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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Creating, Loading, and Saving POSE Sessions

Now that you have POSE and have at least one ROM to use with it, you are ready to begin running POSE.

The first time you run POSE, it will prompt you to create a new "session." Sessions are saved snapshots of your POSE activities, and are bound to a specific ROM, device type, and memory configuration. Sessions make it easier to create and maintain a wide variety of test environments to run your applications in.

To set up a new session, choose a ROM file to test with, a target device, a skin (optional), and a "RAM size." The RAM size will help you emulate a specific device with a specific amount of memory (for example, a Palm Vx with 8MB of memory), or can be used to help you stress-test your application under low memory conditions. Note that the device options are partly dictated by the ROM you have chosen (not every device supports every ROM). Also note that skins will show up only if they are installed under the Skins subdirectory of your emulator installation location.

After a brief flash, you will see the familiar "boot" sequence of a normal Palm device, followed by the appearance of the Preferences screen. Congratulations, you are now running the Palm OS on your PC! All the user actions you would normally perform on the device are supported—you can tap on the Datebook hardware button to launch Datebook; you can tap on the silk-screened Home button to run the default Palm Launcher; you can even (awkwardly) scribble characters using Graffiti in the Graffiti area.

In general, a left mouse click is equivalent to a stylus tap on an actual device. Thus you can operate your POSE session just as you would your real device. An added bonus is that in text input fields (for example, the Memo application), you can use your PC keyboard to perform data entry, an option that's preferable over attempting Graffiti with a mouse!

Right-clicking on any area of the POSE screen invokes the POSE menu system. The POSE menu system provides you with access to a variety of POSE features that control the behavior, appearance, and functionality of POSE in your current session. Note that right-clicking does not have any effect on the application currently running in POSE. The application is put into a kind of suspended animation while the POSE menu system appears, and resumes running when you are done with the menu.

As you can see, there are quite a number of menu options that appear when you right-click. We will get to most of them later; for now let's focus on the first three panels, which contain the options you will be using most often.

The Exit menu option will cause POSE to close down and exit altogether. If you have made any changes to the ROM during your current session, POSE will ask you if you want to save your session before closing. A change is anything that affects the memory storage of your ROM, including new Datebook entries, installation of new applications or databases, changed POSE settings, or a new POSE session. In all of these cases, POSE will offer to save your session under a name of your choosing, so that you can return to the session later if you want.

You can also invoke the save function explicitly by tapping Save or Save As on the menu's third panel. In some cases it may take a significant amount of time to set up a perfectly configured session with the right options and installed applications and data, so it is worthwhile to save your session often, just as you would frequently choose to save a long document you were typing into a word processor.

POSE sessions are saved as files with a .PSF extension, and you can name them anything you want, although it often helps to use a descriptive name that gives you a clue as to the operating environment contained in the session. A complete snapshot of your session, including all databases, applications, program options, and even the last running application, is saved in this file.

To load a previously saved session, load POSE, and either choose a .PSF file at the first screen, or right-click on the POSE screen and choose the Open menu. Upon successful loading of the .PSF, POSE will return you to the state as you last left it in the saved session.

You can create as many new sessions as you want by right-clicking and choosing New from the menu. Each new session is created as a blank slate using the ROM and memory configuration you choose. If you want to make multiple copies of saved sessions, you can use the Save As function to save a current session under a different name. This can be helpful if you are about to perform an action that may cause a program error or a fatal reset. You can then quickly reload the saved copy to get back to the spot prior to the error.

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