Hood Canal System's Management Console Rocks
Way back in the day, I picked up Rob Tiffany's book on eVB. I was trying to learn the CF, but since I was new to embedded development, I figured what the heck it's an Apress title so it's gotta be good. Well, I was right. Then, a few months later, in the midst of an ephedrine + caffeine induced fit of frustration, as I was about to swear of SQL Server CE and Merge Replication for good, I saw a heads up about Rob's next book which was a life saver to put it mildly. I wrote a few reviews about his book and we got to talking. I quickly realized he's a total bada55. Fast forward to .NET Preceptor's Device Manager which Rob asked me to Beta Test. If you do anything more with your PDA at work other than showing it off, this is something you really ought to check out. Why? Well, for a lot of reasons. This little tool gives you the ability to Control and Monitor multiple PDA's all from one central location. Yes, you can check the battery power, current Internet Explorer shortcuts, installed software and a bunch of other stuff, on multiple PDA's, all from your desktop. You can install software, push files and do all sorts of other cool stuff that you need to see to truly enjoy. The PDA component runs as a low priority background thread and it's about as transparent as a process can be. Considering the lack of tech savvy that many PDA users (most of whom are pretty high up on the food chain) have and the brutality of having a PDA battery totally go dead, the ability to monitor power usage alone makes this app worth having. The backend is run off of a web service, and once you are a subscriber, you can easily write your own stuff and manipulate the web service (although I have yet to find something I'd need that Rob didn't include). The UI of the desktop component is really cool too. Rob tells me they wrote the graphing components manually (although they are making to move to Infragistics which is about one of the coolest 3rd party tools on the market right now) and they are really cool. If you write any .NET code, you'll quickly feel like you've been too lazy learning GDI+ once you see the UI.
All in all, this is just a plain cool and clever product and if you have more than one PDA in your enterprise, Preceptor is definitely something you'll want to look into.