/Getting Programs for Mio C230

Getting Programs for Mio C230

Now that you have unlocked your Mio C230, you are eager to try out various PocketPC or Windows CE applications. But where to start? There are a lot of PocketPC freeware sites. I like this particular site very much because it has ratings for most of the freeware you can download from the site.

http://pocketpcfreewares.com/en/index.php

You don’t have to waste your time on those lowly rated software. Most PocketPC software come in three formats.

  • Stand alone executable
  • Installer package
  • CAB file

I will start with stand alone executable. When I find a program I want to try, I usually copy the executable to Script directory and use FileMan CE to invoke it. If it runs, that’s great. If it doesn’t run, I have no clue what to try. I didn’t know what are the required dlls for it.

However, I just found out a way to determine the required dlls. It’s actually quite simple and I am going to share that “secret”with you. What you need is a program that can open binary file in hex format. If you are curious about what I use, I use TextPad. Open the executable using the hex editor. Search the executable for the text string “dll” (without the quote). Here is a screenshot.

finddll-sc2.jpg

We now know that this application requires COREDLL.dll and commctrl.dll to run. Please note that even though you know the required dlls. It’s still possible the application doesn’t run with dlls. I think the reason might be the program is not compatible with Windows CE 5 or the dlls version is not correct. One dll that most applications need is AYGSHELL.DLL. There are different versions of that dll. My release 4 includes one that’s newer than the one from my earlier releases. You can get the older AYGSHELL.DLL from my earlier releases. Some applications run well with the newer AYGSHELL.DLL, some run well with the older one. You’ll need to experiment it to determine what’s better for an application.

[Update:] One reader has pointed out there is a better way to identify the DLLs needed for an application. It’s called Dependency Walker. It is indeed better and you get to know the details about each DLL and the CPU architecture.

The second form of application is an installer package. You can use a program called EXE to CAB Converter to convert the installer package to a CAB file. The EXE to CAB program is a very old program. It’s very likely it would not work for newer installers. One other thing to try is just run the installer on you computer. When it’s done, you can look for the cab files on the system drive.

For Vista, the directory is at
C:\Windows\WindowsMobile

For XP, please refer to this article. You need to have ActiveSync (XP) or Windows Mobile Device Center (Vista) installed for installer to install the application.

When you get a CAB file for the application, there are two ways to use it. The first one is to use wceload to install it directly on Mio C230. Dominique first discovered the correct procedure to do it and Ameridan has a post about the procedure. The second way is to use a program like WinZip to extract the files from the CAB file. This part is tedious and note that the file names are different from the original names. You’ll need to change the file names back to their original names. For older CAB file, look for the .000 file. Use a text editor to open the file and you’ll know what are the original file names. For new CAB file, look for a setup.xml file. It has the info regarding the original file names.

Once you have all the files you need for an application. You could put everything under Script folder. However, I think creating a folder under Scriptprograms and put the required files in it might be a better solution.

If you get an application to work for Mio C230, please kindly share your find and tell us where to get the application and how did you get it to run. Freeware and Shareware only. If you get a commercial software you own to work, please share your experience here too.

I have started a new category: Programs for PNA. When I find a new program working for Mio C230, I’ll post it under that category. The first one is XnView Pocket.