April 28, 2013
I have not updated this site in a long time. It has become more of historical interest than anything else. I still get emails from folks occassionally asking Palm questions and thanking me for leaving the site up. After all the suffling, it looks like Android has become the successor to Palm OS for the masses. I say that because many Palm developers that stuck around moved over to Android. I will try to update this site gradually over the summer, including a much simpler appearance and more current information.
May 22, 2011
Created an Android software page. It lists what's on my Atrix at the moment. I hope that it helps someone. I'll try to keep it updated.
April 3, 2011
Wow, long time with no update! Well, I think that I updated the PPC software page a few times but I could be wrong. To catch up in a nutshell, I ended up disabling the HTC Sense on the Tilt 2 because, although it looked cool, it wasn't very practical for me. So, I went back to my old setup that was on the iPAQ with PocketBreeze, PocketWeather, and iLauncher. But I grew restless some time back. Few develop for WM 6.5 anymore and I wanted to avoid the WM 7 fiasco.
So now there's news! I picked up a Motorola Atrix 4G this week. Wow, is this thing fast! Nothing lags, even with tons of stuff running in the background. The display looks great, and the battery life seems excellent at this point. Finding the right Android software for me has been fun, and I'm not done yet. Here's a preview: Launcher Pro Plus to replace MotoBlur, PimlicalA for a calendar, and MessagEase for fast input. In the process, I've run into a lot of old Palm friends who've moved to and/or develop for Android. Very cool.
Well, I have a lot of updating to do here. At the least, I need to create an Android software page. I have a lot less time to keep this site up than years ago, so it will take some time. In the meantime, I have an HTC Tilt 2 for sale with a belt case, car charger, and 16 GB MicroSD card. Includes the original box and everything that was in it except the SIM card. Please email me if you're interested.
November 1, 2009
I added two utilities to my Tilt 2: TaskFacade 4 and VistaHide Battery Guage. The former provides a quick changing task switcher. The latter puts a nice battery bar at the top of the screen (portrait and landscape) so that I can put the clock on the task bar. I'm pretty happy with this setup for now. Software page updated accordingly.
October 31, 2009
I updated the front and PPC software pages to reflect my new Tilt 2. Gimp did a pretty good job eliminating the backgrounds from the Tilt 2 pictures. I've decided that the PPC Software page is getting too crowded, so I'm going to split it up to reflect current and old software on separate pages. Don't hold your breath. If I get time this weekend, I'll blog about the changeover on MobileTechReview, including some helpful hints on getting Activesync to work with it.
The Tilt 2 is now fully configured. I've been using it exclusively this past week. It has been a great device. Being connected all the time opens up a lot of possibilities. Battery has still been good. I won't last an entire flight over the Pacific, but it's fine for around town and around the U.S.
October 26, 2009
Sorry that it's been so long since my last update. Frankly there wasn't anything to write until now. My Motorola Razr has been coming apart due to a lost pivot pin. I've been holding out until I could do what I've been reluctant to do - go with a converged device. Until recently, I didn't see any that I liked. But last week, AT&T released their version of the HTC Touch Pro 2 - the HTC Tilt 2. After reading MobileTechReviews' glowing opinion of the Touch Pro 2 and playing with a pre-release Tilt 2 myself, I made my decision. I bought an HTC Tilt 2.
I have been using it for almost a week and really like it. The battery life can't match the iPAQ 211, but it's pretty good. Throughout a normal day of PDA use, several surfs on the data network to get weather and news, streaming a few videos at lunch, and about 20 minutes of Bluetooth link to a hands-free car device, I arrive home with a 70% charge. I can live with that. I'll be writing much more about the decision, transferring operations from the HP 211, etc., in the near future. I'll also update the front page here.
The good news for somebody is that I'm selling my iPAQ 211 in excellent condition with its original box, a very nice leather Sena case, a spare Mugen 2400 MAh battery, car charger, and maybe a 4GB RiData SD card. Email me if you're interested. I may have other goodies as well.
July 5, 2009
Well, that was great while it lasted. My iPAQ 211 will no longer read my 32 GB SDHC card. After considerable troubleshooting, reformatting the card, exchanging the card for a new one and reformatting that one, plus two hard resets, I can't get the HP to read them anymore. Although the first card was corrupted at first, it worked fine in my PC after reformatting, so it isn't the card. Normal SD cards work fine. I'll have to call HP tomorrow and see if they have any ideas. I may be looking for a new PDA if they can't fix this one. Very disappointing. I'm open to any ideas anyone has out there. I used the 3.2 GB Wikipedia extensively.
On the good side, PNY worked the RMA quickly and their turn-around was great. I won't hesitate to buy from them again.
February 21, 2009
You can never have enough storage, especially in your pocket. I have a number of large databases, including portable versions of Wikipedia. I have been happy with Lexipedia, especially its fuzzy search capability, but the database hasn't been updated since December, 2006. Revolutionary Software originally promised database updates every six months. So much for promises. I registered TomeRaider a year ago but only really used it for the huge IMDB (Internet Movie Database). There's a huge, 3.2 GB Wikipedia version from May, 2008, available for TomeRaider (it will cost you £3), but I only had a 4 GB SD card. Until this week, that is.
I picked up a 32 GB PNY Class 4 SDHC card from NewEgg.com. That's right, 32 GB. It works great in the iPAQ 211. Unfortunately, my old card reader wouldn't read the SDHC card, so at first it looked like another case of deferred gratification. But then I remembered a great program from my Palm days - Softick's Card Export II. Softick also has a version for PocketPC/Windows Mobile. I downloaded and installed it, and it worked like a charm. Transfer rate over the HP 211's main connector only hit 1 Gb/s, but the iPAQ's built-in USB connection ran full speed up to over 6 Gb/s. Very cool. I added Card Export II to the PPC Software page.
In addition to the references, I loaded several movies and a bunch of music on the 32 GB card. I still have 19.4 GB free on the card. Although the PNY is only rated at Class 4, it seems as fast as my old 150x SD card. So, now I have a relatively recent version of Wikipedia, an updated IMDB, some great movies, and a ton of music in my pocket. Tanker Bob is a very happy camper!
January 20, 2009
I've posted my review of Aiko Solutions' SecuWipe on my MobileTechReview blog. Very nice software and very important to keep your sensitive information private. Updated my review page here accordingly.
January 19, 2009
I believe that I've finally made a transition. I've taken Weather Panel off of my today screen and left Pocket Weather as my sole weather program. I love Weather Panel, but it's author abandoned it four years ago. Folks like Storyr have kept it going by patching DLLs and writing scripts to compensate for problems, but it's bascially a dead program. SBSH's Pocket Weather started slowly, but has finally gained enough capability and, just as importantly, attracted enough talented skinners to take the full-time plunge. I'm particularly fond of the Ocean theme. I've updated the appropriate pages here.
I am definitely hooked on the Sena case for my iPAQ 211. It fits in my pocket better and holds onto the device more tightly. Sena's workmanship is excellent.
December 13, 2008
Wow, it's been a while again. Not much has transpired. I wrote a review of Aiko Solutions' SecuWipe a while back that hasn't been published yet. I updated to Paragon Software's Mirriam-Webster 7.0 with Webster's Third International Dictionary, Unabridged. Very impressive collection of words.
My PDAir's belt clip broke a few weeks ago. The PDAir protected the iPAQ marvelously on several hard drops to pavement. However, when my 211 was on my belt, it was always getting caught on the steering wheel getting out of the car. The last time, the plastic belt clip just came apart catastrophically. Oops. Providentially, cases.com had a holiday sale this past week that included 20% off of Sena cases. I ordered on Wednesday and it arrived today. Very nice case. The leather and stitching are excellent; fit is superb and it smells great. This one may work in my pocket better because instead of having an external magnetic catch like the PDAir, it has the magnets build into the front cover and just above the buttons on the PDA. This presents a very smooth front face that slides easier in and out of the pocket.
The Sena's belt clip is also plastic, but a bit tighter and sturdier than the PDAir's. The piece that attaches to the PDA case is metal, which should be more durable. However, the piece on the PDA side attaches with a separate hex-head screw. Sena provides a small hex wrench with which to attach it. However, that seems like a tiny piece waiting to be lost. They must agree because they provided two screws. Time will tell. Overall, I'm very pleased with the case. I'll let you know how it goes over time.
Updated the PPC Software and front pages.
October 2, 2008
MobileTechReview published my review of the new Fitaly 5.0 input system. Textware incorporated Instant Text into Fitaly, making the best even better. It's still my primary input system.
Added mDigger to the PocketPC software page. It's a great, free, and fast newsreader. I dumped the much slower AvantGo in favor of mDigger.
September 12, 2008
Well, I've arrived at the end of another era. I sold my Dell X50v to a friend, so I'm down to just one PDA, the iPAQ 211. It is still performing magnificently. I will be updating the front page to reflect the Dell's departure with this caveat--if Dell had produced a WM6 update for the X50v/51v, I'd still be happily using it. It's size to performance ratio is still unbeaten.
I've found that Softmaker Office 2008 runs much better under the iPAQ's 128MB of RAM than it did on the Dell. Softmaker has done a nice job of updating the suite's capabilities, stability, and appearance. I've been using it steadily for almost two months without any problems.
Christian Ghisler updated Total Commander PPC to version 2.51. I love this file manager. It ranks as one of my most-used programs on my 211. It doesn't hurt that Christian is a great guy who takes support seriously, even on his free program.
It's been a slow summer overall for PPC/WM software. I'm hoping that the developers come back from vacation rested and ready to rock and roll.
August 3, 2008
I received an email complaining that the narrative at the top of my download page was confusing. It really no longer serves a useful purpose, especially since it was base on Palm programs that no longer exist. So, I simplified that introduction. As I say there, I belive that all the downloads are in iSilo format. If not, I'm sure that someone will tell me.
July 30, 2008
After that nice write-up below on how things had been going so well on my iPAQ 211, I had a minor disaster yesterday. First, the supposedly non-volitile iPAQFileStore disappeared for a while but a soft reset brought it back intact. Then later in the day, the 211 stopped recognizing my flash memory cards. I figured that a soft reset would fix that as well. Instead, the 211 came out of the soft reset as if I had done a hard reset. After going through the screen calibration, I found that my device was hosed although the data seemed to be there. As best I can tell, the registry was trashed. I turned to my Sprite backup from the previous night and restored the registry and Program Memory except for the PIM databases which seemed to be fine. Sprite continues to be the best investment you can make for you mobile device.
After recovering everything, many programs still wouldn't work. I was getting an error that said: "The file "(insert program name)" cannot be opened. Either it is not signed with a trusted certificate or one of its components cannot be found. You might need to reinstall or restore this file." Apparently it wanted me to reinstall every program that didn't have a formal MS certificate. Nice try. I found the answer on the xda-developer's forum. I simply changed the registry entry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Security\Policies\Policies value at 0000101a from 1 to 0. That disabled the certificate checking which I routinely ignored anyway. Everything worked fine after a subsequent soft reset. That certificate business is just another way for M$ to extort money from developers. If you haven't checked out the xda-developer's forum, they are a great bunch of extremely knowledgable folks. FWIW, I have no idea what trashed the registry.
July 28, 2008
Wow, has it been that long? Well, the site isn't dead, life's just been very busy. Also, the Windows Mobile world hasn't been all that active. My iPAQ 211 continues to serve well. It's large size has proven more inconvenient with time, but OS 6, ample memory, and excellent WiFi performance keep me happy. I have apprecited a number of emails that I've received from gentle readers.
The Fitaly alternate input keyboard has just been updated to verstion 5. This updates Fitaly to be able to launch applications and, much more importantly, added glossaries. These glossaries use predictive abbreviations to put long phrases in your text. These have been the basis of Instant Text, but have only now come to Windows Mobile. You may expect a review to follow...
Follow-up on the Boxwave Screen Protector issue from March: They did ship an hx4700 protector which was slightly small for the screen. After a significant outcry on the forums, Boxwave engineered a protector for the 21x and shipped replacements to everyone who originally received the 4700 protectors. Nice save by a quality company.
Softmaker had a great deal on Softmaker Office 2008, so I took the plunge. I had generally found Mobile Office 6.1 to be satisfactory, but Softmaker's suite has desktop capabilities that can come in handy on the road. In particular, it can create/edit native Powerpoint files. I put it on my SD card becasue of its size. I haven't had much of a chance to play with it yet, but it looks good so far.
I made a good number of updates to my PPC software page here to catch up with the last few months.
I must get serious and sell my Axim X50v. I haven't even completed that task. I have both an extended 1800 and 2200 mAH battery for it. If anyone is interested, drop me an email. Otherwise, it's going on Craig's List.
On the home computer front, I updated to Kubuntu Hardy Heron. It seems to have fixed some issues I had with Gutsy Gibbon. I'm pretty happy with the update so far. The whole system that I built continues to perform magnificently. The hardware has been trouble-free. Linux' stability, security, and speed have caused my keen troubleshooting skills to decay a bit. I had to fix a Windows box for a friend and it took me longer than the old days. Life on Linux has been very good!
March 13, 2008
I discovered an interesting compatibility issue. GPS Info, which comes with the GlobalSat BC-337 GPS CF Card, doesn't execute when CalliGrapher 8.6 is selected as the active SIP. Simply selecting a different SIP, Fitaly for instance, resolves the issue. No resets are required. Just thought that I'd mention this in case anyone else encountered this issue. FWIW, SiRFDemoPPC does not have this issue.
I received the new Mugen 2400 mAh battery yesterday, charged it last night, and used it today. All seems to be fine, although changing batteries on the iPAQ is quite painful because the battery door is a bear to remove. One poor soul on a forum actually cracked their LCD trying to get the battery door off. I have learned to lay the 211 face down on top of a couple of envelopes (for padding) on my desk, then depress the top edge of the battery door while gently using the tip of a blunt letter opener to pry the door down toward the bottom of the case just a tad. This seems to work reliably. Oddly, the 211 seems to auto soft reset after changing the battery, but doesn't lose any data.
I may have further comment on the Boxwave ClearTouch Crystal Screen Protector shortly. Users on a thread at Brighthand who have received the 21x screen protector say that it is just the hx4700 screen protector. The problem is that the hx4700 screen is slightly smaller than the 211's, leaving gaps around the edges. The Boxwave on my X50v fits the edges perfectly. I will be very unhappy if they ship me an hx4700 protector, and emailed them today to say so. I'll let you know.
March 8, 2008
Life has been great with the HP iPaq 211. I use it heavily every day. Although larger than my old X50v, it still travels OK in my front pocket. Accessories are starting to come available for it. I ordered the new Boxwave ClearTouch Crystal Screen Protector yesterday, the PDAir Leather Flip Case and the Mugen 2400 mAh battery today, the latter to help cover the long airline flights. The battery life of the 211 is such the 4400 mAh battery would be overkill for something that probably won't fit in the leather case.
This buying spree was enabled by selling my old Palm Tungsten T3 and its accessories. I'm out of the Palm business for good now. Next I'm going to sell my Dell Axim X50v, probably locally using Craig's List.
I'm back to using CalliGrapher again. Version 8.6 made some minor improvements, plus I've discovered some helpful settings that may or may not be new. I do not know whether the net result will be faster than Fitaly or not. I have really come to like Fitaly, but somehow writing on your PDA seems cool. The problem with handwriting recognition is that when it goes bad, it usually messes up an entire word or even the string of words, not just one character like a keyboard. That can really slow you down. Just more with which to play.
I updated the front page for more information on the iPAQ and PocketPCs in general throughout the page. I really need to update some of my link pages as well. You may also notice the vote request for the Top50Pocket site. I won't get anything from the rankings there, but it will help people find this site if they need help. Your option whether or not to vote.
February 23, 2008
I've learned a few things about WM6 compatibility over the last week. I had an issue with the bottom softkey bar after nightly Sprite Backup initiated resets. The softkey bar would be a very light hued, high luminosity blue compared with the top bar. It would often take from 5 - 10 or so soft resets to get the correct color back. Given that soft resets take several minutes, this whole process could waste up to 30 minutes a day. Changing themes only changed the underlying hue of the bar, not its lightness or luminosity. This did not happen after an iLauncher safe mode reset. After a few minutes of thought last week, I disabled MessagEasePPC as an input system using SKTools, then restarted. Voila! Problem solved. MEPPC hasn't been updated in years, and is apparently only partially compatible with WM6. Be warned.
