April 2008

Handy utility: PenAttention 1.0
If you're using your Tablet PC to give PowerPoint presentations, or if you use OneNote a lot, you may wish the tiny little dot that represents the cursor were bigger. You're not alone, but it took a neat hack from Steven Kenrick, am Associate Professor of COmputer Science at the University of Alaska Anchorage. His program lets you switch between pencil, pointer, and an easily visible highlight around the small dot cursor. [Read Kenrick's blog on PenAttention 1.0 where you can also download it.] -- Posted Wednesday, April 30, 2008 by chb

22 Killer Apps for SMS enhancement
Hooked on SMS? Can't get enough of texting? Tim Hillebrand presents 22 Killer Apps for SMS enhancement.
-- Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2008 by chb

From the "They Got Nerve" Department
Remember when cellphone calls didn't drop and voice quality was crystal-clear? Remember when Sprint talked about hearing a pin drop? And they didn't rope you in with miraculously ever-extending 2-year contracts? That was circa 15 years ago. Today, leading networks advertise themselves as having "fewer dropped calls" (most recently when Verizon activated a couple of new towers in Indiana). Wow. What progress! -- Posted Monday, April 28, 2008 by chb

Proporta's Dual Car Charger
What do you do when you go on a car trip and you need to charge multiple devices? Easy. You use Proporta's Dual Car Charger Kit. Read Tim's review of the Proporta Dual Car Charger. -- Posted Saturday, April 26, 2008 by chb

Wacom announces new touchscreen technology
More and more users request both an active digitizer and a touchscreen. Wacom listened and announced a new capacitive touchscreen technology, called Reversing Ramped Field Capacitive (RRFC) touch. The patent-pending technology uses low-power circuitry and reversing ramped electro-static fields for pinpoint precision and drift-free performance. RRFC can be integrated into dual-input applications with Wacom's ubiquitous EMR pen-input technology for Tablet PC OEMs or work by itself on other platforms that require only a finger touch interface. Wacom's RRFC touch and EMR pen input technologies can work together off of a single ASIC and MCU pair, reducing overall cost and complexity. RRFC will be publicly unveiled at the International Society for Information Display Exhibition, May 20 to 22, 2008 in Los Angeles. [Read about Wacom's Reversing Ramped Field Capacitive Touch Technology] -- Posted Friday, April 25, 2008 by chb

Full review: HP iPAQ 310 Travel Companion
Our first impression of HP's iPAQ 310 Travel Companion was very good. It has a large 4.3-inch display with very high 800 x 480 pixel resolution, 2GB of Flash, a SD Card slot, a snazzy interface sitting on top of Windows Mobile, and in addition to navigation, it plays games, lets you view pictures and video, listen to music, and you can use it as a handsfree speakerphone with your Bluetooth cellphone. In real world use, however, we ran into some snags and found there can be too much of a good thing (like icons). [Read full review of the HP iPAQ 310 Travel Companion] -- Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2008 by chb

30 reasons in which Windows Mobile is superior to iPhone
Our intrepid contributor Tim Hillebrand appreciates the iPhone's innovations, but for now prefers Windows Mobile. Here are his 30 reasons why Windows Mobile is superior to the iPhone. -- Posted Monday, April 21, 2008 by chb

DT Research adds rugged touchscreen fixed mount panel
DT Research added the rugged WebDT 520 fixed mount tablet to its lineup of web-enabled information appliances for vertical markets. The lightweight tablet has a 12.1-inch display, runs either embedded XP or XP Professional, is sealed to IP65 specs, can use vehicle power or an optional battery pack that also acts as a UPS, and sports excellent wired and wireless connectivity. This rugged fixed mount tablet is designed for use in forklifts, emergency vehicles, warehousing, and even in marine and boating applications. [See description and specs of the DT Research WebDT 520] -- Posted Monday, April 21, 2008 by chb

Review: HanDBase 4.0
We have been aware of HanDBase for some time, but have largely ignored it because our databases are in the millions of records and would swamp the memory of a PDA. However, upon the prompting of a friend, Tim took another look at the new version 4.0 recently and was more than a little impressed with what he found. [Read Tim Hillebrand's review of HanDBase 4.0] -- Posted Monday, April 14, 2008 by chb

3 billion GSM and UMTS/HSPA subscriptions worldwide
According to 3G Americas, there are now 3 billion GSM and UMTS/HSPA subscriptions worldwide, which means GSM has 88% of the world's 3.5 billion mobile wireless subscriptions. That compares to about 850 million PCs worldwide, about 1.1 billion who have some sort of internet access, about 2 billion TVs, and 1.3 billion fixed landline phone numbers. Who'd have thought. -- Posted Thursday, April 10, 2008 by chb

Socket offers Windows Mobile 6 for SoMo 650 handheld
Socket announced that support for Windows Mobile 6 Classic will be available on the Socket Mobile SoMo 650 handheld computer as of May 1, 2008. Available as an option to new customers or as an upgrade to existing customers, Windows Mobile 6 Classic will deliver advanced mobile communications capabilities to SoMo 650 users, improving overall mobile productivity. -- Posted Wednesday, April 9, 2008 by chb

Microsoft unveils Windows Mobile 6.1
At CTIA, Microsoft announced Windows Mobile 6.1. Among the benefits: texting that looks like instant messging; improved browsing with zoom and overview; simpler email and Bluetooth setup, and easier WiFi connection; a new "Getting Started" center; better security; more personal settings; and a new home screen interface. [See Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6.1 page] -- Posted Thursday, April 3, 2008 by chb

VIA releases new chipset for small and embedded devices
Of potential interest for the rugged industry: VIA Technologies announced the new VIA VX800 Series of digital media IGP chipsets offering video, graphics and connectivity performance in a single chip. The VIA VX800 Series comprises two chipsets, the VIA VX800 for ultra thin and light notebooks, mini PCs and embedded devices, and the ultra low voltage VIA VX800U for the fast-expanding ultra mobile market, including the rapidly-emerging mini-note, UMPC and UMD markets. [See VIA's VX800 Chipset page] -- Posted Wednesday, April 2, 2008 by chb

Full review: DRS ARMOR C12
DRS Tactical, the former WalkAbout, certainly knows a lot about rugged computers. But with the recently introduced ARMOR C12 Tablet PC convertible they go against well established competition from Panasonic and GETAC. Can the new DRS machine hold its own? [Read full review of the DRS ARMOR C12] -- Posted Tuesday, April 1, 2008 by chb