Jim Karpen's blog

Freeware Authors Give You The Goods

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.


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Animated Today Screens

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.


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Getting Help and Information Via E-mail

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.


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Pocket PC Video News Shows

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.


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The Chris Coulter eBook Collection

While not perhaps a killer app, eBooks sure are handy and useful—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.


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Pocket PC Thoughts Adds Forums

Do a search on "Pocket PC" in Google,
which organizes results according to popularity, and the outcome is what you
might expect. Microsoft's
Pocket PC site
is first, Pocket
PC magazine
is second.


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MS Reader 2.0 Gives You More Access to eBooks Online

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.


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Create Your Own eBooks via the eBookExpress Website

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.


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Pocket PCRadio SHow; Tekguru Update

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
Tonight
.


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Excellent Download Sites

When it comes to downloading software for your Pocket PC, don't limit
yourself to the big commercial sites such as Handango
and Tucows.
There are a number of excellent sites that are rich resources, such as 4
Pocket PC.Com
and Pocket
PC for All
.


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Taking Advantage of Online Forums

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.


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PocketPC.com and Other Mobile Sites

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.


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Directories of Pocket PC Web Sites

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.


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Getting Help: Pocket PC FAQ, Microsoft Knowledge Base

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
Knowledge
Base
.

Todd is a Microsoft MVP--a knowledgeable volunteer who
frequents the newsgroup and whose expertise is recognized by


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PPC 2002-Compatible Software; More Shopping Sites

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.


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CEWindows.NET Celebrates 5 Years; PocketPC.com Adds News

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.


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A Bounty of Pocket PC 2002 Themes

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.


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Small eBook Publishers; PDA Bookstore

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,
the University
of Virginia eBook Library
, Peanut
Press
(now Palm Digital Media), and the rest of the sites listed in the
eBook category on our Best
Sites
page.


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Hot Deals Online

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.


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PocketPC.com Gets a Makeover

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.


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