April 2002

iPAQ sales up in first quarter
According to Reuters, sales of the Compaq iPAQ Pocket PC for the first quarter, which is marketed primarily to corporations, are up 18% compared to last year. Sales were US$160 million for the quarter, and a total of two million iPAQs have been sold since its inception. -- Posted Monday, April 29, 2002 by chb

Palm m125 joins entrepreneur on Int'l Space Station
South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth carried a Palm m125 handheld on his mission to the International Space Station yesterday. Palm South Africa has been working with a South African Palm OS developer to create a customized Date Book application that could serve Shuttleworth's minute-by-minute schedule needs. "It's been an exciting time for us, to be part of this historic occasion and have the opportunity to show the flexibility and growing reach of Palm products," said Sean Heyes, country mangager for Palm South Africa. Earthbound Palm handheld users can download Shuttleworth's daily activity schedule at the Palm South Africa and First African in Space websites. -- Posted Friday, April 26, 2002 by sab

FilePoint Pro takes Palm OS file management to the desktop
Bachmann Software has introduced FilePoint Pro, a file management tool for Palm OS devices than enables comprehensive viewing and modification of files on any Palm device from any Windows PC. No longer is the Palm's file structure hidden, it can all be modified and restructured from a desktop or notebook computer, including files on removeable media. FilePoint Pro is US$49.99. FilePoint users (Palm OS only file management) can upgrade for US$29.99. Purchase before May 31, 2002, and Bachmann Software will throw in the PrintBoy application, which allows direct printing from a Palm device to an IrDA-enabled printer. http://www.bachmannsoftware.com -- Posted Friday, April 26, 2002 by sab

New ScotteVest for Summer weather
The latest ScotteVest 2.0 Sport is made of lighter material and in a lighter color to reflect more heat. It's available for an introductory price of US$109 at the ScotteVest website. Version 2.0 introduced zip-off sleeves and a cleaner look in the front for carrying your electronic gadgets without that bulky commando look. http://www.scottevest.com -- Posted Friday, April 26, 2002 by sab

Purple Data Cables connects Visor to Garmin GPS
Purple Data Cables' new offerings connect 8-pin Handspring Visor units to 12 selected Garmin GPS units for US$49.99. The advantage of the new cables is that they draw less than one tenth the power of standard RS232 (serial) cables. Model numbers are PLPH-GA and PLPH-GE. http://www.pcables.com -- Posted Friday, April 26, 2002 by sab

Symbian opens source code
Symbian, mobile phone OS manufacturer, has opened its source code to developers under its Symbian Platinum Program. Symbian already allows mobile phone companies access to all relevant source code, but the announcement is that developers of other platform types will also get access. http://www.symbian.com -- Posted Thursday, April 25, 2002 by sab

Microsoft exec predicts dire computing future
The best opening line of any computer-related story in recent history comes from Reuters today: "Using a personal computer would turn into a confusing and frustrating experience under antitrust sanctions sought against Microsoft... according to a Microsoft executive." 'Would turn into?!' Where has this guy been? -- Posted Thursday, April 25, 2002 by sab

iGolf GPS measures ball distance with accuracy
iGolf Technologies has announced their new Palm OS program for measuring golf ball travel distance. With a Magellan GPS receiver attached to a Palm OS device users can more accurately measure each swing distance, comparing that to the club used. "This addresses on of the biggest challenges facing golfers," said Brian Verdugo, President of iGolf Tech, "judging distance." Works with Palm, Handspring, and Sony Palm OS products. http://www.igolfgps.com -- Posted Wednesday, April 24, 2002 by sab

.US domain launches Wednesday
Those eager to declare their US citizenship on the Web, or just interested in getting a name already secured by a .com, might want to visit http://www.neustar.us/ tomorrow after 10:00 am EST. All United States citizens are eligible to register their .us domain name, according to the site (.us was previously available only to government agencies). -- Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2002 by sab

Landware releases 2002 Zagat guide on MMC
"The perfect place to eat is just a few clicks away," says Landware regarding their new 2002 Zagat Restaurant and Nightlife Guide on MMC. "Imagine being able to carry around a 14 inch tall stack of Zagat's renowned burgundy-colored guides in a postage-stamp-sized package." With review and ratings for over 81,000 restaurants, users can search by cuisine, features, and locations. To really impress that client, you can beam restaurant details for your next meeting directly into his PDA. US$34.95 http://www.landware.com/zagat/mmc/ -- Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2002 by sab

