One of the reasons I bought a Pocket PC instead of a Palm OS PDA is because Microsoft introduced a common set of tools for creating applications for the Pocket PC, for Windows, and for the web. I can use what I’ve learned about writing Windows applications in .NET to write the applications for my PDA. I expected that neither a Pocket PC nor a Palm OS device would have all the software I needed without having to buy third-party software. The more programs I could write on my own, the better. There are free tools that I could use to write applications for the Palm as well, but I just haven’t put in the time to learn them yet.

I wrote a hangman game last weekend. It does not select a word at random from a built-in word list. Instead, you need two people to play — one to choose the word, and the other to guess. Agnes and I play at the movie theater when they show commercials before the previews. We think it is terrible that they’ve started showing commercials. Anyway, below you can see two screenshots from the hangman game. I’ve also provided a link to the game itself, which can be installed on any ARM-based Pocket PC that has the .NET Compact Framework.


The installation for the game can be downloaded here.

As you can see, I provided my own keyboard for people to select the letters they guess. The reason I did this is because I wanted to make sure that people didn’t guess the same letter twice, and that they didn’t inadvertently write the wrong letter. The letter recognizer is pretty good, but it’s still possible to write letters incorrectly.

Hangman is a pretty trivial application to write — just a step above the ubiquitous "hello world" application that everyone always writes — but it’s nice to start in on writing new programs for my Pocket PC.