New DISCLAIMERBearbeiten

This FAQ from the news-group "comp.os.geos.misc" hasn't been updated any more since 2003/2004. Hence most of the links and eMail-adresses are obsolete by now. It's going to be updated in this wiki, but unless this disclaimer gets removed, there'll still be dead links... . :-(

Original DISCLAIMERBearbeiten

I make no claims about the accuracy of this information. Use it at your own risk. This file is compiled from various sources, including but not limited to USENET, the Web, commercial networks, and electronic mail. The FAQ is mostly targeted towards desktop Geos users, both Ensemble and NewDeal Office. However, there are still many sections devoted to other topics and Geos platforms.

This information may be freely distributed, in whole or in part, in any form, provided that any distributor:

  • Tells me, so that I can inform you of updates to the FAQ and tell the USENET community (I will keep the information confidential, if you desire)
  • Makes every reasonable effort to keep this information current
  • Releases myself and the rest of USENET from any liability.

If this file leaves the confines of USENET for any BBS's, web pages, user groups, commercial networks, or other networks (FidoNet, GeoHolics Net, etc.) or vendors, please let me know so that I can pass along the information to others.

Please send submissions, comments, suggestions, or corrections to

Original CREDITSBearbeiten

I'd like to give the following folks my thanks:

  • Steve Main ( former Director of Technical Services, NewDeal.
  • John Howard ( of Breadbox Computers, for giving me up-to-date info.
  • Stephen Haffly ( for reposting this FAQ to FidoNet.
  • Lynn Montelauro ( for making this FAQ a part of GSMN.
  • Rose Walton PC Coaches (, for distributing copies of this FAQ to its customers.
  • Doug Taylor ( for a lot of the PDA information.
  • All the people who have written great Geos software.
  • All the people who mail me information and follow comp.os.geos.misc.
  • And of course, James Bearden, the original author of this FAQ.

General Geos InformationBearbeiten

Version and Platform InformationBearbeiten

What is Geos?Bearbeiten

Geos is a 16-bit, graphical operating system from Geoworks that is generally platform independent. The most common version runs on top of MS-DOS or compatible operating system such as PC DOS, DR-DOS, ROM-DOS, OS/2, or Win95/98, and provides a preemptive multitasking, multithreaded, object-oriented environment for almost any DOS-based computer. (Note though, that other versions of DOS such as FreeDOS, and Multiuser DOS or Concurrent DOS do not support Geos, though PTS-DOS apparently supports it.) For more modern versions of Geos, an 80286-based computer with at least 2 Megabytes of memory is strongly recommended. All versions provide built-in memory management, virtual (disk) memory, a single imaging model, outline font technology, automatic scrolling and scaling, complex graphics rendering, and a flexible, scaleable GUI. Version 4.0 is the current version of Geos, found in Breadbox Ensemble and its sibling software. Prior to this, version 3.x was one of the most widespread releases of Geos, with 3.0 in the Nokia 9000/9000i/9000il/9110/9110i Communicator, Brother GeoBook, NewDeal Office/SchoolSuite/WebSuite Release 3, and 3.1 for the GlobalPC (aka GPC) from (a company that manufactured inexpensive PC's), and the envisioned GreenPC from NewDeal. (Both companies are now closed. For the rest of this document, I shall use "NewDeal" to refer to Office, SchoolSuite, and WebSuite.)

Geos is also defined by the platform that it is running on. Currently it runs on the Apple II, Commodore 64/128, IBM PC compatible, Hewlett Packard OmniGo 100 and 120, several Brother desktop publishers, Canon StarWriter Pro 5000, Nokia 9000 series and 9110 series Communicators,'s GlobalPC and three other DOS-based PDA's collectively referred to as the Zoomer. The OmniGo 700LX is not a native Geos platform, and for the rest of the FAQ all references to just "OmniGo" refer to the OmniGo 100 or 120. The operating system that runs on the Toshiba Genio, Dialo, Camesse Petit, and Mitsubishi Moem-D, is a Japanese version of Geos-SC and not a RISC-based version of Geos as earlier reported. The Seiko-Epson Locatio runs the EdenOS and not Geos-SC, the former of which was developed by the UK company Eden that Geoworks acquired. (Thanks to Don O'Connell of Shasta QA for the correction.) The IBM PC version, also referred to as the desktop version, started as GeoWorks Ensemble 1.0 in November 1990. A copy of Geos 1.2 was also bundled with CD-ROM drives from NEC and Sony as part of a package that included a Geos-based CD player and several DOS-based programs. The current retail version is now a liquidated version of NewDeal Office 2000, available from Breadbox. Breadbox also has Breadbox Ensemble 4.x which is even newer, but this is available only in multiuser amounts. A detailed account of the evolution of desktop Geos is available in my History page at The desktop version contains more software than any other Geos package out of the box. All other versions are still called Geos.

This FAQ does not contain any information on the Apple and Commodore versions except for the following:

  • Apple GEOS has been discontinued. Berkeley Softworks is no longer selling, distributing, or supporting any Apple GEOS products. No other information is currently available.
  • Commodore GEOS is available from:
  • Some support for Commodore GEOS is available on comp.sys.cbm, and CompuServe's CBM Applications forum. James D. Hefner also maintains an excellent Commodore GEOS homepage at Bo Zimmerman maintains a Commodore GEOS FAQ at There are several 3rd-party extensions to Commodore GEOS, one of which is named GEOS 2000 (not to be confused with the Geos 2000 version of PC/GEOS).

Is Geos a real operating system? Bearbeiten

It depends on how you define operating system, but by most standards, it certainly is a real operating system. DOS is only used for the file system support. Many people consider Windows 3.1, 3.11, 95, 98 and ME to be a real operating systems even though they also use DOS for the filing system. Geos was the first object-oriented operating system (OOOS) for the PC.

Is Geos an alternative to Windows?Bearbeiten

Hmm. It won't run Windows applications, but it will provide you with a lot of functionality that Windows won't, especially if you have a low-end machine (less than a '386, and/or less than 4 megabytes of RAM). You can run the desktop version from most other operating systems like Win95/98/ME, OS/2, or even Linux, in which case it acts like a sophisticated, integrated application suite and environment.