Also, I found that apReminderPlus doesn't do anything under WM6. It doesn't do anything bad or good. So, I disabled it for now and noted that on the software page.
There's another good review of the iPAQ 210 at Brighthand, almost as good as mine. :-) I agree with his battery assessments. If all I do is normal PIM and Office work with minimal WiFi, it looks like the battery will go for a good 8+ hours. Without any WiFi use, I think that it could get to 10 hours based on my real-world operational testing.
February 15, 2008
MobileTechReview published my review of the new HP iPAQ 211. I have enjoyed it immensely over the last 2 weeks. Unlike a lot of cursory reviews of the box, this review is based on actual daily use. I updated the review page here as well.
I made a trip to Vancouver, Canada, this week with the iPAQ. The WiFi capability is much more reliable than the X50v. Pocket IE, though, is resource intensive and slow on scrolling through very large pages, even when loaded from locally-saved files. Other than that, no real surprises. Battery life while reading and listening to music through a headset came in at just over 8 hours. The same for extended writing in Pocket Word 6.1. Excellent!
February 6, 2008
Live and learn. Tanker Bob thought that there were issues with Lexipedia and StyleTap Platform under Windows Mobile 6 on the iPAQ 211. The problem was in my lack of understanding of where WM6 installs apps. Rather than putting them off of the root directory of a card like "SD Card\Lexipedia" as WM2003SE did, it puts them under a program directory like "SD Card\Program Files\Lexipedia". Thus, when I though that I was "reinstalling" them where their data files were, they were far from their data. So, no apps showed up in StyleTap and Lexipedia couldn't find its database. Duh. I ended up with a number of duplicate apps and databases, which ate up my SD card very quickly. Everything is better today, except that I'm out the signficiant money for TomeRaider 3 for which I have no real use. Lexipedia's Wikipedia database is a year newer than the one in TomeRaider, is faster, plus Lex uses fuzzy search. Oh well, that's life in the fast lane.
I had another thought on the 211's size discrepancy. Somebody at HP knew the actual dimensions because whoever ordered the slip covers got them the correct size. Hmmm. It's hard not to love the 4" screen, though. It's amazing how much bigger it seems than the Azim's 3.7" one.
Updated the PPC Software page to match my new configuration.
My iPAQ 211 is now fully operational. Sprite Backup 6 keeps me safe. Outstanding!
February 5, 2008
In the course of a conversation over at Aximsite, I discovered that the HP published size for the iPAQ 211 is incorrect. HP says that the 210./211 is 4.96" high, but in fact it measures out to 5.25" high. I measured it with two different rulers and compared it to a 3x5 card, so there's no Tanker Bob goof here. The width and depth seem to match OK, as does the weigh by a rough feel comparison to the X50v. That, combined with the fact that the screen is actually 16-bit vs. th Jay Alan Borseth Jay Alan Borsethe advertised 18-bit color depth makes me wonder if the folks at HP are paying attention. I mean, how hard is it to measure your own device? They've been making precision electronics for decades. I would guess that they know how to measure, and to read the color depth off of their own software utility (HPAssetViewer). That doesn't take anything away from the great product, although I would have been happier if it were less than 5" high because it would have fit in my pocket better, but it's two of those things that make you go hmmm.
Also, the picture of the iPAQ 211 and Axim X50v on the front page are to scale as best I can make them with my meager graphics abilities. That's the question that brought out the rulers in the first place.
While I'm here typing, I picked up PocketStars and TomeRaider 3. Lexipedia doesn't work under WM6 and hasn't really been supported for over a year, so I had to find another way to carry the Wikipedia with me. PDAStars replaces Star Pilot Advanced from the Palm side which I was running under StyleTap Platform. Although I have a new code for StyleTap on the iPAQ, I hope that I will no longer need it. Star Pilot was the only Palm program that I used with any regularity, and PocketStars has become a worth successor. I'm not as happy with TomeRaider because it doesn't do fuzzy search like Lexipedia did, which means that you have to know the exact name of that which you seek in the index. I'll update the software page when I get a chance.
February 3, 2008
More on this later today, but I bought an HP iPAQ 211 last week and finished loading it up last night. Awesome device and highly recommended! I'll write a full review for MobileTechReview hopefully next week, but I'll have some comments here later today.
OK, it's later today. I posted the device change and update paragraph on the front page. I am fully operational on the 211 now. It is an awesome device. Though the iPAQ is only a bit taller than the Axim, the 4" screen looks huge next to the Axim's. The color is definitely 16-bit (contrary to HP's specs which read as 18-bit), confirmed by SKTools as well as the built-in utilities, and it looks great. Colors are quite rich. I've encountered no issues not directly related to Microsoft's demon-spawned ActiveSync 4.5.
I worked on the iPAQ for hours Friday night and only used up 1/2 of the battery. Best guess under heavy usage with lots of card access and the screen powered most of the time and some WiFi is about 10 hours or more. Speed at things like loading programs and stuff is faster than the X50v. I ran them side-by-side on things like accepting changes to PocketBreeze tabs with 8 tabs active, and the iPAQ was significantly faster. On other less storage-intensive tasks they tend to be about the same.
WiFi works much better on the HP than the Dell. Lately I was always struggling to get and hold connections on the road with the Dell. I finally resorted to using Odyssey all the time (with a 2MB hit to the RAM), but even then it was problematic even at home. So far, the iPAQ has linked quickly and reliably to my Linksys router using a WPA/TKIP connection. I put the parameters into the HP and it found my router the very first time in just seconds. Very cool.
Pretty much fully loaded with almost everything in Storage Memory except for huge data files like dictionaries and maps, I still have about 68.9MB of Storage left and 72.4M of Program Memory. File Store is about 13.8M. Incredible. The WiFi in 802.11g mode is great as well. This was a great move up from, and a worthy successor to, the X50v. My friends over at Aximsite even have a forum dedicated to the 200 series. I'll be writing a detailed review for MobileTechReview in the near future.
A note for the adventurous: I had fully prepared to update my X50v to WM6 via some of our Russian friends over at the XDA forums. However, just as I was ready to start flashing ROMs, the conversion author left the platform. Others swore by his last update, but I'm always a bit nervous around unsupported operating systems. Da Editor at MobileTechReview (Lisa) advised me to look at the new HP 200 series. Trust me, the iPAQ 211 offers enough additional capability over the X50v even with WM6 that it is worth the move up.
Januaury 5, 2008
More time has gone by, but I haven't forgotten this site. A couple of noteable things have come to pass, which I'll record here. The first is an ongoing issue with Microsoft which continues to provide encouragement that Linux is the way to go. As ZDNet blogs related back in October, Microsoft was updating WinXP and Vista computers without their users' knowledge or consent. You can read the whole sordid story here and here. Don't forget that you paid dearly for the priviledge. This covert updating cannot be done to users under Linux since no one can install or update anything in Linux without the user's explicit consent.
MobileTechReview published my Fitaly 4 review. Although I wrote this back in June of 2006, it was misplaced during the company move from California to Texas. Everything in the review is still current, and Fitaly is still a great alternate input system. I added the review link to the review page here.
SBSH has updated iLauncher to 3.1, PocketBreeze to 5.4, and PocketWeather to 2.0. All have a host of feature and capability updates. I live off of PocketBreeze and iLauncher every day and cannot recommend them highly enough. In the latest round, PocketBreeze 5.4 will display a daily weather summary on the day title line, the data coming from PocketWeather 2.0. This is very slick.
In fact, the PocketBreeze and PocketWeather integration was slick enough to get me to register PocketWeather even though WeatherPanel is my primary weather program. This adds another custom tab to PocketBreeze, eating more resources. PocketWeather still hasn't caught up to WeatherPanel's capabilities, but it is definitely getting closer. Maybe in six months or so I can move to PocketWeather if SBSH continues to improve the program, especially its WeatherConsole screens and scripting language.
Which would be timely as the excellent WeatherPanel, abandoned by its developer over three years ago, continues to develop problems. Now the data file for daily forecasts has developed a problem requiring external intervention to repair. Storyr and others have been dedicated and diligent in keeping WeatherPanel alive, but I believe I can see the end coming. I'm really hoping that SBSH makes the necessary improvements in PocketWeather soon. I'd switch today if PW were ready.
While I was at it, I updated the PDA front page as well as the PPC software page to include PocketWeather and my current Today screen.
Oh yeah, a happy and prosperous New Year to you!
November 26, 2007
Time sure flies. Not much has transpired on the computer or PDA front this summer. I updated Kubuntu to 7.10 and finally got my RAID1 array working in the process. Do yourself a favor and ignore your chipset's FakeRAID capability. On the PDA side, my Axim continues to perform magnificently.
I posted an article on MobileTechReview about life with my Linux system after seven months and Linux itself after almost a year. If your curious about how Linux fairs over the longer term, pop over and give it a read. I'm looking at making a major update to my Axim which I'll also post over at MTR when it happens. I also have two older reviews that got lost in the fray being posted soon.
July 28, 2007
Wow, has it been this long? Well, life has been incredibly busy. Not much has changed on the PDA or PC front at all. The overclocked Kubuntu 7.04 system is still humming along. Since Beryl has hit a dead end, I reluctantly switched to Compiz. It seems to update regularly, so that's good. Many of the same extensions are available--some work better, some worse. At the moment I have Compiz disabled because there's no way to tailor the hardware support to avoid the NVidia black window bug. Other than that, nothing to report.
Well, maybe one thing. I read the Google report on hard disk life and realize that I've had this hard driver for about 7 years. By Google's experience, I'm living on borrowed time. I will order a new 320 GB Western Digital drive this weekend, this time a SATA interface. I'll mirror the old drive to the new one, then use the SATA as primary.
May 13, 2007
Tanker Bob finally got around to fixing his Windows XP Pro SP2 drive. I blogged about the long and painful process at MobileTechReview. I conquered the challenge, but will spend some time wondering if the result will prove worthy of the effort required. My appreciation of Linux increase yet another order of magnitude, maybe two.
I backed off on the 8800 GTS overclocking at bit--down to 577 MHz on the GPU and 1700 MHz on the memory. I had a strange video lockup several days after the previous settings took effect. Seems odd that the failure would take that long, but all has been well with the new settings.
May 12, 2007
Tanker Bob posted on his blog about the cost savings that overclocking enabled in his recent PC build. I saved about 42% on the overall system for the same equivalent stock speed. Not bad.
May 6, 2007
Tanker Bob has updated his blog posts (noted below) with additional data from further overclocking experimentation. I have my 2.4 GHz E6600 CPU up to 3.125 GHz, my 1066 MHz Front Side Bus (FSB) up to 1380 MHz, and my 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM up to 870 MHz--all running perfectly stable. I also discovered how to enable Coolbits for my NVIDIA 8800 GTS card, then pumped up my GPU from 500 MHz to 592 MHz and my GDDR3 SDRAM from 1600 MHz effective up to 1802 MHz. That amounts to about a 30% overclock on the CPU and 18% on the GPU--the system is really flying now!
Temperature penalties have been negligible. I only increased my CPU voltage by 0.0125v, which raised its temperature from 28C to 30C. The 8800 GTS increased from 55C to 56C at idle.
Tanker Bob blogged on overclocking at MobileTechReview. I cover some basic considerations and close by discussing how I overclocked my new system. I have achieved virtually instant response even in Beryl. Very cool.
In reading the NVIDIA Linux forum, I found a work-around for the black window bug when using Beryl. Using the NVIDIA setup utility. I tried simply selecting Copy as the Rendering Path rather than Auto. The speed hit was only around 1000 fps on the 8800GTS--barely noticable. Others have noted bigger performance hits on other cards. This technique wasn't perfect, as windows occasionally turn blank, but minimizing then restoring them restores the window. This seemed to happen more often as runtime increases. As an alternative, I set Rendering Platform to Force AIGLX and left everything else in Auto. I'll play with this to see if it provides better stability.
April 22, 2007
Tanker Bob went overboard this time. He updated his new PC to the new 64-bit Kubuntu 7.04 version of Linux. I have it up to the same setup as the old 32-bit 6.10 version--same software programs and all. You can read about it on my blog. Even Beryl seems to run better.
I have encountered an issue with the Linux NVIDIA 3D acceleration driver (32- and 64-bit). After running with Beryl for about a day or so, pop-up windows, balloon help, and eventually full software windows come up black. This is due to an on-card memory leak due to the driver. NVIDIA is working on a fix. In the meantime, the 8800GTS card is wickedly fast at 3D.
April 16, 2007
I got Beryl 3D Desktop up and running yesterday, plus finished my new PC. Read about all that on my blog.
April 14, 2007
I blogged two entries today. The first was about my PC hardware buy and the second on the assembly and initial boot up. As a clue, I'll tell you that I'm typing this from my newly assembled PC. This proved to be my easiest build ever.
March 11, 2007
I made a post to my blog on MobileTechReview about my new PC hardware design. I will be upgrading my system next month, so I thought that I'd toss out my ideas and reasoning in the hopes that others might find it helpful. I haven't settled on a case, so please post a reply there if you have a mid-tower case that you really like--especially if it has 4 USB2 ports on the front.
March 10, 2007
I posted Part 3 of my Linux series to my blog on MobileTechReview. This section covers Linux software and how repositories work, and differentiates that from how you find Windows software.
I also posted about my new replacement battery for the X50v. The stock battery had deteriorated to the point that became annoying while traveling.
February 28, 2007
I posted Part 2 of my Linux series to my blog on MobileTechReview. The discussion that the first article generated, both on and offline, has been stimulating. I'm humbled by the number of views that the first article generated--almost 4800 as of earlier today. I hope that this series opens some minds to seriously consider Linux as a viable option to Windows, or even preferable to it.
February 21, 2007
MobileTechReview has put their license on the line and given me a "blog" forum in which to write whatever sounds interesting to me--the Tanker Bob's Blog. It's not based on blogging software, but on classic web forum software, but will work just fine. I've posted my first in a series of articles on my journey to Linux tonight. I hope that you enjoy! This will thin out the future entries on this page, as I'll do most of my tech updates on my new blog. Hopefully this page will revert to what I originally intended--tracking what's changed on this website and in the PDA world. We'll see...
February 17, 2007
Well, the Linux world is going along great, although there was a bit of controversy last weekend when a kernel update had missing dependencies in the repository. That was fixed in less than a day, but then the kernel version change required the recompilation of all proprietary drivers, such as the NVidia video drivers and VMWare network drivers. This is all much easier than it sounds. NVidia and ATI drivers can be handled transparently with Alberto Milone's outstanding "Envy" script, which I recommend to installing the proprietary NVidia or ATI drivers under all circumstances. The VMWare files simply requires rerunning the vmware-config.pl script, which automatically recompiled the network drivers. All is well again. I haven't booted into the WinXP Pro dual boot setup since early January when I was troubleshooting the VM setup, and don't anticipate doing so anytime soon. I keep the disk loaded because it has a lot of data on it that I haven't transferred to the Linux partition yet. There's no real rush since Linux can access the NTFS partition with no problem.
The WinXP Pro virtual maching (VM) which I created from scratch is working perfectly. I will probably blow away the old VM this weekend. I haven't loaded everything by far in the new one, and may never do so. The only thing for which I've used the VM is syncing my Dell Axim every day, doing my checkbook in Quicken, and for Logos Bible software. I was going to try to load Quicken and other things in Linux itelf under Wine--a Windows environment created to run under Linux directly. However, the VM system is working fine and I actually spent significant bucks for WMWorkstation.
I uninstalled the standard Ubunutu repository version of OpenOffice.org 2.04 and installed the "factory" version of 2.10 direct from the OpenOffice.org website. This proved easier than I imagined, even converting the RPM distribution files to DEB files with Alien, and the new installation works fine. It even preserved the extensions that I had installed. I may eventually do this for Firefox and Thunderbird if the repository falls behind the release versions.
I found some great self-booting, system recovery CD images at SystemRescueCD and Koppix. Although they boot to Linux, the tools can rescue/recover data on Windows partitions as well. I burned a copy of each for my tool box. Oh, and they are free!
