Reading LIF Disks on a PC -- Success!


Those of you with access to a 9114 diskette drive and an HP-IL capable calculator should check out Dan M's message "HP-IL Files: Where, What, Why, How, etc." further down the forum. The software he recommends works great on both my Pentium desktop and my Celeron laptop. It will let me copy files back and forth between the PC and my HP-41 diskettes, view a directory of what's on the diskettes, even give information such as how many directory entries are available.

There was one problem I had, though. I'd tried (and given up) last year to use this same software, with no success. Dan's article inspired me to try again, and this time I found the answer. My diskettes had been formatted on my 9114A diskette drive with my HP-41 as the controller. Diskettes formatted this way, while they are in LIF format, don't have a LIF volume label. Both the LIFUTIL and LIF2DOS software expect to find that label. There are two ways around that. First, you can use the LIFUTIL program to format the diskette instead of using the HP-41 NEWM command. This will put a proper label on it. Or, if you already have NEWM-formatted diskettes with files on them, you can use a program to write a LIF volume label on the diskette without reformatting it. I found one for the HP-41 in the February 1987 issue of "PPC Journal." It's in an article called "The Volume Label," by Cristian Rusquelles (12044). (There's also a program for the HP-75.) If anyone needs this program and doesn't have access to an old copy of the PPCJ, I can email it to you or post it here.

I really recommend this for anyone with a way to create LIF diskettes. Not only does it give you a way to make more permanent backups of your calculator programs, but it lets you download the big collection of "swap disk" programs from and get them onto your calculator. There's a ton of HP-41, 71, and 75 stuff there, and I can't wait to start exploring it!

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