Opera for Symbian upgraded
Opera Software has released a new version of their browser for the Symbian OS. Version 5.14 offers a few bug fixes. Compatible with the Psion Series 5mx, Revo, Netbook, and Oregon Osaris, the new version is a 3MB download available from http://www.opera.com -- Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2002 by sab

Sharp announces beta launch of Zaurus Mobile Services
Sharp Mobile Services' consumer wireless solution for the new Zaurus 5500 will work over a CDPD network via Aether Systems. Currently in Beta, users can send and receive email from POP3 and IMAP4 accounts, view attachments, and browse the Web. "Aether Fusiona," a data compression and optimization method, makes browsing on the Zaurus faster and more efficient, says the Sharp press release. During beta testing, the service is available at a reduced rate. The service uses the Enfora Pocket Spider IIc CDPD modem. The modem during beta testing is US$199 with a US$100 rebate; after official launch, the price remains the same and the rebate goes down to US$50. Beta service fees are US$29.95 with no activation fee, and US$39.95 after with a US$29.95 activation fee. http://www.sharpmobile.com -- Posted Monday, April 22, 2002 by sab

Handspring selects AirPrime module for CDMA Treo
AirPrime, maker of the CDMA version of the VisorPhone, has been selected to provide the module that will make the Handspring Treo compatible with Nationwide CDMA networks. According to the company, "AirPrime's Helium 1X family of embedded modules are small, light weight, and support multiple frequency band configurations to achieve an optimal balance of functionality, coverage, and cost." | http://www.airprime.com | http://www.handspring.com | -- Posted Monday, April 22, 2002 by sab

Free LaCie backup tool for all Mac users
Remember Backup software? It used to be a useful tool on all platforms, but the Windows Registry killed the utility of backup software for most users. LaCie, maker of all kinds of backup hardware, is making it easy at least for Mac users with the launch of SilverKeeper. The software solution will make it easy, the company says, for users to backup their valuable data and programs to any external media, be it LaCie or other manufacturers' hardware. To make backups more likely to occur, they can be scheduled for automatic startup. The new software will be included with all LaCie hardware and is available for free download from http://www.silverkeeper.com -- Posted Monday, April 22, 2002 by sab

Hitachi announces PIN Secure MultiMediaCard
Hitachi Semiconductor America's new PIN Secure MultiMediaCard (MMC) is touted as the first with a user-authentication function. Without any changes to existing MMC reader hardware, the 32MB cards feature a Tamper Resistant Module (TRM) wherein the Personal Identification Number is stored. Data is encrypted based on the PIN and cannot be accessed without it. Hitachi says that this method is more secure than traditional methods, because the PIN is usually stored along with the encrypted data, whereas the TRM offers greater security. Samples are available now for developers. http://www.hitachi.com -- Posted Monday, April 22, 2002 by sab

Bargains at TigerDirect
Some significant bargains struck our eye in the new TigerDirect catalog, a few of which readers might want to check out. The HP Jornada 547 Pocket PC with a free Novatel Wireless modem for US$249.99 (US$149 after $100 mail in rebate). That's a 133MHz unit with 32MB RAM. They also have the Visor Deluxe Graphite for US$99.99, the PK Electronics Blackout Buster 500VA UPS for US$79.99, and refurbished Casio M500 units for US$219. -- Posted Monday, April 22, 2002 by sab

DeLorme Topo USA 4.0 combines roads and topographical maps
DeLorme's new Topo USA 4.0 brings roads and destination routing to their topographical mapping software. With more than six million miles of roads and 300,000 miles of trails, PC users can use the split screen view to see both flat and 3D plots of the terrain they'll be traveling on their journey. Users can search for street addresses, and specific map objects, create automatic trail maps and road routes with elevations, and access information about given features on a map, like lake size and elevation. With a laptop and Earthmate GPS, users can track their position on 3D maps in real time. Data from handheld GPS units can also be uploaded into the program for route plotting. Topo maps can be compared to downloadable satellite imagery for some states. Topo maps can also be uploaded to the XMap Handheld program for Palm and Pocket PC. US$99 -- Posted Wednesday, April 17, 2002 by sab

Quickoffice documents can now be emailed
Working with Corsoft, Cutting Edge Software has made it possible for Palm OS users to email documents and spreadsheets to deskbound colleagues with new conversion software. Using a wireless device, a Quickoffice document can be composed or edited on a handheld, emailed to a desktop user, edited there via Word or Excel, and emailed back to the mobile Quickoffice users. Individual users must subscribe to Corsoft's translation service for US$30 per year. Corporate customers can install five-user backend software, Corsoft Aileron Enterprise Server, for US$2,495. A Quickoffice and Aileron bundle for individual users is available at http://www.handango.com for US$49.95. -- Posted Wednesday, April 17, 2002 by sab

