calculator.org the calculator home page

Calc FAQ

Solutions to Common Problems running with Windows Mobile (Pocket PC)

Q: Why do I only get a very limited set of units conversions on Windows CE?

A: For some reason Calc could not load the properties and constants data from the factory.prp file. Calc has a limited built-in set of conversions, even if the file is not loaded. This is in order to allow quick start-up and to save filestore on Windows CE devices with limited resources. Normally you would want to load the full set contained in factory.prp.
In Version 5.3 the name of the directory for factory.prp is hard-coded. This can give problems on systems where the "Program Files" directory has a non-English name (e.g. "Programme" in German, "Archivos de programa" in Spanish). In this case our recommended work-around is to create a new top-level directory using ActiveSync File Explorer called "Program Files" and create a sub-directory called "Calc98CE". The factory.prp file can then be moved from the original Calc98CE directory to this new one, so that Calc will be able to find it.

Q: Why can't I save new units and properties on Windows CE?

A: There is a bug in Version 5.3 on Windows CE which causes it to fail to pick up a change to an input field unless you click on another field before clicking the OK button. For example, if you update a conversion factor you need to click on another control such as the units selection box before clicking on the OK button, otherwise the change is lost.

Q: How do you change the interest rates on Windows CE/Pocket PC?

A: The input boxes are modified using the input panel which is usually visible in the bottom right corner of the display. This is the same way you input diary appointments, use the note taker, etc. On version 5.6 onwards the input panel should be automatically activated when it is needed.

Q: Why does the input panel sometimes disappear on Pocket PC?

A: There is a bug in Version 5.3 where the input panel is not always made visible after switching from the Today page (or any application which does not show the input panel). A workaround is to switch first to a task which does show the input panel, which in practice means almost any application other than Today, e.g. Calendar.

Q: How can I close Calc?

A: You can use the task manager, which depends on your device. It is not always particularly easy - the design of Pocket PC is for applications to run continuously until shut down automatically by the system. Some devices come with a task manager built in, e.g. the "Q" button on the iPaq. On Pocket PC you can go to the Start menu, select Settings, then the System tab, then select the Memory icon, then the Running Programs tab, and then select the program and click the Stop button. On the older Palm PC it is Start Menu/Settings/System/Task Manager tab. On HPC you just need to press Crtl-Alt-Del and this brings up the task manager. From version 5.6 onwards you can also use Ctrl-Q to close Calc,. On HPC devices, when using version 5.6, the window close button closes the application.

Q: Why is there no Close button or menu item on Pocket PC?

A: Microsoft's design guidelines and "Designed for Pocket PC" logo requirement for Pocket PC state that user must not be able to close the application themselves and that there is no Close "X" button or a File->Exit menu. This is because by design the programs keep running until the device runs out of resources and applications are then shut down automatically. This saves the user from having to manage applications. It is a nice idea but caused a lot of controversy since most Pocket PC users are also Windows users and expect to be able to close their programs. Microsoft seem to have had a change of heart with the introduction of Pocket PC 2002, although the re-introduced close button usually only hides the application. The close button is still permissible in H/PC but was removed for this platform as well by mistake in version 5.3 but works again from version 5.6 onwards.

Q: How do I get rid of Calc from the Start menu?

A: Use the ActiveSync explorer and go to "My Device/Windows/Start Menu/" then delete the Calc link. You can also do this using File Explorer on the device. Check Settings/Menus - there should only be one Calc98 item. If necessary, uncheck it so that it only appears in Programs and not on the Start Menu. These steps are necessary because of a bug in the current version of Calc98 installer when used with Pocket PC 2002.

Q: How do I get rid of the second Calc icon in Programs on Windows Mobile 2003?

A: You can remove the second icon by going to Programs > File Explorer. Now navigate to My Device/Windows/Start Menu/Programs, and you can delete the second icon. If you don't have File Explorer on your devices, you can remove the icon using the Explorer from ActiveSync by navigating to My Pocket PC\Windows\Start Menu\Programs and deleting the icon. The second icon appears because of a change in PPC2003 - the software was developed before the new version of PPC was available. Version 5.6 fixes this problem.

Q: Why do the menu captions go funny on Pocket PC 2002?

A: There is a bug in Calc Version 5.3 which causes this problem on Pocket PC 2002. This version was developed before Pocket PC 2002 was available - the problem is fixed in version 5.6.

Q: Why do I get strange characters for the divide and multiply buttons?

A: There is an issue with non-Latin1 character sets (e.g. Hebrew, Greek, Eastern Europe) which causes this problem on localized version of Windows CE. We hope to fix this in the next version.

Q: Why do I get "No Display Data" in the display?

A: This can happen if the default.dat file has become corrupted for some reason. First shut down Calc (either using task manager or using the close procedure described above). You will then need to delete the file default.dat, which should be in your "My Documents" folder. Calc should then work correctly when it is run.

Q: Why is the device giving message Exception: 0xC0000005?

