other knowledgeable users will.

Both Ed Keefe 75300,3667 and Hal Goldstein, 75300,2443, the producers of the PowerDisk, are available via CompuServe. You are much more likely to get a good answer if you ask the question publicly to Ed or Hal in the CompuServe HPHAND forum -- others can chime in with the answer.

Don't call Hewlett-Packard, they will not be able answer questions regarding specific shareware and freeware. You should contact the program's authors directly.

What's on the 1993 Subscribers PowerDisk?