My trusty 11-year-old HP 4 Plus Laserjet printer finally died last week. Both the upper and lower feeders have failed. To replace them would cost significantly more than a replacement printer. I surveyed the market for performance, price, and Linux compatibility, and selected the Brother 5240 High-Speed Desktop Office Laser Printer from PCNation. It prints 30 ppm with a 20,000 pages/month duty cycle. While I don't print that many pages every month, there are times when I approach that rate and I've come to value the durability and reliability that such design brings. PCNation shipped within a day and had the best price of any reliable vendor on PriceWatch. Brother provides LPR and CUPS drivers on their website for Linux (even the install CD points you to the correct web page), and both installed fine. Be sure to install the LPR drivers first. I'm running the Brother on a parallel port like I did the HP. I may switch it to USB2 eventually, but don't have a spare cable handy at the moment. Linux apparently doesn't always pick the correct port for a parallel printer, so I had to go into the excellent CUPS html-based setup page to assign the printer to LPT1 and also assign its PPD file.
My goal is to start writing a series of articles this weekend on moving from Windows to Linux. I believe that I have enough exprience now to say something intelligent. They will, of course, be published at MobileTechReview when completed. FWIW, Vista has already been shown to have serious security flaws that leave it open to standard virus infection techniques, as well as installation woes depending on your WinXP installation. We haven't seen the worst yet. I feel compelled to point out that Linux doesn't have either of these issues.
I made some updates to my December 31, 2006, and February 3, 2007, entries below. I specified the hardware I purchased and added a bit more installation detail from retrospect.
On the PDA front, Microsoft has published their Daylight Savings Time fix for Windows Mobile. That page also links to the WinXP and MS Office fix files. Only problem is that my Axim X50v says that the CAB file isn't a valid install file. The WinXP and Office fixes installed with no problem.
February 3, 2007
I note with sadness the passing of Jean Ichbiah on Jan 26, 2006. You can read about some of his accomplishments here. In the PDA world, He started Textware and created Fitaly and Instant Text. I corresponded with Jean several times over the years and even did some work for him a while back. He was a fine and honorable gentleman of high character, and I will miss him.
Things have been very busy again. I've been tweaking the Kubuntu Linux with minor things that make life nice, like the Shoutcast radio support in Streamtuner. I solved the NVidia driver mystery several weeks ago by going to NVidia's website and reading the release readme files. Turns out that although my video card's chipset is listed in the Ubuntu repository as supported in the legacy driver set, my particular card is actually supported in the current driver. Once I uninstalled the legacy driver and installed the current one, everything work perfectly. (NOTE: Envy would have detected my card and installed the proper driver automatically had I known it existed.) Now I can run the Linux version of Google Earth. And the beauty of Linux and Open Source is that everything is free. What about quality? All those Windows apps that I spend thousands of dollars for over the years don't have anything over the comparable free stuff available for Linux.
Windows-only programs that don't have a Linux version that I wish did: Logos System 3 Bible Study Software, Activesync of some kind for my WM2003SE PDA, Tarascon PDA Pharmacopedia for WM, Phatpad, Quicken, TurboTax, etc. I hear that Quicken and TurboTax run under WINE, but I haven't tried yet. Which is why:
Also been working my WinXPPro setup in the virtual machine. It turns out that restoring my backup from the hard disk to the VM wasn't such a great idea. VMWare's tech support has been great trying to figure out the incompatible element that prevents the VM from completing a reboot. In the meantime, I'm using the VM to sync my Axim X50v every morning and simply suspending the VM when I'm done. I should note that installing XP from scratch into a VM works fine, but it will take me months to reconstruct what I need from my old setup.
Of course, Vista was released this past week. Yawn. I honestly pity those who will surrender their computers to RIAA bullying, with RIAA even intimidating Microsoft in dictating what the user can do with their own video and audio hardware--even folks who have no idea how to share music, movies, or anything else. Not me--I choose freedom. Not only will I not have to spend $259 to upgrade from XP Pro to Vista Ultimate and $329 to upgrade from Office XP Pro to 2007, but I won't have to buy upgraded hardware and software to run Vista. Think I'm kidding? Here's the latest software incompatibiltiy list for Vista.
January 3, 2007
The Kubuntu Linux swap is working great. I picked up a copy of VMWare's Workstation 5.5 to run WinXPPro in a virtual machine (VM) under Linux. The restore using Dantz Retrospect's Disaster Recovery into the VM didn't work as well as I'd hoped, and required running a repair from the original WinXPPro CD. The VMWare Tools install then also trashed the VM's ability to reboot, requiring another repair from the WinXPPro CD. Sheesh. Still working on residual boot issues in the VM, but the session suspending works great. Snapshots are your friends! I am able to ActiveSync my Axim X50v inside the VM with no problem, and my Logos System 3 works fine as well. A bit more work to do, but the effort has been worth it. Linux is so much faster and more stable than Windows, it multitasks better, and the plethora of tools and programs for the KDE Desktop cover all my needs.
One side note: Cross-platform apps like Firefox, Thunderbird, and OpenOffice.org work a bit differently under Linux than in Windows. Some of the menus are a bit different, font handling varies, etc. Nothing major, and in general these apps feel natural in any platform.
On the PDA side, WeatherPanel 2.5.1 suffered moon-data obsolescence as of Jan 1, 2007. The same thing happened last year. Don't panic, though. Storyr recoded the moon data for 2007 into WeatherPanel.dll. Download the moon data fix here.
December 31, 2006
Well, I'm officially Linux on an almost full-time basis. I went with Kubuntu because I like the appearance and greater system control it offers over Ubuntu. I ran into some glitches with the new Western Digital 320GB drive (WD3200JB). My system BIOS is too old to recognize the entire drive, which doesn't affect Kubuntu except during the boot sequence. I simply created a 20GB boot partition (10MB would have worked fine, it turns out) for startup and all is OK there. I mapped the second, large partition as the home directory. Something in Kubuntu trashed my video profile once, but I was able to recover from a backup file it created in the process (Later note: this was because I installed the wrong NVidia driver). I'm still having difficulty with getting Firefox recognized as the default browser by the system, despite the fact that I changed it in the system settings and manually changed the file associations. Overall, KDE desktop seems less "mature" than Gnome, but it works well enough and I like it better. In case you are wondering, I'm updating my site with NVU now. It doesn't support frames, but other than that, it works great. I can do the one frameset by hand when necessary.
Windows XP SP2 is still a dual-boot setup for now. I pulled out my hair enough last night, so I'm taking a break before tackling virtual machines. Also, with the strange problems that have popped up under Kubuntu so far, I'm not quite confident enough to sell my soul there yet.
I also replace both my old CD-RW and DVD drive with an LG 18X DVD±R Super-Multi DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write Black IDE Model GSAH22N-BK - OEM from NewEgg to open up a slot on an IDE cable. Keeping the 60BG WinXP drive took up a cable slot that I didn't have to spare. Great DVD drive so far.
If you're looking for a great desktop backgrounds for any OS, check out this page.
One a PDA-related note, I registered PIEPlus 2.2. Netfront was inconsistent in loading properly, so I looked for an alternative. The support at ReenSoft is great, whereas Access is missing in action. Updated the PPC software page with this and a bunch of other accumulated changes.
December 26, 2006
For anyone wondering why I'm moving to Linux rather than going to Vista, there's a great article here that covers a good part of the reason. While I don't use much premium content on my PC, I do not want computer performance for which I pay to be compromised so that others may be enriched. I want the unadulterated and unpithed performance for which I pay. So, goodbye Microsoft. As for my new computer, I'm building it from scratch as I have in years past. It will be a high-performance Linux box from the ground up. I've definitely decided that WinXPPro will run in a virtual machine to preserve my essential programs that don't work in Linux.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
The Ubuntu Linux experiment has been a huge success so far. I went three days in Ubuntu without interruption and achieved almost total productivity. Ubuntu takes just a minute or so to boot, while my XP setup takes about 10-15 minutes to boot from scratch, and both provide equivalent productivity. Linux is considerably faster in execution as well. It is not for the faint-hearted, though. Although it recognized my Epson CX7800 printer on startup, it took me about a day's effort to get its scanner to be recognized. I did get Ubuntu to mount my NTFS hard disk with full access, but haven't cracked the ActiveSync nut yet. I have been amazed at the extent of information and help on the Internet for Linux, and especially at the wide variety of open source software available. My current plan is to load Ubuntu as the default OS on the new drive and then load XP into a virtual machine under Linux from my backup. That will provide the fastest access to the few things that I still need in XP, avoiding the much slower dual-boot setup. I'll probably create a page on the site here about my Ubuntu experience, including how I solved the encountered challenges.
As a mark of transition, I will be removing all my Palm OS stuff from my system in this migration process. Anyone looking for a used T3 in good shape?
December 21, 2006
I truly haven't been sitting on my butt looking for something to do. In fact, MobileTechReview published my review of the Samsung SGH-t629 phone. I should have a bunch of sofware reviews coming soon.
On the PC side, I've continued to explore the open source situation. While I'm not a Microsoft basher and am pretty happy with Windows XP SP2, I've begun exploring Linux for my PC. Windows has continued to get slower and eats ever more resources. Vista will be much worse, plus will really eat into your rights and privacy with broader DRM and constant calls home to make sure that you are a good boy or girl. XP has started this regular reporting, which I disabled until MS cleaned up their act on how often ET phones home. After much consideration, I've decided against ever updating MS Office again or moving to Vista. As you can guess, my experience with Firefox, Thunderbird, and Oxygen Office Professional have been very positive. Open source software has come a long way from its humble beginnings.
So...I canabalized an old 10GB Quantum Fireball hard drive from a junked Pentium II PC sitting in the garage, installed it in my PC, and dedicated it to a Linux setup called Ubuntu. A majority of Linux gurus I read recommended it for a first-time Linux user. Installation went smoothly, my hardware seemed to be recognized, and the end result functioned perfectly. I have a great deal to learn, but one must take the first step. I don't anticipate losing XP anytime soon, as some software that I need and use regularly isn't available on Linux, including access to my Dell Axim. Still, Linux with an XP backup beats Vista in my mind. I'll let you know how it goes.
December 2, 2006
I stuck my neck out and allowed the Microsoft Update to install Internet Explorer 7 last night, but encountered the exact same crashes as on October 29 below. This time, I probed deeper into the error message and found the error occurred in mshtml.dll. Searching Google, I found this link which provided the answer. Disabling Web History caching in Google Desktop Search solved the crashes so far.
I've started moving further down the Open Source road. I switched from Outlook XP to Thunderbird 18.104.22.168 for email a few weeks ago. Since ActiveSync only works with Outlook, I'm still using Outlook for calendar, contacts and tasks. However, the primary security risk is Outlook email, so I've plugged that leak. I'm also using an expanded variation of Open Office called Oxygen Office Professional to replace Microsoft Office XP. It's not quite as polished as MS Office, but so far it does more than I need, reads and writes MS Office formats, and it's free! I'm basically tired of paying for capabilities that I never use in endless MS Office updates, and at almost $300 per update. I can tolerate quite a few rough edges to save that kind of money.
November 4, 2006
I needed more storage space on my PDA to carry movies, so I sprung for a 4GB 150x SD card by RiData. These large cards sell for well under $100 at places like NewEgg.com and other good online vendors. While most PDAs don't come close to using the speed of a 150x card, they do benefit from the great write speeds. The RiData card came formatted in FAT32 with 32K clusters. I reformated it in my X50v using SKTools to use 4K clusters to minimize slack space with the multitude of small data files I keep on that card. Got a great deal and I'm very happy with the card. Total external storage in my Dell X50v now stands at 6GB with both the 4GB SD card and 2GB CF card.
October 29, 2006
Tanker Bob tried the new Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 last night. It kept crashing (completely, as in terminating execution) while accessing the opening Microsoft website to set the search engines! After several attempts to see if some add-ons were causing the issue, IE 7 turned out to crash even if all add-ons were disabled. The release notes have a number of hints to fix things, including the Reset Internet Explorer Settings panic button, but to no avail. I ended up uninstalling it today and reverting to IE 6. To be clear, I'm a solid Firefox 2.0 user, but some must-have apps on my PC like Logos Bible Software 3 use the IE engine to display information. Personally, I pity the unsuspecting users onto whom Microsoft will foist IE 7 in November through their Automatic Updates program. Notice that I didn't link to the IE 7 download above. That's because I highly recommend against installing it.
During my several hour experience with Internet Explorer 7.0, I couldn't help but notice how closely Microsoft copied Firefox's feature set and even the options, including the option settings dialog layouts. That after six years of no version updates to IE. I guess imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery. It's just a shame that a multi-billion dollar company couldn't create their own browser update without copying the work of an Open Source group producing and maintaining a free product. Go figure!
October 27, 2006
MobileTechReview published my review of the Samsung A900M, an awesome mobile communications device. Just don't forget your charger or stray far from an AC outlet if you hit the data pipes hard.
Updated the PPC software page to add spb Insight and my current Today screen layout. I've gone back to side tabs in PocketBreeze, to which I've given the entire Today screen.
Mozilla released Firefox 2.0. It works great and has some nice new features. I have no issues with it, it seems faster, and the spell checker does a nice job. Not all extensions are compatible with it yet, but the upgrade checks all your extensions for updates.
October 21, 2006
Long time no post. Tanker Bob has a new phone review and some software reviews awaiting publication. Should be up soon.
I received resources for a new TV/VHS setup in my home office recently due to the demise of the built-in VHS. I researched a lot before moving out on this. Circuit City had a sale on said components, and provided a great deal on the setup, including honoring their after-the-sale price-match guarantee. I bought a Samsung 19" LCD HD TV Monitor (TV sits just three feet from my desk chair) and a Samsung RAM/RW±R DVD/VHS Recorder. I also updated to a digital cable box but retained my analog cable channel lineup. That gave me a number of HD channels for just $5 extra a month. One word--awesome! HD provides US football the way it was meant to be watched. The Samsung LCD HD screens top the field in my opinion.
Three weeks ago, the weekly Microsoft XP security update set caused the USB ports on my motherboard to take a permanent vacation. Even uninstalling the updates didn't bring the ports back. So, today I swung by Circuit City today to pick up a Kensington 7-port USB2 hub. Plug-and-play worked as advertised and I'm back operational. Perhaps Microsoft is phasing out our hardware so that we'll buy Vista in desperation to recover.
I bit the bullet and loaded Firefox 2.0RC3 this week. I loaded it on a USB stick as a portable installation first to check out its stability. My most important extensions have been updated or are in pre-release, so the timing was good. Organize Status Bar conflicts with a legacy (but valuable) status bar setting in All in One Sidebar 0.7RC5 causing repeated lockups, so the former had to be excised for now. FF2 seems faster than 1.507 with no memory leaks apparent. The built-in spell checking comes in handy. So far, I'm happy with the upgrade.
Not computer related, but I traveled to South Africa recently. My Cingular quad-band GSM Motorola Razr performed perfectly there. My Dell X50v kept me connected to my email when I could get the local Internet connection to work, which wasn't often. Overall a great trip, and the local animals were very tasty!
September 6, 2006
MobileTechReview published my review of Spb Pocket Plus 3.1. A great do-all utility that's very powerful and popular.
August 26, 2006
MobileTechReview published my review of the ScotteVest Tactical 4.0 System. This is a great outerwear combination that covers a wide variety of weather plus provides 52 pockets to store all your gear. I tested it during a trip to a very cold Scandinavia in early April, so it got a good workout.
August 19, 2006
MobileTechReview published my review of the venerable but still incredibly popular Motorola Razr V3. This is Tanker Bob's first mobile phone review, so please be gentle.
I've written several other reviews recently that are in the queue. Some heavy testing as well. Been busy, but nothing to post here about yet.
July 30, 2006
Thanks to my old friend tritan for pointing out some broken links on this page. The Marsware site has been destroyed by a troll, so SteveM graciously offered up another server with new support forums and onto which he, Ken, and others copied their skin work. The troll destroyed the original pages, so all those links were broken. We all hope that martian is OK and will return to rescue his site--the sooner, the better.
July 23, 2006
I found an Open Source proxy program called Privoxy. It runs on a host of platforms, including WinXP. Not for the faint of heart, but it provides yet another layer of protection against web bugs, popups, ads, exploits, etc. There's an online configuration tool to help, but local configuration involves editing well-commented text files. The default settings work pretty well, but I found a couple of my favorite websites like Foxnews (to get the java popup photos to work) and the Counter Terrorism blog (just to get it to load) that needed extra help. Fixing individual sites proved pretty simple, though, by listing them in a section called "fragile" in the user.action file.
