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Subject: PC/GEOS OS FAQ, Customizing Geos (part 5/6)
This article was archived around: 21 May 2006 04:23:43 GMT
Last-modified: January 1, 2003
The most recent version of this file can be found at any news.answers
archive site. One such site is rtfm.mit.edu, in the
/pub/usenet/comp.os.geos.misc subdirectory. The most recent version of the
FAQ is also available from my home page at
http://www.geocities.com/originalravinray/geos/faq/ in both HTML and ASCII
I make no claims about the accuracy of this information. Use it at your own
risk. This file is compiled from various sources, including but not limited
to USENET, the Web, commercial networks, and electronic mail. The FAQ is
mostly targeted towards desktop Geos users, both Ensemble and NewDeal
Office. However, there are still many sections devoted to other topics and
This information may be freely distributed, in whole or in part, in any
form, provided that any distributor:
* Tells me, so that I can inform you of updates to the FAQ and tell the
USENET community (I will keep the information confidential, if you
* Makes every reasonable effort to keep this information current
* Releases myself and the rest of USENET from any liability.
If this file leaves the confines of USENET for any BBS's, web pages, user
groups, commercial networks, or other networks (FidoNet, GeoHolics Net,
etc.) or vendors, please let me know so that I can pass along the
information to others.
Please send submissions, comments, suggestions, or corrections to
I'd like to give the following folks my thanks:
* Steve Main (email@example.com) former Director of Technical Services,
* John Howard (firstname.lastname@example.org) of Breadbox Computers, for giving me
* Stephen Haffly (email@example.com) for reposting this FAQ to
* Lynn Montelauro (GSMLynn@aol.com) for making this FAQ a part of GSMN.
* Rose Walton PC Coaches (firstname.lastname@example.org,
http://users.aol.com/rwcoaching/) for distributing copies of this FAQ
to its customers.
* Werni Grieder (BaselBasel@aol.com,
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/WerniGrieder) for being a
* Doug Taylor (email@example.com) for a lot of the PDA information.
* All the people who have written great Geos software.
* All the people who mail me information and follow comp.os.geos.misc.
* And of course, James Bearden, the original author of this FAQ.
Since the previous update (February 10, 2002), the following sections have
* Credits (John Howard's e-mail addresses)
* Section 5.1.2 Which character set does Geos use? Most European
languages need the special characters above CHR (127)...
* Section 5.2.1 What is the GEOS.INI file, and why would I want to
mess with it?
* 5 Customizing Geos
o 5.1 The Standard User Interface
+ 5.1.1 I don't like the interface. Can I customize it?
+ 5.1.2 Which character set does Geos use? Most European
languages need the special characters above CHR (127)...
+ 5.1.3 When I install other fonts, they are displayed in the
fonts menu in the order they were installed. Is there a way
to have them in alphabetical order?
+ 5.1.4 I want to make a graphics file into a Geos background.
How do I do that?
+ 5.1.5 How can I keep the splash screen from showing up?
o 5.2 The GEOS.INI File
+ 5.2.1 What is the GEOS.INI file, and why would I want to
mess with it?
+ 5.2.2 Is there an easy way to tweak the GEOS.INI?
+ 5.2.3 How do I associate DOS files with programs?
+ 5.2.4 How do I get rid of drives in GeoManager?
+ 5.2.5 How do I get rid of the link button?
+ 5.2.6 How do I enable the floating keyboard?
5 Customizing Geos
5.1 The Standard User Interface
5.1.1 I don't like the interface. Can I customize it?
The desktop version offers four levels of interface complexity, and fine
tuning options within each level, so you can customize each application to
present you with as few or as many functions as you desire. Look for this
feature in the Options Menu of applications that support it.
Geos also supports a Generic/Specific UI concept. This means that
applications are written for a very powerful dynamically bound object
oriented generic user interface. At runtime the system 'binds' the Generic
UI to a Specific UI, and all output is presented through that Specific UI.
A CUA-based Specific UI surfaced briefly for the desktop version 1.x (it
was part of America Online's now-defunct Promenade service), but due to
legal questions, it was voluntarily removed from most FTP sites. Eduquest,
a division of IBM, released a program called SchoolView that uses Geos 2.01
with a Presentation Manager (PM) interface and a different file manager
(WorkPlace Shell), that made it resemble OS/2. It's intended primarily for
network use and is not available for stand-alone systems. It has since been
discontinued by IBM.
The SDK does have the PM interface for testing purposes. Copy PM.GEO to
your system directory and add the line "specific =3D pm.geo" to the [UI]
section of your GEOS.INI. Note that, due to UI extensions developed by
Breadbox and incorporated by NewDeal into the 3.0 kernel, the PM UI can no
longer be used with NDO Release 3.x.
With NewDeal Release 3, NewDeal has created an alternative Specific UI. The
Industry Standard UI (ISUI) is intended to provide a more familiar user
interface, so users of other software would feel more immediately at home.
It looks similar to Windows 95/98/ME, with a taskbar that allows easy
switching between running applications, and the Express menu (bearing the
NewDeal logo) has been moved to the left of the taskbar and given
Documents, Help, Run, and Shut Down items. It works in conjunction with the
new NewDesk file manager. During installation, the user is given a choice
of user interfaces and file managers. The user can change the UI and file
manager anytime by selecting "Change UI" from Preferences.
