The Lost Features of eWallet


When you near the planned release date for a product, it isn’t uncommon to find yourself with features that work great and are very cool, but that you just don’t have time to fully implement. When this happens, getting the product out takes priority over adding this one last feature. This is precisely what happened with a “lost feature” that I’m going to tell you about today!

So read on to learn about one of the Lost Features of eWallet (and even try it out in your own copy of the software!)

One of the things we always wanted to do in eWallet was to let people pick their own background images for the card list. We added this feature, did quite a bit of testing, and liked the overall results, but unfortunately we ran out of time. Since the feature is fully functional, however, we didn’t remove it completely. I mean, we plan to add it later and it didn’t hurt to leave it, so why take out the work we’d done?

The end result is a secret feature in eWallet 5.0 and greater that you can try. This feature is available in both the Windows PC version of the software and the Pocket PC version of the software. Here is how to use it:

  1. Find a .jpg image that you want to use as a background image
  2. Rename the image to ControlBkg.jpg
  3. Place the image in My Documents/eWallet/Graphics and Sounds
  4. Quit eWallet (on a Pocket PC, you can quite by going to eWallet and then tapping CTRL then Q on the onscreen keyboard)
  5. Start eWallet

That’s it! You’ve got background!

Now as you can see this isn’t the most user friendly interface. That’s part of what we didn’t have time to finish. Normally we’d have a nice menu where you can select images, choose centering, and things like that. In this case it takes a little more effort but the feature still works.

There are a few things I’ll mention about this “Lost Feature” as well. These are issues we typically work out prior to release.

  • On some older devices (mostly PPC High-Res 2003 and 2003SE devices) background graphics can slow the program down. This is one of the things we were still working on.
  • Really really big graphics can slow the program down on Pocket PC. This one is less common but still something we wanted to clean up for official release.
  • You have to use a .jpg file. JPEG, BMP, GIF won’t work. Only .jpg.
  • As mentioned before, you do have to rename the file and drop it manually into the right folder. It’s awkward, but we often have things like this when we first add a feature. It lets us start testing it right away before we have a glossy UI (user interface) to support it.

So we hope you enjoy this “Lost Feature” and have fun playing with it! We’re working on including it in the next release of eWallet of course, so feel free to send us any suggestions or problems!

Finally, to help you use it we’ve created a few background graphics that we like. You can download them from here:

Background 1
Background 2
Background 3

Just remember to change the names to ControlBkg (ControlBkg1, for example, won’t work!)

(Here are links to a few more screenshots!)

ew_icon2.png    ew_list1.png    ew_list2.png    desktop.JPG

27 thoughts on “The Lost Features of eWallet

  1. Kerim Satirli

    This is a really useful feature methinks, if you expand it in the future to include backgrounds PER category, this will make identifying stuff even easier

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  4. Brandon Steili

    (Sorry – hit the wrong button)

    Very cool feature and it’s too bad you didn’t get to implement it completely in this version. Looking forward to when you get a chance. I will also say that I like Karim’s idea too. The ability to set backgrounds based on category might be quite useful for some folks!

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  7. DeanH

    That’s a good feature because everyone has their own tastes for what looks good.

    I’m not an eWallet user (yet), but would like to take this opportunity to help sell me (and hopefully others) on your product. I like the idea of having easy access to all my important data, but I’m concerned that if I lost my device that someone could get access to it. Another fear is that a hacker could uncover a vulnerability and access the data remotely (for example when you use ewallet to provide credit card number on a website (if you have that feature).

    Any thoughts that might calm my fears?

  8. Marc Post author

    Hi Dean…this sort of concern is exactly why eWallet exists…to protect you.

    Most estimates tell us that hacking a 256-bit encrypted wallet file would take around 20,000 years and a LOT of computing power. As a result the weakest link is the password. There are lots of great sites that talk about picking good passwords but in a nutshell, longer is better than shorter, nonsense is better than real words, and a mixture of symbols/letters/numbers/case is best. Try letting make one for you if you want.