So now I have a hardware router/firewall, software proxy, WinXP SP2 software firewall, three anti-spyware programs, Avast! antivirus, and Firefox to create a safe surfing environment. That doesn't count periodic scans with two adware-squashing programs. I configured Privoxy so that Firefox protections don't overlap it, giving me easier control over things like cookie management as well as flash and script blocking. Happily, I can report no incidents of spyware or any other exploit ever plaguing my system. That's great, because I live on the net.
July 22, 2006
Wow, has it been this long? I've been beta testing a number of programs. Olive Tree releases new material on a regular basis, so you should check their site often. Can't discuss other tests or specifics, other than to say that many will be very happy with some new updates coming to popular software titles. I've also written a number of reviews that await publication.
Google Desktop 4.0 beta seems to have a lot of problems. I tried it for a while but went back to the previous 3.0 release, mainly due to long delays in execution hyperlinks from outside the browser. 3.0 works perfectly. Google support seems to be non-existant. There are a host of posts in their support forum, non acknowledged by Google support.
I changed my Dell X50v's theme again, this time to a combination of Windows Vista theme elements from various sources. I still use mikesjo's excellent Expea2 meters and icons, but with his Vista PocketBreeze skin. It all look great with Ken's Vista WeatherPanel theme. I change my Axim's appearance often enough that I've given up trying to keep the PPC software page images up to date.
The only app that I've added in the last few months is Demitri Geels' Dictionary Editor for Windows Mobile's text completion dictionaries. I was immediately able to delete some annoying duplicates in the system dictionary.
Textware released Fitaly 4.0 a while back, and it has become my primary input system. It's very powerful macro implementation make it irresistable. I've already reviewed it and am anticipating its publication.
One last note. My PC suffered a bizarre crash a few weeks ago that left it unable to boot into Windows in any mode. Partly in desperation, I ran SprinRite on it to check the hard drive. Sure enough, SpinRite found and fixed a few corrupted bits near the front of the disk. After finishing, the PC booted right into Windows as if nothing happened. I don't use SpinRite that often, but I wouldn't be without it. I cannot recommend it highly enough. SpinRite has saved my bacon a number of times.
May 27, 2006
The quad-band Razr V3 performed perfectly in Europe with Cingular international World Traveler service. Calling isn't cheap, but it is reliable. Gotta pay to play! I'm very happy with this move.
Ken made made a very innovative new Vista Weather Panel 2.5.1 theme. I've changed my PocketBreeze 5 setup back to the top tab bar in order to use this updated theme. Even the backgrounds in Vista change to match the forecast and current conditions! Updated the screenshots on the PPC software page accordingly.
Updated the PPC software page for my new addtions of Flexmail 2006, WebIS Toolbox 3, Fitaly 4 beta, and Pocket Streets 2006.
May 7, 2006
How was I to know how much fun a cell phone could be? I've hacked my Razr V3 to finally get it mostly where I want it. As I noted in my last entry, I've put a few good skins on it, one set of ringtones, and replaced the branding logo on the outside display. Since then, I've updated the firmware to the latest operating system version, enabled the engineering menu, Java USB installation, network troubleshooting and analysis, global caller ID control, a host of minor setting niceties, and the Quick Menu (which appears but doesn't seem to work). Most of this was through hex-based menu and seem file editing. What a great phone! When I get some time, I'll create a section on my computer page for links to helpful sites, including the awesome MotoModders, Planet MotoX, Mark's World, and The Moto Guide. I only wish that I could change the Web Sessions button function at this point. Here's why:
If you have a compatible mobile device, you MUST have Opera Mini 2.0 on it. It is much faster than the native Motorola browser, compresses data to save on your data bandwidth charges, and looks great. I assigned it to the "up" press on the home screen, but would sorely like to put it on the Web Sessions button. Any ideas out there?
I also fixed the issue of the Razr not connecting to my XP box. I reinstalled the WIDCOMM Bluetooth stack over the XP SP 2 stack. This opened up a host of standard BT functionality. Even after that, Motorola Phone Tools 4 still will not connect to the Razr via Bluetooth. Hmmm. MPT connects fine through the cable just fine, and it was worth buying with the cable included. I've used it to keep the address book and schedule up to date, as well as transfer photos. Of course, I can do the latter now through Bluetooth without MPT.
While I'm talking about the XP box, the latest versions of Firefox (1.503 as of this writing) combined with updated extensions seem to have fixed the memory leaks. The longer I use Firefox, the more I like it.
So far, both Cingular and the Razr have been great. I think that I'll have to upgrade to the 5 MB MEdia Net plan. I transferred about 1.4 MB in just over a week during the unlimited trial. Checking news and weather realtime while waiting on queue can be quite addicting!
May 1, 2006
Fitaly 4.0 Release Candidate 1 has been released. It has great new macro capability, VGA enhancements, and other new goodies.
I've loaded the PocketBreeze 5.1 update and Microsoft Pocket Streets 2006. The latter has a cool feature in that Streets and Trips 2006 can export map sections to Pocket Streets, enabling you to take a local map that may not be one of the standards available for download.
I'm having a blast with my new Razr V3. I've already reskinned it, added some cool ringtones, and replaced the Cingular logo on the outside display when the phone is opened with the Stargate SG-1 patch. Very cool. I've paired the V3 with every Bluetooth device I have including the X50v. Only problem so far is that the V3 won't connect to my XP box with Motorola Phone Tools 4. It works with the cable, but not Bluetooth. Hmmm.
April 22, 2006
This will be a busy summer indeed. Life has been moving quickly these past few months. A few interesting changes of a technical nature will be noted here:
Changed from Sprint PCS to Cingular Wireless, choosing a Motorola Black Razr V3. While I was happy with Sprint, I'm traveling internationally again (which I love doing) and need an international phone. The Cingular Razr V3 is a GSM quad-band phone that works flawlessly around the world (except the Republic of Korea and Japan). Cingular seemed to have the best worldwide agreement coverage based on my recent experience with a business Cingular Blackberry. The technology of the Razr is very impressive and way beyond my old Sprint phone. I may post some "hacking" results here as I build experience with the phone.
I'm playing with a GlobalSat BC-337 CompactFlash WAAS-enabled GPS Reciever in conjunction with Microsoft Pocket Streets. Another very impressive innovation that works great so far. You may hear more about this later...
All this interacts with the Dell Axim X50v of course. The Razr talks to the Axim as well as other Bluetooth devices. The GlobalSat CF GPS receiver fits in the Axim and the maps run on it. All this significantly expands Tanker Bob's horizons and writing possibilities.
Tanker Bob also has some nice new software packages to explore. Hopefully I'll use my airline time wisely!
March 19, 2006
MobileTechReview published my review of Battery Pack Pro 2.1.1. BPP is a nifty do-it-all programs for your Windows Mobile device. Review page updated accordingly.
I have achieved a high degree of stability on my X50v. I have PocketBreeze 22.214.171.124 and WeatherPanel 2.5.1 on the Today screen, with ContactBreeze 1.2.01, PhatNotes Pro 4.7, iLauncher 2.302, and Uptime 3.4.3 as custom tabs under PocketBreeze, Spb Pocket Plus 3.1 running a number of background functions, and MessageEase4PPC 3.12 as my input system. I've experienced varying levels of stability as I've pushed the Windows Mobile envelope (I wouldn't be Tanker Bob if I didn't push the limit), but this combination has hit the a sweet spot.
March 3, 2006
Well, I had a revelation. I updated to PhatNotes 4.7 Professional Edition and it dawned on me that its Today plug-in will run under PocketBreeze, which doesn't yet support PhatNotes. Yep, did that and all works fine as long as I load the PhatNotes module before using the Axim a lot. There seems to be a maximum number of dynamic link libraries that WM2003SE will load, which limits the number of Today plug-ins will run simultaneously. When I get time, I'll probe into that more. Oh, and Spb Software House released Pocket Plus 3.1, which works great on the X50v.
I picked up a Scott eVest Tactical System 4.0 for cold winter use. One word--awesome! The Tactical System seems very warm and has 52 pockets to stash my stuff when I'm mobile. While I plan to use the System as a unit with the Fleece zipped into the Tactical, it can actually be used as two jackets and two vests in different configurations. I will use it heavily on my next trip and plan to write an on-the-road review account. I still use the original Sport TEC in warmer weather, and this newer jacket has made many improvements, including the use of magnets to replace Velco in most places.
February 26, 2006
I couldn't resist. Ken has a great new skin for WeatherPanel called Stealth. I'm using it on the Today screen rather than under PocketBreeze 5 because it takes very little space there. Plus, it allowed me to go back to vertical tabs in PB. I also reduced the system font size by one notch, which compressed the Uptime display on the Today screen. I posted screenshots on the PPC software page.
February 23, 2006
Updated the Today screens on my PPC software page today. They reflect Jason's updates in iLauncher 2.3, Ken's magnificent Weather Box Finis 3 skin for WeatherPanel 2.5.1, and moving Uptime from a PocketBreeze 126.96.36.199 tab to the Today screen and iLauncher from the Today screen to a custom tab under PocketBreeze. The latter takes full advantage of one of Ken's new screens for WeatherPanel. This combination really shines on the Axim's VGA screen.
February 22, 2006
MobileTechReview published my review of Makayama's DVD to PocketPC 3.0. This is a simple program for copying and reformatting your DVDs to watch on your Pocket PC. Added to the review page.
SBSH released iLauncher 2.302 and PocketBreeze 188.8.131.52, the former now supporting captions for application icons and the latter picking up considerable speed on Windows Mobile 5 devices.
February 18, 2006
Updated my computer links page with some nice reference sites, updated Internet services, and a list of good blogs of various types.
I had serious problems with Firefox after updating to 1.501. These resolved when I created a new profile and reinstalled the extensions. This also seems to have resolved the worst memory leaks.
February 4, 2006
On the PC side, Firefox received a security update and now sits at version 1.501. After updating, I finally addressed the last remaining subsystem in Firefox that I had been putting off--sound. I reluctantly installed QuickTime 7.04 for which I have no use but to give sound capability to Firefox. Typical for Apple products, I spent hours trying to get decent sound out of QT, finally stumbling on a set of calibrations here. In contrast, Nero 7 Ultra Edition installed easily and worked perfectly right out of the box. I only wish Nero made a Firefox plug-in. The things that we do to stay secure online...
I made some minor updates to the PPC Essentials and PPC Software pages, mostly dealing with version numbers.
Major change to my homepage. I had some things to say about the latest round of barbarian riots, embassy burnings, and death threats over a dozen cartoons published initially in Denmark. Support freedom and buy Danish!
January 16, 2006
Whilst updating WeatherPanel to the new 2.5.1 version, I found NewsPanel 1.0 beta on my account screen. I downloaded it last week but didn't install it until last night. For a 1.0 beta, it works quite well though missing some key features. It looks like martian will be coming out with another great program before too long.
On the subject of WeatherPanel, Ken has made an awesome skin/script collection called WeatherBox Finis. I've used this skin exclusively since its intial introduction as Redux. Now Ken is pushing the scripting limit even further with experimental screens here. The greatest strength of WeatherPanel lies in its simple yet powerful script language used to customize the display. Ken has pushed this scheme to its absolute limit with astonishing results.
I cleaned up the PPC software page a bit today to align it with my current configuration and Today screen layout. I added Foxit Reader PPC to it, which is an early beta of a fast and effective pdf reader.
I (re)learned an interesting lesson on balancing Internet security vs. local software. Logos Bible Software System X (the absolute best Bible study software bar none) uses the Internet Explorer engine locally to format its display and execute scripts. When I tightened IE all the way down disabling everything but basic HTML, Logos no longer worked correctly. That caught me offguard as the two events were separated by several days. Just a word to the wise, beware of unintended consequences when messing with IE settings.
January 10, 2006
Just a quick note that WeatherPanel updated to version 2.5.0 on the marsware website, adapting to the moon forecast format changes in the forecast source as well as apparently adding GPS support. Note that you can only get new registrations by buying directly from Marsware's website, not from third-party sales sites.
January 8, 2006
Looking through the search terms in my site statistics report used to locate this site, I noticed quite a number of people are looking for essential Windows Mobile/PPC software. I've been meaning to create such a list for a while, so tonight I sat down and typed one out and added it to the site here. I also linked it in the master table of contents panel. It wasn't too hard to make the list at this point, as all I had to do was look at my Today screen, System Tray, and Start Menu to see what I use constantly. I hope that some find it useful, keeping in mind that everyone's requirements will differ to a greater or lesser extent.
While I was messing around, I also update the front page in a few places. It seems an almost endless task to keep up with developments.
January 5, 2006
I took advantage of 3-day Phatware's New Year's sale to pick up PhatNotes 4.6 Professional at a steal of a price. I no longer use my Palm T3 for anything but testing and reviews, so no longer need to maintain mutual notes syncronization between it and the Dell. Phatnotes Pro will do that, but I wanted to get rid of the Palm-centric notes that I'd been carrying around. I'm a heavy note user, so I also wanted a better note program that handled categories well on the desktop (Outlook never seemed to get mine right) and also had a decent desktop component. PhatNotes imported all my Outlook notes easily on the desktop, and I was able to delete about 560K in 213 notes from the X50v. I'm happy so far!
Windows 2K/XP/64 users should install Ilfak Guilfanov's WMF patch utility immediately. You can also read about it and download it here from GRC. The WMF vulnerability is probably one of the worst I've seen and has been exploited in the wild. This patch has been thoroughly tested, works fine, and doesn't cause any problems. Microsoft is supposed to release a patch next Tuesday, but very few recommend that you wait that long. Anti-virus programs will not generally detect many of the possible exploits.
After continued discussion with Nicholas at spb Software House, I'm trying out Pocket Plus 3.x again. I now have some idea where the conflict may have lain. I backup everything every morning just in case. We'll see...
January 3, 2006
Happy New Year! MobileTechReview published my review of SBSH PocketBreeze 5.0. I live by this app on my Today screen, and it keeps me in line. I think this is a must-have for Windows Mobile devices. There are a couple of other reviews in the bin awaiting publishing.
Sorry for the lapse in developments over the holidays. Things have been very busy here but not much new on the PDA front for Tanker Bob. I did finally switch to Firefox 1.5 for greater browsing security. It's not for the faint of heart, but in addition to greater security, I've gained considerably more capability as well.
November 20, 2005
I updated my master homepage tonight with a couple of political things. In particular, I took the political quiz here. This is not an endorsement of the site's primary service, but it is a cool quiz. I also added the Just Google It graphic and link for those who conveniently forgot what Bill Clinton said he believed. Especially interesting is his signature on the Iraq Liberation Act, something that was apparently OK on paper but not in reality. It must be nice to live in a fantasy world where talk can be divorced from action without consequence.
A 2GB Kingston Elite Pro (50x) CF card showed up on my doorstep last week. I promptly copied the contents of my 512MB CF card to it and then installed the unabridged Lexipedia database, all 712MB of it. One word--awesome! The power of knowledge in the palm of your hand...
November 11, 2005
MobileTechReview published my review of Resco Photo Viewer 5.32. The excellent application serves as the backbone of my review screenshot, both taking the shots and resizing them. Hard to imagine life without it. Review page updated accordingly.
November 5, 2005
I note that CalliGrapher won the PocketPC Magazine award for the best handwriting recognition. I've learned the hard way that the docs are accurate when they say not to disable too many letter shapes. I had big problems when I did that. Upgrading to version 8.1 reset the shapes and the recognition went back to great.
PocketBreeze 5.0 has been release and I loaded it immediately. Multiple custom tabs now open up a new world of multi-tasking more Today apps in the background, and side tabs make more custom tabs available at a tap. I now have Uptime running in the background tracking my battery life in more detail, as well as spb Time. I'm waiting for mikesjo to update his awesome Expea2 VGA theme with the new required control icons for PB5.
Additionally, Ken has created a great WeatherPanel theme called WeatherBox Redux that looks great and is very memory efficient. As a result of these exciting changes, I have updated my Today screen pics on the PPC software page.
Also, I loaded the mid-sized Wikipedia database under Lexipedia. Very cool. If/when I get a bigger CF or SD card, I'll load the full Wikipedia database also available.
October 23, 2005
MobileTechReview published my review of CalliGrapher 8.0 about a week ago. CalliGrapher does no-kidding native handwriting recognition on your PPC. I found its capabilities amazing, even with my terrible handwriting.
penreader answered my inquiries while I was gone. Because the dictionaries include extensive explanations that include similar words, they counted this as an "extended thesaurus". That sounds pretty weak to me. However, it is a great dictionary and I now use it as my primary.