What's the difference between Geos, Geoworks, and the desktop versions?Bearbeiten

Geoworks is the name of the company that created the Geos operating system. The company was formerly called Berkeley Softworks, then GeoWorks until 1994 with the name style change. It is a public company, and Novell, Hewlett Packard, Nokia, Ericsson, Toshiba and have made equity investments in it. It has moved away from the desktop and refocused on wireless communications and services. GlobalPC was purchased by Compu-DAWN, which provides Internet and telecommunications services in North America. (Compu-DAWN has since renamed itself It has now closed down.) Geos doesn't stand for anything legally since you can't trademark an acronym, but in earlier times it was said to be an acronym for "Graphical Environment Operating System." Packaged with each different desktop version is a suite of programs that were developed by Geoworks to run under the Geos operating system, and has changed names almost every time a new version has been released. The more notable names have been Ensemble (v1.0 - v1.2), GeoWorks Pro (v1.2.8), Quick Start (v1.2.9), Ensemble (v2.0 - v2.0.1), NewDeal Office (v2.5+), and Breadbox Ensemble (4.x).

Quick Start is basically the same as GeoWorks Pro without the Pro (no Quattro Pro bundled with it). Many folks run Quick Start on their XT and AT compatible machines since it is even less resource intensive than more modern versions. Quick Start can sometimes be found at Surplus Software (US orders 1-800-753-7877, International 541-386-1375, Web: ), or at eBay ( It is no longer available from NewDeal.

Ensemble (v2.01) contained a brand new operating system and applications compared to Quick Start, plus a spreadsheet and a flat file database. NewDeal is basically Ensemble with bug fixes, renamed applications, and some additional new applications. NewDeal does not include Tetris, but some users have copied it from earlier versions, or obtained it by installing the Ensemble 2.01 upgrade patch and then reinstalling NewDeal.

What is new in Geos 3.0?Bearbeiten

Currently three devices (Nokia 9000 series & 9110 series Communicator, Brother GeoBook, and PC) have different flavors of Geos 3.0. The GlobalPC and GreenPC had the newest 3.1 kernel. In general though, all Geos 2.x and 3.x applications will run on any Geos 3.x based machine. The most exciting thing about v3.0 is that a TCP/IP stack has been added to the system, while NewWrite has been augmented with fax support . Internet applications like a browser, e-mail and chat client software are also bundled. Version 3.0 also includes a new user interface called NewUI based on the current Industry Standard look and feel.

The 9000 and 9110 series of Communnicators are no longer being produced by Nokia, although support and accessories are still available at The GlobalPC is likewise not being produced anymore.

All the different distributions of Geos 2000 (which is based on Geos 3.1) have in common:

  • a choice between an easy and advanced desktop
  • right-click bubblehelp in NewUI for buttons
  • 256-color icons
  • a full-featured browser, e-mail client, and newsgroup reader
  • security features for kid-friendly web browsing
  • a Design Assistant for guided, step-by-step creation of documents
  • consumer utilites such as an accounting application and simple database
  • a viewer for Adobe Acrobat PDF documents (not in the Nokia and Brother products)

In additional, the GlobalPC had the following features:

  • support for TV output (PAL/NTSC)
  • drivers for the Canon BJC-1000/2000 series printers
  • tutorial for learning to use the keyboard, mouse, front panel, and basic skills
  • system update wizard
  • add/remove software wizard

When did Geos 3.0 debut?Bearbeiten

Geos 3.0 has been available for some time. The initial version of v3.0 was completed in July of 1995, and the Nokia 9000 Communicator was released in September of 1996. The desktop upgrade from NewDeal arrived in January 1999, and forms the kernel of NewDeal Release 3. The Brother GeoBook came with a CD-ROM called BrotherWorks 98, which includes a desktop version of Geos v3.0 and many of the same new applications as NDO Release 3.2A. Geos 3.1 was released in September 2000 with the debut of the GlobalPC.

What features do the newer desktop versions include that are not present in the older desktop version?Bearbeiten

The main feature differences between 1.x and 2.x versions of the desktop are:

  • GeoWrite: Text wrapping around pictures, a built-in thesaurus, importing from and exporting to WordPerfect, WordStar, MultiMate, MS-Word and Xywrite, search-and-replace, and built-in graphic capabilities.
  • GeoComm: Hasn't been substantially altered, but at least it doesn't crash on the VT-100 change-scroll-region code like the old one did. Third-party communications applications are now becoming available.
  • GeoFile: New forms-based graphical database with import-export functionality and built-in text, graphic, and spreadsheet capabilities.
  • GeoCalc: New graphical spreadsheet with import-export functionality and built-in text, graphic, and database capabilities. The worksheets have been debugged and are now usable.
  • Calculator: New math functions and multiple memory registers. Metric/Imperial conversion functions are also included.
  • GeoDraw: Now has a whole range of import/export filters (PCX, TIFF, GIF, MAC, PICT, and Windows clipboard formats). It allows conversion between bitmaps and graphic object, editing of bitmaps, advanced object manipulation, polycurves, skewing, and much more, and also has full text capabilities.
  • Spell Checker: Now operates across all text applications, and multiple dictionaries are available for American English and British English. A thesaurus has been added, which is also available system-wide.
  • Text File Editor: New text file editor, allowing multiple documents to be open simultaneously, plus spell-checking and thesaurus capabilities.

NOTE: See section 1.1.5 for differences between 2.x and 3.x versions of Geos. Basically, 2.x software will run on 3.x platforms, and 3.x platforms have much better communications and Internet capability. Also, starting with version 2.5 of the desktop, all GeoWhatever programs have been renamed NewWhatever.

