Jim Karpen's blog

Buyer's Guide Lets You Compare Device Specs

We recently updated the "At a Glance" section of our
Buyer's Guide on the Pocket PC magazine web site, which lets
you compare features of devices. Let's take a look at this,
plus a couple other sites that help you select a device.

Pocket PC Magazine's Device Comparison

A popular feature of our Buyer's
Guide
is the ability to dynamically generate
feature-comparison tables.


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Reviews of Hot New Devices; 256MB SD

When we did a roundup
of reviews of the new iPAQs from HP a few weeks ago, I only
listed one review of the new "Mobile Media Companion" iPAQ
that includes a built-in camera.


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Mobile Olympics; Mobile News

The Olympic
Games
in Athens are in full swing through August 29, and
two applications have been released that let you follow the
games on your device. One is commercial and the other is a
freebie.

Mobilympics Freeware

You can use the Mobilympics to track the results in seven sports in which a
country is represented by a national team: baseball,
basketball, football (soccer), handball, field hockey,
volleyball.


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New Handango Site; Mobilesource.com; Pocket PC Virus

Handango,
one of the most popular sites for purchasing software, has
recently undergone a major upgrade. Also, a new site for
hardware and accessories, Mobilesource.com,
recently launched.


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Syncalot Launches; Themes for VGA Devices; Portable Media Center Site

Syncalot,
a new service for mobile content, launched last month. Like
AvantGo,
Syncalot lets you put web content on your device for offline
viewing.

Syncalot carries news, entertainment, sports, tech,
shopping sites, and more. The service also offers syncing of
"rich media types" such as audio, video, and Flash
animation.

To get started, you register and then download the
Syncalot software.


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Best Software Nominees; New Models from HP

In order to help you select the best software
for your device, Pocket PC magazine each year assembles a panel of experts to
identify the best programs in over 70 categories.

The strongest programs in each category are
identified as nominees, with a winner in each category being announced at the
CTIA conference in San Francisco in October, as well as on the
CTIA and
Pocket PC magazine
web sites.


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Free Music Players, Buying Refurbished Devices, and More

Lee Chee Wee has long done a good job of tracking freeware for Pocket PCs,
and has a well organized list of titles on his web site,
PPCSG.com. He's
also been writing articles for CNet, highlighting some of the most useful
programs.


Top
Five Free Music Players


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Guide to the Best Freeware; PDAPortal

Marcus Vorwaller has sorted through dozens of freeware
programs and claims to have weeded out the buggy, useless
software in order to offer you a list of the most
useful programs
. "If you've just purchased a Pocket PC,
this list could save you hours," he says.

You can find this list on his web site aptly named The
Best Tool for the Job.


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Pocket MSN Beta, Freeware Organizer

Last month Microsoft quietly posted a beta of Pocket
MSN
, which gives you mobile access to popular MSN
services. You can try it free for six months to see if it
suits your needs. After that the price is $50 per year.

Microsoft touts Pocket MSN's one-click access to MSN
Hotmail, MSN Messenger, and MSN Alerts.


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Free eBooks, Video Player, and More

It's been a while since we've touched on freebies. A
number of new freeware applications that have been announced
in the last month look good and seem worth mentioning.

Free eBooks from Baen

But first let's take a look at the free offerings from
the Baen
Free Library
. The site offers contemporary science
fiction and fantasy.


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More Sites for Online Help

A few weeks ago I wrote a column
that listed some sites with FAQs, tips, guides, and other
online help.


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Mobile Weather Reports; Mobile Directory; iPaqHQ Redesigned

Thanks to Pocket PC expert Bev Howard for posting a tip
in the newsgroup about a National
Weather Service web site
that lets you access the latest
weather via your Pocket PC.

You simply type in your Zip Code, and the site returns a
screen with the current conditions and a menu offering
Forecast at a Glance, Detailed 7-day Forecast, Your Local
Radar, Current Conditions, Satellite Image, and Hazardous
Weather.

What perhaps distinguishes this site from other weather
reporting is the availability of local radar and sat


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More CeBIT Trade Show Coverage; More OQO

Last
week
we touched on coverage of the CeBIT trade show that
features all the latest gadgets.


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Gadgets at CeBIT Trade Show; Motorola MPx

Most of you likely don't get to go to trade shows like
the recent CeBIT, where attendees get to view all the cool
new gadgets headed to market. But luckily there are some
online reports to fill in the gap.

The Revolutionary OQO

The OQO
is a palm-sized device that runs Windows XP. It's been
accused of being "vaporware" because the company kept
announcing it but repeatedly delayed its introduction. Well,
according to Gary Garland, who writes for Gadget Addict,
it's no longer vaporware.


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eReader.com, PocketPCFreeware, New Dell Model

Last week's developments included the launch of a new
eBook site that uses a Digital Rights Management (DRM)
system that's much friendlier to consumers than Microsoft's.
Also, Dell stirred interest with the release of the new Axim
X30, and PocketPCFreeware celebrated its third
anniversary.

eReader.com

eReader.com
isn't actually a new site but a complete redesign of the
former Palm Digital Media site. Before that was it was named Peanut
Press.


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Streaming Video Update, Best Software Downloads, eBook Store

Some time ago we covered sites that let you stream and/or
download video content for your device, and two of the sites
we mentioned have recently updated their offerings.

PocketPCMedia and PPCVidz.com

PocketPCMedia
is a free site that now offers daily updated news videos.
They've also added a lot of content to the music videos and
movie trailer sections.

Also, PPCVidz.com
recently launched a new layout that is well organized.


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Site Updates: Game Sites, Dave's iPAQ

A couple of the top gaming sites are currently running
contests, so I thought it would be a good time to take
another look at these sites, especially since gaming is so
popular on Windows Mobile devices.

PDArcade

PDArcade
is holding their May
Competition Bonanza
, with 25 games being given away.


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Online Guides, FAQs, and Tips; Angelic Themes

I've recently come across some useful collections of
online FAQs, training guides, and tips, and I thought I'd
share them. None is comprehensive, but each answers some
very common questions, both on basic and advanced levels.
And in most cases, they walk you through the solution.

PocketPC Addict

Brad Isaac's PocketPC
Addict
site has been around for several years, and
continues to be a good source for news, forums, and
downloads.


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Large eBook Catalog; More Video Streaming

It's been over a year since we touched on Microsoft's
eBook Catalog
, and in that time it's doubled in size, with well over 27,000 titles listed—both commercial and
free. They've also recently updated the "look and feel" and the categories.

There is now has a "Most Recent" section that shows the books added in the last 30 days.

The site includes adult and juvenile trade books, short stories, and articles.


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Chee Wee's Freeware Guide; Medical Freeware

I've long had a listing on our Best
Sites
page that links to a useful listing of freeware by
Lee Chee Wee (freePPCSg.com
Freeware List
).


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