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August 1, 2005 14:56 - The State of NeoGeo Gaming for the Pocket PC

The hunt is on now for NeoGeo or Neo Geo roms. July 2005 saw over 6900 searches alone for NeoGeo roms and virtually the same number for the Neo Geo rom keyword combination for July 2005.Neo Geo is one of the more popularly misspelled search terms when it comes... (Read Article)

August 2, 2005 09:50 - The Demise of the Palm Powered Tapwave Zodiac

The Palm powered Tapwave Zodiac has been discontinued. The handheld gaming unit with the Palm operating tapwave-zodiacsystem had been touted as the next best thing for hardcore PDA gamers.

The Tapwave offered the mature PDA gamer (in their twenties ... yes, that's considered mature!) an alternative to the Nintendo DS and other handheld gaming consoles available.

I had briefly considered starting up another site for the Tapwave a few months ago, which is when I discovered its shortcomings. It's not the cheapest unit out there, and while the unit was comfortable and the hands of the gamer, I found that everyday PDA usage was not as feasible due to the awkward nature of the design.

Still, it's tough to see the Tapwave go. There are a number of 'if onlys' like "if only the gaming community harnessed its mobile Linux capabilities","if only more games were developed for this platform","if only the unit price wasn't so steep!". You get the idea.

FYI ... this is unrelated , but the newest article added to my site explores Neo Geo emulator territory. If you're running WM2003 on your PDA, be warned that the set of emulators tested for Neo Geo emulation may not work too well unless you have the slightly older Pocket PC 2000 based OS.

August 2, 2005 21:16 - One Blog Per Second

As it turns out, my Pocket PC game and news blog is part of a much, much larger happening on the internet.

At the time of this entry, there is one blog entry being created every second, according to log trackers Technorati. They basically keep track of every occurrence in the blogosphere. You can read the original BBC News posting here. There's some interesting statistics to be seen in the article.

At present, I'm working on an article that benchmarks my iPaq's overclocked processor speed with some third party tools. From the looks of things, I'll have my PDA cranked from 400Mhz to 472Mhz, which I'm told is the fastest speed with which I can safely play my games. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

August 3, 2005 20:48 - Is XCPUScalar 2004 The Next Pocket PC Processor Saviour?

I'm an avid overclocker. The whole idea of taking devices (like our coveted PDAs) and pushing them to their limits is intriguing. For some of us, it's a logical solution to our daily cost-prohibitive hobbyist dilemmas. Buy it cheaper, push it hard and cry... (Read Article)

August 4, 2005 23:40 - XCPUScalar 2004 Testing Underway

In the end, I decided to go with the retail version of XCPUScalar 2004. While a 15 day evaluation period is excellent, it really doesn't allow me to post a comprehensive article on its usefulness. The sole factor was the absent Autoscale feature, which is only available in the purchased version.

I penned a slightly snarky article yesterday regarding Quake timedemo testing, but I've reconsidered my position. Trying to clock PDA games manually is a little too tedious, and early efforts proved inaccurate. You just try reaching for that timer while piloting a starship in Anthelion and you'll see what I mean.

I'll have full benchmarks posted soon with some detailed benchmarking. To Autoscale or not to Autoscale is the question right now. I'll keep you posted.

August 7, 2005 19:00 - XCPUScalar 2004 Warning: Don't Try This At Home On Your Own PDA

I've pushed XCPUScalar 2004 to its PDA game limits on my 400Mhz iPAQ 4150, and the results are surprising.Firstly, let me say that is a boon to PDA owners, especially if you own a Pocket PC with an XScale-based processor. Ditto that if you're a Quake fanatic... (Read Article)

August 8, 2005 18:40 - When Is It Time to Upgrade My PDA?

I came across an ad for the iPAQ 5555 while idly surfing the web today. It's always the same host of questions ... do I need it?
Can I afford it? And most importantly, how do I find a use for it now that I've got it?

As a seasoned hardware upgrade pro, I abide by a few simple rules. For one thing, if I can have most current PDA games execute at decent frame rate, I don't see the need from a gaming perspective. My XCPUScalar overclocking results had temporarily quieted the upgrade beast within.

