Version 3 Change Summary


  1. Multiple Macros
  2. Significant Feature Enhancements
  3. Minor Changes
  4. DOS-only Version
  5. Bug Repairs

The major area of enhancement in this Buddy update has been to the macro file logic. In addition, dozens of minor changes and improvements have been made to the operation of the HP palmtop.

Multiple Macros

At any time, you can easily command Buddy to load and scan any one of 36 different macro files. This gives you instant access to 360 macros. As in version 2, you can also specify a different macro file for each application and Buddy will automatically switch to the proper file when necessary.

Feature Description

The multiple macro feature is enabled using the "Macro Files" checkbox on the Default Directories screen of the Buddy EXM. A single letter code can be specified for each application that designates the first letter of the macro file associated with that application.

  1. When you change macro files, Buddy will scan and retain the first seven characters (or the first word) of the description field of the macro. When you push the Fn key, Buddy will display the macro labels above the 10 macro keys and display the first letter of the currently-loaded macro file just to the left of the F1 key label (screen image). Buddy displays the macro labels corresponding to the active application, if they are known, which may not be the labels of the currently-loaded macro file. Three sets of macro labels are saved (instead of just one as in version 2) for three different macro files. If the labels are unknown either because (1) the macro file has not been scanned, (2) the labels have been displaced by a more-recent macro file, or (3) particular macros have not been defined, will display numbers ("1" through "10"). Buddy makes a label using the first word of the macro description field, if specified, or otherwise the first few characters of the macro itself. An EXM setting will cause a default label to be generated instead of using macro text with curly braces.

  2. When you push a macro key (e.g., Fn-F3), the proper macro file will be loaded (if necessary) and the labels saved, pushing out one of the older sets on a FIFO basis. Buddy will also automatically switch macro files when you record a macro (e.g., Fn-SHIFT-F3), if appropriate (the macro file feature is enabled and not temporarily inhibited).

    To specify that there is no particular macro file for a certain application, put a blank in the letter designation box for that application. If such an application is active, the macro file will not be changed when you push a macro key. (This is a slight change from version 2 where the special character was a space.)

  3. At startup, Buddy automatically loads, reads, and saves the macro labels of up to three macro files whose designations in the Buddy EXM are set to upper-case letters (e.g., `M' instead of `m' for the Memo application). Next, Buddy loads the macro file starting with `@' (e.g., "@BOOT.MAC") if that feature is enabled and if such a file exists. Finally, Buddy runs the macro named "@boot" of the last loaded macro file, if such a label exists. If the macro name is "@boot+", macro chaining occurs (see below). Note that the character case is important in the macro name (that is, "@Boot" will not work). You can use this feature to automatically open your favorite application or change the machine's configuration when you reboot. Also, remember that no Buddy features can be invoked from a macro, so you should record the @boot macro with Buddy turned off.

  4. Macro chaining: After executing a macro, Buddy will automatically chain to the next macro if the macro label ends with a plus sign (`+'). Chaining will continue until a macro not having a label ending with a plus sign or macro F10 or has been executed. A macro label consisting of only a plus sign is sufficient to cause chaining. (Example image.)

  5. &More: The letters corresponding to the three known sets of macro labels will be shown in the lower right corner (screen image). For example, "M P @" means Buddy knows the labels for "m---.mac", "p---.mac", and "@boot.mac". ("---" means anything.) Also, the next file to be dumped will be "@boot.mac" because it's last on the list.

  6. Fn-\ (backslash) prepares Buddy to perform a macro file load operation. If the next character is another backslash, then Buddy will load and scan the macro file designated for the active application. (This is useful if Buddy does not know the labels and you've forgotten which macro key runs which macro.) However, if the next character is a letter or a numeral, Buddy will attempt to load and scan the macro file whose name starts with that character (and temporarily inhibit further automatic loading, see below). This feature operates even if the "Macro Files" checkbox is off, thus allowing you to change to another macro file on command even when Buddy is not doing it automatically. When you push Fn, the first letter of the currently-loaded macro file is displayed to the left of the F1 label.

    To permit you to load an arbitrary macro file and invoke a macro therein if you have the "Macro Files" checkbox on, Buddy will temporarily inhibit automatic loads after you manually load a macro file (e.g., by entering "Fn-\v" to load VIC.MAC). Automatic operation will be restored when you push Fn-\ again (even Fn-\-ESC) or activate the EXM.

    Invoking a macro will not change the temporary inhibit state.

    When automatic operation is either temporarily inhibited or permanently disabled, the macro file letter shown to the left of the F1 key label will be in lower case. An upper-case letter indicates the currently loaded macro file AND that the macro file designated for the current application will be loaded automatically, if necessary, if you push a macro key.

