ProjectION

Pocket Digital Clock

Windows Mobile Today Screen Plug-in for displaying date and time on the Pocket PC



Latest Update

This project has been closed and is now replaced by Pocket Digital Clock.

Thank you very much for your past support.

 

 

Background

I've been using a Dopod 818 Pro (HTC Prophet) Pocket PC phone for almost a year now as of this writing. This little fellow runs on Windows Mobile 5.0 AKU 2.0, which means that the Date plug-in actually occupies two lines - one for the day/time, and the other for the date. To be honest, I didn't like the plug-in initially but soon enough I've grown accustom to the extra line. The only thing I could not forgive Microsoft is the waste of precious space on the right side of the Today item. The worst problem is the time display is too freaking small!

That was when the hunt for a better plug-in began. I was looking for a simple, light-weight Today screen plug-in that displays the day and date just like the default AKU 2 plug-in but with a bigger time display to utilize that space properly. The new plug-in should also behave like the default plug-in in every way. For example, it should be selectable with the Dpad and open the time settings when tapped.

The best candidate I found was LVM Time v0.1.9. I liked its functionality, and best of all, the second display. The time on the task bar of Today screen and the format of the day and date is not what I wanted though. I used it for a brief moment until I got put off by the skinny fonts. I guess it can't be helped since the objective of LVM is to replace the Date plug-in with a one-lined day/date in order to optimize screen estate, which is the opposite of what I was looking for.

I moved on and installed rlToday v0.1.13. It was brilliant. Very customizable display using XML. I thought I've hit jackpot until I discovered the second display only updates every two seconds. Duh! The program was a little too big as well and its focus seems to be on analogue clock display instead.

At the time of this writing, I'm sure there are already newer versions of the applications I mentioned. Therefore, feel free to check them out as well since the problems probably have been fixed by now.

Anyway, after looking around for a while back then, I decided to make one myself. Equipped with only my rusty C/C++ skill, I sat in front of the computer, and started digging for Windows Mobile codes. I thought it would be a piece of cake for a simple application like this. Boy, was I wrong! The codes I found didn't help a bit since I didn't even understand the workings of a Win32 program.

Fortunately, with the help of friends, I managed to get started (at last) by reading some recommended Windows API books just before last year's Christmas. Thanks to them, I was able to get the bits and pieces of the Win32 puzzle together. Also a big thanks to LVM for sharing his source codes. I think I copied most of the functions I needed from there but I learned a lot from the codes.

 

 

Issues

 Now the problem with designing a big time display is that the time will definitely overlap the date in September (The width of the text "September" seems to be the longest among all months.). I will therefore need to make space by sacrifacing the long full date format and go for the short format. Sadly, I hate the short date formats available in the system. I prefer something like "dd MMM yyyy" kind of format which gives a nicer formal look. That's why I've decided to use a custom date format instead of the system's.

Meanwhile I'm planning for more options to let users to pick a date format. I could let users specify the format they want or I could enumerate a list of formats. I'm thinking along the line of the latter but all these will only crystalize after I figure out how to do the option dialog.

 

 

Progress

After struggling for two months or so, I could finally see some results, i,e, a Today screen plug-in application for my very own personal use. I simply named it DigitalClock. Although, still not very complete, below is a list of key features as of current.

 

 

Features

  • Freeware
  • Light-weight program - only 16KB!
  • Big digital clock with second display
  • Day and date font size adjust automatically to the system text size
  • Date and time format changes intelligently to fit screen
  • Alarm notification display
  • Selectable plug-in for access to Time settings
  • DPI awareness, i.e. QVGA and VGA support
  • Orientation awareness feature
  • Easy CAB installation or destop setup

 

 

Requirements

  • Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 device
  • Microsoft ActiveSync 4.0 or later (for installation)

 

 

Screenshots

QVGA Screen

 VGA Screen

  

 

Revisions

Version 1.0 Beta1 (28 Jan 2007):

  • Release of the DigitalClock Today screen plug-in!

Version 1.0 Beta2 (30 Jan 2007):

  • Added landscape awareness function
  • Removed redundant procedure for WM_ERASEBKGND message

Version 1.0 Beta3 (2 Feb 2007): 

  • Fixed auto resizing of the Today screen plug-in when scroll bar appears due to addition of other plug-ins
  • Replace AM or PM with A or P when scroll bar appears in portrait screen 
  • Added desktop setup installation file

 

 

Downloads

DigitalClock v1.0 Beta3 CAB File+

DigitalClock v1.0 Beta3 EXE Setup (for desktop installation)

DigitalClock v1.0 Beta3 Source Code++

 +Please read the readme.txt file that comes with the zipped CAB. The file contains the license agreement and information on how to install the CAB.

++Please contact me for the password if you need the soure code.

 

 

Uninstallation Notes

To uninstall DigitalClock:

  • Go to Start | Settings | Personal | Today | Items
  • Check DigitalClock and close the Settings dialog
  • Go to Start | Settings | System | Remove Programs
  • Select Project ION DigitalClock and click the Remove button

 

Latest Update

Background

Issues

Progress

Features

Requirements

Screenshots

Revisions

Downloads

Uninstallation Notes