This is well understood by hardcore PDA gamers. Tiny ideas go off like fireworks if they're unfortunate enough to, say, catch sight of a video clip ad of a Pocket PC using hardware acceleration. Like the new Dell Axim x50v, for example, with its entirely unnecessary yet utterly enticing video hardware acceleration. All in the palm of our hands.

There's an excellent article on this model in the site which ipaq-5555also shows off some pretty slick screenshots.

After playing a bit of Pocket PC devil's advocate, I quelled the evil PDA purchasing demon by giving in and scouting for an upgrade. I justify this by saying that some upcoming news articles will focus on aesthetic differences in gameplay between WM 2003 and Windows Mobile 5. This will, of course, allow you to make an informed PDA decision after I make my entirely uninformed one.

This means that the WM 2003 enabled iPAQ 5555 isn't my choice right now, but there's bound to be a Pocket PC gaming contender out there.

As long as I can justify it to myself, it's all good.

August 9, 2005 20:49 - Quality Chess Freeware For Your Pocket PC

If you're looking for freeware for your iPAQ or Pocket PC, you really can't be too careful what you download. Chess by Valentin Iliescu is one of the reasons that I still try the occasional freeware PDA game.You would hardly expect to run across a download... (Read Article)

August 10, 2005 22:41 - Our Future Pocket PC Game World

Current revolutionary microdrive advancements will put our present PDA storage capacity to shame. According to an announcement by Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, we'll be able to develop some juicy, ultra-high 20 gigabyte microdrives for our Pocket PC's.... (Read Article)

August 11, 2005 22:18 - Even More Jawbreaker Puzzle Game Strategies - Shifter Mode

The Jawbreaker puzzle game for the Pocket PC is an enigma. Unless you spend some time analyzing each game mode type, of course. More meetings at work are simply more chances to master your technique.Jawbreaker and the tiny PDA game bundle that comes with... (Read Article)

August 12, 2005 19:35 - Running PocketCandy From Your PDA's Secure Digital Card

If you've read my PocketCandy article, you'll see that I experienced an issue during testing: PocketCandy 1.0 did not function when I attempted to install it on my 1 gigabyte Secure Digital card. I just located another PocketCandy download that you might... (Read Article)

August 13, 2005 23:37 - Upcoming Animated Screensavers Guides For Your PDA

As you may know, I reviewed the Riverland Screensaver (animated screensavers Pocket PC article). It's a screensaver tribute to life on the water with numerous viewing orientation options.Handy Entertainment has just released the Timberland screensaver. It... (Read Article)

August 14, 2005 23:16 - New Animated Screensaver Release For Your Pocket PC

An animated screensaver is especially handy for your Pocket PC. You may not have the luxury of mashing your NAV pad repeatedly during meetings, for example. It draws strange looks from other commuters sometimes. It's even stranger when you make erratic jabbing... (Read Article)

August 15, 2005 13:16 - PDA Technology Innovation - Boon Or Curse for PDA Gamers?

Every time someone brings up the latest Pocket PC or PDA technological initiative, I find myself admiring the sheer "coolness" factor. Invariably, my thoughts always turn to what this could possibly mean for the PDA gaming community.

IBM researchers are working on a total recall factor which will allow your unit to remember sequences of letters. Eventually, they claim that this will prove more advantageous than, say, Palm shorthand. You are essentially tracing out patterns of letters with minimal stylus lifting.

I've never taken the time to learn this popular cursive shorthand scripting, making me an easy target for Mike, my colleague and iPAQ owner. He's also a former Palm owner who has mastered the art of cursive shorthand. He used to spend a lot of his time laughing at my futile attempts.

I laughed last when we performed a "write-off" (work is pretty slow this week) and wound up finishing complete, accurate sentences at the same time. Between his shorthand backspacing and my stylus tapping, we're just about equal.

What does this mean for gamers? Not one iota, in my opinion. I can't think of a single PDA game that would benefit from improved tapping/dragging speed while typing out words.

On the other hand, just watch me try and try again to find a PDA gaming application for this. I'm one of those diehard gamers.

