Jim Karpen's blog
Thanks to the generosity and industry of freeware authors, you have many
valuable enhancements and applications available to you. Some of these authors
have garnered quite a reputation for their useful products and range of
offerings. Let's take a look at the goods available on the websites of Scott
Seligman, Philippe Majerus, Jonathan Sachs, and Tomoaki Nakashima.
If you have device that supports Pocket PC 2002, there's a new application
that lets you have animated Today screens. It's called Animated Today 2002 (or
AT2002). You can find a demo online at Gigabyte
Solutions, the company that developed the product.
The program uses Flash, so you can not only enjoy gimmicky animated themes
(called "Schemes"), but also interactive applications. The developer
invites you to imagine running virtual pets, games, animated stock tickers and
other such applications.
The Internet is a boon for Pocket PC users, because so much information and
technical support is available. We've covered Usenet newsgroups and web forums,
but don't neglect the extraordinary resources that come via e-mail, including
free newsletters and helpful discussions.
E-mail was there first, and it's still hard to beat for convenience. Have a
question about using your Pocket PC? Fire off an e-mail to one of the dozens of
active e-mail-based discussions and then wait for the answers to flow in.
TV is a powerful medium, and now you can get Pocket PC news from two new TV
programs that you can download and view in Windows Media Player, either on your
desktop or on your device. One is from Pocket PC magazine and offers video
reports from each major trade show. The other is Pocket
PC TV, a monthly report from JustPPC.com.
While not perhaps a killer app, eBooks sure are handy and usefulâ€”especially
for those many occasions in life when you're stuck waiting. There are tons of
freebies available for download, making it easy to stock up. I recommend that
you check out the offerings of Chris Coulter: a fascinating collection of eBooks
for intelligent readers, from literature to philosophy and religion, with a big
emphasis on American history, past and present.
Opportunities for reading eBooks on your Pocket PC continue to grow, especially with the release of MS Reader 2.0. Because Reader 2.0 supports DRM5 encryption, you can now buy current titles from large bookstores such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
The freebies on the Internet always amaze me. Most recently I came across eBookExpress,
which lets you easily create eBooks—for free. You can purchase various tools to
create eBooks, and Microsoft offers a free
tool to convert Word documents, but eBookExpress is hard to beat, given its
flexibility and zero cost.
I guess the hip, in-your-face style of radio talk shows doesn't quite suit
this staid professor. But hey, who am I to judge the tastes of others? You might
enjoy the Pocket PC weekly Internet radio show at onLine
When it comes to downloading software for your Pocket PC, don't limit
yourself to the big commercial sites such as Handango
There are a number of excellent sites that are rich resources, such as 4
Pocket PC.Com and Pocket
PC for All.
Using a computer necessitates asking for help. No doubt you're in the habit
of asking questions via the Internet, but if not, now is a good time to start.
The move toward wireless continues to accelerate, and so has the number of
web sites oriented toward the small screen. As of this writing, MyMobileStuff (www.mymobilestuff.com)
now has over 600 sites listed in their directory. You can access major sites
such as the New York Times, USA Today, MSNBC, Amazon, eBay, and Encyclopedia
Britannica via your Pocket PC.
Of course I'm of the opinion that Pocket PC magazine's Best
Sites is the best directory of web sites related to the Pocket PC. While we
don't strive to be comprehensive, we do try to give you the best sites in a well
organized listing organized into a dozen categories.
Now our Best Sites page is facing some competition. At least two sites have
come along in the past year that are nicely designed and seem to have a purpose
similar to Best Sites.
We've already covered a number of resources for getting
help using your Pocket PC, but two that I haven't yet
mentioned are Todd Ogasawara's Unofficial
Pocket PC Newsgroup FAQ and Microsoft's extensive
Todd is a Microsoft MVP--a knowledgeable volunteer who
frequents the newsgroup and whose expertise is recognized by
One of the potential frustrations with the release of a new operating system is
not knowing which software products are compatible with it. With the release of Pocket PC
2002, iPaqToday has
created an online
database so that you can see a list of titles that are compatible, as well
as titles that are not compatible and those that are questionable.
Congratulations to Chris De Herrera on his five years of service to the
Windows CE community via CEWindows.NET,
one of the most useful online resources for Pocket PC and Windows CE handhelds.
Chris won an outstanding service award at the recent Pocket PC Summit.
With the arrival of Pocket PC 2002 came the ability to easily customize the
look of your Today screen. Called "skins" in other contexts, the
customized appearances are called "themes" in the context of Pocket PC
2002. And in less than two months after the arrival of the new OS, there are
already thousands of themes available for you to download.
One of the mysteries in our recent People's Choice competition
for best web sites was that "other" won the most votes as the best
eBook site, beating Memoware,
of Virginia eBook Library, Peanut
Press (now Palm Digital Media), and the rest of the sites listed in the
eBook category on our Best
There have been some outrageous deals online in recent weeks,
including a new Jornada 567/568 for $445 with free shipping. Richard Kettner has
recently started a forum
to track these hot deals, and I'm hoping it will become a focal point for the
exchange of information regarding best prices. As a Mac user, I never buy
without first checking DealMac,
and I had long thought we needed a similar service for the Pocket PC.
Coinciding with the Oct. 4 release of a slew of new devices from
manufacturers, Microsoft went live with a makeover of PocketPC.com.
If you haven't been there in a while, or if you're new to the Pocket PC, you
should take a look.