Evaluation time: 9 days (18 Feb. 2004-26 Feb. 2004)
Tested on: VTI (AMS 2.05, 2.08, 2.09), my real TI-89 (AMS 2.09)
* Pros: Nice text formatting features, built-in compression features
* Cons: Doesn't remember last position within a viewed file
* Stability/Reliability: 9/10
* Features: 8/10
* User Interface/Ease of use: 9/10
* Documentation: 8/10
* Overall: 9/10
When I was trying François Leiber's Flib I found that there was an on-calc text reference for the functions and that it contained formatting codes, so I had to look for a text viewer. This was the first one I found.
This program has a lot of nice features. It can both read and create compressed text files (even if they're archived), and has Favorites and History views that keep track of the last files you viewed. However, it would be nice if the Favorites and History entries kept track of not just the file you were on but also the last position in that file. I have no problem locating files on the TI-89's simple folder system, but it can be difficult to find your place in a long text file unless there are a lot of bookmarks in the file. Saving the last position would also be handy for switching back and forth from doing something on the calculator to viewing a certain portion of a text file (for example, writing a TI-BASIC program with Flib while looking up Flib's function calls).
I found the controls to be mostly consistent with the AMS's interface, and had few problems making my way around the program. The only part that initially caused me confusion was activating links. You have to press CATALOG first and then manually enter the link number shown. I had trouble at first because I didn't realize the circle in the link symbol was a number 0. I thought I was supposed to enter 1 instead because it was the only link, and I only expect numbering to start with 0 when I'm programming. Perhaps simply using the left and right arrow keys to select links like TI's Reader app would have been more intuitive.
When testing on VTI, I noticed that sometimes repeatedly compressing and un-compressing a file would cause the program to hang. I reproduced the bug a few times but can't seem to now. However, the program has yet to crash in normal use on my actual TI-89. I didn't find any other bugs (although I admit I haven't tested the "advanced" features very thoroughly) except that when scrolling up and down the text that was touching the edge of the screen occasionally looks distorted.
Overall, Nicolas did a very nice job on this program, and I will recommend it unless I find something even better.