August 16, 2005 22:08 - Animated Everglades Life Meets Your PDA

My Timberland Pocket PC animated screensaver review has been posted. You'll find a full description of your wooded glade screensaver home away from home, complete with the nightly animal orchestra of sounds if it happens to launch itself late in the evening.

You'll find some original screenshots on this newly released animated screensaver, complete with nightly wildlife meetings in the forest, in my Timberland animated screensaver review that I've newly released.

August 18, 2005 07:21 - Is Your PDA A Viable Sports Game Platform?

Curiously, while Pocket PC and Palm sports games proliferate, I've wondered if the PDA is the proper vehicle for said games. It'll be a strange experience since the only sports gaming I've done is on the desktop PC or gaming fifa-pocket-pc-game-picconsoles.

Up until the Fifa 2004 incarnation, my uncle and younger brother would gather around our spare 23" TV or our "contemporary campfire", which in turn was connected to a PS2. We would then play until the wee hours of the morning.

My uncle relished his victories in the most sickening way. Let me just say that telling him not to gloat would be like telling the Pope to abstain from wearing that big old hat. The only thing that really kept me going was my love of the game. He beat me quite handily almost every time. Lucky? I think so. Who cares if I was 5 for 22? Geez.

My only comfort is that if he ever went mano y mano on the Pocket PC or desktop PC gaming ground, I would own his arse as I happily mopped up the floor with some dexterous button mashing.

I'm playing with the idea of adding a "best PDA sports games" section, but I'll seriously examine the viability of our Pocket PCs as sports game vehicles.

The Pocket PC Golden Turkey Awards

Speaking of suitable games, my next blog will outline the PDA games that didn't quite make the cut. I mentioned a small number of "soon-to-be" articles that I never released or reviewed for this site. Because, quite simply, they were turkeys that I could not possibly recommend spending money on. If they were free, they weren't even worth the download or the precious SD space hogging that would result.

I'll mention all the nasty, gritty details of the Pocket PC titles to avoid soon, so subscribe to my RSS feed if you want to be notified as soon as I release this entry.

Hopefully I can prevent you from the titles marred from bad voice-acting or poor animation. I dub them the PDA game "turkeys" of the bunch.

Site Updates

On an unrelated note, I'm currently reorganizing the site and adding more info.

My best cartoon / animated screensaver page is done ... for the moment. It was a nice break from gaming, but now it's back to business ... or should I say, back to more time wasting fun.

August 18, 2005 21:58 - Pocket PC Narrowly Avoids Mishap

This is a true anecdote, and no, I don't own a TDS Recon model Pocket PC. For those not in the know, that's the rugged, outdoorsy type of PDA with a super-hard form factor, designed for stability.

After parking the car underground, I made my way up the stairs at a run.

ipaq-4150I had previously purchased a not-quite-leather-but-looks-like-it black PDA case with what seemed like sturdy elastic that holds my iPAQ 4150 in place. I bought it about a year ago. It's slightly worn as I wear it on my belt when I head out to work. It's subjected to a lot of seatbelt rubbing.

As I live on the second floor of my apartment building, there are two sets of stairs with flights of twelve. As I rounded the bend and approached the top of the second flight of stairs, I heard the sickening sound of metal hitting concrete.

I could actually feel my jaw drop as I turned around and watched as the scene played out as if in slow motion. I watched my precious iPAQ drop and bounce an agonizing five times before coming to an abrupt halt, face down.

Murphy's law demands that all objects exceeding $600CDN should fall at the most damaging angle possible, it seems.

I rushed down the stairs with a feeling of dread, finally understanding how Gollum felt watching his precious Ring fall into the fires of Mount Doom. I picked it up, and miraculously, the display was intact.

I powered it on, and the first thing I did was launch Jawbreaker, of course. The essentials come first. Everything worked (and still works) fine. Amazing. My stylus hovered over the Egyptian Prophecies shortcut for a brief moment until I realized that I couldn't care less about whether or not this turkey of a game still worked. I quickly moved on to some Pac Man and navigated him around the maze, frenetically devouring those tiny pills.

It lives.

