The Main Window

The Design Of The TX81Z Programmer

The two things that are imperative to keep in mind when using this program are:
  1. The items in a library contain valuable data.

  2. The items in a snapshot represent the slots available on the TX81Z and their actual contents may or may not represent what the unit currently contains.

The main ramification of this is that the data in the snapshot can be wiped out at any time by the data in the unit, and you shouldn't become too attached to the snapshot data. If you want to treat the snapshot items you see as valuable data that you want to work with, copy them into a library and work with that. There are a few situations where I needed to synchronize the snapshot data with the unit automatically, so that's why I'm telling you this. The situations where this occurs is explained in the section on synchronization.

I'll try to explain why I designed this program like this. The design is based on three ideas:

  1. The TX81Z is a data storage device (as far as this program is concerned).

  2. The data received from the TX81Z is volatile, meaning that it can change outside the program and leave the program's data in a different state from the data in the TX81Z.

  3. There needs to be a place to store TX81Z data permanently.

These three ideas are not completely compatible with each other, so it was natural to treat them as distinct logical entities within the program and keep strict boundaries between them. Thus, the TX81Z is not represented graphically in this program. If you want to know what data the unit contains, the only certain way to do that is to go over to the unit and browse its contents from the front panel. This leaves the program with two of these entities to represent.

Logical entity #2 above is represented in the program by the snapshot. #3 is represented by the libraries.

The data flow of the program looks like this:

Which basically means that data in a library can't go directly to the TX81Z, it has to get there through the snapshot. The converse is also true: data from the TX81Z never goes directly into a library.

Main Window Features

The main window is split horizontally along the middle . The top half is used to manage the snapshot. In this manual, I'll refer to this part of the window as the snapshot area.

The bottom half of the window is used to manage your libraries. I'll call this part of the window the library area.

The controls in the main window are documented in the areas they are in: either the snapshot area or the library area.

I designed this window so that everything you need to manage your TX81Z data is at your fingertips. I know it's kind of crammed, but the main window is fully resizable, and the line going across through the library labels and down through the library buttons is actually a two-way splitter that you can drag to resize the different areas of the window.

You'll probably notice that the windows in my screen shots have really fat borders. That's just how I have my desktop set up (you can change the border size in the display properties icon in the control panel). I tend to have windows all over the place when I work, so I resize them a lot. Fatter borders just makes this easier.