MobileTechReview has put their licenses on the line and created a blog for my ramblings. While I haven't cranked out any reviews in a while, I have been very busy with technology stuff. Tomorrow I will post the first in a series recounting my recent journey on the desktop, which also applies to your mobile laptops. I'm sure a few folks will be quite surprised at what I've been up to lately.
I will also use this blog to post future reviews, as well as to comment on events in the mobile technology world. Blogging can own one's life, so be forewarned--I will not be posting daily. My goal is to post at least once a week, hopefully more often at times. Major blog posts will be noted on the news page so that you don't miss the best stuff.
So, swing by regularly. Bring some popcorn and a cold glass of nature's own water, kick off your shoes, put your feet up, and enjoy the show!
Hello Tanker Bob, Not sure of your name so that will have to work. I have following your web postings from the time of your postings on Palm. I have been a Palm user and supporter for several years now. My entry into the use of PDA's began with a Handspring Visor in a green shirt that nobody wanted. I took it only to find out later "and gladly". I have been a PDA guru ever since never leaving the house without one. I don't want to get long winded here. I am looking for a recommendation. I have read your stuff including your migration from Palm to the Axim. I even gave the Axim a try at one point. Purchased it, played with it for couple of weeks and returned it. I went back to an old favorite, that being the Tungsten T complete with the original Graffiti. Back to the question(sorry bout that), in lieu of Datebk what is your software of choice? And...how do you handle the alarms issue that windows mobile platform seems to have such difficulty with? I am looking for a new device and again find myself tempted by the Dell Axim but I wish I knew pre-purchase that I could make this device as functional as I still find my Tungsten T(even with its digital drift issues)to be. My sincere thanks and appreciation for any words of advice/wisdom. Regards, Mark
Wow, thank you for your confidence. One of the quiet movements of the past several years is the slow migration of Palm software developers to the PPC/WM platform. A number of popular programs are available on both sets of devices now.
That said, datebk isn't one of those. The loss of datebk was my #1 concern upon switching platforms. Pocket Informant was recommended to me at the time and I've been using it since the beginning. The developer is responsive to user issues, and keeps his software at the top of the PIM heap IMO. It's very easy to use, but like datebk, takes a while to work through all the configuration options. PI looks great on the VGA screen and plays well with other programs. I've tried Agenda Fusion, another popular PIM, but it hammers the graphics subsystem in the X50v whenever it runs, forcing a soft reset to get other graphics programs to work after AF exits. YMMV.
I haven't had any alarm issues with WM2003SE. I think that 2003SE may have solved the problems. However, if you are concerned, try running Wakeup Tweak. It supposedly cleans up any alarm or calendar issues. I also run SKTools regularly, which keeps my device cleaned up. That was the first PPC program I registered and I still live by it.
I'm assuming that you've visited my PPC software page to see my comments on the various programs that I've used. It may provide a helpful guide. And of course you can always find me here.
What I meant when I talked about the alarms in WMobile was the seeming lack of them. You know well the functionality of Datebk. The ability to set alarms a day or two or three ahead of time as well as the number of times the alarm will sound before an appointment, etc.. Is this alarm functionality available in Pocket Informant? It was seemingly lacking when last I had a go with the Axim and Pocket Informant. I am not sure if this lack of functionality stems from the PIM, the OS itself or perhaps my own ignorance. If you tell me I can have the same functionality in terms of alarms I have in Datebk, I may very well be surfing my way over to the Dell site this evening. Do you have any recommendations in terms of a hardware platform at this point in time? Would you recommend the X51V over your X50? That is what you are still using isn't it? Again having read much of your stuff that I have found on the net I hold your opinion(s) in high regard and appreciate any advice you could offer. I use my Palm on a daily basis and wouldn't leave home without it. It is my second brain. When I can't remember something, chances are a search of my T will yield the results I am after. Yet I yearn for something new and different already. I sincerely hope your blog takes off here. Good luck with it! Thanks again. Mark
The limitations in repeat alarms is endemic to the operating system, but there are programs to fix that. One free program that can do repeat alarms is the free apReminderPlus. It can also ramp up the alarm volume. spbPocketPlus can do the same thing, but it does much more and isn't free. I'm using the repeat alarms in PocketPlus right now.
Advance alarms are included in Pocket Informant (days, hours, minutes). I know that the newest version of PI added some stuff, but I haven't had time to plumb the depths.
Either way, the setup is quite different from datebk, and I believe that's due to the differences in platforms. Microsoft is also much more helpful to developers than Palm ever thought of being, and that allows some great functionality without huge effort reverse engineering the Palm OS APIs, especially the Dynamic Input Areas. As you'd expect, PPC programs tend to work much more like your desktop apps than Palm apps do. I guess you've read my series here on MTR about my journey from Palm to PPC. That covered a lot of the differences.
You can download and look for your desired features in the PI documentation. I'm happy to answer any ambiguities that you may find there. My brain fills up faster these days than it used to, and I've forgotten more about most programs that I've used than I remember if I don't use features regularly.
The hardware of the X50v and X51v are almost identical, with the major exception of the amount of internal flash memory. WM5 works differently than WM2003SE at the system level. In particular, the install system stinks in WM5. I beta test for quite a few developers in WM, and WM5 generates the most installation problems by far. Also, WM5 uses ActiveSync 4.x, which by design doesn't support syncing over WiFi. I'm still using AS 3.8, the last version that supported WiFi because I synced that way from all over the house when needed. Although AS 4.5 adds some nice capabilities, I refuse to give up WiFi syncing while I can still keep it. Of course, Linux doesn't support syncing WM devices yet, so this point has become almost moot.
To be fair, WM5 and the X51v represent the future direction in WM. WM6 will be out shortly, with a few advance devices already being demonstrated. Someday 2003SE will drop off of the support stage long before WM5. For that reason alone, if my X50v irrecoverably died, I'd probably get an X51v. I still like the Dells for all the features packed into small packages.