HP48 Program Development Link and Proper Fonts


I know that this is more of a DOS issue than an HP calc issue, but it is driving me squirrelly.

I have begun to use the admittedly ancient DOS-based HP48 PDL as I work up some simple User RPL programs.

I like how the interface works on my one computer--though it is DOS based the editor works well and the special symbols can be inserted into code by point and click.

The problem is on my other computer. When I run the program in a DOS command window, the special symbols are not correctly rendered in the menu bar, but are replaced with weird ascii equivalents. For example "less than or equal" is rendered by 3/4 (in small font), the squareroot symbol is rendered by something else, and several of the greek letters are rendered by something inscrutable.

But here is the trick. I hit Alt-Enter to go into fullscreen dos mode. From the File menu I choose "Exit to DOS". At the DOS prompt, I type Exit and revert to the PDL IDE and, voila, the symbols are properly represented. However, if I hit Alt-Enter again and go back to a DOS window, the proper representation is lost and I have to start all over again with the above workaround to get the symbols back.

I like to use this in a DOS window rather than fullscreen mode, and the symbols are properly represented on my one computer without difficulty. Are there some system parameters or paths I should be altering to make sure the required font, which evidently is on the computer somewhere, is found when I start up PDL in a DOS window.

This is largely an aesthetic thing, I know, but I really like things to work, and get mystified when then work on one system but not another.

many thanks,


Hi Les,

this is a codepage issue. The symbols you need are supported in codepage 437 only, not 850. The latter is standard in DOS command windows nowadays, the former is hardcoded into the older video modes of the original DOS PC. 850 has more diacritical symbols used in European languages and has therfore replaced 437 while maintaining compatibility with the encoding of the already defined foreign characters like äöüçéèê, etc.

Windows is using codepage 1252, a totally different encoding.

To find out about your codepage in the DOS window, type CHCP. To change it type CHCP 437. On windows NT, 2000 or XP, all codepages supported by the system can be freely switched. Windows 9x/ME and plain DOS only allow for two codepages which have to be "prepared" in AUTOEXEC.BAT with the MODE command.



I still like the PDL best as a package for writting 48 program in user RPL. I wonder why there isn't such a package for windows. I have seen many other Windows packages but none allow you to do the point and click for the symbol as well as displaying the symbol.


That did the trick.

The computer where I don't have the problem is a couple of years OLDER. The computer with the "problem" is new!

If you could give me some clues about how to write a batch file that sets the codepage to 437 when I launch PDL, I would be grateful. I don't know what the syntax of the command is.



disregard my silly question.

you already gave me the answer.

my PDL.BAT file to launch PDL is simply:

chcp 437

Thanks for your direction. I never would've known this without your direction.


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