PocketPC

GPS Receiver plus Micro SD Card

Ever since I got my MDA from T-Mobile, my HP HX2495 PocketPC has been lounging around, pretty much unused. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I decideed to dig it out and use it around the house — I’ve got good wireless connectivity all over here (better than my T-Mobile connection) and, while the MDA has WiFi, it drains the battery really fast. The iPAQ has both an SD slot and a CF slot. This week, it occurs to me that I could plug a GPS receiver into the SD slot and use it as a GPS! And then it occurs to me that this was one of the things I was planning to do back when I bought it (too much to do, too little time).

OK, so, with that introduction, Spectec has introduced an SD GPS receiver with a Micro-SD slot. It’s not available yet but MicroPlanet has it available on pre-order for $176. I need to do a little more research but this is looking pretty good to me. Comies with the SiRF Star III chipset. This post on GearDiary has more information.

Why don’t I just buy a good BT GPS? I dunno, maybe I will. I’m still investigating.

MDA OS update

T-Mobile finally released their update to the MDA ROM. This update brings the Bluetooth Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (aka AADP or A2DP) to the phone and what this does is permit connecting high quality Bluetooth headphone like the Motorola HT820. It also brings Direct Push Email which is a pretty cool feature. Blackberry users have had this for a long time but it’s relatively new for Windows Mobile devices. It sends email updates to you, live, when they occur. And there are also miscellaneous stability updates. All in all, a really good package.

Just FYI, HowardForums.com hosts a great T-Mobile MDA/SDA forum which is where I learned of this release and of a beta or two before the formal release. Another great site is XDA-developers.com.

Can’t send email with QMail3?

Every time I reinstall QMail3 or add a new account and try to send email, I always end up with an error message “Error occurred while sending”. And every time, I scratch my head and wonder what the heck I forgot. Here the answer: mark one of the folders as an Outbox. You do it from the properties display of the folder within QMail3 and the easiest way to do this is to select the account from the top drop-down. This will display all folders for that account. From there you can click-hold a folder and select Properties. Once there, you’ll see that you can set the Box Type to Inbox, Outbox and a few other things. If there’s no Outbox selected for the account, you can’t send email. It’s that simple.

My recommendation: create a local folder and make that the Outbox. Otherwise you’ll have to connect to write the email to the Outbox and the email will be transferred a total of 3 times: once from your Pocket PC to the Outbox, once from the Outbox back to your PocketPC to be sent and once to actually be sent. The easiest way to create a local folder? Click-hold on the name of the account in the top drop-down and select Create. From the resulting dialog, make sure you select Local in the Type field.

New QMail3 V2.9.25.3319

As of 7/26 there’s a new version (2.9.25.3319) of my favorite free Pocket PC IMAP client, QMail3. It now suposedly supports WM5, although I’m running WM5 on both of my devices and I’ve never really had a problem with it. There’s also a set of updated SSL modules (which you can download from here, down at the bottom). Matter of fact, if you look at that page, you’ll see that you can download not only what he calls the “snapshot” (aka stable build) but the nightlies, too.

Download links, all for ARM processors:

Snapshot for WM5
Nightly build
Open SSL

I’m baaack, with a new HTC Wizard, aka T-Mobile MDA Vario

I waited for about 2 weeks after T-Mobile released the MDA Vario. It’s a Pocket PC running Windows Mobile 5, not unlike the iPAQ I bought a while back, plus it connects to T-Mobile’s high-speed EDGE network. So I get relatively high-speed connections over the air (I have seen upwards of 200Kbps).

I’ve been spending the last few weeks familiarizing myself with its features, its software and what’s available for it. Since it’s an HTC Wizard, there’s a really active and knowledgeable user community over at xda-developers.com. With the right software you can load QTek’s code or Orange’s code or iMate’s code or even a load from T-Mobile UK (those are different sellers and mobile providers). Why would you want to do that? Each provider can, and usually does, customize the phone with their own features. Not to mention that HTC releases their own updates every so often.

On a technical level it’s a truly amazing phone/PDA combo. It’s not for everyone but I’m keeping it. Does it do everything as well as my Blackberry? No, but it does somethings MUCH better and that’s why I’m keeping it. What things? Its browser selection is much broader with PIE included (but there’s also Mozilla’s MiniMo and, of course, Opera) and the high-speed connection makes it oh so much more pleasant to surf. It’s got push email, meaning I don’t have to specifically check my email — when a new message is delivered, it gets sent to the phone automatically, which is very similar to the Blackberry. It can stream audio and video and play WMA, WAV, MP3, OGG and a whole host of other file formats, plus, it’s got a whole world of add-ons and applications. Oh, and did I mention it’s got WiFi, too? So if my cellular connection isn’t working, I can switch on the WiFi and get connected that way. And the Internet service option offered by T-Mobile includes unlimited hot-spot time. Last night, I was at one of my local restaurants which was a few doors down from a Kinko’s. I switched on my WiFi, just for grins, and found a T-Mobile hot-spot. Sweet! Oh, and did I mention that it has a 1.3 megapixel camera, too? Yeah, so I can snap a picture and upload it to one of the mobile picture services and, yes, T-Mobile includes one in their service plan.

So, yes, I’m keeping it and retiring my Blackberry. Over the next little while Ill be posting links to some sites and software I find particularly useful or helpful.