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John Ottini's Top 10 List (2003)

John Ottini | Handheld PC Software Reviews
16 December 2003

When Clinton asked me if I would be interested in publishing an article with my Top 10 List of HPC software, I was a bit hesitant to do so because it seemed like such a personal thing. We all use our HPC's in very different ways and for very different reasons, so to create a Top 10 list will only subject me to a whole lot of grief. Oh well - you know that old saying "What does not kill me…. Err - only prolongs the inevitable" J
Here is are the Top 10 HPC software programs that I use on a regular basis - they may not be "The Best" or "Your Favorites" but after all, I'm the one writing the article.

Number 10: Hasbro's Scrabble for Windows CE

All work and no play, makes for a very long day! There are several excellent games you can play on you HPC, but Scrabble happens to be my favorite. I was lucky enough to get my hands on this superb commercial version of Scrabble a few years ago (when the HPC was king) and I have been playing it ever since. The graphics (as you can see) are first rate and the "game play" is very challenging even for a genius (not) like me. There is no website so try eBay or the like.

Hasbro Scrabble

Number 9: Pocket Streets

Whether traveling or at home, I find myself using Pocket Streets on a pretty regular basis. I have a number of cities that I keep on my CF card, so they are always available when I need to locate an address or business. Although MS no longer supports the HPC version of Pocket Streets I still find the older maps (surprisingly) useful even if they are not the latest and greatest.

Microsoft Pocket Streets

Number 8: Image Viewer

I received a new digital camera last year for Christmas and spent a long time testing a number of different software packages searching for just the right graphic viewer. I finally settled on the Image Viewer not because it is the best (it isn't), nor because it has the largest number of features (it doesn't) or because it comes with the cheapest price (free) but because it's simple and straightforward to use. While testing all the fancy packages, I discovered that I didn't need all those bells and whistle - but if you do, then by all means buys/use something else.

Image Viewer from Plus

Number 7: BSquare's Backup Plus

I use this at least once a week and although it's not a speed demon, it has saved my _____ many a time. This software is pretty flexible, it allows for complete system backup (and restore) of everything on your HPC or if you only need to backup a folder or two - you can do that also. Backup Plus was originally part of Bsquare's bUseful Utilities Software Pak but some HPC manufacturer's (such as NEC) where nice enough to include it on the MobilePro's ROM chip. no website, try eBay

BSquare Backup Plus

Number 6: DeveloperOne's ScreenSnap 4.0

This is a great little program that I've been using for quite some time for gathering all of the nice screen shots that I use in my magazine, Internet articles and software reviews. It's very easy to operate and it has many features which most users will find really useful.

ScreenSnap 4.0

Number 5: PhatWare's HPC Notes

This is my software of choice for storing all of my sensitive notes, pin numbers, bank & credit card accounts and ID information. It has a very high level of encryption and unlike canned packages such as eWallet or CodeWallet I like the fact that I don't have to setup and follow any particular format to store my data - I can use a free form structure.

Mobipocket Reader

Number 4: Mobipocket Reader - Read Review

This is my number one choice for reading ebooks. I've been using this software for many years, through several upgrades and I've never been disappointed with the quality, performance and options this software provides.

Mobipocket Reader

Number 3: Odyssey's Pocket On-Schedule

This product is a bit on the expensive side but it's will worth the cost, especially if (like me) you find Pocket Outlook to be a huge disappointment. POS offers me all of the features that I wish Pocket Outlook provided, such as a truly functional Calendar Month and Week View, multiple Contact and Calendar databases and Layout views that are flexible and user friendly. There are so many options in this package, that at first use it's almost overwhelming but over time you will come to love and appreciate all it has to offer.

Mobipocket Reader

Number 2: Ilium's List Pro - Read Review

I can't say enough good things about this perennial award-winning product. I use it for so many things that I wonder how I ever lived without it. I use it to keep track of my monthly bill payment schedule, to track charitable donations, grocery lists, hockey schedules and on and on. It's so simple to use, it's affordable and most importantly it's almost impossible not to find uses for it in your everyday life.

Ilium Software List Pro

Number 1: Ilium's Keep Track

What??? Yeah I know, you probably think I'm crazy! This is another one of those software programs that I have been using for several years and that I've found to be almost indispensable. Before Keep Track, balancing my checkbook and bank accounts was one of those choirs I knew was a necessity but I really hated doing. I looked at other financial software packages but always found them to be too complex for my simple taste. I didn't need complicated data entry procedures, slick graphing functions or multiple financial reporting capabilities, I just wanted to keep track of all my weekly financial transactions and be able to reconcile my checkbook. Keep Track is easy to learn, a pleasure to use and in a nutshell - fulfills all of my bookkeeping needs. Money may be the "root" of all-evil, but it is also the "seed" of happiness.

Keep Track keeps me happy.

Mobipocket Reader

In Conclusion

The general theme for my software choices throughout this Top 10 list is one of - simplicity. I don't care how much they cost (within reason), how many functions they have or how cool the graphics are, if I don't feel comfortable using them on a daily basis then they don't work for me. On the other hand, you may be a totally different animal and that's why having choices in life and in software is so very important. Please support the developer's who continue to support the HPC platform.

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