August 2007


Finding Free Windows Mobile Software in the Windows Marketplace

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but here is a bit more detail about looking for free Windows Mobile software available in the Microsoft Windows Marketplace site. Here are two sample links…

Free Pocket PC  Software in Windows Marketplace

Free Smartphone Sofware in Windows Marketplace

If you take a look at the way the URLs for each one is constructed, you can figure out how to search for other free software using different keywords. Just replace the search string after the text= part of the URL string. I don’t include a link to search for the words Windows Mobile. But you can figure that out by looking at the URL in your browser’s address bar.

Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Code Wallet vs. eWallet CNET Review

I rarely mention product reviews on other sites. But, it’s so unusual to see a head-to-head comparison review on a mainstream tech site (CNET’s The Daily Download) that I figured I mention it just because of that. One other aspect of the article is that it compares an app that I’ve been using for around a decade now, Ilium Software’s eWallet.

Code Wallet and eWallet duke it out for your phone

And, don’t forget the other major info encryption app that was not mentioned in the comparison article: Spb Wallet.

Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Move Over Palm Foleo, Hello Asustek Eee PC

Despite the mostly negative reaction to the Palm Foleo announcement a while back, I was excited about the possibility of regaining the features I used to have when I used Windows CE Handheld PCs. But, Palm seems to be having problems getting the Foleo out the door (wasn’t it supposed to be available this week???). So, my new object of interest is the Asustek Eee PC. You can see a photo of it in CNet’s Crave area. The Eee’s specs look good: Under 2 pounds, 7 inch LCD display, runs Windows XP (XP is the new Windows 93SE, a stable OS that may never disappear 🙂 or Linux, and priced between $200 and $370 in the US. Compare that to the $600 list (ok $599) for the Foleo.

So, I’m no longer planning to get a Foleo (if it actually ever appears). My new ultraportable target device is the Asustek Eee PC (unless it is delayed and something better is announced :-).

Mobile Devices

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OctroTalk Instant Messenger for Windows Mobile Works with Google Talk

If you would like to IM with friends using Google Talk from a Windows Mobile Pocket PC or Smartphone, you might want to take a look at…

OctroTalk

It is currently in beta-release and free for testing (the current release expires in October if I recall correctly). I tested on a TyTn Pocket PC Phone Edition running Windows Mobile 6. It worked fine IMing to Google Talk. Since Google Talk is based on the protocol developed for Jabber, it should work fine with Jabber as well as its transport gateway.

Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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A Tale of Two (USB) Cables

USB cables

According to Wikipedia, USB 1.0 emerged in 1995 and 2.0 in 2000. You would think after all these years, its operation should be dirt simple and flawless (although I guess you would think ActiveSync/WMDC would have its act together after 11 years too). So, USB’s finickyness always amazes. Take the two cables pictured above. You would think they would be pretty similar. And, in fact, for the most part they are. The exception is when I try to use the white cable with an HTC Vox smartphone and try to sync it to WMDC on Windows Vista. Windows reports that it sees a USB device but can’t identify. Switching to the black cable solves the problem. And, yet, the white cable works for other functions and devices.

And there’s more USB-wise. Most of us know by now that there is a difference between powered and unpowered USB hubs. Windows Mobile users also generally know not to use any hub at all when upgrading firmware (plug in directly to the PC’s native USB port). But, did you know that the front ports sometimes deliver less power than the rear ports? This makes a difference to devices that draw a lot of power (e.g., USB hard drives powered through the port).

So, if you run into sync or other USB related issues, be sure to check all the variables you can: Cable, port position, unpowered vs. powered hub, front port vs. rear port, and whatever other USB variable you can manipulate.

Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Once Again: The Value of a Camera Phone

Camera phone photo

I took part of the afternoon off to attend a function for parents and students at my daughter’s school. And, sigh, I forgot to bring my digital camera (a Canon PowerShot A710IS). Fortunately, I always carry one or two Windows Mobile devices with integrated cameras. Today I had an HTC Advantage Pocket PC Phone Edition that happens to have a pretty decent lens and a 3 megapixel resolution. So, I was able to squeeze off a couple of photos at the school.

Now, are these photos as nice as ones that a decent point-and-shoot like my Canon would have taken? Not really. Are they better than nothing and pretty decent looking (good enough for a 4×6 print)? You bet! Thank goodness for cameraphones.

Digital Photography
Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Windows Mobile

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