Performance Quest Complete Library Pass v1.51

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INTRODUCTION

    In nearly all cases,
the reviews at pocketnow fall into two categories:  hardware
or software.  This review
is the exception.  This is a review of a product
that isn’t a program or a piece of hardware.  Performance
Quest Complete Library Pass gives you access to content.  That
content is electronic books at a substantial discount.
If reading is your fancy, then follow along…

WHAT’S HOT

    Performance Quest Complete Library
Pass gives you over $200 worth of electronic books for only
$34.95.  That’s approximately a 75% discount for the books that are available
now, but, as more books become available, you will also have access to them.  These
are not “condensed” versions.  They are complete electronic versions of
the books.  This is an excellent way to provide a growing base of good titles
for your electronic library without breaking your budget.

SETUP

    Take screenshots (if need-be) of the setup
program and discuss what you had to do and if it was easy or hard. Once
the program installed, were there any specific steps to be taken before
the product could be used (such as plugging in cables, etc.).

PROGRAM FEATURES

    Performance Quest Complete Library
Pass currently has a list of 30 document sets.  Some
of these are a single volume.  Others are collections
of several volumes.  In fact, the “Political Milestones
Collection” contains 100 separate documents. 

Complete
Library Pass includes a number of works of
Edgar Rice Burroughs…

…a
few by Lewis Carroll…

…the
writings of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln…

…success-oriented
works by Covey and Tracy…

…a
number of reference works…

…and
much more.

    The Complete Library Pass
e-books are all in the .PRC format.  That
is good news in two respects.  First,
the .PRC format is a standardized format,
recognized by a number of e-book readers.  Second,
Performance Quest recommends the MobiPocket
Reader, which is available in a free version
.

 

HELP SUPPORT

    Since it is content, Complete
Library Pass e-books have no built-in help (although
the MobiPocket Reader does).  You can, however,
get additional information from Performace Quest via
e-mail
.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

    The Complete Library Pass
requires a .PRC-compatible e-book reader. 
Performance Quest recommends
the MobiPocket Reader.  The free version of
that reader works with Pocket PC 2002 and Windows
Mobile 2003 (including Second Edition).  It
takes up 950KB of Program Memory and 952KB of Storage
Memory.  The program can be installed on a storage
card or on a File Store. 
Unless you have ZIP decompression
built into your desktop operating system (as Windows
XP does), you will also need to download a ZIP decompression
program to get access to the Collections.
    The e-books that are currently available through the Complete
Library Pass will occupy 15MB of Storage Memory.  They can be placed on
a storage card or File Store.

BUGS AND WISHES

    Since
Complete Library Pass is content, I can not refer
to programming flaws.  I did notice one flaw
in the delivery system: All of the .PRC files downloaded
without any problems.  Some of the Collections,
however, did not.  The Collections come packaged
together in compressed .ZIP format.  A few of
those, like the Brian Tracy Success Collection appeared
to be corrupted.  I say “appeared to be” because
I was using the built-in ZIP decompression of Windows
XP, rather than a dedicated program to unzip.  That
shouldn’t make a difference.
    As for the content I could access, I did not see any scanning
errors or other mistakes.
    My
e-book reader of choice is eReader.  Unfortunately,
in spite of the fact that the Complete Library Pass
e-books come in .PRC format, some appear as unformatted
HTML code when read with eReader.  MobiPocket
does not have this problem but that means I have
to load and use two different e-book readers.
    As always,
I do have some wishes:  I wish there were a way to get this content in
more than one format.  True, .PRC format is supported by a wide variety
of e-book readers and the recommended MobiPocket reader has a free version.  However,
if you have already started your library in Microsoft’s .LIT format, it would
be preferable to stick with it.
    I also wish that whoever is responsible for converting the
content to .PRC format would put links in the table of contents in every document.  Some
documents, like the Tracy works, have them.  Others, like the writings of
Washington, do not.

PURCHASING

    You
can purchase Pocket Mechanic from
the Performance Quest web site
for $34.95.  There
is no trial version as the product is content.  If
you purchase Complete Library Pass, when more content
becomes available, you will be contacted with the
download links for the additional content.  In
addition, there is a single link that provides links
to all of the content currently available.

