Framework, Windows and Hardware: Systems and Laptops.
Framework & The FRED Computer Language Home

The current version of Framework for Windows XP / 2000 and USB flash memory device.
Framework VII & Windows 95/98/ME/2000 and NT.
Hardware notes.
Hardware compatibility.
Laptop Keyboards
Laptop Screens
Laptop Pointing Device

The current Framework version Top of page index.
The current version of Framework runs under Windows XP and 2000 as a Windows program yet preserving the Framework user interface and its unique powers in full. It runs in a window, side by side with Windows programs, sharing memory and allowing transparent copying and pasting between Framework and other Windows programs. Adding numerous unique features and tools such as the ability to handle numerous large JPG pictures in outlines with no speed penalty and index-less disk based database technology. It provides a new implementation of the FRED language fully compatible with older FRED programs while adding to it 32 bit memory access, flat memory arrays, The ability to run Windows DLLs and Framework DLLs in protected mode with unlimited access to the computer memory and an array of new database, storage and search technologies. It can be installed on a miniature USB flash memory device that can be plugged into Windows computers to run Framework providing program and portability as well as security.

Framework VII & Windows Top of page index.
Framework VII runs under Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000 and ME allowing multi-tasking in graphic mode and screen sharing in text mode. A wide range of Import and Export exchange capabilities with virtually all major Windows applications including Internet HTML files is included.

Fraemwork VII runs as a DOS program fully compatible with Windows. Framework can run without Windows on any DOS compatible operating system or an emulation. (A DOS compatible OS is available from us).

Note that Windows and applications that may run in the background to Framework VII consumes hardware resources which slows down keyboard response in Framework in comparison to running under DOS. If your computer speed is less than 50 megahertz or you have less than 8 megabytes of RAM we recommend quitting whatever version of Windows you are running to run Framework VI from DOS.

Hardware Note. Top of page index.

Specific hardware recommendation are provided to Framework VI to users who call Framework VII software support.

Internet-ready customized hardware systems configured with Framework VII and Windows are available directly from Selections & Functions, Inc.

Following are recommendations for buyers.

Contemplating a new system? We recommend Pentium-based Windows 98 systems with a minimum speed of 300 Megahertz and a minimum of 32 Megabytes of RAM. The additional investment in Windows 98 and a relatively fast system is necessary in order to obtain an acceptable access to the Internet.
Framework VII performance as well as any version of Windows will benefit from a fast hard drive. While a fast 20 gigabyte (20,000 megabyte) hard drive with an access speed of 9 milliseconds can be obtained for as low as $250.00 (Western Digital, August 1999) many brand-name as well as no-name computers are sold with slow drives, sometimes as slow as 14 milliseconds. With computers speed and memory increasing at an accelerated rate the slowest link in the performance chain (and correspondingly - reliability) is the hard drive. Find out all about your drive before selecting a system.

Hardware Compatibility. Top of page index.

Framework VII (6) is compatible with the following 32 bit processors:

Intel Pentium III, Pentium II, Pentium Celeron, Pentium, Intel 486, 386

AMD 586, 486, 386, 286.
Cyrix 686, 586, Only.

Framework V (5) is compatible with the above 32 bit processors plus 16 bit 286 and 8088:

Framework can run on Apple computers and PowerPC (running under Insignia emulating Windows) as well as Psion computers emulating DOS

On laptops and keyboards. Top of page index.

We provide specific and current buying recommendation regarding

laptops to Framework VII users who calls the Framework VII software support line.
Internet-ready laptops with Framework V and Windows 98 installed are available directly from us.
The two important issues when buying a laptop that will to run Framework, as well as other software, are keyboard and screen. Most laptops represent a compromise in keyboard layout and screen readability resulting in a significant productivity loss when using Framework. This needn't be the case.
The problem with compromising keyboards may seem less acute in Windows since its less-direct interface-design rely less on dedicated keys, hence the difference dew to keyboard layout may be less apparent. On the other hand, screen-update speed and readability in Windows may represent even bigger problem.

Laptop Keyboards Top of page index.

