June 2008

210,000 signatures on Save Windows XP petition
Infoworld has submitted to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer a petition with over 210,000 names to continue to make Windows XP available. As is, while XP will be available on certain laptops and as a "downgrade," you can no longer just buy Windows XP after today (June 30, 2008). Infoworld, and many others, felt that given the endless problems with Windows Vista, XP should remain available. [Read Infoworld's final plea to save Windows XP] -- Posted Monday, June 30, 2008 by chb

Review: SPB Backup 2.0
SPB allows you to create backup copies of your entire Windows Mobile system, not just your data. So, in the event of a crash, you can restore the whole system just as it was without having to go through the laborious process of reinstalling all your applications and re-registering them. [See review of SPB Backup 2.0] -- Posted Monday, June 30, 2008 by chb

Chrysler launches in-vehicle wireless internet
The good news: Chrysler is launching uconnect web, an in-vehicle wireless internet connectivity system that seamlessly combines WiFi and 3G to provide web access in the vehicle. The bad news: $449 for the router, dealer installation, activation, and another $29/month for Autonet Mobile service. -- Posted Thursday, June 26, 2008 by chb

Who makes notebooks?
Who makes notebook computers? If you think it's HP, Dell, Apple, Toshiba and the like, think again. 90% of all notebooks are made by five Taiwanese companies for HP et al. Even the Japanese are only making a small percentage of their notebooks inhouse. -- Posted Thursday, June 26, 2008 by chb

Panasonic introduces rugged UMPC
With the CF-01 rugged PDA no longer available, Panasonic introduced a rugged ultra-mobile PC, the Toughbook CF-U1. It's a magnesium-bodied tablet built around Intel's highly energy-efficient Atom Z5200 processor that promises up to nine hours of operation from twin batteries. The U1 has a 5.4-inch 1024 x 600 pixel touchscreen, an expanded thumb keyboard, and great connectivity both onboard and via expansion modules that can accommodate a SmardCard or RFID reader. Also available are 1D/2D barcode readers, GPS and a 2 megapixel camera. Pricing starts at US$2,499. [Read description and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook U1] -- Posted Thursday, June 26, 2008 by chb

Free seminar by Intermec and Microsoft on benefits of WIndows Mobile 6.1
On June 30, 2008, Intermec will host a free webinar, Windows Mobile 6.1: Benefits for Mobile Computer Users. The one-hour, educational online event will provide insight from both Intermec and Microsoft on how the Windows Mobile 6.1 platform enhances the performance, security, device management, battery life, virtual memory and capabilities of mobile computing. The event begins at 9:00 a.m. Pacific/12:00 p.m. Eastern and features Intermec Principal Product Manager Kelly Ungs and Microsoft Pre-Sales Engineer Jason Johnson. [Click to sign up for the free webinar] -- Posted Wednesday, June 25, 2008 by chb

Nokia to buy the rest of Symbian, make it royalty-free
First there was Psion with its elegant but commercially unsuccessful handhelds, then the Symbian OS jointly managed by a consortium. Now Nokia will pay $410 million for the the 52% of Symbian shares it does not already own. And Nokia says it will make its software royalty-free to boost smartphone sales and respond to emerging rivals. As is, Symbian is said to be used in two-thirds of all smartphones (WinMo is on 13%) and 6% of all mobile phones. -- Posted Tuesday, June 24, 2008 by chb

Using a rugged Tablet PC as a hammer
In its latest video, MobileDemand shows a man using an xTablet Tablet PC as a hammer to drive several large nails into a board. An accelerometer is attached to the computer to record impact data. [See "We could use a hammer..." or view the video on blip.tv] -- Posted Monday, June 23, 2008 by chb

Datalogic Kyman now with Windows Mobile 6.0
We added the Datalogic Kyman rugged handheld computer, a modern data capture device now available with Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional. The IP64-sealed Kyman, which can be ordered with either a 36 or 58-key keypad, has a very powerful battery, a variety of data capture options (RFID, imager, laser, long-range laser), supports GSM/GPRS/EDGE, and is able to survive 6-foot drops and opeate in a wide -4 to 122 degree Fahrenheit temperature range. [See description and specs of the Datalogic Kyman rugged handheld.] -- Posted Sunday, June 22, 2008 by chb

Review: Tritton AxVisor BT Car Kit
One of our major beefs with Bluetooth is that it can be frustrating to get devices connected and shaking hands properly. If this is an issue for you, try the Tritton AxVisor Bluetooth Car Kit! [Read review of the Tritton AxVisor Bluetooth Car Kit]. -- Posted Wednesday, June 18, 2008 by chb

