Applications and popdowns


The Cambridge Z88 comes with two types of built-in program, called applications and popdowns. For most of your work, you will probably use the applications, for writing text, setting up financial calculations, or organising information and appointments.

The popdowns perform simpler tasks, and are equivalent to desktop tools. They can be called up from within any application whenever you need them, and in the cases of the alarm clock, calculator and calendar, will generally be most useful for making a rapid check or record of information. So, in the middle of typing a letter, for example, you could use the Calculator to perform a quick calculation, and then return immediately to the letter by pressing .

You can keep several unfinished documents in your Cambridge Z88 at once: when you return to one of them to continue working on it, everything will be exactly as you left it. The Cambridge Z88 is designed to leave you free to do things in whatever order you wish, and whenever you want. It does the work, and leaves you free to get on with the thinking.

The next few pages will give an overview of what the Cambridge Z88 applications and popdowns can do. The TUTORIAL, in Sections Two, Three, and Four, then gives fuller descriptions of each application and popdown, with examples of their use.

The applications

The following applications are provided in the Cambridge Z88:

Creating documents - PipeDream

A typewriter may enable you to type in text, correct mistakes as you type them, and underline text, but as soon as you need to make revisions, you inevitably have to retype parts of what you have already written.

In PipeDream you can carry out proof corrections, sorting operations, and complex calculations with a few keystrokes, without you having to retype any of the text.

Some facilities, such as the ability to move blocks of text around, will be familiar to anyone who has already used another word processor. Other features, like the ability to put a list of items into numerical order or the ability to perform calculations on tables of values, are normally only found on specialist pieces of software specifically designed for these tasks.

Organising your time - Diary

The Diary program provides a quick way of organising events, and keeping day-to-day information, such as expenses. Like a desktop diary, there is a page for each day, on which you can write engagements and other information. But the Cambridge Z88 diary also caters for the likelihood that you might want to find something you wrote down on a previous occasion; if you cannot remember even the month of a particular exhibition, just search for 'exhibition' and the Diary will find the page for you. You can also print out entries of a certain type, which makes it easy to produce expense claims, or worksheets.

Writing a program - BBC BASIC

The Cambridge Z88 comes complete with the BBC BASIC programming language which will allow you to program the computer to carry out sequences of instructions. For example, if you wanted to process some complicated statistical data, or convert the format of a file, the simplest way to do this might be to write a program using BBC BASIC.

BBC BASIC is also an ideal language for learning to program, and many books on programming are available for use with it.

Talking to another computer - Terminal

The Terminal application allows you to set up a conversation with another computer, using the VT52 standard. With a modem, this will allow you to access information databases via a telephone line.

Create a printer driver - PrinterEd

The applications will print on any serial printer connected to the Cambridge Z88, but to make full use of a particular printer's capabilities, such as special fonts and highlighting features, you may want to create your own driver selecting whichever features you require. The PrinterEd application makes this a simple task.

The popdowns

Popdowns are programs you can call from within an application, to perform a service without breaking off from what you are doing.

Managing resources - Index

The Index popdown is the key to all other Cambridge Z88 applications and popdowns. From here you can call any other application or popdown, or resume an activity you suspended on a previous occasion. The Index also contains the Card Manager, which shows what memory cards or plug-in applications are present in the Cambridge Z88, and allows you to insert or remove cards.

Performing rapid calculations - Calculator

You can use the Calculator to make quick calculations - even if you are in the middle of doing something else at the time. Its features include ten memories, and a units-conversion facility. So, for example, you can convert from litres to gallons with a few key-presses.

Looking up dates - Calendar

The Calendar means that you can plan your appointments for the coming weeks at a glance; and when you need to make a Diary entry, you can use the Calendar with the Diary to find the day you want immediately.

Knowing the time - Clock

The Clock will show you the time and date instantly, without you having to look away from whatever else you are doing. All files and suspended activities are labelled with the time and date, so be sure that you have set the clock before you use the Cambridge Z88.

Remembering appointments - Alarm

The Alarm application allows you to set up a number of alarm reminders, with a given time and, if required, date. Each reminder can include a message, and reminders can be programmed to alert you at the same time every day, month, or other interval. You can even set the alarm to run a program.

Working with files - Filer

The Filer gives you access to the Cambridge Z88 filing system, where you can store documents and BBC BASIC programs in the Cambridge Z88 RAM, or for more permanent storage on  EPROM and Flash cards. Although the filing system supports a flexible hierarchical directory structure, for simple applications directories can be ignored.

Working with files - FlashStore

Flashstore is a dedicated file manager for Rakewell flash cards and is also able to fetch & store files on EPROM cards. FlashStore may format a flash card for use with permanent storage of files. FlashStore can also create and manage file areas below application areas on a Flash Cards. Supports Backup / Restore from / to RAM cards and card to card direct copy of files.

Customise the Cambridge Z88 - Panel

The Panel global controls sets the language, keyboard, filing system, sound, and serial interface speed to your own preferences.

Transferring files to another computer - Import/Export

The Import/Export popdown enables you to transfer documents to or from another computer, using a simple set of commands. Integrated with X/Y modem protocol for easy integration with terminal applications on your computer.

An alternative file transfer solution which allows remove control of the Z88, managing file transfer and remote file management on the Z88 from the desktop computer. Through Eazylink the Z88 functions as a server and your desktop computer as a client. The client application is provided for all major desktop operating systems.