Miscellaneous QuestionsBearbeiten

Where can I get a demo version of the desktop version?Bearbeiten

NewDeal had an evaluation version of NDO Release 3.2A available from its website that has a 45-day time lock before expiring. Before, it also made made a shareware version (v2.5) available, and a previous shareware version (v2.0) called GeoPublish was created by Geoworks. The latter two are available on major on-line services as well as FTP sites that have Geos content. Both earlier versions include the bare minimum number of files necessary to run GeoManager (aka NewManager, a file manager) and a slightly crippled version of GeoWrite (aka NewWrite, a word processor). The most notable side effects of this are that the shareware versions have no spell checking, thesaurus, or import/export filters. Also, most Geos shareware will not run on the shareware versions. However, some functionality and programs like Tetris and the AOL client can installed by applying the 2.01 patch If this is applied to the NewDeal shareware version, you must then reinstall it. The new evaluation version had all the applications but lacks the import/export filters.

There was also a demo version of the GlobalPC software. This does not save or print, and the tutorial is limited to basic mouse lessons.

Breadbox Ensemble Lite is available at This version is a limited version of Breadbox Ensemble. Breadbox has removed many applications and some functionality, but it will provide you with a good feel for the full working version.

Does Geos exist in any other language versions than English?Bearbeiten

NewDeal Office 98 is available in English and French versions. A German version is almost done and a Spanish version is expected soon. Each of these versions comes with drivers for other language keyboards, so if you can speak one of these languages, you can probably use the software with little difficulty. The Geos found in the Nokia 9000/9110 cellphones supports more European languages. The German version of Breadbox Ensemble is in final review and a French and Spanish version are in progress.

More recently, a French support group for Geos has gone on-line. Alain Carriere has started GeoSphere, a virtual club for Francophones (the site is in French only). He has another website, The Sanctuary of the Stars, that was created with the Geos HTML editor WebBox. Unfortunately, both are of this writing off-line.

What fonts are available for Geos?Bearbeiten

All DOS-based versions of Geos can use the same fonts. A wide variety of fonts are also available via FTP, networks, and supporting BBS's.

Terri Ferrier sells a collection of over 3400 Geos fonts, over 7500 clip art images, and over 250 Geos programs. The CD along with a printed catalog of font examples costs $35 for US orders, $45 for foreign orders and can be found at:

   Terri Ferrier
   P. O. Box 5516
   Victoria, TX 77903
   Phone: 512-575-6243

Other font CD's are also sold by:

   Fantazia Concepts, Inc.
   PO Box 5142
   Willowick, OH 44095

Geos Software InformationBearbeiten

Desktop Software ProductsBearbeiten

What desktop products are available for Geos?Bearbeiten

Some companies and individuals that sell Geos desktop software. The most notable is Breadbox Computer, but there are others. Not only does this list keep changing, but the products offered by these companies and the places and means to buy them continue to change.

Breadbox Computer announced in a press release on January 24, 2002 that it has signed a worldwide non-exclusive licensing agreement with Geoworks to license Geos operating system for use on any and all hardware platforms and devices. It also now markets NewDeal Office 2000. It can be reached at:

     Breadbox Computer
     PO Box 808
     Port Richey, FL 34673-0808x
     Tel/Fax (813) 847-6996

Geos Development ProductsBearbeiten

What development products are available for Geos?Bearbeiten

Geoworks wrote several SDK's as Geos evolved. Version 2.0 supported the desktop, Zoomer, and Sharp PT-9000 (a preview of a pen-based tablet PC/PDA). Version 2.1 emulated the HP OmniGo 100/120. With the release of the Nokia 9000, Geoworks created three versions of the Communicator SDK: a DOS-based 9000 version, a DOS-based 9000i version (for the GSM model), and an NT-based 9000i version. The latest version is an NT-based 9110 SDK. The SDK's require Borland C/C++ 3.1 or higher (version 4.5 for the 9110 SDK). Geoworks transfered the 2.x SDK's to NewDeal, and has discontinued the 9000 SDK's. The 9000i SDK is included in the 9110 SDK CD-ROM, though. The 9110 SDK was marketed by Nokia. NewDeal sold off the 2.x SDK's. MyTurn started a developer's program for those who wished to code applications for its GlobalPC, which is now closed.

Geoworks Bindery is an application for creating electronic "books" that can be read by a Book Reader on NDO or the OmniGo. It functions very much like Adobe Acrobat or Corel (formerly WordPerfect, then Novell) Envoy, only it is available exclusively on the Geos platform. As with the 2.x SDK's, Geoworks has transfered the Bindery to NewDeal.

   * Geoworks Bindery - Electronic publishing tool

How can I order development products?Bearbeiten

The NDO 2000 / GPC SDK is available for download at Gene Anderson's website,

What is IZL?Bearbeiten

John Feras' ( Feras Information Technologies has written an easy to use, powerful Geos scripting language with which you can write entire Geos applications. IZL is available in the desktop version, Zoomer, and OmniGo flavors. The files and documents, including an OmniGo IZL FAQ, can be found at Geos maven Holger Laux's website,

What is Geos programming like?Bearbeiten

While this topic is broad, this section will be brief since there is another entire FAQ devoted to it available elsewhere. For serious Geos programming you need to get a Geos SDK that is tailored to the Geos platform that you want to write software for. However, you can probably get by with one SDK, hopefully the latest, as long as you don't try to take advantage of any unique features of your platform. The main point to using the 2.x SDK is that it is DOS-based, although a multitasking environment is recommended for task switching. A second computer is required to use the debugger, and unless you like programming in assembly, you have to use a Borland compiler. However, an NT-based SDK for available for the Nokia 9000i & 9110 and the GlobalPC, allows for single-machine debugging. The main support for Geos development is the usenet newsgroup comp.os.geos.programmer.

Are there any visual development tools for Geos?Bearbeiten

Yes. NewDeal released NewBASIC over three years ago. It has an easy-to-use syntax, and is marketed much as Visual Basic is for Windows. Gene Anderson also makes this available at


Is there any shareware available for Geos?Bearbeiten

The list of Geos shareware is large and growing. Go to to get an idea of what is available.

Are there any anonymous FTP sites for Geos software?Bearbeiten

For a more complete listing of Geos related FTP sites, check out At the moment (2016) there aren't any Geos related FTP sites.

