by Steve Lopez

I once swore that I would never provide step-by-step Windows instruction in ETN, on the general principle that such instruction is available through a wide range of alternative sources (basic Windows books, Help files, classes, and on the 'Net, just to name a few). But I'm finally (after 5 years) going to break down and do it -- just this once.

Most Pocket Fritz (hereafter referred to as PF) purchasers have no problems installing it to their Pocket PCs, but enough people are writing to me with various installation concerns that I've decided to provide simple step-by-step installation instructions in ETN. Some brands of Pocket PC seem to exhibit more problems than others for an unknown weird reason. In this article, I'll provide a chart of what file you'll need to copy to your Pocket PC, based on what brand of pocket rocket you own. Many of the steps will be elaborated upon in italics.

However, I'll start by saying this: if you own a Pocket PC, you must learn how to copy files from one computer/drive/folder to another. This is basic Windows knowledge and should be understood by all Windows PC owners. I realize that a small (but quite vocal) minority of computer owners balk at the very idea ("I shouldn't have to know that!"), but this knowledge is a must, and especially so if you own a Pocket unit. Most Pocket PC owners don't have the equipment to connect their Pocket unit directly to the Internet via an infrared cell phone link; ergo, they'll be downloading programs/e-books/files/etc. to their main PCs and will need to copy this information to their Pocket computers. Likewise, ChessBase/Fritz owners may want to transfer games in PGN format back and forth between their main PC and their Pocket unit (for use in PF). Also, those of us lucky enough to have a keyboard for our Pocket units may need to transfer documents from the Pocket unit to another PC (I find this very handy when I'm doing historical research in library collections from which photocopying isn't allowed). All of this requires that you know how to copy files from one PC to the other. It's actually very easy -- if you know how to copy a file on your "regular" PC, it'll be a snap for you to copy one from your main PC to your pocket rocket (and vice-versa). If you don't know how to do this, I recommend a basic Windows book -- the information will usually be found somewhere in the first few chapters. I recommend the ...for Dummies or Complete Idiots Guide to... books for whatever flavor of Windows you're currently running. Don't be put off by the titles -- I've been around computers for more than a decade and I still find these to be valuable starter references for programs that are new to me. (And, as a personal opinion, the Dummies books just ain't what they used to be -- the Idiot's Guides are a whole lot more entertaining these days).

Note that most PF owners will have no problems installing it to their Pocket PCs -- these instructions are only for people who experience problems during the installation process.


1) Connect your Pocket PC to your desktop computer;

The magic won't work unless the pocket rocket is hooked to your other computer. Your Pocket PC will come with a cable to connect the machines as well as instructions on how to do this.

2) Start ActiveSync;

These instructions assume that ActiveSync is the "connection" software the retailer provided with your Pocket unit. If not, fire up your other connection software instead.

3) ActiveSync will then synchronize the two machines;

There's nothing mysterious about this; all that's happening here is that your computers are connecting electronically. You'll see a message to this effect appear on your screen.

4) Put the Pocket Fritz CD in the drive of your main computer, go to My Computer on your desktop computer and double-click on the icon for your CD drive. Then double-click on the file setup.exe

Note that your computer might be configured to hide certain file extensions, so this file might be displayed as just "setup" instead of "setup.exe". No problem -- double-click on it anyway.

5) At this point, PF should install. But if it doesn't, you'll see an error message. Clear it and close all windows to return to your Windows desktop.

Believe it or not, you're halfway home if you get the error message. Three files have been copied to your hard drive. You'll need to copy one of them to your Pocket PC and that's what we'll do next...

6) Go to My Computer on your desktop computer and double-click on your C: drive, then on the Program Files folder, then on the ChessBase folder, then on the Pocket Fritz folder;

After you've successfully completed Step 6, you'll see three files displayed. You'll need to copy just one of these files to your Pocket PC. The file you need to copy will depend on the brand of Pocket PC you own. The following table will tell you which file you'll need to copy:

Compaq iPAQs and newer Hewlett-Packard Pocket PCsPocketFritz.arm.cab
Casio pocket PCsPocketFritz.mips.cab
Older (pre-2002) Hewlett-Packard pocket PCsPocketFritz.sh3.cab

Note that (as in Step 4 above) your computer may be configured to hide certain file extensions, in which case you'll not see the ".cab" as part of the file names. This is no problem -- just copy the file anyway. The proper extension is part of the file; you just don't see it on your machine.

7) Click *once* on the proper filename (given in the table above) to highlight it, go to the Edit menu, and select "Copy";

It'll look like nothing happened, but what you've just done is tell Windows that you want to copy the file.

8) Close this window to return to your Windows desktop;

9) Double-click on My Computer again and then double-click on "Mobile device";

10) Double-click on the "My Pocket PC" icon and then on the Temp folder;

11) In the Temp folder window, go to Edit and select "Paste" -- this will copy the .cab file (from Steps 6 and 7) to your Pocket PC;

In Step 7, you told Windows that you wanted to copy a file; in this step, you told Windows where you wanted it pasted (and Windows is now complying with your request).

12) Exit all windows to return to your Windows desktop;

13) On your Pocket PC, tap on "Start", then "Programs", then File Explorer. Tap the black arrow to the right of "My Documents" at the top of the display and select "My Device" instead;

14) Tap on the Temp folder;

15) Tap on the .cab file (from Steps 6, 7, and 11 above) -- the Pocket Fritz program will now install;

16) With your Pocket unit still connected to your main PC and with the Pocket Fritz CD still in the drive, launch Pocket Fritz by tapping on "Start", then "Games", then "Pocket Fritz". Once you've heard the cute little ditty and have seen the chessboard appear, you can exit the program if you like (you don't have to play a complete game right away or anything) -- Pocket Fritz is now installed.

And that's all there is to it! Until next week, have fun!

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