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Archive for May, 2006

Facer Launcher Nuvola Theme

Published on May 31, 2006 in Palm

I have updated the Facer Nuvola theme to work with Facer 3. This theme is free and can be downloaded from here. I believe that this is a complete theme. All elements have been skinned. The background image is just a gray screen, it is up to you to choose the jpeg you want for the background. If you would like to use the image seen in the screenshot you can get it from the Crystal ZLauncher theme. Note that this theme will only work with Facer 3.1 and higher.

Information on the Nuvola theme for earlier versions of Facer can be found in this post.

Facer Nuvola Theme

Opera Mobile Browser for the Palm OS?

Published on May 30, 2006 in Browsers, Palm

Opera Watch has a informative post about whether we will ever see the Opera Mobile browser for the Palm OS. Basically it boils down to the fact that there is insufficient interest from Palm itself. While the newer Palm browsers are workable alternatives and Opera Mini is full of issues when running on the Palm OS, it would be nice too see Opera develop a browser for the Palm OS, breathing much needed innovation into the marketplace.

Update: 5.31.06. There has been some confusion about Opera Mini and Opera Mobile. They are different products. To see a good example of the difference look at Opera for Windows Mobile Pocket PC.


Published on May 22, 2006 in Palm

In a my previous post on the best smaller Palm blogs with original content I mentioned Palm Addicts and MobileRead as two great bigger Palm resources. While I have mentioned Palm Addicts recently, a quick word about MobileRead is in order.

MobileRead is a news site and forum primarily dedicated to reading on handheld devices. MoblieRead’s front page features news dedicated to reading on your handheld as well as general handheld news. They also have specific forums on ebook devices, ebook software (such as for eReader and Plucker) and forums dedicated to using software like Sunrise and iSilo to transfer data on the web to your Palm device, as well as several general handheld forums. I especially like the forums dedicated to transferring web content to your handheld. The great thing about MobileRead is if something reading related can be done with your Palm, someone here has already done it or can show you how.

Best Palm Blogs

Published on May 20, 2006 in Palm

The web is full of Palm based sites. Some large and some small. What is hard to find, though, is sites offering original content. Too many sites often are just repeating items posted elsewhere. While most people know about the good larger sites, such as PalmAddicts and MobileRead, there are also numerous smaller or individual Palm based sites on the web that offer a good selection of original content. Some of these sites are listed below.

Maceyr’s Palm Discovery
Maceyr’s Palm Discovery is full of excellent tutorials and reviews for the new or advanced Palm user. Tutorials include Flash simulations and screenshots of an application to better explain features of each piece of software.

Mobile Ministry Magazine
A PDA and mobile focused website designed to show how the use of technology can further advance the Scriptures.

Smart Box Design
Todd Sherman’s, lead developer for Smart Box Design, PDA focused website.

Software Everywhere
Thoughts on mobile and Palm technology from Palm developer David Beers.

TamsPalm-the Palm OS Blog
Palm news & opinion from a well known Palm enthusiast.

The Palmdoc Chronicles
Site focusing on Palm medical news and software.

The PDA Place
A site featuring alot of Palm OS software reviews from a TH55 owner.

If you know of another site that I have missed please leave it in the comments section of this post.

Palm Facer Launcher Review

Published on May 19, 2006 in Palm

Some of the most creative and useful replacement applications for the Palm OS are replacement launchers. A number of excellent Palm OS launchers exist with each one appealing to a different user base. One of the best launchers out there is Facer, PocketCraft’s flagship application, which has recently been updated to version 3.1. Facer is designed to be a simple to use and powerful application at the same time that will run on Palm OS 5 devices and above.

If you currently use or have used a launcher in the past Facer has a lot of the features you would expect in a launcher, including a customizable user interface. If you have never used a launcher before, a launcher application is a piece of software that provides you with an improved user interface to run your applications from. Most launcher applications also give you the ability to customize the launcher’s look and feel to your preferences. You can choose what buttons and add-ons you want to display on the screen, as well as changing the launcher’s skin (theme) and background.

