Dell Axim X50v: As close to perfection as you can get?

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Jan 172005

The folks over at The Register just reviewed the Dell Axim X50v and to say that they loved it would be an understatement. With an overall ratting of 98% and the comment that This is certainly the best PDA I’ve ever used., there was not much that they did not love.

There are no benchmarks but they did put the X50v through its paces with some DivX movies. The playback and quality of the VGA screen impressed them very much. This makes the X50v a serious alternative to carrying round one of the new breed of bigger and heavier hard disk-based video players.

The drawbacks? A somewhat improperly located ‘Record’ function button and a bit of disapointment about the two-tone black fascia with silver piping round the edges of the unit.

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Covertec cases for most new iPAQs now available in North America

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Jan 172005

Covertec case

My favorite iPAQ cases are the ones by Covertec. Unfortunately, being a European company, it always takes a little time for their products to make their way across the Atlantic. Today, I was looking at their web site and noticed that cases for the rz1700, rx3000, hx4700 and h6300 families are now available in North America.

Unfortunately, no cases for the newer hx2000 family are available yet (North America or elsewhere).

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Drivers, please protect your sideburns!

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Jan 172005

Stuntcar Extreme

Ready for a little stunt driving? Here in Toronto, winter has set in and after every snowfall, the roads feel like a stunt arena. But to avoid wrecking your car or if there is no snow in your neighbourhood, check out Stuntcar Extreme by Fathammer.

This is the most extreme form of racing, and only the best of the best, or the craziest of the crazy, participate in the ruthless duels on the dangerous tracks. Advanced car physics, fearsome opponents and insane jumps guarantee that the experience will be hair-raising.

Features include quick race and championship game modes, head-to-head wireless multiplayer action, 20 different cars, 7 tracks, a tongue-in-cheek story and more.

Stuntcar Extreme is available for $19.95 USD.

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Security alert: Windows Mobile Odyssey WEP Key Exposed

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Jan 162005

Airscanner has found a serious security flaw in the way the Windows Mobile Odyssey client manages the WEP key information. The WEP keys are stored as plaintext in the registry! Anyone who gains access to the PDA can very easily read it and then gain access to the WEP protected network.

The Windows Mobile Odyssey client is included on the Dell X50 series.

The flaw was reported to Dell back in November but they have not responded to date.

Source: Pocket PC Canada

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Contact Us Form now active

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Jan 162005

Got some PDA news you want to share with us? Do you have a product announcement relating to PDAs? Do you want us to review a product? Or do you see something wrong on the site? Good news! We have finally set up our ‘Contact Us’ form and you can now drop us an email.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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Password creation with your PDA

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Jan 142005

Coming up with strong passwords is imperative these days. If you want a little help with this process, check out visPassword from sfr GmbH. visPassword allows you to quickly generate new individual passwords. A clipboard function allows you to move the passwords to other applications. One cool tool is ‘Memory Hook’ that provides you with an easy way to remember your password.

Best of all, visPassword is freeware and is available for both is available for Pocket PC and Palm.

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Top Ten PDA Failures

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Jan 142005

The Rex PDA

I first got involved with PDAs when Compaq released the Aero. Since then (and even before), we have seen a multitude of PDA brands, form factors and related technologies come and go. Once in a while, there is a particular flameout! MLAgazine, a site that focuses on “the history of the personal computer, the people that made it and the people who sold it”, has published an article on the top ten PDA failures.

Having had a chance to play with the Rex (10th on the list), I have to agree that it deserved to be on the list. Cool idea, poor execution. And it was definitely interesting to read about GEOS. I loved GEOS on my Commodore 64 but never knew that it had made an unsuccessful leap into PDAs.

But should the Newton really be on the list?

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EPIC – The future of the web and news?

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Jan 142005

I caught this on PocketPC Thoughts. It’s 2014 and Museum of Media History short documentary looks at the evolution of media. The New York Times has gone offline. The Fourth Estate’s fortunes have waned. What happened to the news? And what is Epic?

It’s a thought-provoking Flash animation that presents one interesting possible way that the Internet and its biggest players (Amazon, Blogger, Google and Microsoft) could influence not only how we read news but also how news is reported. Enjoy!

