PC Counselor's Tweaks2K2 0.2a

Like all modern Windows-based systems, Handheld PCs posses what is called the Registry. This database-like file contains all of the sub-system, system and software settings that the HPC uses. Accessing this file, much like the desktop counterparts, is easy but a wrong move can render the system useless (For more on the dangers of Registry editing, please see the review of PHM's Registry Editor here on the HPCFactor site).

To avoid these pitfalls, PC Counselor has developed a small but effective application, Tweaks2K2. This application allows users to change some of the most common Registry settings through a GUI interface rather than going directly into the database itself. This is not only safer for those who are not comfortable editing the Registry, but also quick and simple for those who are comfortable doing so. Additionally, Tweaks2K2 modifies the HPC system in ways that other tweaking applications do not, making it head-and-shoulders above them.

Tweaks2K2 has a small memory footprint of just under 180K with an easy-to-follow installation routine. Upon starting the application, users are presented a simple screen with the Tweaks2K2 splash screen and three menu options, Tweaks Info and About.

The Tweaks2K2 Main Interface

The About menu is somewhat self explanatory but does contain registration information which will be covered later in this review. The Info menu provides two simple but important functions of memory usage and battery life. These two functions are a must have for serious HPC users and Tweaks2K2 provides them in a easy-to-read graphical output. Additionally, the memory information graph will also state how many times the HPC has bee rebooted (since the install of the application).

 

Battery & System Identification

 

Internal RAM Informaiton

Under the Tweaks menu is where users find all of the tricks available to them. The System Tricks menu provides no less than eleven changes that can be made. These tricks range from simple things such as changing the system font and its appearance to more advanced settings such as speeding up the display rendering of the HPC. For each of the advanced settings, users will find a question mark button that gives them more detailed information about what that particular trick does to their system. This is particularly handy as most users are not familiar with some of the tricks available to them.

System Settings Tweaks

The Internet tricks menu allows users to enhance their Internet experience by tweaking their Pocket Internet Explorer setting as well as well as their maximum TCP Windows Size. One of the issues many users of PIE (which is based on Internet Explorer 4.01 standards) experience is difficulty with sites that are expecting to see Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher. This tweak will change the registry to "tell" website that PIE is version 5.5 or 6.0. This one change greatly enhanced my Internet experience with my Jornada 720.

Additionally users can change the maximum TCP windows size on their HPC which will allow for greater data throughput. The TCP Window Size is the amount of data that can be buffered (stored and processed) before an acknowledgement has to be sent and received by the device. The bigger this number, the more readily data can flow as the number of send and acknowledgements have to be done. This small tweak is particularly useful if you are connecting your HPC to a "reliable" network (such as a LAN via Ethernet. This may not work as effectively on a dial-up access).

Pocket Internet Explorer Tweaks

Tweaks2K2's next menu allows users to change the function of the plus and minus buttons on the front of the Jornada 720 or 728. These buttons, normally used for turning the volume up or down in Windows Media Player can now be tweaked to move from file-to-file instead.

Jornada 700 Series specific Tweaks

Finally, the Calendar tweaks allow users to change the way Pocket Outlook sets up their calendars. One of the benefits of Outlook has been the ability to have your work day start at a time different than the standard 8 AM. In my case, my day starts at 6:30 AM so by adjusting Outlook I can see in a glance when my "on hours" are and when I'm available. Now, with this tweak, I'm able to do the same thing.

Celendar Tweaks

Tweaks2K2 is an excellent, well written application that does as advertised. The tweaks that are available are not simply "parlor tricks" but are useful and enhance the user experience with their HPC.

Tweaks2K2 is available for $9.95 from the PC Counselor's website. They also have a three-time trial of the application which users can download for free. The customer support is excellent from PC Counselor and for the small price of the application, lifetime free upgrades are given.

System Requirements:

HPC2000
StrongARM, MIPS

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

Tweaks2K2 can be found at the following URL.
http://www.pc-counselor.8m.com/

Clinton Fitch
Chief Reviews Editor