Organizing the Home Screen

Marcus Groeber (
Sun, 26 Jan 1997 06:13:08 -0500

Hi all,

some time ago, people asked about ways to remove infrequently used apps
from the home screen of the OmniGo to make room for the icons of additional
applications. The following steps describe a fairly simple way for
achieving the desired results:

1. Pre-requisites: apart from an OmniGo, you will need a Geos-based file
manager (probably the one written by Nathan :-)), a PC with an OG file
transfer program (OmniCom, OGFTP, ORC) and a DOS prompt driver on your OG.

2. Use the file manager to create a subdirectory in WORLD in which to place
the icons of the apps you want to remove and copy the apps from WORLD into
that directory (each of them will take only 512 bytes of memory, so don't
worry too much about duplicating them...). You cannot *move* them because
the files are stored in ROM, even though they show up on the RAM disk.

3. Use the file transfer program to download copies of the apps in the
newly created subdirectory to your PC. Do not try to copy them from the
WORLD directory, because there is a bug in the ROM file system of Geos
which results in parts of the files being lost when downloaded directly
from ROM.

4. On the PC, enter the following commands for each of the program files
just downloaded (they will all have names ending in .geo, which are not
identical to the ones found on the OmniGo):

4a. At the DOS prompt, type DEBUG <filename>.geo (for example, JDEMO.GEO
for the Demo application)

4b. At the "-" prompt, enter "e 128 3".

4c. At the "-" prompt, enter "w".

4d. At the "-" prompt enter "q".

5. Now upload the modified files to the \GEOWORKS directory of the OG. You
cannot upload them to the WORLD directory, because there are already other
files of the same name there.

6. Reboot the OmniGo to get to the DOS prompt. Go to the B:\GEOWORKS
directory if you are not already there. For each of the files copied, enter
"copy <filename>.geo WORLD\<filename>.geo". After copying it, you can
remove the original by typing "del <filename>.geo".

7. After copying all the files, you can enter "geos" to re-launch Geos. You
should now see the reorganized home screen.

To make the icons reappear on the home screen, use either the DOS prompt or
the file manager to remove the files from the WORLD directory. The icons
will come back after the next reboot.

[For the technically inclined...] How it works: The applications you see on
the home screen are "mirrored" from copies originally residing in ROM.
These small (280 bytes) files in ROM in turn point to the actual
application code which is not visible in the file system. By copying files
by the same name which are marked as non-applications (this is what the
DEBUG patch is good for) into the WORLD directory, these files actually
"shadow" the ROM copies, making them invisible for the Home Screen

A note: what this modification does is only rearrange the icons visible on
screen, *not* free any memory (as said, you will even lose about a KByte
for every application moved because of the duplicated "pointer" and
"shadow" files). This isn't possible anyway, because unused apps will only
occupy ROM, not RAM.

ciao marcus