Handspring announces loss, lower sales
Handspring said its sales would be between US$47 and 57 for the June quarter instead of the expected US$88 million. Sales for the current quarter fell 54% to just under US$60 million, with a loss of US$23 million. Analysts cited various reasons, from post holiday lag, to general problems in the PDA market, to prices that are still too high, to a slow ramp-up of Treo sales. -- Posted Tuesday, April 16, 2002 by chb

Brinks taps Melard SIDEARM for rugged field computing
Brinks Home Security's service technicians will be using SIDEARM All-terrain handheld computers nationwide, according to manufacturer Melard Technologies. The rugged wireless Windows CE devices provide technicians with up to 12 hours continuous use with their power management system. The SIDEARM line of handhelds are designed to withstand heavy wind and rain, spills, dirt, and accidental drops. http://www.melard.com -- Posted Monday, April 15, 2002 by sab

WalkAbout Computers plans rugged Tablet PC
WalkAbout's Hammerhead tablet will soon run the Microsoft Tablet PC operating system, according to the company. "There is a lot of interest among our customers for a rugged Tablet PC," said Alex Loeb, VP of Microsoft's Tablet PC division. "We are pleased WalkAbout is developing a rugged Tablet PC." http://www.walkabout-comp.com -- Posted Monday, April 15, 2002 by sab

DAP Technologies launches UK sales office
DAP has appointed Mr. Andrew Haworth to lead its new UK sales office. "Since I have joined DAP, I have been immensely impressed with the systems and structure that have been put in place in order for the company to keep a clear focus on its goals and objectives," said Mr. Haworth. http://www.daptech.com -- Posted Monday, April 15, 2002 by sab

iPAQs track Boston Marathoners
Compaq iPAQs armed with Nextel modems will be used to track registered participants of the 106th Boston Marathon today. Participants will wear small computer chips on their shoes or wheelchairs, which will be read by stationary sensor mats as the participants pass over them. "The Compaq Athlete Search System will provide details about each participant's progress via the network to allow family and friends, as well as an international audience, to follow the action from start to finish," according to a company release. 22 Compaq volunteers will be "clearly identified in bright red shirts with the words, 'Ask Me About Your Runner' stenciled on them." With a name or bib number, these representatives can look up the participant on their iPAQ. Participant updates will also be available from the race website: http://www.bostonmarathon.org | http://www.compaq.com | -- Posted Monday, April 15, 2002 by sab

Techno gap widens as screeners detonate Shanghai shoes
The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that San Francisco Airport screeners have today arrested a Shanghai man and detonated his shoes after they discovered they were each wired with batteries and a heating plate. The man was on a flight from Shanghai, China to New York, and had to deplane and go through security in San Francisco before proceeding. The case points up a technology gap that is widening between Asia and the United States, and perhaps a fashion gap as well, since such heated shoes are popular in Asia and relatively unknown in the US except among hunters and hikers. The lowest common denominator in such techno gaps seems to be revealed at the airport security checkpoint, where innocuous devices like the Palm i705 with its red and green flashing lights, and specialized PDA styli have been confiscated by authorities who have apparently never seen these items which we find commonplace. Be aware that mere posession of a GPS or GPS-looking device can be considered threatening in some airports and pack accordingly. And by all means cooperate with authorities, no matter how frustrating their lack of knowledge may be. It will all work out if you remain calm--just hope nothing gets detonated. | Full SJMN shoe story | -- Posted Wednesday, April 10, 2002 by sab

Credit Union customers will get wireless notification
SOSystems and Air2Web will soon offer credit union customers wireless services with SOSystems' M*Teller. Services include requesting balances, personal bill pay reminders, and notification of insufficient funds, all through SMS, WAP phones, PDAs, pagers, and other Air2Web supported devices. Credit unions can also broadcast messages to their customers. | http://www.so-sys.com | http://www.air2web.com | -- Posted Wednesday, April 10, 2002 by sab

Kodak discontinues PalmPix line
Kodak has discontinued the PalmPix line of camera attachments for Palm handhelds. Current owners can still get support on the products from the Kodak website. Palm says another camera manufacturer will be introducing a line of cameras later in the year. -- Posted Wednesday, April 10, 2002 by sab