5.1.2 Which character set does Geos use? Most European languages need the
special characters above CHR(127)...
Geos has quite a large available character set. For instance, all the
vowels can be given acute, dieresis, grave, and circumflex accents in both
upper- and lower-case. You can also use the Spanish =F1 (as in se=F1or),=
=E6, the German =DF (double s), and many other special language characters.=
also have a choice of various typographical, punctuation, currency, and
mathematical symbols. These are all documented in the manual, or you can
bring up a floating keyboard if you are willing to modify your GEOS.INI
file. With New Deal Office 98 and higher, you can use the Character Map to
view the entire character set in different fonts. Geoworks produced a
double-byte character set (DBCS) version based on Unicode in late 1994,
along with front-end text processors to support Japanese and Korean
languages. This is known as Geos-J, but unfortunately no products that I
know of have been developed to use it.
As of this writing, the euro symbol (it looks like a lower-case c with an =
sign through it), the new monetary standard of 11 states of the European
Union, is being included as a standard character in Breadbox Ensemble.
5.1.3 When I install other fonts, they are displayed in the fonts menu in
the order they were installed. Is there a way to have them in alphabetical
The Preferences application in the desktop versions 2.0 and greater allows
you to select which fonts you wish to have appear in your font menu, and
their order. Alternatively you can use a disk defragger which sorts files.
5.1.4 I want to make a graphics file into a Geos background. How do I do
Enter Geos and start up GeoDraw or the Scrapbook. Use the Import option (on
the File menu) to import your file into GeoDraw. Make sure that the
imported image is selected and then use the Edit menu to either Cut or Copy
it to the clipboard. Next, start up Preferences and select the Background
option. Once there, click on the "Get background from clipboard" button,
give it a name, and your image magically appears as a background.
5.1.5 How can I keep the splash screen from showing up?
Steve Main (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
"You can keep it from showing by:"
* Use the /LOG parameter when starting NewDeal Office 97, or
* Use the individual file tool to install LOADERHG.EXE, then rename
LOADERHG.EXE to LOADER.EXE. This only works if you have a VGA
5.2 The GEOS.INI File
5.2.1 What is the GEOS.INI file, and why would I want to mess with it?
The GEOS.INI file is a plain text file residing in your home Geos
directory, and it specifies to a large degree how your system behaves.
Geoworks and NewDeal do not recommend modifying the GEOS.INI file. It's
generally a bad idea to change your GEOS.INI file unless you know what
you're doing. However, if you do try to edit it, do it in DOS before you
load Geos and make a backup copy in case something goes wrong.
5.2.2 Is there an easy way to tweak the GEOS.INI?
Yes. There is a utility called GeoCon v2.0 that automatically adjusts your
GEOS.INI file for you. GeoCon enables you to easily change the color scheme
and behavior of the Express Menu. Preference 4 Pack also allows you to
change certain system characteristics. It was added to the desktop in
NDO98, and was redone as a Preferences module for the most part for Release
5.2.3 How do I associate DOS files with programs?
Kenda Gee (email@example.com) writes about his ZIP example:
"The pkunzip is not a problem at all--just use a dosAssociation
line in your GEOS.INI file and a double-click on your zip
files...it is a breeze... :-) For pkzipping, there is a way to
make sure you don't zip up your @DIRNAME.000 and PKZIP.EXE files.
Create a folder, say "Zipper" in your \DOCUMENT directory... toss
two files into it--your PKZIP.EXE and another file, called
PKLIST. In PKLIST, type the files you don't want zipped up each
time: PKZIP.EXE and DIRNAME.000. Then create a launcher for the
PKZIP.EXE in your DOSROOM, or WORLD directory, and add the
"The only shortcoming of this recipe is that you will have to
rename your output zipped file from 1.ZIP to whatever you want (I
chose 1.ZIP, so that it will, generally appear on the top left
hand corner of the \ZIPPER screen, but you could easily call it
0.ZIP, or whatever you want...). Just make sure you don't
accidentally delete the PKLIST, or PKZIP.EXE file from your
"To use the PKZIP, throw your files in the \ZIPPER folder, and
use the Launcher to zip up your files in that folder."
5.2.4 How do I get rid of drives in GeoManager?
This tip works only for Geos 2.x or higher. Add or edit the system section
of your GEOS.INI file like so:
drive x =3D 0
where x is the drive you want to make disappear.
5.2.5 How do I get rid of the link button in GeoManager?
Lee Bailey (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
"To get rid of the link button in GeoManager, comment out the
features line in the FileManager section of your GEOS.INI, like
;features =3D 32768
5.2.6 How do I enable the floating keyboard?
GWRepMark (email@example.com) writes:
"In order to use the Floating Keyboard you must insert two lines
into your INI file: "
noKeyboard =3D true
floatingKeyboard =3D true
End of the PC/GEOS FAQ Part 5
Copyright =A9 199?-1999 James Bearden. All rights reserved.
Copyright =A9 1999-2003 Raymond Thaddeus C. Ancog. All rights reserved.=