Sunday, September 1, 2002

Kick it up a notch with Pocket Recipes

PRODUCT REVIEW

By Janine Sutphen

Imagine the following scenarios. Who knows, maybe you don't even have to imagine very hard because one of them perfectly describes your situation. Lots of people are struggling to balance their work and home lives.

Scenario 1: You work all day in a cube. You rarely have time to eat, let alone plan the dinner menu. Rushing home from work, you stop at the grocery store to pick up dinner essentials. What do you get?

Scenario 2: You and your spouse are both self-employed. You work at home all day on computers. As dinner approaches, panic sets in. Visions of delicacies dance before your eyes, stomachs growl, salivation begins. Unfortunately neither of you has a clue as to what you're going to make for dinner. The reality is that a 5 p.m. trip to the grocery store is inevitable. What do you buy?

Scenario 3: Your 22 year old son has just started his first job. Fast food joints have been his fare for his college years. He now has the luxury of having grocery money, but he has a very limited cooking repertoire. What does he buy?

Scenario 4: You just received an email from a friend inviting you to a barbeque. It's potluck. What do you bring?

Hark! Pocket Express comes to the rescue with their program, Pocket Recipes (at http://www.pocketexpress.com/Catalog/Product_Pages/recipes.html). Whether you need help in either planning your meals in advance or selecting a recipe and figuring out what to buy while your engine idles in the grocery store parking lot, Pocket Recipes is there to help you. It's pictured in Figure A.

FIGURE A

Access recipes on your Palm OS handheld with Pocket Recipes.

Pocket Recipes is a breath of fresh air, a use of technology that has the potential to make your non-business life easier. It can be accessed either from your Palm OS PDA or your desktop. It's easy. You can make changes either on your PDA or your desktop and then synchronize the devices. I decided to put Pocket Recipes to the test and dared it to make me laugh about shopping and dinner.

But let's not jump the gun.

Software installation

Installation was quite easy, even for a computer geek. You know, we geeks have more problems with simple computer tasks than any other segment of the population! I installed the software on my computer and then synchronized my computer with my Visor. I was ready to go!

The databases

Pocket Recipes consists of six databases.

PxRecipes and MyPxRecipes

These PxRecipes and MyPxRecipes databases comprise the heart and soul of Pocket Recipes. PxRecipes is a database of either 750, 1500, or 2500 preloaded recipes. (By the way, you must try Bombay Chicken Wings!) You can choose how many recipes you want depending on the amount of available space you have on your PDA. MyPxRecipes is a database containing only your personal recipes. The databases are quite similar both in appearance and functionality.