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   Home :: Archives :: File Archives :: Incredible Status Line (ISL) 2.1 for ti89, 92+, v200 :: Reviews
Review by  Travis Evans
Reviewed on 2007-02-21
Evaluation time: 32+ days (Jan. 20, 2007 to the present (Feb. 21, 2007))

Tested on: HW2 TI-89 with AMS 2.09

Pros: Small; good configurability; very handy

Cons: Often causes major display glitches in AMS, especially in dialog boxes; battery indicator suffers minor drawing glitch; doesn't work while BASIC programs are running (except for when they display dialog boxes)

* Stability/Reliability: 10/10

* Features: 8/10

* Size/Efficiency: 10/10

* Ease of use/Usability: 7/10

* Documentation: 10/10

* Overall: 8/10

Recommended: Yes, if you're willing to deal with the glitches

Incredible Status Line 2 is a great way to keep an eye on your exact battery strength and what time it is. It is compact and when properly installed, very stable.

My main idea for using this program was to be able to get an early-warning indication of when the rechargeable batteries I use with my calculator are about to give out. The TI-89's battery strength detection is abysmal for rechargeable batteries' discharge curve, so the built-in AMS low battery warning doesn't give me much (if any) time at all to stop what I'm doing--sometimes the calculator even dies before the low battery warning ever shows up. So with ISL 2, I could see when the batteries just begin to drop in strength, before the low battery warning from AMS appears, so I have more time to change them before it's too late.

Being able to see the time of day is obviously also useful, as I don't have to stop to look down at my watch to see the time. I don't know why TI didn't include the option to display the clock on the status bar within AMS.

Unfortunately, ISL 2.1 seems to still have some rough edges. Most importantly, with ISL 2 installed, I frequently experience dialog box graphical glitches. Sometimes they're minor, but sometimes they're major, making the dialog boxes almost unreadable. The disassembly view of the Command Post Plus Flash App is completely unreadable when ISL 2 is installed and I scroll the screen. So it appears that ISL 2 interferes with anything that uses the small 4x6 font, as the system sometimes tries to use the 6x8 font instead, resulting in a mess. As a result, I usually don't have ISL 2 installed. If this bug is fixed, then the Usability score I gave would increase from 7 to 9.

Another drawback is that ISL 2 doesn't work when BASIC programs are running, unless they use dialog boxes. So ISL 2 isn't nearly as useful if you happen to spend a lot of time running programs. I don't know whether having ISL 2 work during BASIC programs is possible as I don't know much about TSR programming, but if it were done, then I would be able to add one more point to the Usability score. (Of course, ISL 2 is also unavailable while ASM programs are running, but I don't expect it to work with those, as ASM programs can do just about anything with the screen.)

Finally, it would be nice if ISL 2 could implement a hotkey or something to temporarily disable it for a few moments. There are times when I would like to see the information on the status bar that ISL 2 replaces, but don't want to have to go through the hassle of uninstalling it and then reinstalling it again.

The bottom line is, if you're willing to accept the drawbacks that ISL 2 has, then it is a very nice TSR. Just be aware that you may have to uninstall it from time to time if you have the same problems that I did with the graphical glitches.

Note: Before using a TSR like this, be sure to get and install HW3Patch or h220xtsr first if you have a Hardware 2.00 or higher TI-89; otherwise, you may experience stability problems. With h220xtsr, this TSR has so far never crashed my calculator.

Review by  Kevin Chang
Reviewed on 2004-03-22
This program is great for people like me who use their calculators as their secondary brains. It displays relevant and useful information on the status line, where it is clear and obvious. I only have one gripe about it and that is that the time that is displayed on the status line does not refresh accurately, and often, it is around half a minute behind or so.

One feature I would like to see implemented is the addition of an alarm feature, preferably able to butt into assembly programs for gamers like me who don't know when to quit. Otherwise, a great program that goes into my auto-install list after each reset.

Review by  Christian BELIN
Reviewed on 2004-03-22
Note : 9/10

Pros :

Very useful, the clock and the battery indicator replacing the bottom-right corner is an excellent idea. It is a must-have!

Cons :

If you have too many results in the HOME screen, you will be able to see it through the battery indicator. Nothing else.

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