Is Integrated Desktop just another space wasting file explorer? When I first started to download games for my TI-89, I could never figure out how to access all of them quickly. PreOS and other shells like it help to access files without typing them into the command line, but they only recognize some files. I still had to type in games like ''Command 2 Conquer". The file browsers that I saw, like "TICT Explorer," had tons of features that I didn't need, huge file sizes, and boring interfaces. I kept thinking, Why doesnt someone tap into the built-in apps desktop? Then I found just that. Integrated Desktop, I.D. for short, has five glowing pros: file size, looks, customizability, glitch protection, and compatibility. It only has one con, a small built-in database.
I.D.'s file size is very tiny because it taps into the existing integrated desktop, hence the name. This program has one file for activation, one file to back up settings, and one database file of shortcuts. If your calculator never needs resetting (as if!), all three of these file can be deleted and the program still works.
I.D. looks a little like a computer desktop without a cursor. Each shortcut has a picture, a name, and a comment that appears at the top of the screen when its highlighted.
It allows the user to customize and name up to six categories. These are opened with keys [F3] through [F8], [F1] is the menu, and [F2] lists all available shortcuts. Its like having six completely different desktops. Personally, I use one for tools, one for games, and one for spare shortcuts that I rarely use. A separate database editor is available for either PC or directly on the calculator. It makes and changes shortcuts. This is a useful feature if you have programs that aren't on the default database or if you just don't like the pictures and names that it uses. It's easy to draw new icons with a paint program; the guidelines are in the "readme."
The glitch protection that comes in I.D. will not protect anything on the calculator, but it is still very useful. It involves a built in shortcut called "Refresh Desktop." This program does two things when it is run. First, it does what it says. It refreshes the desktop, allowing any newly downloaded programs to be detected by the desktop and possibly cleaning the screen if a game screws it up. Secondly, it saves the category settings to the previously mentioned settings file. This means that they don't have to be painstakingly renamed and sorted after a crash and/or RAM reset.
I.D. is compatible with PreOS and Super Start, a program that allows .ppg compressed programs to run without separate .asm files. This means that any program can work from the integrated desktop. Some nostub programs that run with Super Start, however, work on the command line, but not in I.D. when a shell isnt installed. I dont know why; I am not a programmer. The trick I use is to install PreOS without the larger file STDLIB. This fixes the problem, uses very little memory, and adds a little crash protection. Version .69 is best because later versions dont work without STDLIB. Beyond that, anything should work.
My only, and minimal, complaint is the lack of program shortcuts that come with the default icons file. I highly recommend that people submit their homemade idicons files to this site. It could even turn into an interesting icon art competition.
I hope that this review helps people to discover Integrated Desktop and clears up a little confusion caused by Olivier Armands English. I am extremely happy with Integrated Desktop and look forward to Oliviers next work.