Home arrow Reviews arrow PalmX Reviews arrow LibertyControl Review
Newsflash
Main Menu
Home
About Us
PalmX News
Beam, Talk, Makan (BTM)
Old Forum
Web Links
Contact Us
PalmX....
Articles
Reviews
Ramblings
How-To
Polls
PalmX new website...
  
Join PalmX @YG
Subscribe to palmx
Powered by groups.yahoo.com
Syndicate
LibertyControl Review PDF Print E-mail
Written by Palmdoc   
Oct 24, 2005 at 12:30 PM
By: palmdoc ([info]palmdoc) wrote,
@ 2005-10-21 15:18:00

Source: Palmdoc's Livejournal


LibertyControl Review

Ever wish you could roam around freely whenever you give a talk but couldn’t because you had to be at the podium where the notebook was in order to control the PowerPoint presentation? Now with a new application called LibertyControl, it literally liberates you and puts the power in the palm of your hand – provided that you have a Bluetooth capable Palm Powered PDA/Smartphone.
Bluetooth being short range radio gives you the controlling power to your Palm PDA and allows you to walk about up to several meters away from the notebook.

What you need
LibertyControl, Version 1.0 requires you to have the following hardware:
- A Palm OS 5.x+ mobile device, 5-way navigation button, minimum 320x320 display and at least 1.5MB of main memory available.
Currently supported PalmOS devices are the Treo 650, Zire 72, Tungsten 3-5 and LifeDrive
- A Bluetooth enabled Windows based computer (or Bluetooth USB adapter connected to your computer) running Windows 2000 and above.
- The Bluetooth driver on the Desktop computer must have an associated COM Port defined and the mobile device paired with the computer.

Installation
I didn’t have any problems at all. I have an NEC Notebook running Windows XP Pro and have a Billionton USB Bluetooth dongle which is already paired with my Treo650. I checked the supported Com Port (4 in my case). Installation of the Liberty Desktop software was a breeze and there were no error messages. It prompts you to install the Palm PRC file but you could choose to install the 1MB PRC file manually later if you wish.
The Liberty Desktop module correctly identified the Bluetooth Com Port and it’s a matter of hitting the “Play” button on the module to tell it to allow incoming connections from the Palm PDA.
Installation of the Palm PRC on my Treo650 was also problem-free. If the 1MB size of the file troubles you, I am happy to report that moving it to the SD card using Zlauncher works well, saving you the Ram.


Using LibertyControl
LibertyControl supports PowerPoint and other types of presentation tools such as
Macromedia Flash. To have quick access to these presentations, you have to place your .ppt or .exe file in the following folder:
C:\Program Files\Wagware\LibertyControl\Shared\Presentations.

Slide Manager
The LibertyControl Slide Manager

You can also create short notes using the Liberty Slide Manager which runs on your notebook/desktop. Just load your presentation and type in your Notes for each slide. If your power point presentation already has notes, you can import these notes by selecting File | Open Presentation.
The cool thing is you can set Timers for your slides so that you have an on-screen count-down clock in your PDA which tells you how much time you have left allocated for the slide, and you also get an optional flashing alarm on your PDA when the count-down is over. There is also an overall timer to tell you how long your talk has taken so far. This is very useful for those of us who give presentations in meetings where there is a time restriction.

Now the fun part. Just fire up the LibertyControl app on your Palm. Hit the Presentation button on the Palm, and you’ll be prompted to connect with the paired Bluetooth device (in this case my NEC notebook).

loadSubsequently when you tap on the Presentation Manager, you’ll see a list of Presentations available to you (the ones you put in the Liberty Shared folder). Just tap on your choice and the notebook will magically load PowerPoint and run your presentation. Note that you cannot view the actual slides on the PDA, but just the Slide controls and the Notes for each slide (if any).
Controlling the slides is a cinch. The DPad buttons allow you to navigate forward and backwards from slide to slide. There is also a handy Home button to start from the beginning. To add even more versatility, you could even switch to Mouse mode, which allows you to control the Mouse pointer with the DPad (great if you are like me and use the Mouse pointer as the pointer for your slides) The Treo’s Calendar and Message hard buttons function as the left and right Mouse click.



slideOther handy controls on the Palm include a Blank Screen option and a Switch Button which toggles between the Powerpoint presentation and the last opened application on the computer (something like Alt-Tab). The screenshot on the left shows a running presentation displaying Slide number 3 and the brief note about the slide. The bottom 4 buttons are from left Home, Blank, Mouse toggle, Application Switch.
The interface is not complicated and fairly intuitive. I could navigate and figure out most of the options without having to refer to the PDF manual. The only time I really looked hard at the manual was when I wanted to enter Notes for each slide and realised that you could only do so from the Desktop.


It does more than Powerpoint!

appsLibertyControl also has built-in controls for Internet Explorer. My default browser is Firefox and it unfortunately launches IE despite the default setting. Simply enter a URL in your Palm, Hit the Send button and the browser will fetch the page. Very neat and useful especially if your Presentation requires live Internet connection and display of web pages.

The other default control is for Media Player and it will load your Play list on your PC.kb
LibertyControl has thoughtfully added a Desktop Control module which allows you to launch 3 other applications of your choice.

You could also actually control the entire Notebook with the Palm since in Mouse mode, you could control the computer just as you would with the mouse. There is also a handy Virtual Keyboard and with Word open, I could actually type text into the Word document from my Treo!


Conclusions
LibertyControl is a great app and an essential one for the Road warrior who would like flexibility when giving presentations. I must say it would also add tremendous “cool factor” when you are seen controlling your Powerpoint presentation with single handed clicks on your Treo!

Rating 8/10

Pros
Easy to install and use.
Rich in features – does everything as advertised
Flexible Control options – control just about anything on your computer
Slide Timer options a useful added bonus
Palm application can be moved to SD
Very reasonable priced – US$ 19.95 which is considerably cheaper than the competition.

Cons
Windows only. No Mac option.
You can only create/edit notes on the Computer and not on the handheld
Requires you to have the Presentation on the Liberty Shared folder
Computer must be Bluetooth capable and have the LibertyControl module installed (which means you have to take your notebook along with you for the presentation)

To try out LibertyControl, surf over to their website. You can download a trial version which allows you to evaluate the application to see if it suits your needs.


**Comments/Feedback**

Last Updated ( Dec 05, 2005 at 09:03 AM )