A: This can have a variety of causes and may not be a problem with Calc. Exception: 0xC0000005 indicates an access violation, in other words the program tried to read or write memory it wasn't supposed to. The details of the actual memory address aren't very helpful. An access violation can be caused by a programming error. But it can also be the result of a hardware error or faulty memory, or the actual error may have occurred in a DLL or other system file. The executable file for Calc could also have been corrupted. But note that unless the file you originally downloaded fails to self-extract, it is very unlikely that the download itself is corrupted. A corrupted data file (default.dat) can also occasionally cause problems. We suggest you try the following in turn, until Calc runs without problems:

  • Do a soft reset according to the manufacturers instructions (after closing all programs)
  • Delete the "default.dat" file in the "My Documents" folder (using ActiveSync explorer)
  • Delete the "default.dat" and reset to factory settings by clicking Options/Data/Factory Settings button and closing (see above close procedure)
  • Delete the "default.dat" and then uninstall and remove in ActiveSync
  • Run the original download file to unpack the files and re-install Calc
  • If possible verify that Calc installs on another device of the same type
  • As a last resort do a hard reset of the device according to the manufacturers instructions (after backing up all your data on the device)
  • Take the device back to the retailer or manufacturer for repair or replacement

Q: How do I un-install Calc from my device?

A: You can uninstall Calc using ActiveSync from your PC. This also gives you the option to delete the installation files stored on your PC. You can also delete the application on the device by selecting Settings from the Start menu, choosing the System tab, and clicking on "Remove Programs". You will then be able to select Calc from the list and remove it.

Some versions of Calc create a data file (default.dat) which on some Windows CE devices (e.g. Pocket PC) may appear in the "My Documents" folder. You may need to delete this manually to completely remove all trace of Calc. This is not necessary with version 5.6 onwards.

Q: I pressed the "cnv>" button - why I can't close Calc?

A: There is a bug in the way the "No Units Selected" warning is displayed when you click on the "cnv>" button with no units selected. If you don't dismiss and instead click on another calculator function it is possible for this dialog to hang around in the background. Then every time you click the close button it pops up briefly and brings Calc to the foreground again. You can get rid of it by clicking on Today on the Start Menu which then allows you to get rid of the dialog.

Q: Why does my Pocket PC freeze up when I try to close Calc using Battery Pack 2003?

A: As far as we can tell there is a bug in Battery Pack 2003 version 5.1.1 such that when you close Calc by tap and hold on the "X" button or using the "X" button in the droplist of running applications, the command bar stops responding. Since you can no longer switch tasks or start applications you have to reset the device in order to continue. This problem also affects other applications as well as Calc. Versions 5.65 and later of Calc have a modification so that it is no longer affected by this problem.

Q: Why does version 5.6 not work on the HP-720?

A: Unfortunately there is a built-in library on Pocket PC devices which is missing on the HPC 2000 devices, and which Calc requires. There is an updated version 5.67 of Calc for HPC devices available which solves this problem.

Q: How do I switch on the sound at the end of a countdown in Time mode?

A: Go to Start/Settings/Personal/Sounds & Notifications and make sure that sounds are enabled for "Events". It may be necessary to disable and then enable it to get it working.

Q: How can I run Calc 5.3 on a square display device such as the HP 6515?

A: The best solution is to use version 5.67 of Calc which has full support for square format Pocket PC devices. However it is possible to use the free Calc 5.3 on these devices with a bit of extra configuration, although without the menu, by following these steps:

  • Install the software as normal (ignore warning about 'built for earlier version etc.')
  • Run Calc from Start/Programs
  • The menu is not visible, so use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-M to bring up the mode menu (either using the soft keyboard or physical keyboard if you have one).
  • In the Mode dialog select the View tab and click on the Main Keypad button.
  • Change Height to 16 and Vspace to 1, then OK.
  • In the Mode dialog select the View tab and click on the Function Keypad button.
  • Change Height to 13 and Vspace to 1.
  • Click on the Font button and change the font size to 10.
  • Keep clicking on OK until you get back to the calculator which should now be useable.

Q: In version 5.67 why doesn't help work?

A: The help file should be accessible by selecting the Help option from the Start menu while Calc is actually running in the foreground. If you open help from the Today page and then select the Calc98 link it doesn't work correctly.

Q: I installed Calc but later my PDA [died/hard reset/was lost]. How do I install it again?

A: If you go to the computer which you used to install Calc on your PDA it should still be there. If you use the Tools/Add/Remove Programs menu option in ActiveSync it will probably still be listed and you can re-install it. Failing that, there should be a directory C:\\Program Files\Calc98a (assuming you used the default location originally) which contains the software, and from here you can run the setup program to re-install. Failing that, if you still have the file you originally downloaded you can simply run this again on a PC linked to the PDA to repeat the installation process.

Q: Can Calc run on Windows Mobile 2003 SE or later devices supporting landscape mode?

A: The free version 5.3 for ARM should run fine on Windows Mobile 2003 SE and Windows Mobile 5 devices. The only potential problem is the support for landscape, so you may need to have the device in portrait mode when you install it and start the application, as the software was developed before landscape mode was available. If you have accidentally started Calc while in landscape mode you may need to make sure it has 'really' closed before starting it again while the device is in portrait mode. You can make sure Calc exits, as opposed to just switching to the background, by using Ctrl-Q on the soft keyboard, or real keyboard if you have one. Version 5.6 (paid version) in addition to a number of extra features, now has full support for square mode devices and orientation switching, and we would recommend it to take full advantage of higher-end devices like the iPaq 4700 and later. There are more details on the Windows Mobile order page.