Palm initiative to fix m500, m505 static problem
In an emailed announcement to m500 and m505 owners, Palm, Inc. has revealed a long-rumored problem with the units related to static electricity. The email carefully explains how the problem happens and what can be done by the user to get the problem fixed. In summary, static generated by moving around, either with or without the Palm device, often discharges with the first metal contact. If that first contact is your Palm device instead of a doorknob, it can scramble the HotSync program on the handheld. The cradles are designed to absorb a certain amount of static discharge, and channel it through the USB port. Earlier cradles, however, didn't absorb enough, so the cradles have been redesigned. Cradles with an "E" or "H" sticker on the bottom are upgraded to prevent the damage. Users should check for this sticker on their cradle; if it has any other sticker, they should proceed to Palm's Cradle Exchange Program page to order another one. www.palm.com/support/m50XUSBcradle.html -- Posted Wednesday, April 10, 2002 by sab

Datastick Systems announces new MyCorder software
Datastick Connection 2.0 for Datastick Systems' MyCorder is now available, "offering a broader set of logging and display options, like alarms and recording of thresholds to various input channels." Also included are a streamlined, easier-to-use interface, faster data logging, greater accuracy, and a new analog-style gauge view. Upgrade for current MyCorder owners is US$45. Datastick Connection Plus 2.0 is also available, with a threshold recording option, where recording is turned on at a certain threshold and switched back off once signal drops back below the given threshold. Each channel can also be set to give audible or visible alarms at user-defined thresholds, independent of recording thresholds. Upgrade is US$165. http://www.datastick.com 408-615-5774 -- Posted Tuesday, April 9, 2002 by sab

Cross-Platform wireless card game from DreamQuest
Championship Euchre 4.0 from DreamQuest Software can be played on any combination of three platforms, including Palm OS, Pocket PC, and Windows machines. The new version was developed using AppForge Pro 2.1, which allows users to create Visual Basic programs for all three platforms, soon to include Symbian and WinCE in the mix. If you've ever played Euchre, you can infer that you will have so much fun that you won't get anything else done, no matter where you are. You have been warned. The game can be played offline or online. US$24.99 for Windows, US$19.99 for Palm and Pocket PC. http://www.dq.com -- Posted Tuesday, April 9, 2002 by sab

EMS messenger for Palm OS, Bluetooth
eMood messenger offers a Bluetooth-enabled solution for SMS-type messages from a Palm OS device. It also works via serial cable or IrDA connection with most GSM phones. Users can send melodies, pictures, and animations along with their messages. A free demo is available for download. No price is currently set. http://www.emoodsoft.com -- Posted Friday, April 5, 2002 by sab

Anycom will offer Bluetooth hot spots at upcoming trade shows
Anycom will host Bluetooth hot spots at the following April and May events: iWirelessWorld, CNA Wireless, Planet PDA, and Pocket PC Summit. The service will be available in a business lounge setting, and will include Internet access for Bluetooth-enabled laptops and PDAs, plus wireless printing to local printers, provided by HP. Users without Bluetooth hardware can borrow hardware for Windows machines, Pocket PCs, and Palm Vs. http://www.anycom.com -- Posted Friday, April 5, 2002 by sab

RIM offers BlackBerry reference design program
Research in Motion Limited (RIM) has announced plans to offer "a BlackBerry Reference Design Program that will provide other manufactureres with a comprehensive hardware and software platform for building advanced wireless phones and handheld devices based on embedded BlackBerry and Java technologies." As part of the program, Analog Devices will provide an integrated processor that supports both wireless communications and Java on a single chip. Emphasis will be on GSM/GPRS wireless networks. "The BlackBerry reference design will provide wireless handset manufacturers with a real time-to-market advantage over competitive alternatives in the GSM/GPRS marketplace, as well as significant advantages in power, area, and cost," said Brian McAloon, Group VP and GM of DSP and System Products for Analog Devices. | http://www.analog.com | http://www.rim.net | -- Posted Friday, April 5, 2002 by sab

Smart glass conspires with PDA to get more beer
Reuters is reporting on a new high-tech pint glass that senses when it is empty and sends a message to a nearby waiter's handheld computer. Developed by a Japanese company, the glass is fitted with a radio frequency coil in its base that emits a signal to a receiver in the table when it is empty, which ultimately alerts a waiter's PDA that he should bring another pint, according to New Scientist Magazine. Mitsubishi Electric Laboratories in Cambridge, Massachusetts made the first prototypes. | Full story at Reuters | Full story at NewScientist.com | -- Posted Thursday, April 4, 2002 by sab