August 20, 2005 16:10 - The Rotten, Putrid Pocket PC Game Guide Awards

Some putrid, foul PDA game downloads simply didn't quite make the cut. At the risk of completely ticking off sponsors of this site, here is the nastiest title worthy of mention amongst the newer releases at the time of this news article. Egyptian Prophecies... (Read Article)

August 20, 2005 19:28 - Wookiees Like Pocket PCs

Yes, even Wookiees like Pocket PCs. Ordinarily I wouldn't pair such an unlikely duo, but circumstances have wookiee-commuteractually led to an extraordinarily surreal sighting that I'm not likely to forget.

I take the subway in Toronto quite often, tacitly indifferent to the advice of my inadvertently fear-mongering but well meaning friends pleading with me to please, please pay some heed to the recent Metro attacks in London.

My iPAQ 4150 is a good way to quell disquieting thoughts. It's an escape to the PDA game realm where violence does not exist, unless someone actually develops a working Grand Theft Auto ROM that plays off of a Pocket PC emulator.

When the car rumbled to a stop at Warden station, the next load of commuters boarded. One of them was quite furry. I failed to notice this until I felt the eyes of the other commuters staring at the door.

I finally stopped playing Bejeweled 2 and reluctantly pried my eyes from my PDA game, after pausing it, of course.

I wondered if someone had lost some kind of elaborate wager and quickly glanced around the car looking for either Ashton Kutcher or a hidden camera.

All eyes on the train were now on the guy in the Wookiee costume. He walked self-consciously and uncomfortably took a seat. An elderly woman occupying the adjacent seat immediately got up and sat further away. Three teens in one corner snickered audibly.

When I looked at the Wookiee again, he had a PDA in his hand. I was sitting too far away to make out the make or model. I'm guessing that all the stares made uncomfortable enough to urge him to preoccupy himself. I wondered vaguely where he kept his Pocket PC. His costume seemed almost all fur.

I'm guessing that he was playing a strategy or arcade game of some sort. He sporadically made muffled noises of disappointment while slightly shaking his furry head. I'm still not sure how he managed to grip his stylus with his hairy fingers. I'm also uncertain about this, but his hairy brow seemed to be furrowed in concentration as he stared intently at his PDA screen.

At times, errant strands of fur on his hand would lie across his display. He took to flicking it away frequently in frustration. I'm guessing that he accidentally triggered some sort of noisemaker hidden on his costume, because I suddenly heard that familiar, keening, rolling growl so typical of Chewbacca and his kind. The teens started to guffaw loudly.

Two stops later, he left the car. I'm still wondering if he was just fed up with all the attention from the other passengers or something.

Wookiees and Pocket PCs. Who would have thought it?

August 21, 2005 16:19 - Don't Watch PDA Themed Movies

I watched a PDA themed movie last night and immediately wished that I hadn't. Let's just say that it doesn't hold much promise for the genre.

Little Black Book's saving grace is Brittany Murphy. Aesthetically, she's all that and a bag of chips, but I've found that casting her in a romantic comedy is akin to phoning up Ronald McDonald for the lead role in Patch Adams.

I take that back; maybe casting Ronald McDonald would have been better than Robin Williams. It would have made things marginally more entertaining for most of us.

Maybe the poorly written script is at fault, but I don't hold out much hope. So much for stirring up Palm public disinterest. It doesn't bode well for sites like mine, that's for sure.

There were some semi-interesting scenes, such as her confusion when she attempts to beam contact information via her Palm Tungsten's infrared and immediately thinks that the contact info has been stolen by the other PDA instead of being merely beamed across.

The movie jerks and sputters towards its anti-climatic ending.

Too bad the PDA wasn't the star attraction. I personally would pay more attention to a futuristic PDA with advanced voice recognition and AI that allowed for bantering with other actors. It probably would have done better at the box office.

My geeky friends would have probably beaten a path to Cineplex Odeon's door if that had been the case.

All because I wanted to save some space on my TiVo and delete some recorded movies. I think the time would have been better spent with a few rounds of Arkanoid on my iPAQ 4150.

August 22, 2005 11:37 - Bejeweled 2 for Pocket PC Results in Written Reprimand

My fixation with PDA games has a basis. As an IT auditor / lead developer for a large financial institution in Toronto, I understandably find ways to stave off boredom.

bejeweled-2-pocket-pcMy colleague, dubbed "Prankster Mike" for the purposes of this blog, often helps to keep things fairly exciting on the job.

