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Saturday, 26.07.03
TEST DRIVE: Day 7 - Is Windows Mobile 2003 worth the upgrade?
Posted by Carlo Guerrero - at 21:29 CET under 09 - Thoughts

Having to live for a day without an Internet Connection and with no electricity made me take a different look at Windows Mobile 2003 Software for Pocket PC. Since I couldn't do much, I decided to set aside my other Pocket PCs which I've used for comparison to the ASUS MyPal A620. This time I relied only on one device - the MyPal A620. I tried living with just the MyPal A620 for one day which left me curious about how I would take it if I were to go back and settle for Pocket PC 2002.

Snappier than ever

I really enjoyed the snappier response of the Windows Mobile 2003 powered MyPal A620 which made activating applications so much easier and less time consuming. Moving from application to application was never a problem.

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Friday, 25.07.03
SERVICE: Amazing O2 Germany xda Customer Care
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:21 CET under 09 - Thoughts

Wow, I'm completely impressed how O2 Germany works and helps their xda customers!
Last weekend, my xda decided not to charge anymore, don't know why but for any reason it doesn't pick-up any power anymore while it still was connecting to ActiveSync. The battery was okay - as far as I've seen - since it still worked and had (according to Spb's excellent Pocket Plus) 4 hours of stand-by time.
So I called the O2 customer service to tell them that my xda don't want to charge anymore; this was yesterday and after some explanation what's wrong and that this isn't because any defect chargers or adapters the customer service told me I should remove my SIM card, remove every accessories including stylus because it will be swapped.

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THOUGHT: How much Smart Phone do you need?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:34 CET under 09 - Thoughts

As you know, for some weeks now I'm selling the Windows Powered HTC Tanager here from PPCW.Net and the experience I made during these weeks are impressive. Mostly I wonder how much Smart Phone, features and PC functionalities a cell phone should/could include making a user happy but not overstraining him.

I'm working in the GSM industry since 1993 and therefore I grew up with terminals. While my first cell phone - a Nokia 1011 - was a great phone those days, it was - compared to today - a dumb machine. It was good enough for making and receiving voice calls but I even wasn't able to call my mailbox; simply because in these days the carriers hadn't voice mail systems in their networks… :-)

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Thursday, 24.07.03
DELAYS: Power Outages and No Internet Connection
Posted by Carlo Guerrero - at 18:16 CET under 09 - Thoughts

This is definitely off-topic, but it still gives one an idea as to how bad things can get. We just got hit by a typhoon and strong winds have sent powerlines down. To make things worse, my phone lines refuse to cooperate leaving me with a very erratic connection. One minute I'm connected and one minute I'm not. Of course I had my SMART Amazing Phone and what a better time to make use of it right? Sad to say, it too failed to maintain a reliable connection which left me a whole day to actually test the Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC.

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Monday, 21.07.03
TEST DRIVE: Day 6 - Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC as a Multimedia platform
Posted by Carlo Guerrero - at 07:31 CET under 09 - Thoughts

Here is one portion which I thought I could easily finish in a few hours. As it turned out, I got carried away and wasn't able to post this segment on time. As I mentioned in previous segments of this Test Drive, I've been working on an ASUS MyPal A620. With the reputation of ASUS as being a manufacturer who puts importance on multimedia capabilities, I was so curious as to how well the A620 would perform.

I started out by encoding several clips for testing to find out the limitation of the device. My favored clip is actually a movie trailer of Minority Report by Steven Spielberg. The reason why I like testing devices on this clip is that it has a whole set of quick scene changes, from split second scenes to scenes of several seconds, full action and fairly static. I ran an encoding of the clip close to its original MPEG file which I had. And since Windows Mobile 2003 comes with Windows Media Player 9, I encoded the whole set in Windows Media Audio and Video 9 codecs.

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Friday, 18.07.03
TEST DRIVE: Day 5 - The improved Windows Mobile 2003 Connections
Posted by Carlo Guerrero - at 22:45 CET under 09 - Thoughts

The Connection manager must have been the component of Pocket PC 2002 which has received the most complaints. Stemming from the numerous steps it took to get to the Connections Settings, to the implementation of different connection settings for work and for Internet to the supposed smart connection it has that could determine which is the best way to connect to a network.

Luckily, for Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC, a lot of effort was placed in correcting the mistakes implemented in the Connection Manager. With Windows Mobile 2003 Connections, it is a breeze to set up a connection and nothing more than a tap on the Connectivity Icon can bring you to an immediate connection to Work settings or Internet settings. Microsoft adds a nice touch to it by adding a connection timer that measures the length of every session.

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TEST DRIVE: Day 4 - Looking at Pocket Office and PIE
Posted by Carlo Guerrero - at 11:24 CET under 09 - Thoughts

Probably one of the components that make up the Pocket PC OS which we have all been expecting to have been vastly improved would be Pocket Office. Sadly though, what we've expected from Microsoft still remains to be seen. Pocket Office, that is Pocket Word and Pocket Excel remains the same.

