Socket updates W-LAN CF and SD card drivers

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Feb 282005
 

Socket has released updated drivers for their SD and CF wireless cards. The download also includes the Socket WLAN Tools Mobile Edition v2 software utility for Windows Mobile 2003 which will allow you to view connection status, monitor available networks and troubleshoot connection issues. Among the features included:

  • Intuitive and easy-to-use graphical interface
  • Quickly see connection status and Internet availability
  • Find WiFi Networks – View all available WLANs with signal strength, security enabled/disabled, channel and AP MAC address
  • Ping an IP address or URL a few times or continuously
  • Trace route shows how your Pocket PC connects to an Internet site

And Arne Hess over at PPCW.net tried the WLAN tools on a SanDisk WiFi card and found that they worked!

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WiFi comes to Second Cup in Canada

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Feb 272005
 

Second Cup is rolling out WiFi access in a number of its coffee houses. The initial rollout will see 50 locations get wireless access with another 70 locations scheduled for a month later. Rogers Wireless Inc. will be providing the necessary infrastructure.

Access will only be free until April. After that, Rogers Wireless customers will be billed 15 cents per minute (directly on their invoice). Other users will be able to buy prepaid time allotments at either $15 for 24 hours or $9 per hour.

For Second Cup, offering WiFi is becoming a necessity as it competes against Starbucks and other coffee chains where WiFi is now often bundled with your caffe latte.

The article also has a list of the locations where WiFi will be deployed.

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Windows Mobile Update coming?

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Feb 252005
 

Back in January, I posted about 3 wishes I had for iPAQs in 2005 (over at www.iPAQabilities.com). One of them was the choice to do my own OS upgrades and not be limited by manufacturers’ decisions. Looks like Microsoft listened and is working on a Windows Mobile Update feature (similar to what you have for Windows XP). According to Marcus Perryman, a Microsoft Developer Evangelist, Microsoft is looking to separate the upgrade mechanism for bits that Microsoft owns from the bits that the OEM owns. This should mean that Microsoft can offer things like Media Player 10 updates directly from the Microsoft site.

Imagine that, being able to update your PDA to the latest when Microsoft issues an update!

Source: PocketPC Thoughts

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Another player in the microdrive arena

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Feb 242005
 

The microdrive arena is starting to get crowded. Already Hitachi, Seagate, Cornice and Toshiba are offering microdrives. And now Fujitsu has announced that it is considering entering this space. No word on any final decision or any details on what drives (1-inch or 1.8-inch or both) and capacity they plan to offer.

With microdrives becoming ubiquitous in so many devices, I suspect it won’t be long before we see one in a PocketPC PDA.

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Agenda Fusion Version 7.0 is now available

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Feb 242005
 

DeveloperOne has announced that Agenda Fusion 7.0 is now available.

The highlight of this new version is the new Project-Style view that will allow you to create a project list from your appointments, tasks, contacts and documents. Set timers to record time spent on a task or directly add a block of time allocated to your project or any item within the project. Use project properties to track the progress of your project and view a report of all of the details and time spent on the project. You can also generate project reports for easy time reporting and billing.

Other enhancements include the ability to organize all the available views in any order you want as well as hide those you don’t need, performance enhancements, easier dialing capabilities and more.

Agenda 7 can be purchased from our affiliate Handango for $29.95 USD. A trial version is also available.

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CNet’s top 10 PDAs

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Feb 242005
 

CNet’s Top 100 Products article features a section devoted to the Top 10 PDAs. Among some of the winners were:

  • the iPAQ hx4700 for Best Pocket PC handheld for business
  • the Dell Axim X30 series for Best value Pocket PC handheld
  • the Dell Axim X50v for Best entertainment handheld
  • the now venerable HP iPaq H4150 in the Thinnest Wi-Fi handheld category
  • and the PalmOne Treo 650 for Best smart phone

Each category winner is accompanied by a review that will shed light on why the PDA won its respective category.

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Win an nSignia case

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Feb 232005
 

nSignia is looking to you for some inspiration. What model PDA do you use, what leather do you like and what colour do you think would look good in a PDA case?

You have until February 28th to enter nSignia’s survey to let them know what you would like to see. Your entry will be entered into a draw to win a free exotic leather PDA case and the winner will be selected on March 1.

