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Vade Mecum
A Plucker document reader for the Pocket PC

Library listing
Listing of all books in your library

1 May, 2006, Monday

Chinese characters

Here's just a screenshot to show you all that chinese characters, and hopefully other charsets as well, are now working in VM as of version There are still a few issues left, but hopefully they will be worked out in the near future. Thank you Konstantin! There has also been some stuff contributed by Chris Berry that fixed some of the bugs in VM. This has been added to the SVN repository and will likely appear in a release soon. Thanks Chris!

Now, as you can see, I am not a very skilled web designer, and I likely won't become one magically over-night. So if anyone out there feels that he or she has the time to create a fresh looking home page for VM that is easy to maintain, please be my guest and submit it to me.


19 Mar, 2006, Sunday

Things have been at a bit of a stand-still the last year. I've started a new job and haven't had a lot of time to work on VM. Then Konstantin Khomoutov came along and wanted to help add charset and Unicode support. He has already contributed some to the project, which is now available in the downloads section as 0.6.6. Please help us by trying it out and letting us know what you think. There are still some issues with it, but we wanted some input before we did too much work. Thanks Konstantin!

Chris Berry has also contributed with a small bugfix in the plucker code. Thanks Chris!

Rachel Stanley has written an excellent guide on how to use Vade Mecum. You'll find the link to that above, under "Getting started". Thanks Rachel!

Due to various reasons I no longer have Embedded VC++ 3.0 installed. This might mean that the 0.6.6 release doesn't work on Pocket PC 2002. However, I have no way of testing that myself. So if you have an older device that you use VM on, please let me know if this new release still works. If not, I might have to reconsider...

Konstantin and I are in talks on how to improve VM in more ways than Unicode support. Hopefully this will lead to more releases coming soon. At least, that is my hope. We'll see how things work out.


31 Mar 2005, Thursday

0.6.5 has been released. I discovered and fixed a couple of bugs I had managed to introduce with the new scrollbars for large images. I'd very much like to hear what you have to say on this new feature, so please let me know.

I am also introducing a new system for file releases. When I add new features I will add them to the "experimental" package. When they are deemed stable I will transfer them to the regular package. That way you'll have an easier time knowing what should work relatively well and what is prone to bugs.


20 Mar 2005, Sunday


Vade Mecum (pronounced "VAY-dee MEE-cum", which is Latin for "go with me") is the first-ever Plucker document viewer for the Pocket PC. It is a complete redesign and rewrite of the original PalmOS version of the viewer, and includes many features that do not exist in the PalmOS version. Some of these new features are:

Vade Mecum's primary goal is 100% feature compatibility with the official Plucker viewer, which means it will be able to view any Plucker document that the official viewer can. This project also hopes to support additional file formats, perhaps even rich text and HTML.

This project also contributes to the richness of the Pocket PC platform by providing another means of reading eBooks. There are several other eBook readers available for the Pocket PC, including many free ones, but this one is different from them in that it:

ClearType(tm) Rendering
Text Rendering with ClearType(tm) Technology
Another eBook Reader?

Yes, but this isn't just any eBook reader! First of all, it reads Plucker documents, which is unique for eBook readers on the Pocket PC. This means you can go to sites such as and browse thousands of freely available literary classics, all in Plucker format. You can also create your own eBooks from HTML documents, using either the command-line Plucker utility or the Plucker Desktop available with the standard Plucker distribution. JPluck is no longer being maintained but the author is working on his own proprietary distiller and reader. The JPluck code has been moved to the Opusculus project. At the time of writing there is no release, but hopefully it will be forthcoming.


Vade Mecum was originally conceived and started by Jamis Buck. Originally a Palm guy, he moved to Pocket PC in 2002. Having used Plucker extensively before, he tried a number of different readers but never found one that came close to the convenience of Plucker. After that it didn't take long before Jamis resolved to do something about his situation, and in May 2003, after many, many experiments and tests, Vade Mecum 0.1 alpha was released. 2003 saw a steady update of stability and features which culminated with the release of v0.3. After that, due to other commitments, updates got less frequent.

In July 2004 Henrik Kjoelhede bought his first Pocket PC after having owned a series of Palms. Also having been an avid Plucker user he found Vade Mecum immediately useful, but missed some of the newer features of Plucker, i.e continued records and large images. Thinking that something should be done about it he contacted Jamis and offered to write a few patches. After a month or so of coding and communications, Jamis offered Henrik to take over the development, which he gladly accepted. And that's where we are now.

Screen Shots

Screen shots are available here.


Vade Mecum is currently only available as an alpha release, which means it may crash at any time, possibly taking any or all data on your PDA with it. However, I use it regularly on my device and have not had any catastrophic problems with it.

Vade Mecum is only available for ARM-based processors and Pocket PC 2002 or later. Until someone with a compiler that supports another processor volunteers to compile it for me, I'm afraid that's all it will run on. If you are interested in helping to compile it for a different processor, please email me and let me know.