Jerome Skalnik

Jerome is Gadgetorama's founder and Editor. His interest in mobile devices goes back to the Compaq PC Companion C120 and there has not been a time since that he has not had a mobile device (or more) on him.

Updated iPAQs coming?

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Jan 092005
 

BargainPDA.com reports that HP may be updating some of the new iPAQs sooner than later. According to some ‘loose lipped reps’, the h6300 Windows Mobile phone and the much-maligned rz1715 are candidates for updates.

The h6300 apparently will see its slide-on keyboard get replaced with some sort of integrated solution. The benefits: better input and less bulky.

And look for the rz1715 to get replaced with a completely new entry-level iPAQ.

There is not much more information than this at this point but it might be a clue as to where HP will go with iPAQs in 2005.

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50% off on Street Duel: Underground Racing for Pocket PC

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Jan 082005
 

Street Duel game

Enjoy car racing games? Street Duel: Underground is one such game based on the street racing subculture. You can race over rooftops, perform spectacular jumps and smash through traffic in the pursuit of the ultimate performance supercar.

Interested? If so, you will be interested to know that Pixelogic is offering a full 50% discount until the end of January. Use coupon code HAPPYNEWYEAR when making your purchase and you’ll get the game for $9.99 USD instead of the usual $19.99 USD.

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ActiveSync 3.8 now available

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Jan 072005
 

A new version of ActiveSync is now available from the Microsoft web site. Version 3.8 was posted yesterday with little information as to what enhancements and bug fixes it contains.

Microsoft ActiveSync 3.8 is the latest synchronization software for Windows Mobile-based Pocket PCs and Smartphones. ActiveSync 3.8 contains fixes making synchronization more trouble free than ever before and includes all the significant improvements brought to you in ActiveSync 3.5, 3.6, and 3.7.1: it is easy to install and use while offering the best levels of reliability.

Update: PocketPC Thoughts reports that the changes have to do with security. Windows XP SP2 security pop up warnings that appear the first time a Windows Mobile devices is docked have been eliminated and remote PC Sync (via Wifi or LAN) is now turned off by default. However, the latter can be enabled by users if needed.

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66MB/sec with new CompactFlash 3.0 Spec

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Jan 072005
 

www.theinquirer.net reports that CompactFlash will get a boost in performance with the new CD 3.0 spec just released by the CFA (CompactFlash Association). The new standard will improve transfer speeds from the current 16 MB/sec to 66 MB/secs as well as add Ultra DMA 33 and Ultra DMA 66 to reduce the processor power required to manage data transfers.

I suspect though that devices will have to comply with the new standard to take advantage of the new speeds and where they don’t, the speed will drop back to 16 MB/sec.

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Bye bye Pocket PC and Smartphone brands

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Jan 062005
 

This is not a huge surprise but PC World is reporting that Microsoft has begun to phase out the Pocket PC and Smartphone brands in favor of the Windows Mobile brand. And still again not a real surprise but this proces will take place over the next year or two as the now separate technologies get merged into a single one (Windows Mobile 2005?)

According to Microsoft, the convergence of brands will also eliminate any distinction between phone-centric devices and data-centric devices and eliminate any potential consumer confusion. Looks like the h6315 was just a taste of things to come.

Also of note is the fact that Microsoft will work with HP and other device makers to change naming conventions as the name ‘Pocket PC’ is commonly used to identify most Microsoft PDAs. “iPAQ Windows Mobile device”? I guess I could get used to it eventually…

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Microsoft prepares to battle spyware

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Jan 062005
 

Microsoft has released a beta version of its upcoming Windows AntiSpyware application. Based on software acquired in its purchase of Giant Software.

The product is designed to help protect users of Windows products from spyware – software that’s secretly installed on people’s computers for a variety of purposes, such as bombarding them with pop-up ads and tracking their Internet usage. The company claims the anti-spyware tools will help people keep their computers running faster and with fewer Web-related glitches.

As far as Microsoft’s plans for the software, little has been communicated to date. Will it be a stand-alone tool or will it be packaged with other Windows products (such as the upcoming antivirus software)? There also no dates for the official release.

It will be interesting to see how Windows AntiSpyware holds up against products such as Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware and Spybot – Search and Destroy.

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Just getting warmed up

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Jan 052005
 

Welcome to Gadgetorama! Gadgetorama will focus on news for PDAs and other cool gadgets. As I continue to set everything up, you will have noticed that I have started posting some news just to slowly get things moving forward.

So why another site about gadgets when there are so many other good ones out there? That’s easy! Working with Marc on iPAQabilities has been a lot of fun but I wanted to cover more products than just iPAQs. Marc and I had talked a lot about expanding the scope of iPAQabilities but with Marc so busy, I decided to fly solo. And here we are!

And with that, I’m off to continue to work on the site! Enjoy your stay!

PDA Buyer’s Guide Reviews the hx2750

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Jan 052005
 

PDA Buyer’s Guide’s Lisa Gade got her hands on an hx2750 and she likes it!

I’m getting tired of liking iPAQ Pocket PCs. This is an old problem of mine, dating back to the first revolutionary Pocket PC, the iPAQ 3600. The trouble is, they generally turn out some of the best Pocket PCs on the market; and the end result is that the name iPAQ has become synonymous with Pocket PC in many consumers’ minds.

Benchmarking reveals an iPAQ that beats every other iPAQ that she has seen, including the Dell Axim X50! And despite the fact that the screen is only QVGA, it still manages to impress. The downside (aside from the price?) – The lack of VGA. Is there anyone out there not clamouring for an hx2000 with VGA?

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Neowin reveals Windows Mobile 2005 beta screenshots

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Jan 042005
 

Neowin.net has revealed some details and screenshots of the upcoming Windows Mobile 2005. Apparently, Beta 2 (v5.0.1512 Build 14207) is currently being tested on the Motorola MPx220 Smartphone. Among the changes are the next generation of ActiveSync which will allow the synchronisation of Outlook contact pictures, improved finger accessibility of communications methods (does that mean new input methods?) and Windows Media Player 10.x Mobile with support for the new Janus DRM system.

One of the coolest new features will be “Pocket PC Persistent Store” which will prevent loss of data that occurs when you run out of battery power. Mobile Office and Internet Explorer Mobile will also be enhanced.

Also look for Wi-fi support on Smartphones, WPA supported, and the ability for Smartphone users to be able to talk on their phones and use Wi-fi simultaneously.

This sounds very cool!

Update: At Microsoft’s request, the article was pulled down by Neowin.net.

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HP Home Cinema Digital Projectors now in Canada

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Nov 172004
 

For us Canadians, HP is now selling two of its Home Cinema Digital Projector models through its online store. If you’re thinking of home cinema, these units might be worth considering. The ep7110 features 800 x 600 True SVGA (CDN$1799) while the ep7120 has 1024 x 768 True XGA resolution (CDN$3199).

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