When Iím not running IT reports or trying to alert the appropriate parties of IT issues that will largely stay unresolved, Iím playing some Pocket PC game or another.

His bespectacled mien coupled with his balding pate gives off an air of superiority until you realize that heís a complete joker.

Prankster Mike and I usually swap interesting pics via Bluetooth as he also has an iPAQ 4150. He tends to lean towards more surreal photos. I've received a number of photos of his cat dressed in increasingly bizarre attire.

He transmitted a file to my device when I got in at 8:30 this morning. We had to get ready for our quarterly meeting at 9:00, so I quickly grabbed the device from the docking cradle next to my work PC.

My manager Rick and I have an understanding, which was also coupled with an excellent working relationship until about two hours ago, which is when the unfortunate event occurred.

He usually looks the other way when mishaps occur because Iím one of his best performers, but it really couldnít be helped.

As always, out popped my iPAQ while he was writing some figures on the whiteboard. Soon, I was swapping gems again. It's pretty addictive.

I was holding my iPAQ over the conference table by the bottom end, strategically obscuring my bored face with my hands. Prankster Mike jogged my elbow to warn me that Rick was getting perilously close to me during his presentation. I had just clicked on the tiny white ĎXí to close the game when he gave me another well-intentioned nudge.

The second nudge resulted in my iPAQ being dropped with a clatter to the table, drawing some annoyed and bemused looks in the conference room. The looks quickly turned to disgust when the colleagues in viewing range saw what was on my display instead of the Today screen.

Problem is, in the process my stylus accidentally clicked on the .jpg that he had Bluetoothed to me earlier. It was definitely not his dressed up pussy this time.

It was a modified picture of serial killer Karla Homolka sans clothes, just like those lovely pics in magazines on the topmost shelf of your nearest local convenience store. Prankster Mike had modified the original pic, placing the original head on another body. She looked like she was smirking while posing provocatively.

The looks of revulsion on my coworkersí faces had to be seen to be believed. Rick apologetically handed me my written reprimand later, saying that he would like to let it go, but he couldn't do this in front of the rest of the team.

Iím still fielding emails from this episode. I just wish that his prank didnít make me look like the strange office pervert. I hate Mondays.

August 24, 2005 00:49 - Mastering Bejeweled 2 Game for PDA : Action Strategy Guide

As far as the Bejeweled 2 game is concerned, rest assured that Action mode is one of the toughest next to the increasingly complex Puzzle mode. It's swapping gem frenzy against the clock as your progress bar counts down.This guide centers on Bejeweled 2 strategy... (Read Article)

August 24, 2005 22:57 - The PDA Abuse Survey

My friend Keith owns an iPAQ hx4700. He's not into PDA games, so I really fail to see the point of his expensive purchase.

He's a successful investment advisor, so I guess he can really call the shots when it comes to technology. It still begs the question-- why not use it for games?

What use is a 624-MHz processor and 4.0-inch VGA screen when you spend most of your time in Pocket Outlook? He neither has a wireless GPRS data plan nor a wireless router, so natch on the Pocket Internet as well.

He spends his time checking synced emails from his office desktop PC. What a complete waste when he could be playing Snails 2.0 or something.

I pop over to his house routinely to play poker on the weekends, sometimes catching sight of him delicately buffing his new silver Audi with a diaper to "make that baby shine", as he puts it.

He went to Oakville (about 20 miles southwest of Toronto) last week to pitch his life insurance advisor scam to a married couple in their thirties. I went along for the ride to visit relatives in the area while he targetted his next mark with his confidence man investment spiel.

On leaving his victims' house after a successful appointment, he stopped for a pack of smokes at a nearby convenience store.

While performing his balancing act unwrapping Belmont Milds shrink wrap and trying to enter reminders on his hx4700, he was unexpectedly assaulted from above.

An aggressive pigeon unleashed a generous whitish-green dollop of birdie fecal matter, directly targetting his 4.0" display, smokes, wrist and the tip of one of his meticulously shined Ferragamos in one fell swoop. He was furious.

I think that the mysterious smudge on the gear stick probably angered him more. It was the wrong time to be out of hand sanitizer.