    Even if you store your data online (say by synching it to iOmega from eWallet), the file is still fully encrypted. Your data remains safe no matter WHERE you store it. Even when viewing eWallet data, we only unencrypt the information you are currently looking at. All the rest remains encrypted at all times.

    I hope this helps. If you have any other specific questions about security we are always happy to assist. Just drop us a line at

  9. Ken

    I like the background changing idea, and even the one for different backgrounds (I need to organize my eWallet better).

    As for the passwords, I read something a while ago (can’t remember where) about password strength (an article, not just hints).
    Basically, they said a pretty good password for most people will be
    – at least 8 characters [lower case],
    – would contain letters,
    – a number,
    – and either at least one upper case letter or a special character (like an underscore)

    Stronger would be more of these (specifically more characters and both an uppercase letter and special character) and the letters not forming words.

    I go by the first set of guidelines for a pretty good password.

  10. Brandon Steili

    The easiest way to get a good long password that is hard to figure out is to use a sentence and replace some obviously letters with some numbers.

    For example:

    Iw3ntt0th3st0r3t0day! = I went to the store today! replaced the o with 0s and e with 3s… it takes you a few times to get the pattern down but once you do it takes no time at all to enter that in and it’s super easy to remember.

  11. Judy

    This sounds good, not quite an Easter Egg but nice all the same.

    On the topic of eWallet, just wondered if you guys at Ilium were aware that there is a nice Tutorial on “securing your data with eWallet” in this months PDA Essentials & GPS Advisor magazine? I think this is a UK only publication. (see

    Notable comments include “Ilium Software ( is a developer of professional and very functional apps…..” and “eWallet has developed into a very polished app with a first-rate feature set. Not content to rest on its laurels, Ilium software recently announced a major upgrade….” and finally “eWallet wins the battle of the wallet wars hand down”

    I wholeheartedly concur – agreat product with some hidden extras. well done!

  12. Ellen

    Thanks Judy! Last time I checked (last weekend), the previous issue was still on the stands here. I guess they take a while to get here from the UK. I’ll be checking again within the next few days; we’re all looking forward to seeing the article.

  13. Marc Post author

    Hi Niky. The steps for Pocket PC are the same as for desktop. You should have an eWallet->Graphics and Sounds folder in My Documents on your device. And remember…you need to truly quit eWallet to get the image to refresh on Pocket PC. You can either do that from Memory->Running Programs in the settings for your device or by opening eWallet and tapping CTRL then Q on the onscreen keyboard.

  14. Mark

    I’m probably not going to rush out and spend some photoshop time to make my own wonderful personalized background, but this is the type of feature that I would not fault Ilium from simply announcing is available at release of 5.0 (stating the feature is in simple/rough form) in a help file–even if it stays that way. What I’m saying is, I see no shame in Ilium spending most effort on making eWallet secure and usable, and at a lower priority, making it pretty.

    Nice job guys.

  15. Darin

    On my Axim X51v I installed eWallet on the CF card and this required putting the image in CF/eWallet/Graphics and Sounds (not in My Documents) to get this trick to work.

  16. Rob

    Great little bonus feature! If you do it up for real in the next version, I have a suggestion. In the desktop version, the left pane and right pane are independent with each starting the image over again from the upper left. It would be nice if the image would run behind both windows so that it continues from the left pane through the right. The way it is now, if you size a nice image and fit it to the right pane, it starts again, but gets cutoff in the left.

  17. Steve Mueller

    For people that like registry hacks, the reasons described here are also why hacks exist. Either a feature wasn’t developed completely, wasn’t tested thoroughly or it was removed from the user interface to simplify the product.

    That’s why I’m always amused when someone says, “A registry hack *has* to exist for (some feature).” No hack exists unless somebody put it (or left it) there.

  18. Jennifer S.

    That’s not a main reason to buy E-Wallet because obviously it isn’t the main point of the program but it does make me want to get it faster. lol

  19. Steve

    I’m having trouble getting this working on my Blackjack. I installed e-wallet to the storage card, so I’m putting the background image in \storage card\ewallet\Graphics and Sounds — is that the correct location?

    Does this feature work on the smartphone OS?

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