Jim Karpen's blog

Amazon.com Sells eBooks; eBook Web Ring

Amazon has been
selling eBooks for Microsoft Reader for some time, but unfortunately until
now they used a type of encryption that didn't work on the Pocket PC--much
to the disappointment of people eager to buy contemporary books for their
device.


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More Multimedia: PocketMovies, SelfMobile

One of the popular sites for MPEG4 movies for the Pocket PC is PocketMovies.Net.
It offers movie trailers, TV ads, and video clips specially designed to
work on your Pocket PC or H/PC running PocketTV, the free player which may
be the most widely used viewer.


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Searching the Pocket PC Discussion Group

The Internet discussion groups are an extraordinary resource for Pocket
PC users. The Microsoft group named microsoft.public.pocketpc is the most
active, with some 250-450 messages posted a day.

Google, the
popular search engine, has added a beta version of a search engine for the
discussion groups, called Google
Groups
. And I'm impressed.


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New Directories of Mobile Sites

Using a Pocket PC to access the Internet can be fun--but only if the
sites have been tailored to the small screen. We've created a directory of
such sites that you can find at www.pocketpcmag.com/mobile.htm.
It offers a directory of directories as well as links to Pocket PC sites.


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Flash Content for Pocket PC; Pocket PC Minds

Now that a beta version of Flash is available for the Pocket PC, more
content is appearing online, including a nice collection at flashenabled.com/mobile.
As the site explains, Flash applications can be used on multiple
platforms, but this site is especially useful because it's tailored to the
Pocket PC.


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Chee Wee's Freeware List

We list a number of top sites for downloads on our Best
Sites
page, but I've never really liked the fact that all the sites we
listed mixed commercial software with the freebies, especially since some
people insist that by definition "downloads" means freeware.


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Dale Coffing's Pocket PC Passion

If you asked a bunch of Pocket PC enthusiasts their top five Pocket PC
sites, my guess is that Dale
Coffing's Pocket PC Passion
would be near the top of everyone's list.
In fact, I've yet to come across a list of favorite Pocket PC links that
didn't include his site.


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Vincent's Free CeBeans Software

The good news: Vincent Collura's CeBeans
site is probably the largest collection of freeware for the Pocket PC. The
bad news? It's something of an acquired taste.

Inventor and engineer, Vincent churns out about two programs a day.
Some are useful and many are just for fun. You can download programs to
entertain your cat, play teeter-totter with your child, smoke your
cigarettes for you, trim your hedges, emulate a lava lamp, and more.


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Streaming Media on Your Pocket PC

Streaming media can be fun: click on a link and then music or a video
begins playing on your computer--without your first having to download the
entire file. Initially there weren't any options for streaming media on
the Pocket PC, but then Microsoft began developing a version of Windows
Media Player that handles streaming.


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Slate Announces New eBook Club

Last week Slate, Microsoft's excellent online journal of news,
politics, and culture, announced their new Slate
eBook Club
.

Slate was
the first web magazine to make their content available as a free,
downloadable eBook for Microsoft Reader. Users of the site can create and
download customized versions of their content via the MySlate feature.


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Handheld and Pocket PC Buyer's Guide

If you're interested in buying Windows-Powered Handheld and Pocket PC
products, one of the best resources is right here on our own web site: a
comprehensive Buyer's Guide.

We have tables that offer spec-by-spec comparisons of the various
models as well as a database of over 1,000 hardware and software products
for Windows CE devices.


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Chat times; Medical Software for the Pocket PC

Two weeks ago we covered the ups and downs of the nascent Pocket
PC chat
communities. Now I'm happy to report that regular nightly
chats are back. Jason Dunn, who offers the highly popular web site PocketPCThoughts.Com,
writes to say that his chat page
was the first one to tie into the Global Chat server.


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Microsoft Freebie; Arne's Wireless Passion

Be sure to check out Microsoft's latest freebie. They're giving away
copies of the Pocket
PC Starter Pak for Dummies
. You get a 96-page book, plus a CD with a
lot of software (some trial versions) from bSquare, Developer One, Ilium
Software, Microsoft, Oopdreams, Siscosoft, and Ziosoft. The offer is good
until April 30 or while supplies last, so check it out soon. International
readers note that this offer is only available in the U.S. and Canada.


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Chatting About the Pocket PC

Diane Dumas had a great idea: hold a nightly chat at her site, Diane's
Pocket PC PDA Page
. She got it set up quickly using available chat
software, announced it in the Pocket PC newsgroup, and suddenly a new
community was born--with many of the well-known experts showing up from
places as diverse as the UK, Hong Kong, Germany, and California.


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PocketNow Giveaway; PocketTV Forums

PocketNow.Com is
generating some buzz with their Treasure Hunt Giveaway, which they're
billing as the "largest Windows CE giveaway ever." They're
offering over $10,000 in hardware and software accessories spread among 36
winners. The hardware and software bundles that constitute the grand prize
include a late-model iPaq while the first prize bundles include a Casio EM
500.


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More Small-Screen Sites

The new Pocket PC
Life
site (unrelated to the former site by that name) offers daily
news and a range of tips, FAQs, reviews, articles, and more. And it's all
designed to be viewable on your Pocket PC screen as well as your desktop
computer, either directly or via AvantGo, says webmaster James Borden.


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More on eBooks: Peanut Press

I get the impression that eBooks are one of the more popular
applications on the Pocket PC. Of course, reading from a small screen may
never be as friendly as the printed page, but it's so incredibly
convenient to have a small library with you for all those times when
you're stuck waiting or are commuting. Right now I'm using these bits of
time to read the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.


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Check Out PocketGamer.org

I've been surprised by how popular games are on the Pocket PC. Isn't
this, after all, a personal information manager? Yet on Pocket PC
magazine's web site and on others, the most popular downloads seem to be
the games. By far.

Mike Wagstaff, founder of
PocketGamer.org
,
is typical. He bought his iPaq primarily as a device for storing
information, not playing games. But then found that he really enjoyed the
games.


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eBooks Continue to Proliferate

In a recent
column
we covered eBooks, mainly web sites that offer collections of
public domain tomes.

A newcomer to the scene is MemoWare,
which announced in mid-December the availability eBooks for the Pocket PC
on its site--thousands of them. MemoWare has long offered books for other
PDAs and bills itself as the web's leading source for free eBooks and
documents for PDAs.


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