Sharp Zaurus SL-5500 in retail stores
Sharp's new Zaurus SL-5500 Linux-based handheld is now available at the following US retailers: Office Depot, Staples, Best Buy, Circuit City, The Good Guys, Fry's, J&R, and online at Amazon, Mobile Planet, PC Connection, and http://www.sharpplace.com. The SL-5500 has a 206MHz processor, 64MB RAM, an MP3 and MPEG-1 multimedia player, voice recorder, and high res color screen. The unit also features a keyboard that pulls down out of the unit for easy text entry. Price is US$499. http://www.myZaurus.com

Also, see our preview of the SL-5000 series from late last year. -- Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2002 by sab

iambic releases TinySheet 4.11 with support for NR70V
TinySheet, a spreadsheet application for Palm OS, has been updated to support higher resolution devices, including Sony's new NR70 series of handhelds, with its half-VGA (320 x 480) screen. The image of this half-VGA screen is too large to put here, so click on the image at right for a full-resolution sample. Syncing with Excel, TinySheet supports 113 functions, and includes 29 different chart styles. It also supports memory cards, and has improved conduit support, allowing sync of spreadsheets directly to the memory card. Available for download for US$29.95 at http://www.iambicstore.com -- Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2002 by sab

Westtek's ClearVue to enrich content on MARGI Pocket PC products
MARGI Systems has announced Presenter-to-Go's compatibilty with Westtek's ClearVue software, a union which will provide Pocket PC handheld users "with a powerful combination, enabling them to view and present email attachments and native documents as well as PowerPoint transitions and animations, Excel charts and Word documents," according to the company. ClearVue Suite requires no conversion step or ActiveSync filters to display desktop documents like PowerPoint, Word, and Excel files. Both products are purchased separately, but existing owners are able to upgrade for free. Presenter-to-Go is a hardware and software solution that retails for US$199, and Westtek's ClearVue Suite is US$31.95 from the company's website. http://www.margi.com, http://www.westtek.com -- Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2002 by sab

Intermec connects printers via 802.11b
Intermec's EasyCoder printers can now be connected via 802.11b Wireless LAN. "Built to withstand harsh operating environments in industrial and manufacturing installations, the radio is completely enclosed within the printer's rugged steel case." Three different antennas are available, depending on the environment, designed to meet special requirements, like transmission in long corridors, outdoors, or in warehouses with a heavy concentration of metal shelving and hardware. http://www.intermec.com -- Posted Monday, April 1, 2002 by sab

Syware introduces Report CE 3.0
Report CE 3.0, a database report generator that can work with existing databases or by using table data, has been upgraded to include a report emailing feature, and support for color display and printing of reports. Developers get support for SYWARE'S Visual CE database dev software or apps written in eMbedded Visual Basic and eMbedded Visual C++. 48 new functions are also supported. The product line has been split into pro (US$299, US$599 with Visual CE Enterprise Edition) and personal versions (US$79). http://www.syware.com -- Posted Monday, April 1, 2002 by sab

Palm announces Wireless Database Access Server
In what it's calling its second phase in providing wireless solutions to enterprise clients, Palm has announced its Wireless Database Access Server (WDBAS). The first phase was marked by the introduction of the Palm i705 Wireless Messaging Solution in January. Developers can use AppForge and CodeWarrior to create "smart client" applications for WDBAS. Such applications would allow real-time access to corporate databases. "Palm's WDBAS has the capability to help IT executives enable smarter decisions with customer releationship management, ecommerce, enterprise resources, sales force automation, and many line of business applications," said Adam Braunstein, Senior Research Analyst with Robert Frances Group. WDBAS is also Palm's first open software that can create a single application that can "be deployed to a Palm Powered or Microsoft Pocket PC device." http://www.palm.com/enterprise -- Posted Monday, April 1, 2002 by sab

Bachmann MedReporter announced
Bachmann's new MedReporter, a Palm OS software app, allows physicians to view and print summarized patient information from PatientKeeper, a popular patient management application. Physicians can then beam their reports to an IrDA printer for a hard copy. http://www.bachmannsoftware.com -- Posted Monday, April 1, 2002 by sab

Microsoft Licenses Palm OS
Okay, that's as far as I can take this April Fools thing. I don't like these kinds of jokes really, but I thought this one was particularly amusing for its shock value and improbability. For more on April Fools day and why it is so called, see this link: http://www.urbanlegends.com/misc/april_fools_day_origin_of.html. And no, as far as I know, Microsoft is not licensing the Palm OS. For a more courageous April Fools hoaxer, go to http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com -- Posted Monday, April 1, 2002 by sab