(Irek) Zielinski, go
to the web site
Pentium computer or higher running Windows 95, 98, 98SE, Me,
2000 or XP
US$14.99 (shareware fee)
Windows System Tray has become the repository for all manner
of useful (and not so useful) utilities. My personal quest
for the perfect event reminder utility has taken me into the
System Tray repeatedly, at various times trying several dozen
different programs designed to pop-up and warn when something
(birthday, anniversary, etc.) is about to arrive. Microsoft
Outlook, the Big Kahuna of all event utilities, is not a solution
for me because it's too unwieldy and doesn't always work properly.
My Sony Clie is a partial solution, because I carry it around
all day, every day. But a good system tray utility which will
hit me with annual reminders of special events, display a
system clock and calendar, reset my system clock by hitting
one of the atomic clock sites and synch events into my PDA
is what I really need.
tries hard to please. It's a small, shareware Windows application
which resides in your System Tray, uses very little memory
and very few CPU cycles. In addition to reminding you about
meetings, important events, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.,
TrayHelper can forward reminders to your mobile device via
e-mail, check up to 50 e-mail accounts, auto-delete spam messages
on those accounts, forward important e-mails to your mobile
device, monitor your browser windows to kill unwanted pop-ups,
and use Microsoft Agent characters to notify you of new mail
and event reminders. TrayHelper has plug-in functionality
too. The current list of free plug-ins includes WWW Server
which quickly creates a small Web server on your computer;
Atom Time Synchronizer which synchronizes your PC clock with
an atomic time-server; Pinger which tracks the computers on
your local network or Internet and notifies you when conditions
change; WebSpy which tracks changes on WWW pages and informs
you about them; Tasks which is a simple To Do list; Notes
which lets you create and stick notes to your Windows desktop.
normally don't bother with reviews of shareware, but every
so often something such as TrayHelper comes along which seems
genuinely useful. We tried almost all of TrayHelper's features
during day to day use for about two weeks as a replacement
for XReminder on one desktop computer (PIII/500 running Windows
98SE), ChronosClock on a laptop (Dell Latitude PII/333MHz
running Windows XP Professional) and Palm Desktop on another
desktop computer (P4/2/23GHz running Windows XP Professional).
Everything seemed to work quite well. Time synchronization
- especially important considering the inaccuracy of many
computer clocks - was setup to poll a time server every 6
hours and correct the system clock if there was a difference
of 15 seconds or more. The feature worked flawlessly.
used a reminder setting which flashed the TrayHelper icon
in the system tray rather than playing a sound file; a bit
less intrusive for people nearby but just as effective for
the person using the computer. You can also set TrayHelper
to use Microsoft Agents to provide talking reminders - very
irritating (we got bored with the unimproved mechanical voice
of Peedy years ago). Data entry for reminders, events, meetings,
etc., is child's play. Add an item at any time, modify existing
items, add or enter extensive notes for any item.
also tried the e-mail and anti-spam features. There's nothing
new or unusual except for some slightly more versatile spam
filtering settings. Some people may feel that anything is
better than Outlook's rudimentary spam filtering however.
What Windows users really need is a slice of the new intelligent
filtering (latent semantic analysis) featured in Apple Mail
supplied with MacOS 10.2. Everything else is half-baked at
this point. Stick with Outlook or Eudora or whatever you prefer
combined with SpamKiller.
There are only a few. I want a couple of additional features
and some smaller configuration dialogs - not really "Cons"
per se - but a Clipboard plug-in would be nice. I'd also like
to see customizable reminder intervals - right now you can
only select the interval from a drop list. TrayHelper is not
a replacement for the system tray clock and calendar. Some
minor bugs, e.g.: the Previous Page button in calendar mode
is active all the time even when there is no previous page;
boring (albeit effective) user interface.
The program works as advertised and the UI isn't confusing.
The Atom Time clock synchronization plug-in allowed me to
get rid of a similar System Tray utility. Because the Event
Reminder can be set for single or recurring hourly, daily,
weekly, monthly and annual alarms, it's possible to keep everything
in the utility: birthdays, anniversaries, meetings, ToDo reminders
and anything else you can think of. A separate utility called
Backup Tool is installed automatically which allows you to
transfer all of your TrayHelper settings to another computer
- very handy. If you need this particular combination of features,
TrayHelper is a good choice. Recommended.
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