It was a cheerless ride home, punctuated with angry, expletive-filled rants about rats with wings. We didn't play poker that night.

After my own episode (Aug. 18 blog entry), it made me think of how many of us must subject our PDAs to ritual ill treatment. I've started a PDA Abuse Survey in my office, which is still in progress. Maybe we can predict the likelihood of these seemingly isolated incidents.

August 25, 2005 07:08 - Ancient Evil - Pocket PC Adventure Game News

There's a fairly new entry on the Pocket PC RPG/adventure game scene.

ancient-evil-pda-gamesAncient Evil by Pocket PC Studios is vaguely reminiscent of Diablo for desktop PC, at least from the screenshots.

It looks like more and more developers are taking advantage of Pocket PCs with VGA capabilities.

Ancient Evil pits you against monsters in a 25-level subterranean setting.

This might be interesting. Hopefully this download would prove to be of better quality than my Egyptian Prophecies download, hands-down winner of my dubious Putrid Pocket PC Game Guide Award in the PDA adventure game arena.

August 25, 2005 23:52 - Winning Jawbreaker Game Strategies

Attaining high scores in all Pocket PC Jawbreaker modes can give your overall rankings a boost. It's surprising how jawbreaker-gamecomplex matching coloured sets of balls can become. It's not as surprising when folks match Jawbreaker sets at random and achieve dismal scores, though.

My latest article on Jawbreaker Continuous Mode strategies delves deep into really specific strategy for this mode. You'll find separate strategy guides on Megashift, Standard and Shifter modes as well.

Go ahead and confound your friends with your strange, overnight Jawbreaking abilities. While you're at it, place some cash bets if it's legal in your neck of the woods. It might be fun to make them sweat it out trying to beat your five digit Standard mode score.


August 27, 2005 13:55 - My Worthless PDA Case

My PDA case was not exactly a great buy. Its frayed ends suddenly burst open, resulting in my near Pocket PC swingline-staplercatastrophe (see Aug. 18 blog entry).

Since I was short on time to make the obligatory trip to Best Buy for a replacement, I stapled the frayed ends shut, much to the horror and pity of my friends and colleagues.

I used an old but solid Swingline stapler for the task. If staplers felt pain, it surely would have shrieked in anguish while I punched in the stray PDA holding clips in with a few short, quick slams to the back of its head.

I haven't bothered to swap my PDA case yet. It's worth it just to see my colleagues' jaws drop when I bring it in. A few of them marvelled that four staples on each side holds it shut. The remainder make comments about playing with fire.

I'm kind of thinking of wrapping my Pocket PC in Saran Wrap before putting it in its old, battered but temporary home. It might be worth it just to hear about all the comments on Monday. I'll just put off the inevitable for a couple more days. This might be entertaining.

August 28, 2005 10:48 - The Bejeweled 2 Gambling Addiction

I've finally nailed down the Bejeweled 2 cause of addiction.

The sound effects are comparable to what one might find in a casino. Frenzied grannies feverishly yanking slot bejeweled-2-game-lightningmachine levers immediately come to mind. Listen closely to the audio and chances are, you'll agree.

Bejeweled seems to hone in on the gambling pleasure centres in the brain without the gratification of actually winning cold, hard cash for the effort. Still fun, though.

I've posted a complete Bejeweled 2 Classic Mode guide for the Pocket PC outlining tips on Hypercube forcing and gem shifting strategies, among other details. You'll find other strategy guides here as well for each other game mode.


August 29, 2005 22:25 - My Pocket PC Wallpaper Disfigurement

Prankster Mike struck again, as you can judge by the screenshot. In my naivete I truly thought that coworkers pda-yoda-wallpapercould be trusted, but I should have learned something from last week's experience (see Aug. 22 entry).

'Pron' is part of an ongoing joke involving lewd, dyslexic folks feverishly googling for some online entertainment at two in the morning.

I know exactly when the idea for the second fake PDA reminder occurred to him.

The corporate court jester and myself had been having a protracted, mocking discussion centred around on old "Primetime Live" special with Whitney Houston that aired in 2002.