I just returned from a trip to the far east. I set WeatherPanel to download the weather there and updated it several times on the road. WP worked perfectly. What a great program. Unfortunately, folks have had problems getting registration codes for it from the developer lately.
October 9, 2005
Picked up a great deal on Lexipedia and the Columbia Concise Electronic Encyclopedia (courtesty of PocketPCThoughts) and installed them. Now I need a much larger SD or CF card to accommodate the 680MB unabridged Wikipedia database. Researching and taking suggestions... I tried Lextionary which came with the package, but found it significantly inferior to WordNetCE 2.7.
I also removed some apps that I never used and updated the PPC software page accordingly. Also updated my Today screen images on the PPC software page.
penreader finally acknowledged my inquiry about their Webster's Dictionary ad, but no progess to report. The dictionary is great, though--my new favorite.
FWIW, life has been all roses since banishing Symantec's security stuff from my XP box. I couldn't be any happier with avast 4 home antivirus. What a great move!
October 2, 2005
I received a discount offer from penreader for SlovoEd's Mirriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary for PPC. The deal looked too good to turn down, so I gave it a run. This is a great dictionary with a nice interface and a "resident" mode that you can use to lookup words directly from other programs. I briefly tested it against the Palm dictionary review I did last, and it tied the top scorers. The only problem seems to be that penreader says that the download includes an extended thesaurus, but the download didn't include it. I sent them two notes so far without response. In the meantime I added the dictionary to my PPC software page.
September 22, 2005
MobileTechReview published my review of Resco File Explorer 2005 (ver 5.21). Resco File Explorer is the Swiss Army knife of file management utilities for the Pocket PC/Windows Mobile platform--outstanding program!
BTW, Linksys has a new patch out for the WRT54G router series that patches some obscure security issues. I had no trouble updating the router with it.
FWIW, the longer I use avast 4 home antivirus on my XP SP2 box, the more impressed I become. This one is a keeper!
September 17, 2005
Not PDA related, but Tanker Bob finally got fed up with Symantec's Norton Internet Security (NIS) 2005. I had already disabled everything except the spam filter and antivirus, but the underlying Symantec system processes still leaked memory like crazy. The incessant "reminders" about renewing 30 days prior to subscription runout became the last straw. I uninstalled NIS completely. Never again.
Now the good news. After doing some web research, I chose avast! 4 home antivirus. It actually does more than Norton AntiVirus does (realtime html filtering), takes up less memory, doesn't leak memory, and scans files and emails in realtime much faster. Best of all, it's free! I'm still researching spam filters. Any suggestions?
That boils Tanker Bob's online security down to the Linksys WRT54G wireless router NAT and SPI firewall, WinXP SP2 firewall, and avast! antivirus. I also use SpywareGuard and SpywareBlaster. This setup works smoothly together and passes all external tests like Symantec's Security Center and Gibson Reseach's excellent Shields Up!. Of course, Symantec fails the avast! virus checker--big surprise there.
Quick note on Calligrapher. It's learning curve seemed to plateau a few days ago but has again stepped up the learning process. This makes 3 weeks as the manual suggests, so time for the torture tests.
September 6, 2005
MobileTechReview published my review of Softmaker's TextMaker 2002 for PPC. TextMaker is a full-up desktop word processor in your hand. I write many of my reviews in it, in combination with MS Word on the desktop. Compatibility is seamless.
Calligrapher 8.0 testing is going very well. After just a week, it's reading most of my chicken scratch.
August 30, 2005
SBSH released iLauncher 2.2 today, which includes skinable system meters, a meter bar on the task bar, and some other enhancements. Super update to an already great program. The default meters were done by Juni and look super. Updated the description on the PPC software page as well as the screen shots there.
I'm trying out the new Calligrapher 8.0 from Phatware. There's a lot of hype about its pattern recognition, so I'm going to give it a torture test with my writing. Added it to the PPC software page.
August 28, 2005
Just a quick note on WordNetCE 2.7. I've been playing with this occasionally, and find that the WordNet 2.1 dictionary aspect is much improved over previous versions. Interestingly, even though it's really built around synonyms, it still isn't as good a thesaurus as the one in the MSDict Professional Dictionary Bundle. Still, Troy's PPC implementation is very nice.
Updated to Resco Explorer 2005 today. Haven't seen much change from the 2003 version, but now includes a Today plugin. More to follow. Updated the PPC software page accordingly.
August 18, 2005
I finally gave up on all the battery/memory monitors that inhabit the very top edge of the screen. I'm back to using Magic Button's excellent battery monitor on the task bar (top bar) of my Axim. It works great, doesn't eat battery life, and provides excellent gradations in battery level.
While I was playing with software, I checked out ContactBreeze. Timing proved providential, as SBSH just released a new, faster version. I like the easy access to my schedule and contacts right on the Today screen. PocketBreeze with ContactBreeze and WeatherPanel running as control tabs works very smoothly.
August 16, 2005
MobileTechReview published my review of the D-Link 802.11g Pocket Router/AP. This awesome little device puts the "mobile" in road warrior. It turns any wired RJ-45 Internet connection into a WiFi access point. I used it at hotels on the road and at home. It could hardly be a smaller or more convenient package. Don't leave home without it!
August 14, 2005
Upgraded the X50v to firmware A05 and restored the system using Sprite's Upgrade Restore mode. Almost everything went perfectly. I say almost because sbpPocket Plus didn't work correctly after the restore. The restore probably compromised its registery entries, but I couldn't find the issue. However, eventually when changing the meter's icon source, Pocket Plus erased my BIS and both cards. That was supposed to have been fixed in 3.0 and didn't happen during extensive beta testing. I don't fault Pocket Plus 3.0 for the initial problem, but this catastrophic failure mode is absolutely unacceptable. Most programs just crash without trashing your entire system. This is the last straw and I uninstalled Pocket Plus completely. So noted on the software page.
In my search to replace the Pocket Plus functions that I used, I restored iLauncher to full Today screen status, found Powerstatus and apReminder+. Together with Magic Button, these do everything that I needed from Pocket Plus. There's an excellent discussion here on this process. Additions and changes noted on the PPC software page. I'm back to fully operational and my system is faster and uses less RAM. I really liked Pocket Plus, but I'm not sacrificing my system and 4 hours of rebuild again whether or not the initial issue was Pocket Plus' fault.
August 7, 2005
Added WordNetCE 2.7 to my Axim and to the PPC software page. Interesting and free implementation of Princeton's desktop version for the PPC. Requires Microsoft .NET Compact Framework 1.0 SP3 to work properly, which may fix issues with other .NET programs on your device as well, especially memory leaks.
August 4, 2005
MobileTechReview published my mammoth review of Pocket Informant 2005 R2.1. I live by this program, using it to organize every part of my life.
July 31, 2005
StyleTap Platform has been updated to 0.9.075, and now supports Star Pilot Advanced very well. This update confirms my decision to register StyleTap, as it now delivers all the Palm apps that I missed on my PPC. The only real problem that I have left is that on installation, it resets the Palm username to a nonsense value that can't be changed for 24 hours. Other than that, great job!
July 21, 2005
I updated my PPC Software page with current screen shots of my Today screen. mickesjo's Expea 2 skin looks great on the X50v. You can also see ResInfo in the system tray displaying the battery and memory status.
July 19, 2005
Tanker Bob has been trying to slim down his memory usage. I had tried MegaClock for alarm and timer functions, but it was large, bloated with features that I didn't need, and slow in loading. I've settled on two freeware applications instead. I loaded AlarmClock 0.04 and SmallTime 1.7, the latter for its timers. They are small, fast, and effective, as well as low on glitz and bloat.
Spb Pocket Plus 3.0 and SBSH iLauncher 2.1 were both released today. I helped beta test this Pocket Plus version, and PP 3.0 fixes all issues that I had earlier. Spb was very helpful and willing to work out the issues once they answered my initial inquiries. It now works great. ILauncher 2.1 added tab support and system controls, and comes with the same legendary support. Two great releases on the same day!
July 18, 2005
I'm trying out ResInfo 1.42, a nifty utility that puts battery and memory status on the PPC System Tray and also can list a large amount of useful resource info in a tabbed interface. The icons occasionally disappear from the tray leaving an empty space, but reappear eventually. Still testing.
I updated ActiveSync from 3.7.1 to 3.8. Other than having to manually enable network syncing, I haven't noticed any real difference. This is probably the last AS update until 4.0 supports WiFi syncing.
July 6, 2005
MobileTechReview published Part VII of my journey into the Pocket PC world. In this last installment of the series, I summarize my opinions about the strengths and weaknesses of both platforms across all major areas of comparison. Your opinion may vary...
July 4, 2005
Fair is fair. I report problems, but I also report on efforts to resolve them. spb Software House contacted me today and is working on the issues I reported in Pocket Plus 2.5.
July 2, 2005
I updated my X50v to firmware A04 today and used Sprite Backup's Device Upgrade Mode to restore everything. Worked like a charm. I had a small issue hooking up to my Linksys WRT54G wireless router with WLAN, but updating the router's firmware to 4.00.7 resolved that. I believe that problem also existed under Dell's firmware A03 as well, but I used Odyssey Client most of the time so didn't mess with WLAN much then.
June 26, 2005
I added SKTracker 1.08 to my X50v and the PPC software page. It takes snapshots of the entire system before and after installing new software or updates, and generates reports on what changed. Windows programs rarely clean up well behind themselves, especially in the registry. This will at least tell me what else to delete after uninstalling stuff. To be most effective, I plan to hard reset and install everything from scratch when I get a chance.
Updated the write-up for Total Commander Pocket PC, which just upgraded to version 2.0. Christian added improved LAN drive support, registry editing, and ftp capability. I love this program.
June 21, 2005
MobileTechReview published my Sprite Backup Premium review, my first purely Pocket PC software review. Sprite Backup proved an appropriate start, since it has bailed me out of four uncommanded hard resets due to the buggy spb Pocket Plus 2.5. Sprite Backup is truly a must-have for PPC owners.
June 19, 2005
Things have been incredibly busy on the non-PDA front for Tanker Bob, so I haven't had much about which to post. I expect to be very occupied through July. The Axim has performed perfectly since I uninstalled Pocket Plus and seems to be more memory efficient as well. The battery bar in Magic Button has turned out to be more useful than I originally envisioned due somewhat to its fine color gradations.
I'm working on Part VII of my PPC journey, which will probably become Parts VII and VIII because of the length--maybe even Part IX. Full comparisons take up a lot of space! My sincere thanks to all who've written or posted on the forums about their enjoyment of this series.
June 9, 2005
MobileTechReview published Part VI of my journey into the Pocket PC world: "Tanker Bob explorers the possibilites of getting true VGA on a VGA Pocket PC, differences in charging times between Palm and Pocket PC PDAs, and lists great forums on the Net." Sneak preview: Part VII will do a pretty full comparison between Palm OS devices in general and Pocket PC devices. It will probably be the last in this series, but there will be other articles from time to time.
If you own a Pocket PC, you need SafeMode. It does what it says--boots you into a safe mode just like Windows on the desktop so that you can disable or uninstall offending programs. This is THE way to get out of a soft reset loop. Awesome idea, and its free!
June 7, 2005
Well, I've suffered a total of four hard resets on my Axim over the last week with accompanying wiping of my Built-in Storage, SD , and CF cards each time. Testing revealed the problem as spb Pocket Plus 2.5's interaction with the Windows' Today screen setup routines. I've uninstalled Pocket Plus and all has returned to normal stability. I'm guessing that the reason this hasn't shown up but once before is that I rarely change Pocket Plus' Today setup. When I was playing with WeatherPanel, I changed the Today setup often enough to get the crashes with regularity. With Pocket Plus removed, I've been unable to duplicate the crashes and a number of other features work better or faster. So a few other mysteries have now been solved along with the crashes.
I still need an application launcher. With Pocket Plus gone, I decided to try iLauncher by SBSH. It's newest version 2.009b supports multiple lines and pacing icons in the System Tray. iLauncher loads quickly as well, plus hasn't wiped out my Axim yet. I've also reenabled Magic Button along with its battery monitor on the title bar, since it's now clear that Pocket Plus was the original source of the problems. Life is good again.
June 4, 2005
I registered WeatherPanel and added it to the PPC software page. What an awesome program! I am a bit of a weather junkie, and this app scratches that itch like no other. I looked at all the available weather apps for PPC, and nothing else comes close. WeatherPanel is loaded as a custom tab under PocketBreeze, which makes it easily accessible but still allows me to see the maximum amount of schedule on my Today screen. I spent some time learning WeatherPanel layouts and modified one of Sully's. You can see the result on the PPC software page.
I suffered two hard reset with accompanying wiping clean of both my cards and the built-in storage. Word has it that reseting a PPC while it's using a card, even when locked up, can cause this. Very disturbing. Providentially, I had a full Sprite backup (BIS, RAM, SD card) on my PC which sped my recovery dramatically. I guess the bottom line is to backup to your desktop regularly as well as daily RAM backups to your card.
I have disabled Magic Button for now. Although I sorely miss it, I am investigating if it may have been the cause of some memory leaks on the Axim. So far with it disabled for a couple of days, I'm not seeing the steady leak of memory, but it's too early to draw any firm conclusions.
May 27, 2005
MobileTechReview published Part V of my journey into the Pocket PC world. In it, I discuss the new StyleTap Platform, some pet pieves with both Palm and PPC, and touch on WiFi and networking capabilities. You can't find out what's in my wallet, but you can learn what's in my pocket!
May 21, 2005
Added the free Tip Calculator and Bill Splitter to my Axim and the PPC software page. I get good practice by doing this in my head, but it's always fun to whip out my beautiful VGA Axim.
In case anyone wonders where I hang out these days in the PPC world besides MobileTechReview, I spend most of my PPC online time on Aximsite with some time at Pocket PC Thoughts. I still check Palm247 daily, along with its Windows Mobile companion and also check PocketGear for software updates. I update my computer links page with these and other sites. For the record, Aximsite has the same helpful community spirit that I enjoy at 1src on the Palm side.
May 18, 2005
Updated the Palm software page to include Instant Text Mobile, a truly revolutionary new capability for text input on PDAs. Instant Text has been available on the desktop for some time, but this is the first PDA implementation. Tanker Bob helped test this amazing program and wrote a simple summary of how it works for Textware here. Also updated the Palm software page to indicate the demise of WordComplete.
MobileTechReview has a great review of the new Palm LifeDrive. Interesting concept, but why use a (relatively) power-hungry hard drive when faster, more power-efficient 4GB CF cards are available. I think that PalmOne would have done better to add a CF slot and include the Hitachi drive or 4GB CF card in the package. On the networking side, WiFile 1.0Lite is slower and far less capable than the built-in PPC capability, and the Pro version isn't cheap. For instance, you can't select multiple files in it. LifeDrive looks like a nice step for PalmOne, but it's now in high-end PPC price range but without the high-end PPC power. JMHO.
May 17, 2005
MobileTechReview published Part IV of my journey into the Pocket PC world. This week's installment discusses the firmware update process, flash card formats, soft resets, etc.
May 16, 2005
Updated the PPC software page with the addition of HandyShopper3 for PPC alpha (yea!) and the removal of Shop2Go Lite and Treesize. HandyShopper's PPC version is still in alpha testing, but it works great.
May 9, 2005
MobileTechReview published my review of the Sandisk 1GB Extreme III SD card. Noted on the review page. What a great card, and relatively inexpensive. It lives in my Axim X50v at the moment.
May 8, 2005
Updated the write-up for StyleTap Platform on the PPC software page, noting my registration of it. It has a ways to go yet until ready for prime time, but I'm already getting great use. I've sent them a number of messages on their tech support system but have yet to get a response.
May 3, 2005
MobileTechReview published my Palm OS Video Player Review. So noted on the review page.
May 2, 2005
MobileTechReview published Part III of my travel into the Pocket PC world. This recounts my recovery from a surprise hard reset and compares the Windows registry to the Palm preference files.
I'm trying the StyleTap Platform, a Palm OS 5.2 emulator for the Pocket PC. I added it to the PPC software page.
I found a nice sun compass in Ephemeris, a free sun and moon data calculator. Added to my PPC software page.
