Tuesday, June 1, 1999

Ten great applications you’ll just love

USER PERSPECTIVES

By Dan Huber

I'm sure that if you have been involved in the Windows CE community for a while, you're already familiar with many Windows CE applications and have even read reviews of some of them at different web sites. In this article, I'm not trying to compete with the detailed reviews, but I'm instead looking to offer you a glance at what I value and like most about my handheld. This can be especially useful if you are interested in purchasing software to enhance your existing device. To clarify, this software is used on my Philips Velo 500 and the screenshots were drawn from that as well, which explains the lack of color.

I'm sure that you (as well as your employer) appreciate having a select few applications on your handheld to accomplish some real work. I honestly don't play many games at all on my Velo. Instead, this article will center around applications geared towards productivity. Even so, you may find that several of them can steal the hours away as you begin using them yourself. I think you'll find something of interest in here.

It seems Senior Technical Editor Jason Perlow and I share similar tastes in add-on applications. Although some of the applications I'm including here (like HPC Notes) were written about by Jason last month, you'll get an idea of how I like to use these programs.

BSQUARE bREADY

This program is actually two components: electronic book publishing software for the desktop, and the viewer application for the PDA. The publishing software has a wide variety of content-extracting capabilities and uses. You can extract text from standard .TXT files and also through Web sites. Of course, you can manually type or cut and paste the text in, but the Web application is very useful when viewed both from a corporate perspective and a consumer perspective. With this feature, you can make any Web page or Web site into a bREADY book. You can decide whether or not to include the images available on the site, as well as controlling image conversion techniques and image file sizes.

I once made an electronic book out of Chris De Hererra's Windows CE site for offline viewing and it was definitely a treat to have when I was not able to connect to the Net on my Velo. Be cautious, as these books can become large when many pictures are added. If you work for a company that needs to outfit all of the employees' handhelds with electronic manuals on how to accomplish certain tasks, you can rest assured that this would be a simple task for bREADY.

The bREADY viewer on the handheld is a refined, yet simple to use application. Features such as auto-scrolling, font size management, and bookmarks make your reading pleasurable and easy. You can also find a proliferating number of bREADY books available on the Web. Figure A shows some of the titles I have loaded.