There was a shining, standout moment when she proudly and earnestly asserted that she made too much money to ever, ever smoke crack, the poor person's drug of choice. Diane Sawyer had looked like she was about to fall off her chair.

I had enough when Prankster Mike started singing a slurring, falsetto rendition of "I Will Always Love You" while pretending to be in the throes of crack-addled agony.

I quickly excused myself on the pretext of getting my specialty cappucino at Tim Horton's, dubbed the Large Wussy Special by my respectful colleagues.

When I returned, the PDA was still in the cradle by my office desktop PC and Prankster Mike was tapping innocently at his keyboard while staring a little too fixedly at his monitor.

He's never that busy, so I immediately suspected that something was up.

He had also borrowed my sacred Yoda wallpaper file and was making a few modifications. He was taking special advantage of Yoda's hands clasped in peaceful, wise repose, attempting to make him the Jedi Master of self-flagellation.

He had also inserted large, white protruding canines on my favourite Star Wars character's wrinkled mouth when I returned a bit too quickly for him to overwrite the file.

I'm starting to wonder if he purposely strikes on the most hated workday of the week. Labour Day will hopefully provide a brief reprieve from these juvenile pranks.

August 30, 2005 13:40 - Pocket PC Angers Cleaning Staff

Because of my PDA, I've inadvertently earned the wrath of our office cleaning staff.

pda-cleanI'm sometimes in the office a bit later to finish up IT projects, which means that I'll witness a visit by Ibolya. She's a
greying, diminutive woman, just shy of five feet, in her early 60s.

The only problem is that her English is as good as my Hungarian, her native tongue. In short, they're both lacking. I've tried often to communicate with her, but gesticulating doesn't seem to work too well. Charades has always been a weak point for me.

Ibolya routinely comes to my area between 5:00 and 5:30, greeting me cheerily.

I may not have had much to say beyond a friendly salutation if it wasn't for her unique cleaning modus operandi. She uses the same cloth to wipe down our Meridian phones, handsets, wall units, desktop space, monitors and keyboards.

This wouldn't have been so bad in itself if she didn't do this sequentially for all 120 of the workers in my department.

There is really no easy way to determine if she even rinses out the cloth from floor to floor, unless I stalked her. That
would probably result in a chaperoned trip to the Security Office.

I would probably lie as the truth sounds wildly implausible, unless I wanted to be known as the obsessive-compulsive stalking germophobe around the office.

As a result, I futilely switched to a headset instead of a handset for my work phone. I returned to my desk one day to see Ibolya furiously scrubbing the headset cushion with her customary brown, tattered rag.

I replaced it and now keep it locked in my overhead wall unit with the pinched cord hanging out; much better than the nasty alternative.

Things came to a head when I left my Pocket PC docked in the cradle and headed to the food court. On my return, I caught sight of Ibolya savagely buffing my precious PDA with her filthy, matted cleaning cloth.

I tried to stop her, but she simply smiled misunderstandingly and bid me good evening before happily pushing her squeaking cleaning cart away.

In a deluded fit of ingenuity, I drew a large sign similar to those 'No Smoking' signs with a PDA in lieu of a smoking
cigarette. I sketched in a crude docking cradle with two large, black upward pointing arrows filled in with my Sharpie.

I scotch taped it to my monitor and waited.

Surely enough, Ibolya merrily greeted me and immediately attacked my desk with faint, brown streaks. She caught sight of the sign and stopped abruptly.

Her eyes narrowed slightly, and she immediately proceeded to my Pocket PC and gave it her customary brown rag drubbing, more furiously than I'd ever seen her. There was a strange, strained smile on her face.

I think she understands more than she actually lets on.

Her cheery evening greetings have now become perfunctory and abrupt. Oh well. I'm not about to stand by and let my PDA be assaulted by filthy, tattered rags.

August 31, 2005 22:29 - More Surprising Bejeweled 2 Game Playing Tips: Puzzle Mode

Trying to decrypt Bejeweled 2 PDA playing tips for Puzzle Mode just might drive you around the bend.As you no doubt know if you've viewed my full Bejeweled 2 strategy guide, Puzzle mode throws increasingly hairy, complex coloured-gem puzzles at you. You'll... (Read Article)

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