The best keyboard layout for Framework VII maintains the Ins and Del keys at their traditional places, at the keyboard bottom next to the Spacebar. The only keys that should require pressing the combination function key FN should be the numeric keypad numbers. No other keys should require pressing the FN. The navigation keys, Arrows, Home, End, PgUp, and PgDn should be independent and readily accessible, preferably on the keyboard right edge making them easy to touch-find. Grouping some of these keys at the keyboard top as is the case on the IBM laptops slows down navigation in Framework V. An independent Scroll-Lock key at its traditional location - the keyboard top, is essential as well as an independent F11 and F12 which replace the Out (gray -) and In (gray +) keys respectively.

The Windows 98 Compatible, productivity-subverting Keyboard
Insist on a keyboard with a dedicated PgUp and PgDn (most keyboards are user-exchangeable). Many current keyboard keeps the redundant Alt and Pipe/BackSlash but adds two keys causing the loss of the PgUp and PgDn independent keys. The two new Windows keys are redundant with Ctrl-Esc (opening the Windows start menu) and an Alt-Key combination key (I forgot which). As a result the all important PgUp and PgDn require pressing the FN with UpArrow and DnArrow. Even if you are using only Windows-based applications, the lack of independent PgUp and PgDn in word-processing, spreadsheets, and databases is a serious drawback which will slow you down significantly. In Framework V especially it subverts paragraph selections in text (Ctrl-PgUp/Dn). On the other hand, Windows special keys are not used in applications repeatedly for productivity related actions such as navigation, and have questionable value. Seems like just another Productivity Busting(tm) idea, playing to hardware marketers.

However, not all is lost. Toshiba and IBM recently improved their keyboard by eliminating or moving the Windows keys out of the way to the keyboard top.. A compromising keyboard on Toshiba laptops provides all the primary keys in their traditional area and may pass master except for the total absent of the Scroll-Lock key.
If you already fell for this popular laptop, Framework VII provide a substitution to Scroll-Lock with PgUp from the desktop level. This means that for a consistent substitute you should get use to press Ctrl-Out, then PgUp. To complete the Scroll-Lock full action which maintained selection inside both, cabinets and frames, you may also want to follow with Ctrl-In.

If your laptop keyboard does not have an independent F11 and F12 it is probably better to get use to pressing the FN combination key in order to emulate them than to use Framework VII keys redirection to assign other keys to In and Out. However, on computers with extra special function keys, as surprisingly is the case on the HP LX series pocket computers, it make sense to use Framework to redirect them to specific Framework primary keys which are missing.

This may be the place to mention that laptops should continue to allow entering of ASCII code in Framework by holding the Alt key while entering the code on the numeric keypad. On most laptops it is done by holding the FN and Alt down together and entering the code. On some keyboard it can also be done by holding the Alt key after turning NumLock on and entering the code. The Ctrl- and top numbers triggers a repeat of the following key press.

Laptop Pointing Device Top of page index.

Do not neglect to check the pointing device. While somewhat helpful on Framework VII side it's essential for Windows.

On laptops and screens. Top of page index.

Surprisingly, the Framework VII high resolution display (800 X 600, 1024 X 768, 1280 X 1024) are more readable on a 10.4 to 14 inches active matrix laptop screen then on a 14 or even 15 inches standard super VGA glass monitors. This is due to the superior intensity and sharpness of active matrix displays. In contrast, text displayed by a double scan screen, also known as STN, appears less readable. Double scan STN monitors also have a narrower viewing angle. The wide engle is important when the laptop is used for demonstrations or teaching.
Note that a 10.4 inch screen width is almost 8.5 inches which means that the actual text viewing area is wider than the text area between a letter size printed page margins. Nevertheless, if you can afford the more expensive 12 inches active matrix - go for it. The extra workplace is useful for multitasking with Framework VII Window screen shararing and even more so with Windows and on the Internet.
In Windows the Active Matrix speedier pixel updating actually shows the mouse pointer as it moves. A mousses on double scan screens on the other hand are notorious for there disappearing act every time they are moved and have to be traced with an artificially enlarged tail.
The difference in price is probably justified.