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April 21, 2007 • Reviews

Resco Explorer 2005 for Windows Mobile Review

The built-in File Explorer in Windows Mobile is to put it simply, lame. It only has a very basic feature set, and add to that there is no registry editor included at all. Resco has come up with a replacement application that should fulfill the needs of even power users, and throws in some features outside the realm of a file manager for that extra value.

I installed the application using the CAB files downloaded off the website, but there is an installer for Windows users that makes setup a cinch. The registry editor, FTP client and today screen plug-in are all optional installs which is a great idea.

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Opening up Resco Explorer looks quite similar to the built-in File Explorer application. The folder tree is in the top left, ?Up One Level? button mapped to the left soft-key, and menu mapped to the right soft-key. From this point on the features are a whole lot more numerous.

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Starting out in the settings panel, there are a number of tabs letting you customize many aspects of the application. It is simple to change how Resco Explorer behaves, and lets you use it exactly the way you want it.

There is the option to use double-tap instead of single-tap opening of folders and applications. The WM5 soft-keys can also be swapped out for the old-style WM2003SE toolbar. Depending on how you use your device this could be very useful if you prefer the stylus over one-handed navigation.

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Resco Explorer also has built-in support for ZIP files, a very welcome addition. It is curious why Microsoft hasn?t yet included ZIP support in Windows Mobile, as it has been available in Windows XP for years now.

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Hidden, system, and files in ROM can all be hidden or shown, catering to both normal and power users.

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By default deleting or overwriting files will display a confirmation/warning message, but this can be disabled if you prefer it that way. Personally that saftey net from accidentally deleting something is very comforting ?

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Not only does it read ZIP files, it can also create them, and you can decide whether you want best compression for low compression (which is faster).

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Resco brings an equivalent of the Recycle Bin to WM. To be honest I find this feature a bit useless, and on a device with such limited memory you don?t really want previously deleted files cluttering up your precious memory.

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If you installed the FTP and Registry Editor add-ons you will have additional settings for them as well. The registry settings are similar to those for file actions.

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At the top of the folder tree you have all the different locations that Resco Explorer can access: My Device, My Network, Recycle Bin, FTP Locations, and Registry.

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I have never really used FTP servers, but I gave the XDA-Developers FTP server a try to test it out.

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Before you can make a connection, you have to make what appears to be a ?shortcut? to the FTP server. In the menu, click ?New FTP Session? which will bring up the following screen. Enter your username and password an click Ok.

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The shortcut will appear in the list. Tap-and-hold on the shortcut and click ?Connect?.

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A list of the files on the server will be displayed, and you can download the files you want.

The Registry Editor displays the registry like files and folders. It is easy to create and edit the entries.

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The today screen plug-in is quite an added bonus. It cleanly displays your devices battery level and storage memory levels (storage, program and SD cards), as well as a program launcher. Very handy!!

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It can also be customized to display only the items you want, and your own programs.

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The ?System Info? panel in Resco Explorer basically shows you the same thing as the today plug-in.

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For business users and paranoid people alike, Resco Explorer includes Encryption functionality for protecting files and folders from prying eyes or a thief. Select the folder you want protected and click Encrypt on the menu.

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Enter a password, select your level of encryption, and your files are locked down like Fort Knox.

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Without Resco Explorer and your password, your files are inaccessible. Copying the files to my computer and renaming them to their proper extension only showed a corrupted file. Decrypt them on your WM device and they are readable again. Very simple!

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Resco Explorer is an excellent replacement for the built-in File Explorer application. While not free like Total Commander, it is a lot more polished and includes several functions not included in the free alternatives. If you are looking to get a bit more file organization power on your WM device, than look no further than Resco Explorer 2005!

Resco Explorer 2005 can be bought directly from the manufacturer and from other online software retailers. You can also support this site by buying it directly from the Gear Diary Store.
MSRP: $24.95
What I Like: Major improvement over the standard File Explorer, FTP Client, full Windows Mobile 5 soft-key support, useful today screen plug-in
What Needs Improvement: Nothing much really, although I do think a drop in price to $19.95 would be nice. It may be hard to justify the $24.95 price over the free Total Commander despite its better interface.

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