Are there any Geos related BBS's?Bearbeiten

The following BBS's are the only ones I know that have Geos related content:

  • The Police Academy (49-611-1860516) in Germany
  • G-OS BBS ((03) 9803 6498) in Australia
  • GeoZ Online Services - Home of GeoNet (03)9803-6498 (222:222/0)
  • Ground Zero BBS, Ipswich, Queenslamd, Australia (07) 3812-0812, Fidonet: 3:640/812.4 Sysop: Frank Moran. Current GeoNet main hub. Has Fidonet Geoworks echo, selection of Geoworks files for versions 1.x.x and 2.xx.
  • Past the Black Stump, Laidley, Queensland, Australia (074) 65-6667, Fidonet: 3:640/404 Sysop: Rhondda Cook. Member GeoNet. Geoworks echo and selection of Geoworks files.
  • Lake Cathie BBS, Lake Cathie, New South Wales, Australia (065) 86-3067, Fidonet: 3:711/475 Sysop: Glenn Pickford. Member GeoNet. Geoworks echo and selection of Geoworks files. Glenn is an Ensemble 2.01 user.

Are there any DOS programs written for Geos?Bearbeiten

Here's a list of DOS apps for Geos.

  • PicLab V1.83 - Excellent for converting graphics to 16 color. Later versions aren't as good at this
  • BKGD2PCX - Converts PCX files to Geos backgrounds
  • IconMake - Converts PCX files and Windows icons to Geos icons
  • GeoDir - Lists the full Geos filenames at the DOS prompt
  • EdFolder - Allows you to change the folder icons
  • GeoKermit - An excellent general communications package

Communications SoftwareBearbeiten

Are there any communications programs available for Geos?Bearbeiten

For the desktop version there is GeoComm (aka NewComm), AOL, and CompuServe software. Hwoever, AOL can no longer be accessed from a Geos client, since AOL is no longer available from Sprint dial-up's. For the Zoomer there is ZCommLite, AOL, and CompuServe software. For the OmniGo there is CompuServe and OmniCom. The CompuServe software, CIM4GEOS, requires a patch for it to work correctly for the desktop and the OmniGo. There are also several more shareware Zoomer and OmniGo communications programs and connectivity packs that work more or less on all Geos platforms. A variety of file transfer software is available for a variety of platforms (including UNIX and Macintosh), and there are also several communications programs under development. As far as the Internet is concerned, two browsers are available. GeoBrowser is included in the GeoBook and BrotherWorks for the desktop. A version named NewBrowser was available as part of a beta testing program of NDOr3. Breadbox developed Skipper and Skipper Pro for NDOr3. Future versions will support SSL and cookies. Breadbox also wrote the Meeting Room IRC client software for the GeoBook and NDO. A more advanced IRC app, WebChat, has been released, along with a newsreader and NewMail.

Breadbox Ensemble has a full set of internet apps including: WebMagick (browser), IRC Chat, Email, FTP, Instant Messenger (compatible with AIM) and NewsReader.

The Nokia 9000 and 9110 Communicators were originally bundled with Windows-based software that allowed them to synch with PC's via cable or infrared, The synchronization software is called Nokia Communicator Server. Breadbox wrote a similar, Geos-based software called Geoserver.

Does Geos do TCP/IP?Bearbeiten

With version 3.x, it does. A BYTE article (1995) reported that the TCP/IP stack is derived from BSD Unix. Version 3.x includes much better communications support, bug fixes, and new features like the system mailbox.

Geos Compatibility InformationBearbeiten

Where to find more compatibility informationBearbeiten

Where can I find more information about running Geos with my software and hardware?Bearbeiten

The GeoInfo database is an excellent source of compatibility information. You may need to do a bit of searching to find it, since as of this writing I haven't accessed it in years.

DOS CompatibilityBearbeiten

What versions of DOS are compatible with Geos?Bearbeiten

Geos will run on the following DOS'es:

  • MS-DOS 3.x or higher (including Win9x MS-DOS mode); see below
  • Windows 9x/ME DOS window; see below
  • PC DOS 3.x or higher
  • OS/2 DOS window
  • Windows NT/2000 DOS window (NDO 98 and higher only); see below
  • DR DOS 5.0 or higher (including Novell DOS 7.0)
  • Datalight ROM-DOS 6.22 (used in several PDA's and the Nokia 9000)
  • FreeDOS (latest beta only)
  • General Software Embedded DOS-ROM (used in the Nokia 9110)
  • PocketDOS for Windows CE and Psion EPOC32 units (CGA display only); this is now a discontinued product
  • XT-CE with CEDOS for WinCE (CGA display only)

It will not run on the following DOS'es:

  • multiuser DOS'es, such as DR Multiuser DOS, Concurrent DOS, Real/32
  • PC-MOS


I switched from MS-DOS/PC DOS to DR-DOS and Geos won't load, even after I run SETUP. What am I doing wrong?Bearbeiten

Make sure that you have FILES=120 or more for DR-DOS 6.0. Novell DOS 7.0 as well as higher versions of DR-DOS need only FILES=30.

Does the desktop version support DR-DOS 6.0 task-switching?Bearbeiten

The desktop versions currently supports the task-switching of DR-DOS 6.0 TaskMax and Novell DOS 7.0 & DR-DOS 7.x Task Manager. Dormant tasks will appear in the Express Menu to be picked. Switching is nearly instantaneous.

Can I run Windows 3.1 on DR-DOS?Bearbeiten

Pensey ( says:

     "Windows 3.1 can be installed on DR-DOS, but you will need the DR-DOS
     upgrade patches. Also, don't let Windows modify your CONFIG.SYS and
     AUTOEXEC.BAT. Do it yourself. Otherwise it will try and put in
     HIMEM.SYS, change your EMM386.SYS and add SMARTDRV."

DR-DOS is kind of old. Are there any updates?Bearbeiten

Yes. Caldera purchased DR-DOS and the rest of the Digital Research technology from Novell. The current versions, 7.03, can be found at, the website of its Lineo subsidiary.

