Pocket Codes

Reviewed by: Paul Schneider, Ph.D., December 2004, send e-mail
Published by: Neohand, go to the web site
Requires: Pocket PC with 352kb RAM, .NET Compact Framework, Windows Mobile 2003/Pocket PC 2003
MSRP: $7.95

Ring! Ring! Ring! Let's see . . . a 702 area code . . . who could be calling me? Where is that area code? So no one calls you? Sorry to hear it. Well perhaps you find yourself trying to call someone out of the country, furiously searching for that elusive country code while wondering if it is even an appropriate time of day to call them. If any of these experiences ring true, then you may want to take a look at a handy tool from Neohand called Pocket Codes. We reviewed the software on a Dell Axim X5.

Pocket Codes is not a complex program, but then simple questions need simple answers. The program’s database provides lookups for three types of information: area codes in the US and Canada, Country codes, and International Domains. When looking up area codes you can view them by number or name and then select the desired item from a scrolling list. Pocket Codes also provides a lookup field which provides an area for you to enter the desired number or location. The Country codes work much the same way, helping you look one up by number or country name and then providing you with the code and the country’s time differential from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and New York (Eastern Standard Time—EST). The third piece of data is the international domain extensions used on the Internet to represent different country domains. Yes, believe it or not, every web site does not end in .edu, .gov, .com, net or .org!

Overall, the program provides a painlessly easy approach to looking up information. The data returned appears to be accurate and up-to-date. In addition, the supporting web site claims to provide regular updates. That being said, like many data sets, it is not perfect. For example, when I looked up the 630 area code, Pocket Codes indicated that this area code includes Aurora, Illinois. While correct, the area code also includes several other large communities that are not mentioned. In terms of performance, the program was okay. Pocket codes took, on average, about 10-15 seconds to start on my Dell Axim, and about 5-10 seconds to switch between number and name look ups. While the scrolling list selector worked like a charm, the lookup feature was average. If you only want to look up a single digit or letter, Pocket Codes works well. But if you want to write in an entire code or larger portion of a name, Pocket Codes forces you to reselect the field after each character, making the whole process a bit tedious.

If you are the type of person who just has to know, or are just looking for a memory jog when a mysterious number comes up on caller ID, then you probably want to take a look at Pocket Codes. Although there is room for improvement, Pocket Codes does provide a nice set of useful data that can be retrieved with just a tap or two of your stylus. At this price, you can't go wrong.

Letters to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public. Send e-mail to: whine@kickstartnews.com




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