Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Well reviewed

With all these reviews of Desktop Search utilities in PC Magazine and Blogs, I've almost been tempted to join in the fun and trying them all and reviewing them. But it's been done. Instead, I'm using the Yahoo! Desktop Search Beta, simply because it's based on a highly recommended commercial product, and can search within ZIP files.
Of course, that doesn't mean that I haven't already downloaded the Copernic Desktop Search for testing on my other machine...

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Mozilla Updates

It seemed that I just blinked and there were updates to the Mozilla products:

Firefox 1.02 with several security fixes.

Thunderbird 1.0.2 mail client

The Mozilla Suite version 1.7.6

I must have been sleeping, because I've only just heard that the Mozilla Foundation plans to stop further development of the Mozilla Suite, according to an article in PCWorld, as well as this mozillaZine posting.
Also, the official "Transition Plan" from Mozilla.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

1.5 million TEs

That's 1.5 million Palm Tungsten Es.
Among all the verbiage of PalmOne's Financial results is the interesting point that 1.5 million units of the Tungsten E handheld computer have been sold in the 14 months it's been on the market and it has consistently been the best-selling handheld in the United States since its introduction.

Friday, March 18, 2005


Yesterday I mentioned the Facer and Today launchers without giving the links
Facer Launcher can be found at Pocket Craft.
Today can be found at FreewarePalm (beware - popups)
Of course that's the freeware Today, not to be confused with the shareware TodayPLUS, which is at this Flashy website

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Shareware Launchers

For the uninitiated, the idea of a replacment Application Launcher may seem strange, but in the Palm world a good Launcher program can really improve the user interface.
LaunchPlug has some good tips about Launchers, although it is a bit outdated - most of the products it mentions now support PalmOS 5.x.

I've used ZLauncher for quite some time, I initially bought it for the sheer utility - it was about the same price as PowerRUN at that stage (PowerRUN enhances launching programs from a memory card, saving precious RAM on a handheld), and as well as doing what PowerRUN does ZLauncher has a decent File Manager and numerous other features. I can't say that I'm really into Background pictures and customized icons on my Sony handheld, but if I wanted to ZLauncher would allow me to go to town.

Yesterday I tried MegaLauncher 5.5 from Megasoft 2000, just out of curiosity, and I was very impressed, It has an intuitive interface, and I really liked the way the To Do and DateBook items can be displayed. Unfortunately it seems that it uses a lot more RAM than ZLauncher, which is really a pity.

The latest generation of Launchers give the PalmOS a "Windows" interface, like Hi-Launcher (check out their awfully colorful website here) and Win Launcher

Others, like Facer, and Today, emulate the Today screen of PocketPCs

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Free Palm software

I tried out some other freeware Palm programs:

DES Journal
According to the program documentation:
"DES Journal is a small PalmOS application that is designed to aid in keeping a journal".
The program stores its journal data in the Datebook, which is a fairly good idea for getting data to the desktop. Other than that, there's not much else to it. I prefer eDiary though, which allows the Journal to be protected with a password.
Of course, IMHO, the best Journal/Diary type program out there is DayNotez. It's not free, but is incredibly versatile.

Their description:
"Maximus is a Palm supplement - personal organizer for home and business use. The wide choice of icons, colors, groups, etc. presents only few of the features that will help you better organize and visualize your daily activities."
Hard to nail this one down. It has a very pretty interface, but it seems awfully difficult to enter anything into the program. It stayed on my handheld for a while (because, it's so pretty and colorful) before I finally deleted it.

Pretty Maximus

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Well done

I've just been trying out a freeware Launcher for the Palm called iSpin. If for some reason you want your Palm to look like Windows XP, iSpin will do it.
Unfortunately I installed some other freeware programs just afterward, one of which is clashed with iSpin and caused my handheld to crash (Fatal Reset - Soft Reset). Kudos to the developer(s) of iSpin though, as the program detects that it crashed last time it was run and asks if you want to continue. Of course if you say yes it crashes again, but if you say no you get out of what could be a nasty loop-de-loop situation.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Free Clipper

After looking at The Basic to C Translator (BCX) the other day, I was wondering about Harbour - which I had last seen sometime ago.
Harbour is a free software compiler for the xBase superset language often referred to as Clipper (the language that is implemented by the compiler CA-Clipper). Clipper is a one of the myriad of "4GL" (Fourth Generation Language) xBase compilers that grew out of the now defunct Ashton-Tate's dBase III and dBase III plus. Ashton-Tate was bought by Borland in 1990 or 1991 (depending on which source you look at)

Clipper was also the second programming language I was trained to use after mainframe COBOL (Unfortunately I never got to really use it, but that's a different story).
Clipper's main failing was that there was never a Windows version. Richey's Delphi Box has a quote that "Clipper would be the greatest dBASE-Compiler (if it were Win-able..)"
Instead of "Clipper for Windows", CA in all it's wisdom re-designed the language from scratch, calling it "Visual Objects". Now this was a great idea in theory, because with this powerful new Windows Development tool you could do OOP (Object-Orientated Programming). If fact, if I remember correctly, you had to do Object-Orientated Design as well. This was great, but unfortunately Clipper for Windows this wasn't. All DOS-based Clipper programs had to be completely re-written to run on
Windows. This was no good. Now it appears that CA has dumped Visual Objects

Unlike Clipper, Harbour compiles and run on MS-DOS, MS-Windows, OS/2, GNU/Linux and FreeBSD. There is a variant of Harbour called xHarbour (extended Harbour). To confuse things, although xHarbour is an Open Source project, there is also a commercial version of Harbour, called xHarbour Builder.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Can't beat the price

I was looking at some free/freeware programming language compilers on freeprogrammingresources, and came across XBasic which I'd tried but given up on - even though it's a multi-platform Basic.
XBLite, which only runs on Windows looks a bit more promising, but I haven't tried it yet.

One I have tried is BCX, the Freeware Basic to C Translator. I wrote a utility for myself in BCX (you write in Basic, and then in one step the code is translated into C and compiled with a C compiler). At that stage I was too spoiled by Visual Basic's visual design environment, and got frustrated when I needed to create a user interface. So I rewrote the utility in Delphi 3 in less than half the time. (Delphi is similar to Visual Basic except for the language, which is Object Pascal).

The original BCX is available here, and there is a newer "GPL'ed" version on SourceForge, as well as the BCX DevSuite Pro which includes a C compiler and some Form designers.

Of course BCX is free, and Delphi isn't.