Will ZIP drives work with DR-DOS 6.0?Bearbeiten

Pensey ( says:

     "Nope! Try Novell DOS 7.0. Patches are also available for Novell
     DOS. The newer versions of Caldera's DR-DOS include all the

Novell DOSBearbeiten

What about the Task Switcher/Multitasker in Novell's NW-DOS 7?Bearbeiten

Novell DOS has been purchased by Caldera ( and renamed back to DR-DOS. The Multitasker and Geos don't work together at all on most systems, although a few people have had good luck with it. You can get the task switcher to work with Geos by making sure that it uses the correct key combination (Ctrl-Esc). Select the DR-DOS TaskMax switcher in Geos preferences and it should work, although cutting and pasting between DOS and Geos will not work.


How can I get Geos to run under Linux?Bearbeiten

Obtain and figure out the shareware DOS emulator DosEmu. Michael Hirsch ( writes:

     "Geos can run quite well under the Linux DOS emulator but you
     need to set up the /etc/dosemu.conf file correctly. The important
     thing is that DOSEMU must have full partition access (or even
     full disk access) to whatever partition contains Geos. You can't
     give partition access to a mounted partition, so you may have to
     unmount the DOS partition before running DOSEMU. Of course, you
     could write a script that does this automatically."

Ross J. Reedstrom ( writes:

     "I got Geos to recognize my lredired \\linux\dos drive as drive
     C: and start up off of it. This allows me to leave my DOS
     partition mounted, and access files safely from both Geos and
     Linux. I can even access all my Linux files (with mangled names,
     however, if they're not 8.3). The trick was to grep though my SDK
     documentation and discover the msnet.geo file system driver, and
     how to force Geos to recognize a net drive. The key is the
     following lines in GEOS.INI:
     fs = {
     "According to the SDK documentation, this section loads
     'secondary file system drivers' if they are not automatically
     recognized properly. I load both the msnet.geo, described as
     being for generic drive redirectors, and the cdrom.geo, for
     mscdex CD-ROM access, of course, since I have a CD-ROM and use
     the DOSEMU CD-ROM driver."


How can I get Geos to run on my Macintosh?Bearbeiten

Some folks tried running Geos on a Macintosh using SoftPC, a DOS emulation program, and SoftWindows, a Windows emulator. (Insignia Solutions, the creator of SoftPC and SoftWindows, has since sold its emulation software to FWB Software.) Another FWB emulator, RealPC goes one step further by emulating an entire PC. Two other PC emulators are BlueLabel Power Emulator and VirtualPC. William Ove reports that Geos runs successfully on the FWB and BlueLabel emulators.

How can I exchange files between my Mac and my Geos platform?Bearbeiten

Creative Digital Publishing has released a shareware program called MacPCCOM™ available at:

   * Creative Digital's Newton vendor forum on CompuServe - GO
   * Max Mansour's OmniGo page:
   * American Online (Computing/PDAs/New Files and Free Uploading)

Look for the Stuffit archive MacPCCOM.sit.

MacPCCOM lets Macintosh users upload and download files to and from Geos devices, like the HP OmniGo and the Casio Zoomer, and navigate the Geos file system from the Mac. It requires a serial cable connecting the Geos device to the Mac's modem port.

MacPCCOM has been tested with an OmniGo and a Centris 610 running System 7.3d0. Although it should work with other Macs, Mac OS versions, and Geos devices, it has not been tested on other configurations.

Will Geos work with a DOS Compatibility Card?Bearbeiten

Edward Di Geronimo Jr. ( reports success getting this to work , once he set the mouse to PS/2.


How can I use one document directory for different drives?Bearbeiten

Pensey ( says:

     "You can change the default document directory Geoworks uses for
     one directory for all copies of Geoworks running to keep a common
     pool of letters or databases etc. Set up an identical directory
     structure on the server where you want to store documents and add
     a paths section to GEOS.INI
     top = n:\geos20 (where n: is the network drive)
     "Alternatively specify an additional document directory:
     document = n:\docs
     "Geos will add the two directories together. Documents on the
     network drive will appear with their names underlined."

Note that this is only for Geos 2.0 or higher; it doesn't work with Geos 1.x.

Are there any versions of Geos made specifically for networks?Bearbeiten

NewDeal offers a network version that can be run from the network server. Novell, LANtastic, and LanManager networks are officially supported and reports from the field indicate that Windows NT/2000 and Windows 95/98/ME also work, along with many lesser-known networks. The stand-alone version of NewDeal is network aware and will recognize and interact with drives and printers on most networks. SchoolView was written to support Novell NetWare.

Windows NT/2000Bearbeiten

Is Geos compatible with Windows NT/2000?Bearbeiten

With a bit of tinkering, Geos 3.0 runs under Windows NT/2000. Two versions of the Nokia SDK also come with versions of Geos 3.0 that require Windows NT/2000 to run. Check out the latest on Geos in WinNT/2000/XP at Look for the document named "geos in NT.txt".

HP 200LX and OmniGo 700LXBearbeiten

Will the desktop version run on my Hewlett Packard 200LX or OmniGo 700LX palmtop computer?Bearbeiten

Yes, people have reported good performance running the desktop version on these computers. However, there are some problems. First of all this requires a flash disk. Geos is a GUI OS, so a mouse is highly recommended. The ALPS Glidepoint has been reported to work with these computers and Geos. Perhaps the worst problem running Geos on these computers is that Geos takes over the keyboard and prevents the use of the suspend feature until exiting from Geos.

Does the Iomega Zip drive or removable drives work with Geos?Bearbeiten

Does the Iomega Zip drive or removable drives work with Geoworks?Bearbeiten

The Iomega Zip drive will work well with all versions of Geoworks/NewDeal. When using GeoManager or NewManager, the Zip drive appears as a 3.5" floppy drive, but does contain its own drive letter. The earlier Bernoulli Box drives made by Iomega as well as Syquest removable drives like the EZFlyer will also work with all versions of Geoworks/NewDeal. Those drives are iconed with 5.25" drives. NewManager in NDOr3 and later now has separate icons for Zip drives and removable drives, which can be displayed by editing the drive values of the [system] section of GEOS.INI. It is possible to run entire versions of Geoworks Ensemble from these drives, but be careful when doing this because you're only supposed to use Geoworks / NewDeal on one machine at a time.

