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Application Selector Screenshots

Application Selector is a menu utility supplied with the IBM Convertible. It includes several applets which mostly offer the functions you'd expect to see these days on a PDA.

All the screenshots are at CGA resolution (640x200) which is the native resolution of the Convertible's LCD. However, unlike a real CGA, the Convertible has square pixels, so these pictures do have the correct aspect ratio.

The default menu screen. When the Application Selector is first set up, you are given the option to include DOS with it; if you do, the 'DOS' option appears as shown, and some extra options become available under 'Tools'. The menu screen supports up to 20 applications - 10 launched by the function keys, and another ten by shifted function keys.

The icons cannot be chosen by the user. If the program name is one of the Application Selector applets, then it will be given a suitable icon; if not, it gets the floppy disk.

The main help screen, accessed by pressing F1.

The tools menu, accessed by pressing F2 from the main menu. If you did not take the option to include DOS when setting up, many of these icons do not appear, since they are wrappers for DOS commands.

The System Profile tool is used to set up the Convertible's CMOS memory options. The default power-on option ('Resume') means that when the Convertible is turned off, it will retain the contents of memory and, when turned on again, pick up where it left off. This relies on it either having a working battery or being left plugged into the mains.

Incidentally, the "LCD intensity substitute" option seems to have a bug - "UNDERLINE" is shown when reverse video is in use, and vice versa.

The Set F Keys utility, used to map function keys in the main Selector menu to different programs. Here BASICA.COM has been configured to be launched from F8. Function key assignments are stored in APPSEL.COM itself, not in a separate configuration file.

Most of the other utilities (Copy, Format, Directory and so forth) are simple wrappers around DOS commands. When an option is selected, the user is prompted for any arguments, and then the command is run.

This is the result of a Directory command (actually, the second page of output).

This is the screen shown when 'Print' is selected. Again, this is a wrapper for the DOS PRINT command.

While a DOS command is running, the user can press Fn+Esc to return to the Application Selector screen. It is not possible to run another standalone program (or, indeed, use the Tools menu); you see the warning shown. However, it is possible to use the four supplied applets in this situation.

Notewriter appears to be a simple text editor.

The default view in Schedule shows the current day.

There are also views by week...

... and by month.

The 'Profile' screen in Schedule allows various options to be set, including the duration of the working day.

The telephone number list displays the contents of a listing file (by default it's called PHONE.LST) and allows you to find an entry by typing the first few letters of the person's name. If the PC has a modem fitted, then you can also use it to dial the numbers.

Pressing F4 to edit the list allows the file to be edited in a text editor that looks remarkably similar to Notewriter.

The Calculator appears to be a fairly simple five-function calculator.

Each calculation performed is recorded in the "Tape Log" window. This can subsequently be printed. In addition, there is a memory; to access it, hold down SHIFT as suggested, and then F2-F5 become memory control keys.

The icon lists and help screens are normally drawn in graphics mode; all others in text mode. If the Convertible's screen is emulating an MDA, then the icon lists will be drawn in text mode as well, with all icons replaced by a simple line drawing of a floppy diskette.

John Elliott 29 September 2005