April 25, 2005
Things have been very busy and I'm a bit behind in posting here. MobileTechReview published my review of the Freedom Keyboard and Part II of my journey into the Pocket PC world. Part III should be published very shortly.
I put a Pocket PC software page together, as I've reached something approaching equilibrium on the Axim. Looks like I've been busy over the last month!
I updated the X50v's ROM to the new A03 release from Dell. That proved to be a painless process thanks to Sprite Backup Premium's special feature to restore to a new device or updated device.
April 7, 2005
MobileTechReview published my review of the Enfora Wireless Portfolio and Part I of my travel into the Pocket PC world. Big publishing day for Tanker Bob.
Sad news today. yihchun, prime developer of the open source PalmBible+, says that he has about one month left to live due to lung cancer. We will miss him greatly, but rejoice that he will see the Lord face-to-face. The associated thread is here.
April 1, 2005
Well, strange things happen. The nice folks at MobileTechReview asked me to expand my reviews to the PocketPC world. A nice Dell Axim X50v followed me home and changed my whole view of what PocketPC's had become. I have lots of interesting observations which I will share with the community. MobileTechReview published my musings on the winds of change in the current market here.
This website will probably morph somewhat to accommodate my Pocket PC education. I started to create a parallel Pocket PC site, but changed my mind. Articles about my journey will appear on MobileTechReview about weekly and be linked here. PPC software reviews will also be linked from here to MobileTechReview. Palm and Pocket PC reviews will be differentiated. Just as obviously, the site name will also change to denote its new content. I believe it would be best to keep the software pages separate and will set that up when I have enough PPC software to make creating a list worthwhile.
Tanker Bob has not abandoned the Palm platform. I still have my beloved T3 and will work in both worlds. The interesting question will be which PDA will claim the spot for my routine use. To be honest, that isn't clear at this point, although I never thought indecision would come so quickly. The Axim is very impressive, especially its VGA display, built-in WiFi, and seamless networking support. My first journey article will elaborate on the details.
March 12, 2005
I've spend a lot of time testing the Enfora Portfolio. It connects reliably and has great range. It's a great device overall, but the transfer rates through the T3 connector seem equivalent to fast serial rather than USB. I'm still working this.
I removed pedit. It is a nice program and a very powerful text editor, but it doesn't support the T3's full screen with the DIA hidden. I'm now trying MemoPlus. It doesn't have the search and replace that I sought, but it does have the ability to attach drawings. That will be handy for small maps.
I also removed McPhling because I never used it anymore. ZLauncher and Palm OS 5.2.1 combine to do what McPhling does. Also removed ChangeName due to some conflicts and lack of need. Updated software page accordingly.
Added Bird to edit Palm database resources (comparing with Palm Insider Pro capabilities) and Discovery to find Bluetooth devices.
February 26, 2005
I received an Enfora 802.11b Wireless Portfolio the other day. That opened up a whole new world for Tanker Bob as a road warrior and reviewer. You may hear more about all this in the not-too-distance future.
New wireless capability deserves some quality wireless software to support and leverage that capability. To that end, I added HandZipper 1.2.1, WiFile 1.20, and Win-Hand Anywhere 5.2 to my T3 and the software page.
Also added Wordz 3.0, a nice crossword dictionary.
Banner day--ZZTechs updated Palm Insider Pro to version 1.0! This is my favorite stand-alone file manager/system utility, and it packs incredible power.
Updated the write-ups for Kinoma, MMPlayer, AeroPlayer, and added Pocket Tunes on the software page.
February 19, 2005
Updated my JackSprat/Flash Primer to relay my recent lessons learned with Bluetooth connectivity.
Just an observation, but I'm pretty impressed with WebPro so far. I haven't yet received my 802.11 connectivity for the T3, but WebPro works great over my Bluetooth connection. My living room is right above my office, within the range of even Type 2 Bluetooth on my T3. Very slick.
February 16, 2005
MobileTechReview published my BackupBuddyVFS 3 Professional review today. Reviews on Palm Video and Audio players are in the publication queue!
I'm still looking for a good Memos replacement for my T3. I'm testing pedit now, but it doesn't support 320x480 yet (after a year and a half???) It also doesn't like Fonts4OS5. Hmmm. I found PSMemo unstable and had to remove it. The longer I test, the more I think that Memos may be sufficient in and of itself when combined with MessagEase4T3 macros. I'm also testing ReceiveIt to enable beamed or sent files to go to my card. Seems pretty slick so far, but I have to see how often I really use it.
I got my T3 Bluetooth finally working with my PC this past weekend to surf the web and get mail. I had to reflash my FlashROM to get some services back which I deleted, and the restoration of my system after that proved most interesting. I'll write more on all that when I have time.
Olive Tree released the NIV for BibleReader+ on Monday with red letter and lots of footnotes and x-references. Sweet!
February 7, 2005
I forgot to mention that PDABuyersGuide has become MobileTechReview. The new name better reflects our broader coverage of mobile technologies. Don't worry, there's still plenty of PDA stuff of which to keep abreast.
MobileTechReview published my review of MDM's Directions-to-Go for Palm and PPC. So noted on the review page.
Added PSMemo to my T3 and the software page. I've been looking for a Memo replacement that uses the built-in database, supports the new 32K memo limit, uses standard Palm text fields, and has enhanced editing features. I'm giving PSMemo a shot to see if it fills the bill.
Laridian exchanged my version 3.x NIV and NIV Study Bible databases for MyBible 4.x versions, including the new NIV with Scripture cross-references. These folks are a class act.
Dr. Alex Pruss pointed out that I don't need to create a custom antialias font for BibleReader+ to get italics. Fonts4OS5 will already do that if I uncheck the Select font pack box on the font selection screen. Nice to have smart friends!
I removed eBible for Palm from my T3. I grew tired of the memory leak that was promised to be fixed six months ago. I may put it back on if it is ever fixed correctly.
January 18, 2005
Dr. Alex Pruss has released FontSmoother 1.00 which, combined with Lubak's Fonts4OS5 3.21 implements antialias fonts under Palm OS. I have these on my T3 and they look outstanding! I updated my software page to reflect this.
January 13, 2005
Laridian updated MyBible to version 4.0 which now supports windowing and synchronized references. I updated my software page to reflect this. A review will inevitably follow but I'm a bit behind in that respect at the moment.
Olive Tree's BibleReader+ now supports Christ's words in red in selected translations and more robust context for search results. I modified its write-up on the software page as well. I created a custom font package for BR+ that includes italics using Font Collector a while back. Very cool results!
January 2, 2005
Happy New Year! PDABuyersGuide posted my Palm OS Database applications review. Added it to the review page.
December 7, 2004
PDABuyersGuide published my review of Laridian's release of The NIV Study Bible for Palm OS and PPC. Added it to the review page.
December 6, 2004
Added the new Bejeweled2 from Astraware to my software page. One word--stunning! Two more words--get it! Also added Directions on-the-go.
November 19, 2004
PDABuyersGuide published my review of eBible for Palm OS 1.0 - Deluxe Bundle. Updated the review page to note this.
November 14, 2004
Big news: The BackupBuddy2 development team has been working with me directly to solve the card backup issues. Today they hit pay dirt! The current test version solves all the issues that I've had with the card backups. Expect a maintenance release very soon. These folks are another class act in the Palm OS world. Also, BBVFS Pro 3.05 solves the 3.04 issues with compressed backups under OS 5.
Registered and loaded CrashPro to my T3 and software page. Outstanding app that catches fatal exceptions and initiates soft resets to recover. I've used the free version for a long time without thinking about it. Today I realized that it was past time to give Daniel his due for a great app.
I've done some interesting things with Font Collector and Fonts4OS5, really enhancing some of my favorite apps. Creating and using custom font packages for individual apps is so easy with this combination. My hat's off to both Alex and Lubak for two wonderful apps.
Slightly reorganized my Christian Resources Page to put all the Bible study resources together.
Modified my writeup for BBVFS Pro on my Palm Essential Software page to include BackupBuddy 2. It was purely by oversight that I didn't have them together there from the start.
November 13, 2004
Added Font Collector to my software page and my T3. Great utility for converting fonts from a number of common formats to Fonts4OS5 format. Really adds visual character to your Palm.
November 11, 2004
First, happy Veteren's Day as we honor all who serve and have served to preserve our nation's freedoms and to free others around the world!
Myhosting.com has increased their basic plan from 100MB to 250MB of disk space and from 5GB to 10GB of data transfer while holding their great price constant. As a result, I've put more of my iSilo conversion files up on the download page. This includes the complete Calvin's Commentaries that fill a full 25MB on the Palm. I'll be monitoring the bandwidth usage to see if these downloads are sustainable. So...
Added Calvin's Commentaries, Owen's Death of Death in the Death of Christ, and the Catechism for Young Children to the download page. I also alphabetized the downloads on that page.
Added a number of links to my Christian Resources Page.
November 6, 2004
Updated my software page to indicte which apps currently reside on my SD card, added a link for Chem Table, updated writeups for Filez, Fonts4OS5 (version 3.0 update), iSilo, Jot, MathUPro (version 3.0 update), PalmInternals/Alarm List, Pray, Shadow Plan, SharkSwipe, SkinDIA, Tarascon, TealLock, documented the removal of MobiSystems Paint and Word from a couple of months ago, plus the deletion of PocketCodes and Words per Minute. Also added the Force16 hack and did some miscellaneous cleanup.
Updated my migration page to describe the migration from the T665C to my T3.
Updated my reset primer to account for PalmOne Tungsten|T5 and other issues.
Updated some Palm OS links on the computer page.
October 30, 2004
I created a page of Tanker Bob's Essential Software with a link from the Palm OS button bar. I've been asked many times for such a list, and now I've delivered. Everyone's requirements differ, so please take this list in the spirit offered--JMHO. In the process, I made some minor updates to the site graphics so that some will hopefully load faster.
October 21, 2004
PDABuyersGuide published my review of RoboForm 6.0.6 and RoboForm for Palm 1.0.0. I really like the desktop version and now use it full-time, but the handheld app is read-only and no substitute for SplashID.
Added Skyscape's Tabor's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary and Stedman's Medical Dictionary to my Palm and software page after considerable research and deliberation. Stedman's has a much more comprehensive content and better definitions than Dorland's that I used before, and although Tabor's isn't nearly as comprehensive, it has more detailed explanations related to treatment. Skyscape improved their registration system, which is now essentially automatic over your Internet connection. I bought them through Handago rather than Skyscape directly because Handago had Tabor's on sale and I used a 10% off coupon for the entire purchase, saving about $20 over Skyscape's prices. Sweet.
I finally upgraded to Documents to Go 7.002 Premium from DTG 6.008 Premium. After testing it for a while, I found the interface changes useful and the syncing with MS Office documents flawless. The kicker for me is that DTG preserves features in documents that it doesn't directly support. Every other product I tested trashes unsupported features in original documents, which is totally unacceptable to me. If you don't support something on the Palm, fine, but don't trash my originals on the desktop.
On a related note, I found two links in a OneSource thread that allowed me to upgrade my DTG 7.002 installation to 7.003. Install them in this order: first then second. The first file provides a new DTG file that allows the user to not search for graphics files all over the card, which speeds loading. The second file is over 4 MB but disappears after it installs the upgrade, leaving you with 7.003. Upgrading DTG is always painful for me because I keep it entirely in my FlashROM and have to move it all back and forth for every upgrade.
I also cleaned Versa Mail, Palm Photos, Phone and Dialer Support, and Modem Support from my Flash with JackSprat 3.0b5 to make more room. I don't need Photos now that I have GrxView, but I saved the Photos files on my desktop in case something comes up later.
October 20, 2004
Added CardSpeed to my T3 and the software page.
For those wondering, I'm not looking to buy a Palm Tungsten|T5. My T3 already does everything the T5 does and more, except the longer battery life. But, I have a small portable charger for my T3 that takes 4 AA batteries if I get in a crunch, which isn't often. Like others, I'm disappointed that the T5 doesn't have OS 6 or a metal case, or maybe even an OLED screen. I don't use WiFi, but understand why others are disappointed the T5 lacks that as well. I'm an ardent fan of the Palm OS, but I'm at a loss to know what PalmOne is thinking on the T5. Like others, I think that it is really the TE2 priced like a T5.
I've exchanged some email with Dr. Steve Green, Editor-in-Chief, Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia. I learned two things: 1) Dr. Green is passionate about his medication information, and that information is accurate and concise; and 2) He's a great guy who has a new long-term customer. Highly recommended!
October 16, 2004
Added SharkSwipe to my T3 and the software page. Outstanding utility to allow access to apps and basic functions with the T3's slider closed using the status bar. Also added TrackerDog to the software page.
Olive Tree optimized their reader in version 107, making it 2 to 5 times faster with the Complete Word Study Bible depending on your hardware. The slower your hardware, the greater the improvement. Makes their great software even better.
October 9, 2004
Updated the write-ups for BBVFSPro and HandStory Suite 3.1 on the software page.
Sad day yesterday. I removed ePocrates Rx Pro from my T3 after years of use. ePoctrates still doesn't get the importance of supporting its databases on memory cards, though I've written to them every year around subscription update time about it. Pro took over 3.5 MB of RAM, and their Essentials package takes 6.3 MB according to the company's website, and that's split across over about 40 files! After some indepth research, I decided to switch to Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia Deluxe which is less expensive, covers more meds, and can store and update its database on the card. I sent a note to ePocrates telling them why I switched.
After about a year of looking for the right image viewer, I've finally settled on GrxView and added it to my software page. Although it isn't the fastest viewer on the market, it views about every format out there and is a great value for the price.
September 24, 2004
PDABuyersGuide published my review of Olive Tree's offering of AMG's Complete Word Study Bible on Monday. This is a must-have for serious Bible students.
September 18, 2004
Added Fonts4OS5 by Lubak to my T3 and the software page. I've been a fan of Lubak's since I first used FontHack123 4.0c with Lubak's fonts on my Sony PDAs. Fonts4OS5 makes changing fonts downright simple, unlike the old hack days. Most folks change the system font to something smaller to fit more text on the screen. I use it because I've grown fond of the Comic San 22 font, which Lubak included in this latest release.
Alexander Pruss released two large MessagEase4T3 DIA skin sets on PalmGear, a fractal-based set here and a photo-based set here. Very cool.
I uploaded an image of my current ZLauncher setup, which currently uses Leslie Franke's excellent Crystal ZLauncher theme w/its awesome icon set and her 16-bit color Crystal T3 DIA skin augmented by Alexander Pruss' fine ME4T3 keyboard skins (not visible in the image), to the ZLauncher Yahoo! forum home page. Check it out if you're interested.
September 16, 2004
PDABuyersGuide has posted two more of my reviews: BackupBuddy 2.0 and the IOGear GBU201 Bluetooth USB Adapter. The BackupBuddy 2.0 review notes the card backup bug, which still hasn't been fixed. Both have been added to my review page.
My favorite Bible software just got better again. Olive Tree Bible Software released AMG's Complete Word Study Bible for Palm OS and Pocket PC. This is my favorite Bible language reference. I started with the Complete Word Study Bible - New Testament (I have the one with parallel Greek text) and the Complete Word Study Dictionary - New Testament back about ten years ago, collecting the rest of the set over the intervening years, and finally finished the print collection recently with Complete Word Study Bible - Old Testament which was published last year. I also purchased this complete set for my PC as part of the Bible Essentials 2.0 from Logos Bible Software. To have this power in my Palm seems unbelievable--every word of the Bible coded with Strong's number, grammar coded, and both the words and grammar explained in the dictionaries. I wrote a review of the outstanding Olive Tree implementation which will be published by PDABuyersGuide soon. The only con that I could find was not having this software on your Palm or PPC!
September 12, 2004
Updated the software page with the addition of SkinT3!, eBible for Palm, AIRoboform and Taxi! Taxi! If you have a Palm T3 and don't want to settle for the bland graffiti area and status bar, then you need SkinT3! I used it to merge Mythomania's original Poulidor skin and status bar with the keyboard for MessagEase4T3. Very sharp look--thanks Alex!
September 2, 2004
Installed the PIM Support Update from PalmOne yesterday. It is supposed to fix the sync problems with MS Outlook and speed up initial loading of 3rd party datebook applications. I used it all day yesterday and it seems to work fine.
I heard from Blue Nomad. They had mistakenly marked my earlier bug report as fixed and are readdressing the issue.