If Geos is loaded in a DOS window from Windows 95/98, and the Windows version of Guest or Active Disk is used for mounting Iomega drives, then the Zip or Jaz drive will be recognized. However, running Geos from MS-DOS mode requires the DOS version of Guest for Iomega drives to be loaded.

Windows 95/98/Millennium EditionBearbeiten

Can I run Ensemble / NewDeal under Windows 95/98/ME?Bearbeiten

Yes! PC/GEOS provides an excellent integrated software package for Windows 95/98/ME. However, versions before 2.5 require a bit of tweaking before they will seamlessly integrate. Please consult the GeoInfo Database for more information on this topic. In a few cases where a lot of errors are encountered, running LOADER.EXE with the /s switch is the solution.

Geos and Windows CE Bearbeiten

How can I run Geos on Windows CE-based PDAs? Bearbeiten

There are currently two options for running GEOS under Windows CE:

  1. PocketDOS - Can run GEOS in CGA/EGA/VGA display modes (see This product is under constant development, and there is a upgrade for owners of the rival XT-CE software.
  2. XT-CE - Can run GEOS in CGA display modes for either Windows CE or PocketPC (see Paragon Software at ).

When setting up GEOS under either of these emulators, be sure to set the display type accordingly, and to set the mouse type to "Generic Touchscreen". In order to be able to access the Windows CE file system from GEOS, you will need to edit the GEOS.INI file after installing GEOS (and before running it for the first time), and add the following lines:


Y2K ComplianceBearbeiten

Is Geos fully Y2K compliant?Bearbeiten

Steve Main said that Geos was Y2K compliant since its inception, and will recognize dates beyond December 31, 1999. In fact, since we are now into 2003, Geos has been behaving normally.

Where to Get More InformationBearbeiten

On-line ServicesBearbeiten

What kind of support is there for Geos on CompuServe?Bearbeiten

It is still being verified whether Geoworks is still active in the PALMB forum. Peer support for the desktop version is available in the PCAPP forum. As HP has discontinued the OmniGo 100/120 in favor of Windows CE-based HPC's, it is unlikely that the OmniGo is supported by Team HP in the HPHAND forum.

BBS NetworksBearbeiten

Is there much Geos activity on FidoNet?Bearbeiten

There is an active FidoNet Echo for Geos, moderated by Stephen Haffly (, with Anne Page as co-moderator. Bug your local FidoNet SysOp.

USENET NewsgroupsBearbeiten

Is there a USENET newsgroup for Geos?Bearbeiten

Yes, it is named comp.os.geos.misc. There is also a moderated newsgroup for binaries called comp.binaries.geos. A newsgroup called comp.os.geos.programmer for Geos development discussions is also on line.

There is also a newsgroup for the Nokia 9000-series Communicators. The Newsserver hosts a set of newsgroups with specific topics. To read and post on these newsgroups, use the hostname and port 9110. In some newsreaders, you may have to combine the two as Two good start-off points are 9k.admin and 9k.misc.

Is it OK to post binaries to comp.os.geos.misc?Bearbeiten

No. There's a special group for Geos binaries called comp.binaries.geos. It's moderated, though, so don't expect your postings to show up right away. Send submissions to The moderator is Dan "Shag" Birchall ( If your site isn't carrying comp.binaries.geos, don't worry too much. Some sites refuse to carry binary groups.

I don't have access to comp.binaries.geos at my site. How can I get the files posted there?Bearbeiten

First, check with your system news administrator or USENET news supplier to find out why you're not getting the group. If they won't or can't supply it, you can try If all else fails, you can search through the many Geos FTP sites, or post a request to comp.os.geos.misc.

GeoInfo DatabaseBearbeiten

What is the GeoInfo Database, and why should I care?Bearbeiten

The Geos Information Database started out in life as a FAQ similar to this one many years ago. It eventually grew too large to properly maintain, so it was converted to an on-line AOL database. It currently has over a thousand entries detailing every Geos related problem, hint, and tip imaginable. Occasionally plain text versions of the GeoInfo Database are made available to the general public. Recently Steve Main made an E-book version, and Jon Frisby ( has made a copy available via several VBBS networks. James Bearden, the previous author of this FAQ, had made a WWW version available, and both the text and E-book versions are available via FTP at With the demise of the Geoworks Forum on AOL, the GeoInfo was assimilated into the NewDeal website, but can't be retrieved from there anymore.

FOD FilesBearbeiten

What are FOD files, and why should I care?Bearbeiten

The Geoworks text Fax-On-Demand files contain a lot of Geos information. The original versions are current as of "March 7, 1994", (which is circa v2.0), and were available via FTP in both text and GeoWrite versions from Geoworks' FTP site, and previously from James Bearden's website. Afterwards they were maintained by NewDeal and renamed as Technical Support Documents, and were available on the Support section of its website. They were also available for sale on floppy disk.


Are there any Geos related publications available?Bearbeiten

To my knowledge, there are no such current publications. However, you might find these old publications archived somewhere.

  • Mobilis - John Jerney ( said: "Mobilis: The mobile computing lifestyle magazine. Mobilis is a free monthly magazine available exclusively on the web in its entirety featuring interviews, tutorials, reviews, and opinion concerning all aspects of Pads, wireless communication, and mobile peripherals."
  • GeoBytes - A sporadically released newsletter written by the AOL GeoReps. GeoBytes is no longer being produced, but existing GeoBytes are packed with information that applies to Geos 2.x and to a lesser extent to higher versions.
  • GSMN Newsletter - The newsletter included with the monthly GSMN distribution.
  • GeigacounteR Digest - Included with the GSMN distribution.