The only thing that has really changed are the exclusion of Word 6.0/95 Document and Excel 5.0/95 Workbook and Template Save As features. A pretty nice touch though for Pocket Word (which is also shared by the Inbox) is the Auto Correct feature. The database is a text file in the ROM, which hopefully can be modified somehow to add commonly misspelled words.

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DIARY: Traveling with Pocket PC Phone Edition and Smartphone only
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:24 CET under 09 - Thoughts

As you might recognized I was a little bit silent this week because I was out of the office for some days off with my family (on this point a big, big thank you to Carlo for keeping PPCW.Net updated).
I decided to take the Smartphone and the Pocket PC Phone Edition with me only, unlike I wrote in my earlier column (THOUGHT: How much Smartphone, PDA or Notebook do you need to be mobile?) but because this wasn't a business trip but a leisure trip I don't wanted to work that much but mostly I planned to use the devices to track news and PPCW.Net as well as reading and writing a handful E-Mails. While my Smartphone was with me all the time, daytimes I hadn't had the xda with me and I must say (again, like 1000 times before ;-)) the Smartphone rocks! Beside the limited E-Mail access (please Microsoft, add more E-Mail accounts to Smartphone 2002!!!) it was my complete companion. And with "01 Communique's I'm InTouch" service I even was able to read all my E-Mail accounts from my DSL connected Desktop PC.

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Wednesday, 16.07.03
TEST DRIVE: Day 3 - Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC's Contacts and Calendar
Posted by Carlo Guerrero - at 21:46 CET under 09 - Thoughts

Yesterday I talked about the new improved Inbox. But before we jump to another portion of Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC, let me add a few more comments on the improvements made on the Inbox. It seems that Microsoft has indeed fixed some of the bugs in Pocket PC 2002, one bug which I find annoying is the inability of the Inbox to remember to delete a deleted email from the server on connect/disconnect. It was rather a flaky affair but all seems to have been fixed now with Windows Mobile 2003. A nice touch also is the ability to add a signature to new email as well as to replies or forwarded messages. You can assign different signatures for different accounts.

Today we shall look at the other two most used components in Pocket Outlook, the Contacts and the Calendar...

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Tuesday, 15.07.03
TEST DRIVE: Day 2 - A look at the Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC Inbox
Posted by Carlo Guerrero - at 19:38 CET under 09 - Thoughts

For the second day of the Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC test drive, I decided to concentrate more on the Inbox and slightly on the the connection manager. In the previous segment of the test drive we reviewed the improvements made on the Today screen. It seems that Microsoft has put a lot of emphasis on navigation and accessibility.

Going back a bit on the subject of the Today Screen, the Inbox plug-in has been improved to provide quick access to the Inbox and its specific accounts. Unlike with previous versions of the Pocket PC which only allows you to jump to the active account in the Inbox, the Inbox Today Screen plug-in for Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC actually allows you to select which account to open right from the start. This I would say is a very helpful change that makes the Pocket PC experience a really good one.

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Monday, 14.07.03
TEST DRIVE: Windows Mobile 2003 - The Today Screen, info at first glance
Posted by Carlo Guerrero - at 08:36 CET under 09 - Thoughts

Have you ever really wondered about what's really so good with Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC? News and comments have gone around the internet that the changes were simply incremental and are rather concentrated on bug fixes. Well, I think Arne's articles on the new HP iPAQ h2200 series running Windows Mobile 2003 proves otherwise and the performance of the new OS is pretty much improved.

So let us now look at Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC in a 7-day test drive and see how much we can discover about the new OS that runs our favorite Pocket PC platform.

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Thursday, 10.07.03
THOUGHT: Is MMS Picture Postcard the next messaging "hype"?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:08 CET under 09 - Thoughts

Several networks across Europe has already released their "MMS Picture to Postcard" services during the past months and I wonder if this is becoming a real hype (at least during holiday seasons) or not.

For all of you who haven't heard about it, it's a pretty simple but fancy and convergent service as it combines the cell phone world with the traditional snail mail world:

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Sunday, 06.07.03
THOUGHT: Only use the appropriate ROM for your Pocket PC and Smartphone
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:01 CET under 09 - Thoughts

Since the introduction of Pocket PC 2002 all Pocket PCs has a flashable ROM which makes it easy for Microsoft and the OEMs to provide updates, upgrades and fixes (something we know as EUU = End User Upgrade). However, that days it also began that some OEMs provided EUUs earlier than others and the users started to mix-up EUUs like using an iPAQ EUU on a Jornada.
Even more dramatically is it if you use Pocket PC Phone Edition EUUs on difference devices like a GSM 900/1800 EUU for the xda on a GSM 900/1900 device from AT&T Wireless since you might screw up the radio module.

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