Macro Feature Operation Summary

Keystroke action
turn off
Load and scan the proper macro file for the current app
turn on
Load and scan macro file X---.MAC (`x' is a letter or numeral)
turn off
No other action
turn off
Start EXM
no change
Execute macro ("Fx" is F1 to F10)
no change
Record macro

Macro File
Macro key labels
(don't care) lower case Shown if know, else numbers
upper case Shown if know, else numbers
lower case Shown if know, else numbers

Letter Action when a macro key is pushed (before execution)
lower case No change to the macro file
upper case Load the proper macro file (if not already loaded)

Macro EXM Settings Summary (screen image)

There are two checkboxes that control startup behavior:

Startup action
Do not scan any macro files. Whatever file is already loaded remains loaded.
Load the file @BOOT.MAC and read the labels therefrom.
Scan the labels of the currently loaded macro file plus the macro files having upper-case letter designations, and leave the last such file loaded. It only makes sense to have three or fewer upper-case letter designations.
Scan the labels of the currently loaded macro file plus the macro files having upper-case letter designations, then load @BOOT.MAC and read the labels therefrom. It only makes sense to have two or fewer upper-case letter designations.

In the last three cases, after the last file has been loaded, the first macro named "@boot", if one exists, is invoked.

Significant Feature Enhancements

  1. &More: The battery information is shown on the icon view screen. The plus and minus keys will change the serial port state, and Fn-PLUS and Fn-MINUS will change the battery timeout value, as in Filer.

  2. WorldTime: When you change local cities, Buddy will force an update of the ENV time zone information (by starting and quitting the EXM). This cures the problem some users have had whereby the new time zone would not be used after a reboot. That would happen if the ENV was not rewritten between changing the time zone and rebooting.

  3. WorldTime: An indicator on the great circle display lets you know which of the two endpoint selections (dot or comma) is active on the numeric keypad (used to move the endpoint), and where that endpoint is located on the map. In the lower left corner of the display, a letter `C' indicates that the comma-key endpoint is active, while a letter `D' indicates that the dot-key endpoint active. The arrow to the left or right of that character points in the longitudinal direction of the active endpoint with respect to the other endpoint as shown on the map.

  4. Unloading in DOS: The command "BUDDY -u" (or "BUDDY /u") will cause the active invocation of Buddy, if any, to unload (if sysmgr is not running).

  5. Filer (200LX only): Buddy looks for C:/_DAT/FILER.INI once at startup. If it exists, the initial action for d-ENTER (used to view a file and then launch an application according to the file's extension) is to pass the ENTER key to Filer (thus invoking the action specified by FILER.INI, if any). If no action is taken, then a DOS program or built-in application is launched according to the extension listing in the Filer Settings of the Buddy EXM.

Minor Changes

  1. Calc: `i' and `o' are surrogates for `(` and `)', respectively. (This is helpful for algebraic mode.)

  2. Calc: The shortcut keys (s-d-r-p-y-i-o-q) are active in all sub-applications except Solver.

  3. Calc: If you toggle out of Scientific, Engineering, or All format to fixed point format using the "MENU =" feature, Buddy will toggle back to that original format from fixed point when using "MENU =" again. (It used to toggle only to Engineering format.) In effect, Buddy remembers your floating point preference.

  4. Filer: In split view, TAB toggles the cursor between the left and right sides.

  5. WorldTime: If started via &More, go directly to the map view with the overlay.

  6. WorldTime: The location of the equator is shown on the overlay.

  7. WorldTime: The default solar eclipse data has been updated to February 26, 1998 16:00 GMT. This will be converted to your local time zone and displayed you enter the manual time/date mode (by pushing the left or right arrow keys). After the March 1998, the August 11, 1999 solar eclipse data will be used, instead.

  8. WorldTime: The great circle endpoints are saved in the ENV so you can change them and they'll stick across reboots (assuming you at least open and close the EXM between changing and rebooting).

  9. Appt: In the date field, `t' means "today" (similar to `n' for "noon").

  10. Memo: An new checkbox in the EXM enables the Memo Goto feature whereby pushing MEMO while Memo is active will call up the Goto screen. This feature does not operate if "swap blues with shifted-symbols" is on in Memo.

  11. EXM: On the main screen, the L/R arrow keys move through all choices.

  12. Appt: When viewing an appointment, F2 ("add") will reset the SmartCaps state.

  13. Todo: A new checkbox in the EXM enables `+' and `-' to change the date by a week on the Todo main screen. Otherwise, `-' will toggle the todo status. (Those keys still move by weeks the main Appt view).