The World Wide WebBearbeiten

What are some good Geos related URL's?Bearbeiten

There are many WWW pages dedicated to Geos. A few good places to start are:

More Zoomer and HP OmniGo InformationBearbeiten

Is there an HP OmniGo FAQ? Where can I find it?Bearbeiten

There is supposed to be one but currently I can't find it. Also below are a few of the excellent WWW pages devoted to the Hewlett Packard OmniGo:

Is there a Zoomer FAQ?Bearbeiten

No, but there are several great WWW pages devoted to it:

Geos User GroupsBearbeiten

What Geos User Groups are out there?Bearbeiten

Geos has a following in Europe. For German speaker, visit the NewGEOS Informationssysteme at Geos-Infobase at

For English speakers, user groups in Australia and the US are present. From Down Under comes GEIGA, at And in the US, a good start-off point is GEOS Users International at

Geos Mailing ListsBearbeiten

Are there mailing lists available for Geos?Bearbeiten

The Geos-Talk E-list is on-line. It is maintained by Byron Collins ( The purpose of the list, as written by Collins, is as follows:

     "This Group is a forum/e-neighborhood for the users of the
     desktop and handheld devices (The Zoomer PDA's, HP
     OmniGo-100/120, Brother's GeoBook) supporting the Geoworks
     operating system - GEOS; also known as PC/GEOS (New Deal Office,
     Geoworks Ensemble, etc..). General discussions and announcements
     concerning GEOS or PC/GEOS and the applications develope to work
     in the GEOS or PC/GEOS operating system environment is welcome.
     Programming discussing/issues should be carry else where. "

It is hosted by Yahoo! Groups, a service for creating free mailing lists. To learn more go to To subscribe to the list, send a message to, leaving the body of the message empty.

Another mailing list was the GEOS-to-go mailing list, from the Zoomer PDA Resources. This focuses on Geos- and GEOS SC-based PDA's such as the Zoomer and OmniGo. To subscribe, send a message to with the command subscribe geos-to-go in the body of the message.

Finally there is the OGO mailing list specific to the OmniGo. To subscribe, send a message to with the command subscribe ogo in the body of the message.

Customizing GeosBearbeiten

The Standard User InterfaceBearbeiten

I don't like the interface. Can I customize it?Bearbeiten

The desktop version offers four levels of interface complexity, and fine tuning options within each level, so you can customize each application to present you with as few or as many functions as you desire. Look for this feature in the Options Menu of applications that support it.

Geos also supports a Generic/Specific UI concept. This means that applications are written for a very powerful dynamically bound object oriented generic user interface. At runtime the system 'binds' the Generic UI to a Specific UI, and all output is presented through that Specific UI. A CUA-based Specific UI surfaced briefly for the desktop version 1.x (it was part of America Online's now-defunct Promenade service), but due to legal questions, it was voluntarily removed from most FTP sites. Eduquest, a division of IBM, released a program called SchoolView that uses Geos 2.01 with a Presentation Manager (PM) interface and a different file manager (WorkPlace Shell), that made it resemble OS/2. It's intended primarily for network use and is not available for stand-alone systems. It has since been discontinued by IBM.

The SDK does have the PM interface for testing purposes. Copy PM.GEO to your system directory and add the line "specific = pm.geo" to the [UI] section of your GEOS.INI. Note that, due to UI extensions developed by Breadbox and incorporated by NewDeal into the 3.0 kernel, the PM UI can no longer be used with NDO Release 3.x.

With NewDeal Release 3, NewDeal has created an alternative Specific UI. The Industry Standard UI (ISUI) is intended to provide a more familiar user interface, so users of other software would feel more immediately at home. It looks similar to Windows 95/98/ME, with a taskbar that allows easy switching between running applications, and the Express menu (bearing the NewDeal logo) has been moved to the left of the taskbar and given Documents, Help, Run, and Shut Down items. It works in conjunction with the new NewDesk file manager. During installation, the user is given a choice of user interfaces and file managers. The user can change the UI and file manager anytime by selecting "Change UI" from Preferences.

Which character set does Geos use? Most European languages need the special characters above CHR(127)...Bearbeiten

Geos has quite a large available character set. For instance, all the vowels can be given acute, dieresis, grave, and circumflex accents in both upper- and lower-case. You can also use the Spanish ñ (as in señor), Danish æ, the German ß (double s), and many other special language characters. You also have a choice of various typographical, punctuation, currency, and mathematical symbols. These are all documented in the manual, or you can bring up a floating keyboard if you are willing to modify your GEOS.INI file. With New Deal Office 98 and higher, you can use the Character Map to view the entire character set in different fonts. Geoworks produced a double-byte character set (DBCS) version based on Unicode in late 1994, along with front-end text processors to support Japanese and Korean languages. This is known as Geos-J, but unfortunately no products that I know of have been developed to use it.

As of this writing, the euro symbol (it looks like a lower-case c with an = sign through it), the new monetary standard of 11 states of the European Union, is being included as a standard character in Breadbox Ensemble.

When I install other fonts, they are displayed in the fonts menu in the order they were installed. Is there a way to have them in alphabetical order?Bearbeiten

The Preferences application in the desktop versions 2.0 and greater allows you to select which fonts you wish to have appear in your font menu, and their order. Alternatively you can use a disk defragger which sorts files.

I want to make a graphics file into a Geos background. How do I do that?Bearbeiten

Enter Geos and start up GeoDraw or the Scrapbook. Use the Import option (on the File menu) to import your file into GeoDraw. Make sure that the imported image is selected and then use the Edit menu to either Cut or Copy it to the clipboard. Next, start up Preferences and select the Background option. Once there, click on the "Get background from clipboard" button, give it a name, and your image magically appears as a background.

How can I keep the splash screen from showing up?Bearbeiten

Steve Main ( writes:

   "You can keep it from showing by:"
   * Use the /LOG parameter when starting NewDeal Office 97, or
   * Use the individual file tool to install LOADERHG.EXE, then rename
     LOADERHG.EXE to LOADER.EXE. This only works if you have a VGA

The GEOS.INI FileBearbeiten

What is the GEOS.INI file, and why would I want to mess with it?Bearbeiten

The GEOS.INI file is a plain text file residing in your home Geos directory, and it specifies to a large degree how your system behaves. Geoworks and NewDeal do not recommend modifying the GEOS.INI file. It's generally a bad idea to change your GEOS.INI file unless you know what you're doing. However, if you do try to edit it, do it in DOS before you load Geos and make a backup copy in case something goes wrong.

