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Tip o' the Week: CJCraft Apps

Fri Jun 20, 2008 - 8:53 AM EDT - By Brian Hart


One of the things I love the most about owning a PDA and/or smartphone is the endless variety of ways that it can be used to help me with organizing my life and managing information. The sky is the limit, and the folks that keep pushing that sky ever upward and outward are the community of creative software developers, many of which enjoy giving of their time and talents to give the rest of us some really cool stuff.

Chris Craft of CJCraft.com has undertaken the super-human task of demonstrating that even mere mortals can write applications for Windows Mobile quickly and efficiently by writing an application each day for 30 days. He has been blogging his progress and provides his apps for free download on his site, posting both the executables and source codes. This week's Tip is a snapshot of some of the apps that Chris has written for the rest of us. I "Tip" my hat to Chris and the other developers out there who expand the limits of our skies and give gadget geeks like me a great excuse to buy the next gadget!

Mileage Tracker (June 5) is a timely application, given current gas prices. Keep track of your miles per gallon, number of gallons per 100 miles, the cost of driving 100 miles (which, of course, continues climbing), and the maximum range of your vehicle based on the average miles per gallon and size of fuel tank on your vehicle. You may want to use this app to see how many more miles you can squeeze out of a gallon of gas by driving more conservatively (i.e., coasting wherever possible, pushing your car from place to place, etc.)

Mobile Capture (June 6) is a screenshot capture utility that provides a variety of features. Capture screen shots in Full Screen mode, Area mode (define just part of the screen for capture), hardware key support, time support, and the ability to capture several screenshots in a row ("ready.... action!"). Next time you set a high score on your favorite game, take a screenshot with Mobile Capture and send it to your friends!

Pocket PasswordGen (June 7) is a great little app for generating passwords. This is particularly helpful if you are required to change your password frequently. Lots of folks work for companies that require very frequent password changes and, in my case, I often suffer from UPCS (Unique Password Creativity Stupor). This app removes the pain of trying to figure out an acceptable password -- merely select the required criteria from the list (i.e., lower case, numbers, punctuation), and PasswordGen will deliver!

Mobile FX (June 8) is an application that is all about fun and eye-candy. It's colorful and may be fun to show off the different sounds that can be produced on your mobile device. I like the lightsabre.

Mobile Tipper (June 10) allows for entry of the bill amount, tax rate, desired tip rate, and number in your party. Given the information you input, Mobile Tipper will then calculate the subtotal and total (with tax), the amount you should pay for the tip (based on the tip rate %), and each individual's share if more than one party is paying the bill.

Mobile Signature (June 12) is just a fun app for doodling on your WM device's screen with a few different colors to choose from. Kids and adults alike can have fun with this one, and if you bump into a celebrity and want their autograph, there's no need to panic if you don't have pen and paper handy -- just pull out your PDA and capture the autograph with Mobile Signature.

Thanks to Chris Craft for his ambitious "30 apps in 30 days" project. The rest of us get to benefit from his hard work and generosity. Keep up the great work, Chris!

That's it for this week's Tip. If you are a developer with some helpful and/or fun software or if you have a Tip that you wish to pass on to the rest of the community, just email me at: [email protected]. Tune in next week for another Tip!

Disclaimer: Tip o' the Week makes no guarantee, express or implied, that any tip found herein will be new or particularly useful to the reader (but think of how much more money you have to put in your gas tank when you can download FREE apps!).

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