Pebbles PC

Switcher for Windows CE and Pocket PC

From the Pittsburgh Pebbles PDA Project     

by Franklin Chen, Rob Miller, Ben Bostwick, and Brad Myers
Updated for Version 5.


Switcher allows the user to change the foreground window on the PC from a PDA. When using Switcher, the Windows Task Bar can be hidden, freeing up screen space. Switcher allows the user to switch directly to windows not displayed in the taskbar, such as document windows within a word processing program, or programs running from the System Tray.

Downloading and Running Switcher

First, download the full Pebbles zip file and unzip it. See the download instructions.

Switcher consists of two components:

  • WinCESwitcherInstaller.exe: a program that installs the Switcher executable for running on the PocketPC/Windows CE device. This makes the program appear in ActiveSync so you can easily install it into your handheld. 
  • PebblesPC.exe: a program (with associated DLLs) that runs on your desktop computer and communicates with PowerPoint.
See the main Windows CE installation instructions for how to get Switcher.exe onto your PDA.

Switching between Windows

When first opening Switcher, a list of the current windows on the PC is displayed on the PDA under the heading Parent Window List. This window list includes windows of all applications displayed in the taskbar, as well as windows of applications running in the System Tray. Clicking on a title in the list brings the selected window to the foreground.

If a window that is brought to the front has multiple sub-windows, the titles of the sub-windows will be displayed in a list with the heading Child Window List. Clicking on the title of a child window will bring that window to the front within its parent application.


Menu Commands

If you hit the Menu button (next to the Graffiti area), Switcher's menu bar will be displayed. The options are:
  • Refresh: Switcher should update the window list as windows are created and destroyed. If Switcher gets out of sync with the PC, or if a window list is not displayed at startup, select the Refresh command.
  • Preferences: The Preferences command brings up a dialog which allows you to change the order of the window titles on the PDA. The list can either be in alphabetical order, or the order of windows from front to back on the PC (Z-order).
  • Connection Options: Control how the Palm connects to the PC, as described elsewhere.
  • About Switcher: Displays the version of Switcher.

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Maintained by: Brad A. Myers