Mobile Systems updated their MSDict reader interface. It looks and works great, now supporting configurable windows. My favorite dictionaries just got better!
August 15, 2004
Cleaned up some of the narrative on the main Palm page. It's amazing what you find when you haven't read something for a while.
Downloaded and installed BackupBuddy 184.108.40.206 today. Long file name and deep directory tree errors still haven't been fixed for the card backup routines. I will notify BlueNomad...
August 12, 2004
Olive Tree Software released BibleReader+ 3.52 F060, an excellent update to their Scripture reader. This release's most visible additions include hi res Greek and Hebrew font support, which are now free, and Auto Open windows. The latter involves tapping on a word even with one full-screen window on the screen, which will bring up the user's prefered window configuration with the requested information in the user-selected target window. For example, I use a 3-window configuration with window 1 holding the Bible, window 2 either commentary or an original language Bible, and window 3 as the target for all dictionary and note lookups. I prefer one full-screen window for daily reading, but now I can tap on a word or note in that configuration and BibleReader+ will bring up all three windows with the note or definition in window 3. I set my 5-way's center button to toggle windows, so one press on it and I return to the full-screen reading setup. Sweet. And the hi res Greek and Hebrew fonts are awesome. Other changes include faster screen redraws and improved speed reading from cards.
Added Pocket Codes 3.0 to the software page, noted the removal of McFile from my T3, and updated the write-up on BibleReader+ and MyBible.
Updated my computer page with a brief discussion of SpinRite by Gibson Research.
August 5, 2004
PDABuyersGuide published my Secure Backup for Palm OS review, and I updated the review page to note that. More reviews are in the mill.
FWIW, I've had not difficulties with YAHM and the NoBeamDialog hack for OS 5.
July 23, 2004
PDABuyersGuide published my review of Datebk5 V-5.1b. I updated the review page accordingly. I literally live my daily life by Datebk5, and highly recommend it.
I re-added ChangeName 2.3 to the software page. This latest version works under OS 5.
July 15, 2004
Wow, has it been that long since an update? Well, PDABuyersGuide published my review of SplashWallet 5.04. I updated the review page to reflect this.
FWIW, still no relief on the card backup problem with BackupBuddy 2.
July 3, 2004
Just some cleanup today. I updated info on 1src on the main Palm page, as well as the auction and security discussions. I modified the Palm device discussion to account for Sony's departure from the US and European markets. Also upated the descriptions of Battery Graph, Palm Insider Pro, Palm Reader, and YAHM on the software page. I added NoBeamDialog and NoDot OS 5 hacks, AutoOffDAs, and Backlight with its DA to that page.
I have a review of BackupBuddy 2 pending publication at PDABuyersGuide. The card backup problems have not yet been resolved.
June 18, 2004
Added MobiSystems Word and Paint to my software page. They've grown enough capability to get back on my T3. With a tad more capability (bookmarks and indenting), it will be my primary word processor. I'm using it quite a bit already.
Added version 2.0 data to my BackupBuddy write-up on the software page. Beware, though, that BackupBuddy 2.0.14 has a serious flaw in its card backup routine. I've been in contact with BlueNomad about it and will keep you posted.
June 8, 2004
Removed the announcement about Bozidar Benc since the donation period has closed. Thanks to all who contributed to helping out his family.
Updated my software page. I substituted SplashID for CryptInfo and SplashShopper for HandyShopper. The deleted apps are still great, but I reviewed the SplashData apps and these two have a few extra capabilities I liked. They don't come cheap, though. HandyShopper is free and CryptInfo is a fraction of SplashID's price.
June 1, 2004
While this isn't a news site, two things worth noting happened today in the PDA world. First, Sony announced that they are leaving the US PDA market. Although they will continue to support their products as inventories play out, no new devices are forthcoming. There's a great article and analysis at PDABuyersGuide. Second, ClieSource and PalmOneCity merged to form the.one.source. Memberships transferred nicely to the new site, which is very attractive--a great job by Joel and Reggie. This saves me the trouble of trying to keep up with both. Of course, this merger is not unrelated to Sony's news.
May 29, 2004
PDABuyersGuide published my review on the new crop of Palm OS Launchers. This review covers Hi-Launcher, AppShelf, Facer 2.0, and a brief blurb on ZLauncher 4.10. I still have several reviews in the works, so stay tuned.
Not directly Palm OS related, but I finally picked up a backup system for my PC. I bought a Maxtor 120GB One Touch USB 2.0 external hard drive, and run it through an inexpensive HEISEI USB 2.0 PCI card (w/NEC chip). I purchased both from newegg.com. The Maxtor system comes with Retrospect backup software, which works well, and all the parts needed to connect it to your PC. Although the Maxtor will work under USB 1.1, don't do that to yourself!
Minor update to this page--added bullets to delineate the start of separate entries. This makes the page work better at a variety of screen resolutions.
Major update to the entire site today. I used the offsite link checking capability of WebEditor 6.0 today to check and fix all external links. Every link should go somewhere! Hint if you don't want to spend all day refusing cookies, ActiveX, etc.: use your firewall to refues all cookies, ActiveX, and Java apps. Things go much faster that way, and unattended as well.
May 18, 2004
PDABuyersGuide published my review/tutorial on JackSprat and JackFlash by Brayder. These are great apps that I've used for years. Added the link to my review page.
I received my upgrade to Namo WebEditor 6.0 yesterday. Wow, nice upgrade! The more I use this program, the better I like it. This verson added a web board and the ability to check offsite links and a host of interface improvements. Don't hold your breath waiting for me to set up and run a forum, though.
May 16, 2004
OK, finally uploaded the new download files to the site. Everything is in iSilo or Word To Go format, whichever made sense. All the iSilo stuff is internally hyperlinked. The long WTG documents are bookmarked. I still have the original WordSmith and RichReader versions which I'll email to interested parties. Enjoy!
May 15, 2004
I still haven't gotten Softick's PPP to work. I sent an email to the developer who answered but hasn't come up with a solution yet. In the meantime, I uninstalled it.
I updated the software page to note my upgrade to CardExport 2.0 and the addition of Battery Graph, as well as the removal of WordSmith...
After many years of fine use, I sadly uninstalled WordSmith today. All my major work has transferred Word To Go, and I don't use the memo part anymore because even there the text manipulation routines in ME4T3 don't work. I've reverted to the Palm Memos app on the T3, which now handles 32K memos. Without handling tables or graphics, WordSmith has steadily slipped behind its competition with no major updates in sight. I've converted all my download files to iSilo or WTG, but am still working on the web pages. I hope to get the new files up tomorrow.
A word about my review system. I usually start my reviews in Word to Go in the form of usage notes. Screenshots are taken and previewed with Screenshot5 and exported to the card as bitmaps, transferred to the desktop using Card Export 2.0, reduced in size and converted to jpgs with MS Paint, embedded in the Word document, then HotSynced back to my T3 to finish up as I travel around or wait on line. This has worked great for me and made me more productive on the road.
May 3, 2004
Not a site update yet, but a portent of things to come. I converted most of my theology and US foundation downloads to iSilo format yesterday. The resultant files come out smaller than the WordSmith format, sometimes much smaller. Also, I'm phasing out WordSmith. I've been using Documents To Go Premium to write my reviews on the road and have been very happy with it. It handles images and tables quite well, both of which are critical to my reviews and neither of which WordSmith handles. Word To Go doesn't support footnotes or endnotes yet, though, but that's where iSilo comes in. It produces nicely hyperlinked documents, including linked footnotes from HTML documents. The net result is a very attractive and useful reference that loads quickly off the card. Unless Blue Nomad produces a significant capability update to WordSmith soon, it will be gone from my T3. I've already replace the bulk of my references with iSilo documents. Anyway, I'll be posting the newly converted iSilo documents to my download page when I get a chance.
May 2, 2004
I updated my software page with my registration of Screenshot5 by Linkesoft. It does the best job with the entire T3 screen and exports much faster to my Panasonic SD card that it did to my Toshiba card, but that wasn't Linkesoft's problem. I'm disappointed that ZGrab didn't get any further development. This will be my primary screen capture for my reviews starting today. Also cleaned up some minor stuff on the page.
Added SnapCalc5, a very slick popup calculator, to my T3 and the software page.
I removed Audible Player from my T3. I never finished with listenting to the 9/11 commission stuff, but I just don't get time to listen often enough to make it worthwhile.
I'm trying Softick PPP 2.15, but can't get my T3 to connect to the desktop to save my life. I set it up exactly per the help file. I am quite familiar with networking in the XP environment, so that's not an issue. If you have any ideas, please email them to me! I installed WebPro on my T3 to prep for an upcoming review, but I need to connect it through my PC to the Internet. W/o Softick PPP, I'm dead in the water.
Noted that Icon Manager 1.6 is now freeware.
April 23, 2004
Added a note from Annie to my Reset page on recovering Sony NX70 and NX80 units.
April 17, 2004
My review of MessagEase4T3 published at PDABuyersGuide. Updated the review page to note this and removed an older review.
Updated the main Palm page to note that PDABuzz has been bought and is under new management. Time will tell if they are any better than the HHMG folks who ran once great Buzz into the ground. I mainly hang out on PalmOne City, with stops at Brighthand and ClieSource. I primarily get my handheld news from PDA247 and PDABuyersGuide.
April 13, 2004
CIC released Jot 2.1 for T3 support. See the write-up on my software page. I'm a happy camper, using ME4T3 for major writing with the slider open and Jot 2.1 for short blurbs with the slider closed.
April 12, 2004
Many thanks to DRKasal for providing the transparent background for my T3 image on the main Palm page!
April 11, 2004
Updated my sofware page. I removed HRCaptDA and ZGrab and am trying an updated Screenshot5 by LinkeSoft. I'm also trying Audible Player to listen to the 9/11 Commission testimony.
Added a link to CWolf's web page, which he is just starting up, to my Computer link page. He's a great guy who helps folks on PalmOneCity and elsewhere. Check him out!
April 4, 2004
Cleaned up some typos and a broken external link on the main Palm page. Added a link to HOME on the navigation bar (thanks, Tong!).
Updated the software page with minor changes to my configuration.
April 3, 2004
Bought a copy of Namo WebEditor 5.5 tonight with the intent of significantly upgrading this site. I like Symantec's old Visual Page, but it hasn't been updated in many years and really shows its age. WebEditor looks like it will do the trick for me, but it will take quite a while for me to redo the entire site. In the process of checking out the new software's capabilities, I found a number of internally broken links and fixed those.
UPDATE: Couldn't resist. I redid my Table of Contents page for the Palm site and reformated the entire Palm OS site with a consistent theme. Also cleaned up the HTML mess left by MS Word on a couple of pages. The added graphics are all vector-based and should load quickly. Hope y'all like it! My home page will be the next project. WebEditor 5.5 is very capable and has some great features, including graphics editing and a much-improved Site Manager, for not a lot of money.
I also put the T3 graphic back on the Palm front page. I'm not a graphics guy, so it still has the white outline on it. If anyone would like to send me a graphic of the T3 in portrait mode with a transparent background, I'll be happy to use it and give credit here to the donor.
UPDATE 2: It's still Saturday so it still counts! I finished my entire site today and learned about Namo navigation bars in the process. Main work is complete, tripple checked for internal broken links. Much tweaking will follow. Of course, I didn't get that review done today...
April 1, 2004
My Panasonic 512 MB and PNY (Toshiba) 256 MB SD card review has been posted at PDABuyersGuide. This was more than a straight review, as I also discuss the connection (or lack thereof) between VFSMark test results and user experience with a card. This has been a hot topic on the forums lately.
Also, my Audio Translator review has also been posted there.
March 31, 2004
Updated AsciiChart on the software page as compatible w/OS 5 now (thanks, Otto!). Updated the intro on the software page a bit and some of the app listings.
Loving my new 512 MB Panasonic SD card more every day! The performance improvement over the PNY (Toshiba) card is nothing short of amazing.
March 28, 2004
Added a note about the passing of Bozidar Benc to the main Palm page, with a link (courtesy of Shaun McGill) to donate to his family in his memory. May God grant peace to Bozidar's family and friends.
Bought a new 512MB Panasonic SD card last week on eBay from westprsent for my T3. Wow, what a performance increase! My PNY (Toshiba) cards dragged down the performance of my T3 more than I realized. I wrote a review on the cards with some thoughts on reviewing card performance in general. PDABuyersGuide will publish it in the near future. Also, as I update old reviews from this site with new ones for PDABuyersGuide, I remove the old ones from this site. That will cause direct links to break. I've received a number of emails about the broken links. I recommend not using direct links to other than the Palm or top page of this site. Those pages will remain over the long term.
March 16, 2004
Fixed link to Speedy (thanks Rick!)
March 6, 2004
Updated my software page and the JackFlash/Sprat tutorial for the new beta versions from Brayder, JackFlash3.0b12 and JackSprat3.0b4. These seem to be quite stable on the T3 now. The Bluetooth removal problem persist, however.
I also update the software page to record the removal of ClockFix. I get so many lockups testing software that it never gets a chance to calibrate.
February 29, 2004
I'm a bit late on this one. My Palm OS Office Suite review was prublished by PDABuyersGuide several days ago. Added the link to my review page.
FWIW, no more white screens of death since removing JackFlash. Waiting for Brayder to publish a fix for the T3.
February 24, 2004
Got the dreaded white screen of death today with JackFlash. I'll wait for the updated T3 release at this point. Updated my Jack tutorial and software page accordingly.
Added link to my new review of uninstallers on PDABuyersGuide.
February 23, 2004
Corrected the TealLock entry to account for other programs updated with similar capabilities.
February 22, 2004
I took some time today to troubleshoot my JackSprat/Flash Hotsync problem. Turns out that removing Bluetooth support causes the issue. I'm now operating happily (so far) with JackFlash, but not using JackSafe as it can cause a hard lockup according to Brayder. I updated the software page accordingly, as well as my Jack primer page. I also emailed Brayder with my findings.
Dr. Saied Nesbat keeps improving MessagEase4T3. He now has the four basic silkscreen buttons working on the stamp, with the ability to customize their function coming shortly.
February 21, 2004
Updated the software page to indicate the removal of Bible+ from my T3. All the Bible apps were eating too much space, so one had to go. Added Docs to Go Premium to the page.
I've done some more experimentation with JackSprat 3.0b3 and JackFlash 3.0b11 on my T3. It turns out that if I soft reset after every Hotsync, thinks work OK otherwise so far. Brayder says they have a solution close at hand. No catastrophic failures yet, so I'll stick with it for now.
Added AfterSync and Soft Reset to tide me over the Jacks' shortcomings for the moment.
February 16, 2004
My review of the excellent FitalyT3 has been posted at PDABuyersGuide. Added it to my review page. Jean Ichbiah, the man behind Fitaly, has been an absolute joy with whom to deal over the last several months. The Palm community boasts a number of real gentlemen/ladies who develop high quality applications for them. Jean and C.E. Steuart Dewar are just two of several with whom I've been honored to interact.
February 10, 2004
Updated software page to reflect that MESt for the T3 now has full landscape as well as portrait support, the first of the major soft keyboards to do so!
Added SCOTTeVEST to the review page.
February 9, 2004
Updated software page to reflect reordering of my Bible apps given recent developments. Olive Tree's BibleReader+ is progressively taking over my T3. Also other miscellaneous updates.
Updated Bible software review posted at PDABuyersGuide.
New review of SCOTTeVEST Technology Enabled Clothing (TEC) jackets published on PDABuyersGuide. Very cool and ingeniously useful outerwear for the mobile technophile.
EXideas came out with a blue version of MESt for the T3 within hours of user requests on their Yahoo! forum to match the status bar on the T3. Awesome!
February 8, 2004
Updated software page with link to Olive Tree's Scholar's Tools. These are the best Bible original language tools available for Palm OS. Note that the separate parsing module for the HMT/BDB is available on the main Bible page, not on this tools page.
February 7, 2004
Added the new MessagEaseStamp for the T3 to my software page. My favorite input method is now in beta (and perfectly stable) for the T3 DIA! I've come to respect FitalyVirtualT3 a great deal over the last couple of months as it is an excellent application--well-designed and well-supported. I have used it daily and extensively during this time, becoming quite proficient. However, MESt feels like home. As soon as I installed it, it was like I never left. YMMV.
I updated my Bible Software review to account for a couple of significant upgrades. PDABuyersGuide moved to a new host, so you may not be able to get to the update until the new IP address propagates across the DNS system.