Source: PocketPC Thoughts

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New iPod minis & iPod Photos announced

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Feb 232005
 

Apple iPod mini

As expected, Apple announced new iPod Minis today. But some earlier rumours have proven to be incorrect. The second generation iPod mini comes with either a 4GB drive or 6GB drive. No new colours were announced and gold is no longer offered. And none of the new models have colour screens. Longer battery life is promised for both (18 hours on a battery charge).

Pricing will be $199 USD ($249 CAD) for the 4GB model and $249 USD ($319 CAD) for the 6GB model. They are already on sale at the Apple Store.

Two new iPod Photos were also announced: A 30GB model which replace the existing 40GB model and a 60GB model which will have a lower price than the existing one. The 30GB model will sell for $349 USD ($439 CAD) and the 60GB model will sell for $449 USD ($569 CAD).

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Skweezer adds support for RSS newsfeeds

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Feb 232005
 

Skweezer has added support for RSS newsfeeds after the results of a survey put this feature at the top of their wish lists. Users will no be able to read RSS feeds without having to use a standalone RSS reader.

Content accessed from the newsfeed is compressed and reformatted with Skweezer’s wireless optimization technology, making it faster to load and easier to view on a wireless handset. RSS feeds can also be bookmarked in Skweezer, allowing quick access to frequently visited newsfeeds right from the Skweezer homepage.

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MobiControl V1.02: Remote management of your PDAs

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Feb 222005
 

SOTI has announced the release of MobiControl, a suite of tools that will allow you to centrally manage and support your company’s mobile devices. If you are managing a large number of mobile devices, MobiControl will probably make your life easier. It will let you automatically deploy software and data, provides troubleshooting tools, automatic monitoring and problem correction, software inventory capabilities and more. MobiControl is compatible with all Windows CE based devices.

For example, imagine that one of your users has lost everything on their PDA due to a hard reset. Well, MobiControl offers a feature that will let you recover both data and software after such an event. And when it comes time to update software, MobiControl will let you push the changes at either a scheduled time or immediately. No more running after users to do software updates!

Pricing varies on the number of devices to be covered as well as the length of the service contract.

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More upcoming iPod rumours

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Feb 222005
 

Apple iPod mini

It looks like tomorrow could be the big day for Apple to announce new iPods. Rumours have it that the 4GB iPod mini will see a price drop to $199 USD and that a new 6GB iPod mini will be released for $249 USD. 6 new colours are also reportedly on the way.

Also expected are two iPods priced at $349 USD and $449 USD but no word whether these will be fifth-generation iPods or simply refreshes of the current fourth-generation ones.

Could one of these new iPods come with Bluetooth wireless capabilities as rumoured by appleinsider.com?

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The end of the Sony Clié

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Feb 222005
 

Almost a year ago, Sony pulled out of the handheld market everywhere except in Japan. Since that decision, only one new Clié; was released in Japan, the VZ90. Now, Sony has announced that it will pull out of the Japanese PDA market as well. No more Cliés. Instead Sony will consider partnering with others. Two potential partnerships would be with Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications for telecommunication-orientated products and Sony Computer Entertainment for gaming-orientated devices.

Sony’s exit in Japan now leaves only Sharp, Toshiba and Hewlett-Packard to compete in the PDA arena.

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Win a Piel Frama case at PocketPC Canada

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Feb 212005
 

PocketPC Canada is running a contest. 3 Piel Frama leather cases are up for grabs! The contest runs to March 15th.

To enter the contest, all you have to do is sign up for our newsletter by submitting a valid e-mail address between now and March 15th. Three names will be randomly chosen from all entries received in this timeframe, and the winners will be notified via the email address they provided once the contest is closed.

Good luck to all!

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MY|WEATHER: An alternative weather program

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Feb 212005
 

JGUI.net has released a plugin for your Today screen that provides weather information. MY|WEATHER will allow you to see current weather conditions, forecasts for the upcoming week and view reports in various styles. You set your area either by ZIP code or by city name and the application will auto-update when you are connected to the Internet. You can also collapse the application to a single line with only status and temperature to unclutter your Today screen.

MY|WEATHER can be purchased from our affiliate Handango for $17.99 USD. A trial version is also available.

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