  14. Filer: When Lite Sleep is disabled, the indicator is shown in reverse video.

  15. In File Open or File Save windows, the `-' (minus) key can be used in a file name. Previously the minus key rotated through the file key sets, but that caused a problem with file names containing a dash. I figure the plus key is sufficient for rotating the key sets since there are only three sets.

  16. Editing: If text is highlighted, `.' (dot) will perform a CUT and `=` (equal sign) will perform a COPY operation. Thus, when text is highlighted, you don't need to push the Fn key prior to the DOT or EQUAL keys to perform a cut or copy.

  17. There's a new checkbox on the Other Settings screen that enables Buddy to remove the slashes in zeros. Some people like the slashes, and I offered a patch in the version 2 FAQ that would disable that feature. I don't like patches.

  18. The timers for Fn-F (power-off and force password) and Fn-q (quiet mode) are no longer forced to expire at midnight.

  19. SmartCaps: If "dot after white space is on," d-gray will be inhibited after white-space dot. Use this feature to type numbers containing double digits.

  20. The DOS program BUDUMP.EXE will print out the current values of your Buddy settings. Use this to make a hard copy of your settings. Type "BUDUMP -h" for help. This program is not included in the standard ZIP file, but it is available on the Buddy diskettes or from the Buddy Web site, www.buddy.com.

DOS-only Version

The DOS-only version will operate only for registered users.

Buddy.EXM is the same in both cases; only the .COM files are different. Buddy EXM will display "DOS-only" on its main screen if the DOS-only version is loaded.

DOS features

  1. (unchanged from standard version) CTRL-MINUS (disable Buddy), CTRL-PLUS (enable Buddy).

  2. (unchanged) SmartCaps, d-letter, d-gray. You must still enable these features by checking the corresponding "DOS" boxes in those three feature sections of the Buddy EXM.

  3. (unchanged) Fn-S, Fn-L, Fn-G toggle SmartCaps, d-letter, and d-gray on/off (unless preceded by MENU).

  4. (unchanged) d-backslash.

  5. (unchanged) Fn-C (cursor), Fn-Q (quiet), Fn-W (noisy), ALT-PLUS (serial port on), ALT-MINUS (serial port lock), MENU-dot ("exit"), SHIFT-MENU-DEL (unload Buddy).

  6. (unchanged) The battery usage timer is updated.

  7. (new) Push CTRL-PLUS (if Buddy is already enabled) to see a printout of the battery values, serial port status, and "Q" state.

Sysmgr applications

  1. In any application, whether it is a built-in or add-in, pushing CTRL-PLUS will globally enable SmartCaps, d-letter, and d-gray, according to the corresponding "Sysmgr" boxes that are checked in those three feature sections of the Buddy EXM. (If you are running the full-featured version, then those boxes are called "Add-ins".) The keys Fn-S, Fn-G, and Fn-L toggle the corresponding features on and off, same as before. If you push any blue key or the MENU key, these three features are globally disabled.

  2. d-backslash is always active (whereby "\\" is changed to `:'), if enabled by the setting in the EXM.

Bug Repairs

  1. d-gray is disabled in the Appt Leadtime field, the Appt Goto field, the Todo Priority field, and all application password fields.

  2. When the blue-key timer (the tornado) times out, a DEL will do a delete, not a backspace.

  3. &More: (200LX bug) MENU AT will properly show "Buddy" on F8 key.

  4. EXM: MENU fx exits (was MENU fe).

  5. Calc List Stat: Hot keys now inactive in MENU File Copy.

  6. Calc: "MENU cdy" no longer beeps.

  7. File keys: A directory name that is longer than six characters will no longer be used as a file-key label, overriding the file name.

  8. Filer: The timeout value can no longer be accidentally reduced past zero, thus wrapping around to a large positive number. Also, if the timeout value is greater than 1638 seconds, Buddy displays the correct value. The minimum value is now 20 seconds.

  9. WorldTime: The automatic time zone update works on the 200LX.

  10. Startup: Trailing spaces on the Buddy command line, if any, are ignored. Before, trailing spaces prevented the HLP and OWN files from being found.

  11. Startup: Specifying that Fn-Q (quiet mode) default to on at startup now works.

  12. If you terminate sysmgr when there's a dirty file loaded in Memo, Buddy will no longer get confused, partially unload, and later get stuck in memory while you decide whether or not to save the file (unless you push "Cancel" instead of yes or no -- so don't do that).

  13. Password: Fixed the inadvertent rescramble after ack-ing an alarm when password is required. Also fixed the rescramble after ack-ing a 200LX daily greeting. A side effect is that when in DOS, after entering your password, the blue-keys appear to be inoperative -- they don't work until you hit some regular key.

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Updated: March 30, 1997