John's 2004 Top-10 List
Well, it's been a year or so since I penned my John's Top-10 List and it's always interesting to see how time and change have affected the software I use on my Handheld PC. Speaking of change, the original article was written for ClintonFitch(Dot!) Com, which has since turned to the 'dark side' (Pocket PC software reviews only) and is no longer catering to HPC users - (boo). Fortunately, Clinton is still writing some excellent HPC software reviews right here on HPC Factor, so I guess it isn't all bad . The biggest change for me personally, was switching from a MIPS based Mobilepro 780 to an ARMS based Mobilepro 900 which opened up a whole new world of software, both good and bad. The bad part is that some of my old favorites are not available for the ARMS processor (ie Hasbro Scrabble/Monopoly/Slingo/ Trivial Pursuit, CIC Speller etc), but that was more than offset by all of the new ARMS based software I'm now able to access.
Anyway, enough chitchat, it's time to get on with this years Top-10 List.
Number 10: Ballshooter's Poker Jam
It's not often that you get to play Vegas style video poker without having
to worry about losing your shirt or at the very least, your laundry money. Poker
Jam by Ballshooter allows the user to partake in three excellent variations
of the game of Poker - Jack's or Better, Joker Poker and Deuces Wild. The graphic
interface runs very smoothly and the cards are easy to read and quite pleasing
to the eye. The software doesn't provide for many options (other than three
background changes and three poker variations) but it really doesn't suffer
due to the scarcity of options. Overall, this is a very nice distraction to
have on those boring flights, long waits at the doctors or dentist's office
or slow day's at work (hmm, did I say that out loud?). **
Number 9: KSE's Yachtzee
Ok - so maybe I've been spending too much time playing games, but darn it,
this is one of the best software versions of Yachtzee I have ever played. KSE
has done a bang up job with the software; I love the simple, yet pleasing graphic's,
the dice rolling animation and sounds and the fact that you can play, alone,
against the computer or with up to four human players. As far as I'm concerned
this software is every bit as good as the Official Hasbro sanctioned Pocket
PC version and that my friend is saying a lot. **
Number 8: Burr Oak's Conversions in Hand
If you need software to perform conversions, there is none better than perennial
software award winner - Conversions in Hand. I've been using this software for
many years and highly recommend it because it has so many great options. CIH
provides you with (not only) hundreds of unit conversions, but also up-to-date,
downloadable currency conversions and an easy to use calculator. The interface
is pretty straightforward, very user friendly and everything you need is easily
accessible all on one screen.
Number 7: Ruksun's Launch Force
Launch Force is a great little freeware utility that lets you launch up to
10 software programs using a pop up menu accessible from your Handheld PC's
Taskbar. This is another one of those little ditties that I've been using for
years and the interesting part is that you don't really notice how much you
depend on it until you try doing without it. This is a great little time saver,
which is sure to become one of your personal favorites once you give it a try.
Number 6: DeveloperOne's ScreenSnap
I've been writing software reviews for Pocket PC magazine and many other fine
HPC websites for several years, so one of the essential tools I've needed is
software that allows me to capture screen shots or graphics to go with my articles.
ScreenSnap has worked flawlessly for me, whether I'm using the PPC or the HPC
version and is loaded with just enough options to please most users. Although,
DeveloperOne no longer supports the HPC version, they were kind enough to make
it available as freeware. This is a very commendable gesture on their part and
I wish other former HPC software developers would follow their lead and make
their (unsupported, off the market) HPC software available to the Handheld PC
community. You can download ScreenSnap from CE Windows.Net.
Number 5: Wolfgang Rolke's Tools ResInfo
Here is another little, indispensable freeware gem that sits in my Taskbar
ready to gave me all kinds of important 'need to know' information about my
Handheld PC. Is my battery about to die? How long have I been using it? What's
up with my storage space? What processes am I running? What system am I using?
Questions? Questions? Questions? Well the answers are right here!
Number 4: Ilium's Keep Track
There is not much I can say about Keep Track that I haven't ready mentioned
in last years Top-10 List. It is still my essential tool for managing all of
my financial transactions and therefore I use it at least once a week to make
sure I'm not spending money I don't have. It's unfortunate that Ilium Software
is no longer supporting the HPC version of Keep Track, but even more tragic
is that they have removed all mention of their HPC products from their website.
.now here is the crazy part - you can still purchase Keep Track (and
others HPC software) from the website, by simply emailing them or by using the
online form and specifying the HPC software you wish to purchase.
Number 3: HyunKeun Cho's CE Agenda for HPC
It's no secret that I really find Pocket Outlook to be a huge disappointment
and the sad part is that Microsoft has no plans to improve it at anytime in
the near (or far) future. Therefore anything that helps me to avoid using Pocket
Outlook is all right in my book. Enter CE Agenda for HPC
..what a great
idea! Imagine being able to view your All Day Events, Appointments and Tasks,
together on one screen - what a concept! The closest MS could come to this concept
is the Agenda function in Pocket Outlook - which is pretty feeble if you ask
me. CE Agenda is not perfect (no way to access Contacts), but at least it's
a work in progress, by a developer who is committed to improving and supporting
his product. **
Number 2: C. Chisler's Total Commander/CE
The only thing more disappointing than Pocket Outlook is perhaps Pocket Explorer!
Try to imagine all of the functions you need and want, but are not available
in Pocket Explorer and you have Total Commander/CE. Simple things such as a
Find function, split screens, tree view, make directory, rename, view, edit,
copy/move, shortcuts, pack with Zip
..my head is about to explode. This
is a first rate file explorer at a cut-rate price -FREE. **
Number 1: Ilium's ListPro
This software has to be the ultimate list lovers dream come true. A perennial
software award winner (for good reason), this has been a main stay on my Handheld
PC since day one. I'm a list person, always have been, always will be and if
I had to guess I would say that Listpro is keeping track of about 20-25 list
as I write these words. Here are just a few I can think of off the top of my
head - Software Registration numbers, bill payment dates, charitable donations,
DVD collection, eBay auction purchases, utility account numbers, Book list(s),
etc, etc. There is no denying that this is the most utilized software on my
Mobilepro and therefore deserves to be number one on my 2004 software. Unfortunately,
as mentioned in my Number 4 selection (see above for details), getting hold
of this software can be a bit of a challenge.
Well there you have it, another year, another Top-10 List. As always, please reminder to support the developer's who continue to support the Handheld PC platform.
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** - Also available at Handango.com
December 09, 2004