Is there an easy way to tweak the GEOS.INI?Bearbeiten

Yes. There is a utility called GeoCon v2.0 that automatically adjusts your GEOS.INI file for you. GeoCon enables you to easily change the color scheme and behavior of the Express Menu. Preference 4 Pack also allows you to change certain system characteristics. It was added to the desktop in NDO98, and was redone as a Preferences module for the most part for Release 3.

How do I associate DOS files with programs?Bearbeiten

Kenda Gee ( writes about his ZIP example:

     "The pkunzip is not a problem at all--just use a dosAssociation
     line in your GEOS.INI file and a double-click on your zip is a breeze... :-) For pkzipping, there is a way to
     make sure you don't zip up your @DIRNAME.000 and PKZIP.EXE files.
     Create a folder, say "Zipper" in your \DOCUMENT directory... toss
     two files into it--your PKZIP.EXE and another file, called
     PKLIST. In PKLIST, type the files you don't want zipped up each
     time: PKZIP.EXE and DIRNAME.000. Then create a launcher for the
     PKZIP.EXE in your DOSROOM, or WORLD directory, and add the
     following command:
     "The only shortcoming of this recipe is that you will have to
     rename your output zipped file from 1.ZIP to whatever you want (I
     chose 1.ZIP, so that it will, generally appear on the top left
     hand corner of the \ZIPPER screen, but you could easily call it
     0.ZIP, or whatever you want...). Just make sure you don't
     accidentally delete the PKLIST, or PKZIP.EXE file from your
     \ZIPPER folder.
     "To use the PKZIP, throw your files in the \ZIPPER folder, and
     use the Launcher to zip up your files in that folder."

How do I get rid of drives in GeoManager?Bearbeiten

This tip works only for Geos 2.x or higher. Add or edit the system section of your GEOS.INI file like so:

     drive x = 0

where x is the drive you want to make disappear.

How do I get rid of the link button in GeoManager?Bearbeiten

Lee Bailey ( writes:

     "To get rid of the link button in GeoManager, comment out the
     features line in the FileManager section of your GEOS.INI, like
     ;features = 32768

How do I enable the floating keyboard?Bearbeiten

GWRepMark ( writes:

     "In order to use the Floating Keyboard you must insert two lines
     into your INI file: "
     noKeyboard = true
     floatingKeyboard = trueUPDATES

Common ProblemsBearbeiten

It's broke!Bearbeiten

When I try to start Geos, I get a message saying that Geos is unable to find /userdata/fonts! What's the problem?Bearbeiten

This could be any of several things, but it usually means that Geos is unable to find a suitable file system driver. Geos interacts with the hardware at a very low level, and doesn't work well with anything that redirects the drives. Specifically:

  • WFW 32-bit file access sometimes causes problems, in which case you should disable it.
  • Windows NT/2000 is not compatible with Geos (v1.x and 2.x). Version 3.0 works with NT/2000.
  • Multiuser versions of DOS (DR Multiuser DOS, Concurrent DOS, Real/32, PC MOS) are not compatible with all versions of Geos.
  • Geos does not recognize the Win95 (aka MS-DOS 7.0) file system. This can be fixed with SETVER (v1.x and v2.x) or by adding the line 'fs = ms4.geo' to the [system] section of the GEOS.INI file (v2.x only.) Geos versions 2.5 and higher don't suffer from this problem.
  • PC DOS 7, PC DOS 2000 and DR-DOS 7.03 no longer need SETVER loaded for Geos 3.0 to operate.
  • Some networked drives cause problems for Geos system files, although you can usually save data to a networked drive.
  • DOS emulation under Linux or Macintosh causes problems because Geos tries to directly interact with hardware that just isn't there.

I installed Geos on my zippy new computer, but it won't load up. What's the problem? It dies with a KR-01 error (divide by zero).Bearbeiten

This is known as the fast CPU bug. It was first observed on Geoworks Ensemble 2.x. The best fix is to edit your GEOS.INI file and change the line

     continueSetup = true


     continueSetup = false

There may be a new "very fast CPU bug" that affects NDO2000 and Breadbox Ensemble (and all earlier versions too). No one has been able to pin down exactly at what CPU speed it happens (most likely that is dependent on the make and model of CPU) but it is around 1.3 GHz.

I keep getting SHARE or File Lock errors when I run Geos. What's going on?Bearbeiten

Geos needs a lot of files open at once. If you're using SHARE, try adding the switch /f:4096 or /f:6144. On some systems, /L:40 seems to help. If you are not on a network, you might not need SHARE at all.

I'm running the desktop version with Stacker installed. Drive C is my Stacker volume. For some reason GeoManager insists on looking at drive E for the /Geoworks/world directory, even though when I exit Geos I'm on drive C. Any ideas?Bearbeiten

Check the volume labels for drives C, D, and E. If they're identical, then use GeoManager to edit the volume labels so that each drive has its own distinct label. On some computers, you may have to exit to DOS to change the drive label (use the LABEL command).

I keep having problems with Geos 2.0 and DoubleSpace/SuperStor/Stacker. What can I do?Bearbeiten

Geos 2.0 normally works fine on compressed drives, although there is sometimes a decrease in performance if the swap file is on the compressed drive, particularly if you are using DoubleSpace (the compression included with MS-DOS 6.0 and 6.2.) Geos 1.x frequently had problems if the swap file was on a compressed drive, and users of these versions should make sure (through Preferences) that their swap file is on an uncompressed drive. Problems with Stacker not recognizing your compressed HD(s) correctly can usually be solved by adding lines to the [system] section of your GEOS.INI file to specifically define the drives as fixed disks:

     drive c = 65536

where c is your compressed Stacker drive.

Original Copyrights Bearbeiten

Copyright © 199?-1999 James Bearden. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 1999-2003 Raymond Thaddeus C. Ancog. All rights reserved.