January 31, 2004
Added a review of Noah Pro 3.0. Finished a review of Palm OS uninstall programs yesterday, awaiting publication.
Reevaluated the screenshot approach I've been using for my reviews. After some research and testing today, I've changed to ZGrab on the Palm and MS Paint on the desktop to get the highest quality images when they are reduced to 50% for my reviews.
January 28, 2004
Cleaned up (read deleted) the old reviews that have been updated on PDABuyersGuide in the last couple of months. FitalyVirtualT3 review done and awaiting publication. Working on a couple of new reviews--no peeking!
Updated my software page with BibleReader+ and MegaClock.
January 22, 2004
My new launcher comparison review is posted on PDABuyersGuide!
As an added bonus, the PDAir Aluminum Case review was added to my T3 case review here. FitalyVirtualT3 comes next, but I haven't finished it yet.
January 20, 2004
Updated the entry for MyPalm on the software page. To my surprise, it didn't work on the T3.
January 11, 2004
Happy New Year! Been busy this year already. I updated my case review on PDABuyersGuide to include the amazing PDAir Aluminum Case, which overcomes all the shortcomings of competing aluminum cases. It's now my primary case. I also finished my launcher review, but it hasn't been posted yet. I'm now working on a FitalyVirtualT3 review while watching the playoffs (commercials only waste your time if you let them).
Updated my software page for the new betas of JackFlash and JackSprat that now support the T3, as well some other apps I've added. Star Command looks like an interesting resurrection of the old mainframe Star Fleet game of the last 70's.
Oops, not so fast...T3 quit Hotsyncing today. I restored my ROM to factory and all works fine. More JackSprat/Flash investigation required here.
December 16, 2003
Review of early cases for the Tungsten T3 posted at PDABuyersGuide and linked on the review page. The next review will be a launcher roundup, but I doubt it will be done by Christmas as I originally intended.
December 11, 2003
Palm OS Dictionary Shoot-out posted at PDABuyersGuide. I'm playing with NoviiRemote, which looks very interesting but not cheap. I've been missing Clie RMC from my T665C.
December 2, 2003
Some of the old PDA Avenue folks have started a new site called Daily Gadget. It covers more than just PDAs, so pop on over and talk toys!
Readded AV8R as active on the software page and fixed the link. Got a nice note from Chris Shaker telling me that I could find the updated CASLrt libraries here. Just look for the free runtime library near the bottom of the page. Thanks, Chris!
Updated MetrO description to say that version 5.1.1 supports the T3 DIA.
December 1, 2003
My Audio Player review is linked on the review page and posted at PDABuyersGuide. Enjoy!
I completed the dictionary review today. It should be posted later this week. Next should be a review of several Tungsten T3 cases.
November 29, 2003
Corrected my Bible software review on Olive Tree's BibleReader+ on PDABuyersGuide about a week ago. I couldn't get original language font to display during the review. It turns out that there are only two sources of Greek fonts for BR+. The free one is in the Bynzantine Greek Text archive, though not in the other free Greek texts. The other font file comes with the $40 GRAMCORD Lite package. The only Hebrew fonts come in the $40 Hebrew Masoretic Text download. Short of asking Olive Tree directly, I'm not sure how you would figure that out. Maybe I'm just dense.
Updated the software page with my ever-evolving configuration. I finished a review on Palm OS audio software which should be up on PDABuyersGuide shortly. I'm also finishing up another dictionary roundup, which should be done later this week.
November 19, 2003
I agreed to write software reviews for PDABuyersGuide. While they graciously agreed to allow me to post those reviews on this site as well, I've decided to simply link from here to the review there. They just published my first review there on Bible software for the Palm OS.
Updated the review page to link to the Bible software review at PDABuyersGuide.
November 11, 2003
PDA Avenue bit the dust last week due to a major database crash. Fortunately, all the reviews I had there are also here on this site. I will really miss the staff and members there. Sadly, I updated my main PalmOS page to reflect the Avenue's demise. Many thanks to Marcus, Andrew, and Alan for their hard work in making one of the best cross-platform sites on the web.
My new hangouts will be PalmOneCity and BrightHand. Also, PDABuyersGuide asked me to write software reviews for them. I'm working on a big comparison review right now. I'll post here when the reviews go up on that site so you don't miss any.
November 1, 2003
Added AeroPlayer, Bible+, PXA Clocker Lite, and T3PowerOnBugFix to the software page.
PDA Avenue crashed and burned this past week and will not be rebuilt. I will miss our staff team there very much. My reviews will continue to appear here, though.
Updated Cleanup, Alarmlist, and YAHM entries on the software page. Cleanup version 3 now accesses Uninstall Manager's/Hack's database, making the UM/Cleanup combination very powerful. Don't leave home without these.
Updated the main Palm page discussion on office PDA security with a brief discussion of WiFi and Bluetooth.
October 26, 2003
Silly me. I forgot to add in my Oxford dictionary databases before. Added their descriptions on the software page, plus added a one-sentence comparison of TealLock to the updated Palm Security app 5.0p. Still haven't decided on ScreenShot5 yet. I'm waiting to see if HRCaptDA updates to capture the DIA (Dynamic Input Area).
October 19, 2003
Added Call Lookup DA to the software page. I'm still toying with ScreenShot5 vs. HRCaptDA. The latter is free, but doesn't capture the graffiti display, although it captures the entire 320x480 display when the graffiti area is not up. ScreenShot5 captures the graffiti area when up, but saves to its own database in RAM. Convering to bmps on the card takes an extra step and occurs at half the speed of HRCaptDA's direct capture to bmps on the card. Hmmm.
October 15, 2003
Updated software page to indicate my registration of SuperNames and TealLock. Looks like I've completed my software search for OS 5 replacements for my OS 4 apps.
For those who were interested, I found a good home for my upgraded T665C.
BTW, Uninstall Manager 2.37b is absolutely AWESOME! It has kept my new T3 garbage-free during my testing of multiple apps in the last two weeks. If you don't own this app, you should! Under OS4, Uninstall Hack provides almost the same capability.
October 13, 2003
Updated my software page with more OS 5 apps--ClockPop5, CodeDiver (for testing), Crash's update, and TealLock (for testing). CodeDiver enabled some of my favorite apps to work full screen on the T3 until they are updated. I'm very close to a stabilized setup on the T3 now. SuperNames is working out great and will probably be registered in the next few days.
I bought a Palm Travel Charger for the T3 at Circuit City yesterday, so I'm ready to hit the road again.
October 11, 2003
Updated my software page to my current T3 configuration. Added SuperNames to the list as I test it. I have achieved some level of stability in my T3's configuration at this point, though I still don't have an OS 5 security program.
October 5, 2003
Added a quick review of the Palm Tungsten|T3.
October 4, 2003
Updated the main page to reflect my new PDA--the Palm Tungsten|T3. Catch the main page for the sad story behind that happy change. Still have lots of work to do to catch up.
Added a review of Mobile Systems' Pocket Oxford English Dictionary 4.10.
Added a review of Mobile Systems' Oxford Dictionary of Idioms 4.10.
September 14, 2003
Added a review of ZLauncher 3.60
BTW, the 32MB RAM upgrade to my T665C still performs magnificently. No compatibility issues in over a week of hard use.
September 6, 2003
My T665C came back the other day and the upgrade works marvelously! I added a review of the upgrade.
Added a Sony SJ22 quick look to the review page.
Updated my software page for my new configuration, and added Crash to the list.
Added a review of Uninstall Hack 2.03/Cleanup v2.05, which contains a mini-tutorial on how to clean up your preference files.
September 1, 2003
Updated some links in my dictionary review. My T665C is on its way back from RunPDA with 32MB RAM and a new battery. I can hardly wait!
Added Cleanup and Uninstall Hack to the software page. Great apps!
August 27, 2003
Yesterday, I sent my T665C to RunPDA to have it upgraded to 32MB and have the battery replaced. When it gets back, I'll be writing an article on the experience. Watch this site to see how it goes. In the meantime, I'm borrowing a Sony SJ22 from work. I may have a few things to say about that device as well.
August 9, 2003
Updated my software page with MetrO app. I also made some updates to my main page this week. Real life has been very busy, perventing me from trying new things or writing reviews. I expect to get back at it in a couple of weeks when things settle down.
July 6, 2003
Added new links for purchasing Palm OS Software on my computer page. These will give you alternatives to PalmGear.
July 4, 2003
Things have been very busy lately. I've been getting increased spam from the email address assigned to this website. So, I've created an intermediate page that includes safeguards against spiders seeking email addresses. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's just part of the price we pay to fight those who steal our money, time, and resources with spam while claiming free speach. These people have no idea what free speach really means and cheapen the sacrifices made by those who've given their last full measure of devotion to defending it.
Wrote an article for PDA Avenue linking economics, society, community, and the ongoing PalmGear fiasco. Interesting piece, if I may say so myself (and I may).
June 16, 2003
Updated my software page with a few removals. The new beta of ZLauncher 3.50b5 has McPhling and PowerRun-like capabilities, and I've been testing these. Very slick capability, seamlessly blended into ZLauncher. I expect to update my page with a new symbol for those apps under PiDirect and ZL's new PowerRun-like implementation.
June 7, 2003
Updated my software page with new additions as well as updating individual write-ups for current versions.
May 26, 2003
Added a review of MyBible 3.0.
Added a review of Bible Thumper 1.2.3
May 25, 2003
Given PalmGear's decision to charge developers $2/download for apps that don't comply with new, short-notice branding requirements, and their lack of payment of revenues due to some developers, I have decided to remove all references and as many links as possible to PalmGear from my site. The branding is not the issue, just the per download charge and their lack of revenue payment to developers. I feel that non-compliant apps should be delisted from PG rather than their developers pillaged, and developers should be paid the money due them ASAP. There are several threads on ClieSource discussing this issue in some depth.
May 24, 2003
Added a review of Icon Manager 1.4 beta build 5314.
Added a link to MyPalm courtesy of Tom Angelsen.
May 2, 2003
Added 1stAid and HandyShopper to the software page.
April 12, 2003
Cleaned up my device by deleting a bunch of apps I never use anymore. Updated the software page accordingly. Also added discussion of some of my games.
Added a review of Datebk5 5.0c Preview 9.
April 11, 2003
I've become comfortable enough with ZLauncher 3.00.1's image viewing capability to delete PGPocket from my Flash with JackSprat. While I was there, I deleted my modem and network support as I see little hope of ever needing them. That jumped my total Flash for JackFlash to use up to 1,472K. Sweet. Updated the software page accordingly.
April 5, 2003
I know this sounds trivial, but I've passed the one-month anniversary of my association with myhosting.com where this site now resides. Given the incredibly poor experience I had with Feature Price, I held off on endorsing any other hosting service until I had a track record with them. In the month I've been with myhosting, they've been 100% reliable, friendly, and very helpful during my transition. Their billing has been right on the mark, unlike FP's double billing tricks. I download insightful weekly activity summaries for the site as a core part of the service. Performance remains very crisp. These are great folks, and I've added their logo and a link to my default pages. Bravo, myhosting.com!
March 31, 2003
Tweaked my DA list on the software page several times. That will be an ongoing process until I reach functional equilibrium.
March 30, 2003
Added a list of all my new Desk Accessories (DAs) to the software page, along with a very brief discussion of DAs. Busy day testing these things, but worth it!
March 29, 2003
Added a review of X-Master 1.5 and TealMaster 2.02.
Added a bunch of stuff to my software page and updated some entries for increases in capabilities with newer versions. I've been adding too much stuff to my T665C lately!
March 11, 2003
Made some changes to the ePocrates review.
March 8, 2003
The hosting company from Hades continues to be a thorn in my side. They dont' seem to want to update my DNS entry to my new site. In fact, they've flat out refused to deal with the issue. I guess I had no reason to expect different. The good news is that I've put forwarding html pages on the old server that will redirect folks to the new server for now. I also updated my email links on this site to point to the new mail server. Hopefully the new DNS entries will catch up this weekend.
link to Palm Flying in the list of Palm OS links on my computer page.
Added review of ePocrates Rx Pro 6.0
March 4, 2003
Well, Feature Price turned out to be a bunch of marginally competent thieves. Do yourself a favor--avoid Feature Price like a plague-infested rat. I swapped my hosting over to myhosting.com. The difference is like day and night. These folks are friendly, answer all inquiries within hours, answer accurately, and their setup worked right from the start. I had tons of problems with FP. Even though FP promised 99.9% uptime, I experienced around 70% at the best. Promises kept coming, but delivery was spotty at best. They also double charged me at my initial signup, which started a chain of events that showed their true colors. Hopefully the DNS swaps are all done by tomorrow and the new site location will be accessible everywhere. The difference in up/download performance is dramatic--measured 400 - 900bps at FP, 78Kbps at myhosting, both over my cable modem connection. FP had the gaul to tell me the slowness problem was with my ISP. In their dreams...
Feb 23, 2003
Added review of Star Pilot Advanced 3.61
Feb 15, 2003
Finished recreating the two lost reviews and uploaded them. I also improved them over the originals with screenshots. All reviews are now hosted locally and backed up on my PC. Live and learn...
Added review of Facer 1.5.7
Feb 12, 2003
PDA Avenue suffered a catasrophic crash, possibly losing my reviews there. I had copies of all but two locally, so I upgraded them to web pages and added them to this site.
Feb 8, 2003
Updated MegaLauncher writeup and added MedCalc on the software page.
Feb 7, 2003
Added review of MegaLauncher 4.
Feb 1, 2003
I learned about favicon.ico and robots.txt today by searching in Google. These two files showed up repeatedly in my error logs, and I was a bit concerned. It turns out that favicon.ico is the little icon that shows up next to a url in your bookmark list. Showing up in my log means that folks are bookmarking the site :-) So, I created one on a UK website here for free and uploaded it to my site. I also learned that robots.txt instructs webbot spiders what not to link on your site. I have a couple of work directories that I excluded from the spiders by uploading said file. Two webmaster mysteries solved! My error log should stay smaller now.
review of HRCapture 1.77E.
Added link to an older review on Beik's Talking Phrasebooks
Jan 26, 2003
Isn't the Internet grand? The SQL Slammer worm hammered the Internet this weekend. My home computer, well protected with a very current Norton Internet Security, took almost 300 probes on port 1424 so far. During the peak of the worm's attack, my DNS entry got lost in the system and some of my email is still having problems. Downloads are still dragging a bit. I made a few minor tweaks to both index pages.
Added review of PiDirect II.
Jan 25, 2003
Added the RichReader versions for most of the document listed in my download page. I still have some converions to RR pending, as well as HandStory versions. I doubt that will happen quickly.
Jan 24, 2003
This page represents a new feature of my site. I've been blessed with wonderful feedback from nice folks all over the world who've taken time to write or post on the forums I inhabit. After some reflection and accounting, I decided to register a domain name and contract for what hopefully turns out to be long-term hosting for this site. I've tended to change ISPs every couple of years, and this move will make the site independent of any current ISP. At least the domain name won't change if I move the site again. During the move to my new host, Feature Price, I decided to clean things up behind the scenes and make expansion a bit easier. I've always been limited to between two and five MBs for the site, and the new 50 MB limit opens up some new possibilities. While most of these changes are transparent to my guests, a few are more visible:
1) I split up the main Palm OS page. It had grown to over 120K, which really hammers dialup connections. So, I split off the software descriptions and download sections. They are still linked through the Table of Contents in the left panel.
2) I updated the Buying Considerations on the main page with newer Handsprings and Sonys. For now, I've elected to steer clear of OS 5 devices. I also cleaned up some of the text concerning PPC devices.
3) Added HRCaptDa to the software listing as well as the space left on my device.
4) Changed the email links to reflect my new email address on tankerbob.com.
This weekend, I hope to create a separate review link page. I've written a number of reviews for PDA Avenue, and will link them here in addition to reviews hosted locally. I also want to expand my download section to provide multiple formats for the theology and history documents available. I already have them all in both WordSmith and RichReader format. I may add straight Palm Doc and HandStory formats.
o/a Jan 18, 2003
I backdated this a bit from my imperfect memory. Last weekend I added Clockfix, HandStory, and ZLauncher to the software section, and noted the deletion of Avantgo, Fireviewer, and Weasel Reader from my T665C.
Around Christmas 2002
Added Shadow and EasyCalc to the software section.