Facer is basically split into two main pages, a Today screen and a launcher screen. Facer also includes a basic file manager and an application uninstaller to help manage files and delete applications. The Today page is where Facer really shines. Your calendar and task events are listed on the Today page along with optionally showing Agendus icons (You can download my free Agendus iconsets from here). You can show today’s and tommorrow’s calendar information and as many days of task information as you please. Here is one place I would make a change to Facer. While I realize that it is a Today page it would be nice to also show as many days of calendar information as you want also, though currently you can scroll through the dates one day at a time. In addition, you can further customize the Today page with more plug-ins, such as email or weather data, to further personalize the page. A nice feature of the Today page is that it itself can serve as a mini-launcher. Facer allows you to define “Shortcuts” to Palm applications or web address links at the bottom of the Today Page which allows you to quickly jump to an application without switching to the launcher. With the seven shortcut definitions and the buttons on my Palm I rarely even need to use the launcher screen, only when I need to change the settings in a utility or want to play a game.

Palm Facer 3 Launcher

The launcher portion of Facer works like a standard launcher. It automatically imports the category information, for each Palm application, from the default Palm launcher. Additionally, tapping and holding on an application icon will bring up a popup menu to beam, copy, delete, move, or get information on the application. The information display shows the basic application information plus provides the ability to change basic file attributes. The one thing I feel that Facer 3 is missing in its launcher is category tabs, currently you only have a pull-down menu to change categories.

Another launcher type feature of Facer is many of the most used functions/commands are only a single stylus tap away through the use of what Facer calls “gadgets”. These gadgets buttons, positioned in the top right or the bottom of the screen (on both the launcher and Today pages), allow the user to execute actions such as turning the power off, opening the trash bin, using the file browser, adjusting the brightness, etc. Facer also allows the user to specify which gadgets are displayed so only the ones you want to see will be on the screen, and the Today and Launcher Pages have separate gadget configurations.

The look and feel of Facer is quite good. The fonts work well and the default color and graphics are good. Facer allows you to change the font size on the Today page as well as customize the colors thought the application. Additionally, you can add your own background to both the Today screen and the launcher screen. Unfortunately, as of now, there are really no new themes for this version of Facer, as themes from previous versions of Facer will not work in this new version.

If you’ve been looking for a launcher application that is simple to use but also offers similar features to other launchers, I would suggest giving the Facer launcher a try. Overall, Facer is well suited for most Palm users offering ease of use, an excellent Today page, and a launcher and file manager that will meet their needs.


Published on May 18, 2006 in Web

There are many Bible sites available on the web including the popular BibleGateway.com. A new Bible search engine called eBible, currently in invitation-only beta is a welcome addition to the scene. eBible is a “Web 2.0″ on-line Bible service that features a simple, slick interface and very good search capabilities.

eBible allows you to search by verse & keyword or by answers. Searching for a verse of scripture displays the verse in the context of the passage to which the verse belongs. Different translations can be viewed and/or multiple translations can be bought up in parallel, making it easy to compare verses. In addition, Biblical commentary is available in a collapsible sidebar on the left and in popups within the actual text. A search by keyword, delivers results which show the references to the term in scripture. A search by answers gives answers to the term searched for, referencing specific verses and passages in the Bible with links to the related scripture.

eBible is already a great online tool that shows great promise and provides a very useful tool as an online interactive Bible. The ability to compare translations is a nice tool as is the interactivity and accessibility built into eBible. As with any beta software there are areas that could be improved. It would be nice if there were more translations such as the NIV, probably not included due to licensing issues, and not all links are easily bookmarkable (cleaner URLs would be nice). Some people may also consider it a negative that eBible has sponsored links. I have tested eBible in Windows XP with the Mozilla Firefox browser and have experienced no real problems so far.



Published on May 17, 2006 in Palm

If you’re a new or veteran Palm user but have not yet visited the Palm Addicts blog you are missing out on some great Palm related content. In my mind, PalmAddicts is the most comprehensive and frequently updated Palm related news site, constantly refreshing with new content. Sammy and his crew do a great job providing both news and software reviews.

Who Am I?

Leslie Franke Profile

Leslie Franke:[les-lee fran-key]; 1. Husband and proud dogowner; 2. Seventh-day Adventist; 3. Web Designer; 4. Atlanta Braves Fan; 5. Northeast Ohio Native; 6. Bottle Caps Lover; 7. Certified 'Freakonomic';