LXE updates rugged MX3X handheld and VX3X fixed-mount
LXE introduced new versions of its MX3X rugged handheld and very similar VX3X rugged fixed-mount computer. Both use the "open book" design with a half-VGA display and integrated keyboard, a design that originated with early Windows CE devices and is now regaining popularity in the UMPC space. One problem with half-VGA displays was that most were older STN technology LCDs. LXE fixed that with the introduction of the MX3XPlus and VX3XPlus, both of which are available with either a high-bright 350 nit indoor TFT or a transflective sunlight-readable outdoor display. [See description and specs of the LXE MX3XPlus and LXE VX3XPlus]. -- Posted Wednesday, June 18, 2008 by chb

Microsoft releases Windows Embedded NavReady 2009
Microsoft announced the availability of Windows Embedded NavReady 2009, Microsoft's first embedded operating system designed specifically for OEMs building handheld portable navigation devices (PNDs). Windows Embedded NavReady 2009 helps developers and OEMs quickly bring to market smart, connected, service-oriented PNDs that easily connect to online services, mobile phones using Bluetooth, Windows-based PCs and the Internet. Embedded NavReady 2009 is based on Windows Embedded CE is Microsoft's second device category-specific offerings after Windows Embedded POSReady. -- Posted Tuesday, June 17, 2008 by chb

Fujitsu's little U810 wins eWeek Excellence award
Fujitsu announced that its LifeBook U810 convertible mini-notebook won the 8th Annual eWEEK Excellence Awards in the desktops and notebooks category. Fujitsu bested Hewlett-Packard's HP Compaq dc7800 and Lenovo's ThinkPad T61. [see description and specs of the Fujitsu Lifebook U810] -- Posted Monday, June 16, 2008 by chb

SnagIt 9 even better
It is difficult to imagine that there have been significant enhancements to SnagIt. We thought it had pretty much reached its zenith, but SnagIt 9 manages to improve an already superb product that captures screen shots of all kinds in a flash.Read Tim's review of SnagIt 9] -- Posted Sunday, June 15, 2008 by chb

Motorola launches MC75 enterprise digital assistant
Symbol's ruggedized MC70 "enterprise digital assistant," launched a couple of years ago and selling nearly half a million units, received an update in the form of the now Motorola-branded MC75. While retaining the PXA270 chip, the new model had twice the memory, a full VGA display instead of just quarter-VGA, and a more powerful battery. The MC75 runs on Windows Mobile 6.0, can be equipped either with a 1D linear scanner or a 2D imager. The device is fully VoIP-capable and also supports 3G HSDPA and CDMA-EVDO. [Read description and specs of the Motorola MC75] -- Posted Monday, June 9, 2008 by chb

TSA checking e-boarding passes with Psion Teklogix handhelds
In an effort to reduce the vulnerability associated with fraudulent boarding passes, the United States Transport Security Administration (TSA) has partnered with Continental and Northwest Airlines to create paperless encrypted boarding passes displayed on passengers' cellphones or PDAs. At the checkpoint, TSA Officers are using Psion Teklogix WORKABOUT PRO rugged handhelds to read the bar code to verify the authenticity of the boarding pass. [See TSA release and Psion Teklogix press release] -- Posted Wednesday, June 4, 2008 by chb

Atom-powered Wind
Ten or 15 years ago a generation of subnotebooks didn't fly, but now everyone is trying again. With the Wind ("WiFi Internet Device") MSI Computer claims to have the first 10-inch notebook powered by Intel's super-efficient Atom processor. The 2.6-pound little marvel has a 1.6GHz chip, 512MB RAM, a 1024 x 600 pixel display with LED backlight, a 80GB SATA drive, 1.3MP webcam, Bluetooth and WiFi. The Wind goes for US$499 with XP Home, or $100 less with Linux. -- Posted Tuesday, June 3, 2008 by chb

NVIDIA releases powerful rival to Marvell PXA chips
NVIDIA introduced the Tegra family of processors, a single-chip package smaller than a dime capable of the high definition and internet experiences you'd expect from a PC, but on small pocket type devices. Tegra uses multiple processors, each designed for a specific class of tasks - an 800 MHz ARM CPU, a HD video processor, an imaging processor, an audio processor, and an ultra-low power GeForce GPU. Expect to see Tegra in some stunningly powerful new Windows Mobile devices and other smartphones/internet access gadgets. [See NVIDIA Tegra page] -- Posted Monday, June 2, 2008 by chb

Full review: GETAC E100 -- light and handy tablet
Getac introduced the E100 in early 2008 as a light, versatile rugged Ultra Portable Tablet PC for field and customer service applications. It's smaller than a standard sheet of paper and weighs just a bit over three pounds. It has a magnesium housing and an integrated numeric keypad makes rapid data entry easy. The E100 is totally silent as there is no fan. The Intel A110-powered tablet also has a SmartCard reader, an ExpressCard slot, and that it can be equipped with integrated GPS and your choice of 3G wireless network connectivity. The 8.4-inch display is sunlight-readable and the battery is strong enough to last almost four hours. [Read full review of the Getac E100 rugged Tablet PC.] -- Posted Sunday, June 1, 2008 by chb