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Pocket PC Techs add new repair services

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Jan 132005

Pocket PC Techs have expanded their repair service offerings to include touchscreen repairs on the HP iPAQ 51/54/5500 Series and Dell Axim X3/X3i/X30 Series Pocket PCs. For the iPAQs, replacing the LCD and touchscreen will cost you $199 USD while the Dell repair costs $159 USD.

Definitely cheaper than buying a new PDA!

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Ontario Pocket PC User Group Meeting on January 19

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Jan 132005

Did you get a PDA for Christmas? Not sure what all of its features are? Want to meet some folks who love their PDAs and who can help you discover yours. The first Ontario Pocket PC User Group meeting of 2005 will take place on Wednesday, January 19th at First Canadian Place in Toronto.

Update: Agenda details are now available:

  • 6:30 pm – Doors open
  • 6:35 pm – Pizza and Swap Meet (feel free to bring your stuff to swap)
  • 7:00 pm – Meeting Opens w/intros and greetings
  • 7:15 pm – Brent Westgate from Telus Business Solutions and Andres Dounis from Acetech Communications Inc. – “Contingency Planning/Disaster Recovery/Wireless & Wired line convergence”
  • 8:00 pm – Break
  • 8:15 pm – Member Presentation – Remzi Semsettin Turer – “News Bits”
  • 8:30 pm – Open forum
  • 9:00 pm – 9:30 pm Lockup, go home to our angry wives/husbands

And somewhere (somewhen?), there will be some giveaways.

With my son being 6 weeks old, I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it down but I will try.

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Your iPAQ Sommelier

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Jan 122005

Wine Enthusiast 2005

Turn your PDA into your personal sommelier with Landware’s Wine Enthusiast Guide 2005. Everything is there to help you choose, evaluate, manage your own wine cellar and, most importantly, enjoy your wine. You can find out all kind of information such as up-to-date details, ratings and retail prices for over 12000 wines from everywhere in the world. Wine reviews up to the March 2005 issue of Wine Enthusiast Magazine are included.

Other features include a 21 lesson course on wine appreciation. Lessons include topic such as pairing food with wine, ordering wine, styles and vintages, glassware and serving and cellaring wine. 1400 terms (like regions, grape varieties, wine types, etc) are defined to help you with the lingo that comes with that fine bottle of wine. And if you have your own wine collection, you can use Wine Enthusiast to track it – Everything from cost and purchase details, stock and placement records, aging information and your tasting notes can be recorded.

Wine Enthusiast is available for both Palm and Pocket PC PDAs for $19.95 USD.

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iPod meets Flash memory

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Jan 112005

Apple iPod Shuffle

As widely expected, Apple announced two new iPods at its annual MacWorld show. Called the ‘iPod shuffle’, one model comes with 512Mb of memory (about 120 songs), the other with 1 Gb (about 240 songs). Unlike their bigger brothers, these new iPods use flash memory rather than hard drives. The form factor is also completely different – the shuffle is a slender white rectange with no display and a navigation wheel on the side.

To load songs onto it, you can connect through an optional cradle or plug the shuffle directly into your USB port.

The iPod shuffle will cost $99 USD (or $129 CDN) for the 512Mb model and $149 USD ($189 CDN) for the 1Gb model.

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Inexpensive Mac Mini announced at MacWorld

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Jan 112005

Apple Mini Mac

And again the rumours were right: the Mac Mini is here! The base model will sell for $499 USD (or $629 CAD) and comes with a 1.25GHz G4 processor and a 40 GB drive. A second more powerful model with a 1.42GHz G4 processor and 80GB hard drive will cost you $550 USD ($749 CAD). Both come with a slot-loading CD-R/DVD-ROM optical drive, 256MB DDR SDRAM and ATI Radeon 9200 graphics chip with 32MB dedicated DDR SDRAM. Monitor, keyboard and mouse are all extra though.

And mini it is: a square 6.5 inches and 2 only inches tall. Impressive!

I suspect that with this and the iPod Shuffle, 2005 could be another banner year for Apple.

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