PROS

  • Provides $200 worth of e-books for only $35
  • Provides a growing selection with no additional cost
  • Reader software is also free

CONS

  • Comes only
    in .PRC format
  • Some Zipped collections would not download properly
Value
Ease
of Use
Features

Overall

What
do these ratings mean
?

OVERALL IMPRESSION

    If
I had to purchase all of these volumes separately, I almost certainly
would not buy all of them.  That does slightly diminish the value
of the discout because you are in truth paying $35 for the subset of
the selection that you actually want.  That said, the Complete
Library Pass still represented quite a good value for me.
    I mentioned a few problems (corrupted Zip files and needing
to use MobiPocket) but they represent things to be aware of, not “stoppers.”  The
ZIP file format can be fixed and I can put up with using dual e-book readers.
    The Complete Library Pass is not for everyone, but it will
appeal to avid e-book readers.  Browse on over to Performance Quest’s
web site
and take a look at their list of offerings.  Even if you do
not decide to go with the whole Library Pass, you can still purchase a few titles
at still greatly reduced prices.

 

HELP SUPPORT

    Since it is content, Complete
Library Pass e-books have no built-in help (although
the MobiPocket Reader does).  You can, however,
get additional information from Performace Quest via
e-mail
.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

    The Complete Library Pass
requires a .PRC-compatible e-book reader. 
Performance Quest recommends
the MobiPocket Reader.  The free version of
that reader works with Pocket PC 2002 and Windows
Mobile 2003 (including Second Edition).  It
takes up 950KB of Program Memory and 952KB of Storage
Memory.  The program can be installed on a storage
card or on a File Store. 
Unless you have ZIP decompression
built into your desktop operating system (as Windows
XP does), you will also need to download a ZIP decompression
program to get access to the Collections.
    The e-books that are currently available through the Complete
Library Pass will occupy 15MB of Storage Memory.  They can be placed on
a storage card or File Store.

BUGS AND WISHES

    Since
Complete Library Pass is content, I can not refer
to programming flaws.  I did notice one flaw
in the delivery system: All of the .PRC files downloaded
without any problems.  Some of the Collections,
however, did not.  The Collections come packaged
together in compressed .ZIP format.  A few of
those, like the Brian Tracy Success Collection appeared
to be corrupted.  I say “appeared to be” because
I was using the built-in ZIP decompression of Windows
XP, rather than a dedicated program to unzip.  That
shouldn’t make a difference.
    As for the content I could access, I did not see any scanning
errors or other mistakes.
    My
e-book reader of choice is eReader.  Unfortunately,
in spite of the fact that the Complete Library Pass
e-books come in .PRC format, some appear as unformatted
HTML code when read with eReader.  MobiPocket
does not have this problem but that means I have
to load and use two different e-book readers.
    As always,
I do have some wishes:  I wish there were a way to get this content in
more than one format.  True, .PRC format is supported by a wide variety
of e-book readers and the recommended MobiPocket reader has a free version.  However,
if you have already started your library in Microsoft’s .LIT format, it would
be preferable to stick with it.
    I also wish that whoever is responsible for converting the
content to .PRC format would put links in the table of contents in every document.  Some
documents, like the Tracy works, have them.  Others, like the writings of
Washington, do not.

PURCHASING

    You
can purchase Pocket Mechanic from
the Performance Quest web site
for $34.95.  There
is no trial version as the product is content.  If
you purchase Complete Library Pass, when more content
becomes available, you will be contacted with the
download links for the additional content.  In
addition, there is a single link that provides links
to all of the content currently available.

PROS

  • Provides $200 worth of e-books for only $35
  • Provides a growing selection with no additional cost
  • Reader software is also free

CONS

  • Comes only
    in .PRC format
  • Some Zipped collections would not download properly
Value
Ease
of Use
Features

Overall

What
do these ratings mean
?

OVERALL IMPRESSION

    Did you like it? Tell briefly what you
really liked and really didn’t like, and sum up the review. Allude to
the problem proposed in the introduction. Be sure to give some kind
of a quotable statement! (ie: "XCompany has done an outstanding
job at producing an affordable (yet comprehensive) dictionary suite
for the Pocket PC.")

 

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About The Author
Russ Smith