j7xx's j7xxUtil 1.2

Henri Spagnolo, the webmaster of j7xx, is also one of the best application writers in the H/PC community. Henri's applications are small in size and highly useful. Some of them, like j7xxUtil, almost prompt us to think "why wasn't this thought of before?" Once again, Henri has a big hit with this application and it easily falls into the essential category of applications an H/PC owner must have.

J7xxUtil is a small application that gives users instant access to commonly used system functions on their Handheld PC. Residing in the System Tray when minimized, j7xxUtil allows users too easily and quickly change their Control Panel, memory settings, volume settings, see how much battery life they have left and power off or soft reset the device. All of this is in an application that has a footprint of only 77 Kilobytes.

j7xxUtil resides in the System Tray when in use. Tapping it will bring up the menu

To install j7xxUtil, download the application from j7xx and unzip the file, dragging the install file to the Active Sync synchronization folder. Once it is copied to the H/PC, double-tap the executable to install. Users can install the application in the devices main memory or on a Storage Card. Henri includes an installation text file to help clear up any questions related to the install. Once it is installed, tap the application off of the Start - Programs menu and it will be loaded into the System Tray. To access the menu just tap the icon and it will present the menu of items that can be adjusted or done to the H/PC.

The j7xxUtil menu

The first menu item tells users how much battery power remains on their H/PC. This is shown as a percentage when on battery power and displays AC when on electrical power.

The next item allows users to quickly access the Control Panel with one tap. When this option is opened, a second menu displays the categories of the Control Panel. Tapping one of these will open the actual Control Panel applet, allowing for that property to be changed.

Accessing your H/PCs Control Panel is only one tap when using j7xxUtil

The third item allows users to adjust the memory allocations on the H/PC. Simply tap the menu and a dialog box is shown which allows memory to be adjusted via a slide bar. While on some H/PCs this may seem redundant - the Jornada 720 and 728 are fairly easy to access and change this setting - it is convenient and faster than try to access the built-in applet on most H/PCs. Unlike most built-in applets, j7xxUtil also shows the current amount of memory load on the H/PC.

Adjust the memory of the H/PC via the slide bar and also see what your current memory load is in the device

Similar to the memory adjustment, the volume adjustment allows for easy volume changing on the device via a slide bar. The application plays the default sound of the device as it is adjusted so users will know how loud or soft the sound is instantly.

Set Volume menu in j7xxUtil

The next three items on the j7xxUtil menu allow for users to turn off the display of their device thus saving precious battery power. This is done with a simple tap of the option on the menu. To bring the screen back to life just tap the screen. Likewise the Power Off and Soft Reset options are self explanatory but again provide easy access to these commonly used features.

While j7xxUtil simplistic in nature, it is a well written and easy-to-use application. The quick access to commonly used adjustments to H/PC devices makes it a real necessity for any handheld owner. In my testing of the product it never failed or locked up my device and there are no issues with the application. The install is smooth but it would be nice to see this go to a desktop-based install instead of the somewhat clunky copy/move process. Hopefully that will happen in future versions.

J7xxUtil is currently at version 1.2 and is available in a demonstration version from the j7xx site. The full version is only $5.99 USD (£3.60 GBP, €5.25 EUD, ¥659 JPY est) which makes its "bang-for-buck" ratio well above the average. The application is available for MIPS and StrongARM processor-based H/PCs. Henri offers great support for his applications and is easy to reach via email, Yahoo! Messenger and ICQ.

System Requirements:

Windows CE 3.0 (HPC2000)
StrongARM, MIPS

Rating  
Cost: 5 Star Rating: Exceptional
Usability: 5 Star Rating: Exceptional
Built-In helps: 3 Star Rating: Average
Customer Service: 5 Star Rating: Exceptional
Overall: 4 Star Rating: Recommended

J7xxutil 1.2 can be found at the following URL.
http://www.yetanotherhomepage.com/

Clinton Fitch
Chief Reviews Editor