Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, September 12, 2002

Mobile & Wireless UPDATE—brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network
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Windows & .NET Magazine Mobile Edition
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(below MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES)


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September 12, 2002—In this issue:

1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES

  • Pico's Bluetooth Developments

2. MOBILE & WIRELESS NEWS & VIEWS

  • Instant Messaging for Smartphone 2002 Devices
  • Platform-Independent Email

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Real-World Tips and Solutions Here for You
  • UNIX, Linux, and Windows: Managing the Unruly Trinity

4. INSTANT POLL

  • Results of Previous Poll: Ubiquitous PDA?
  • New Instant Poll: Hot Spot Availability When Traveling

5. RESOURCES

  • Tip: How to Reboot ActiveSync
  • Event Highlight: Pocket PC Summit

6. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Manage Your Database on Your PDA
  • Illuminate Your PDA Screen

7. CONTACT US

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES
(contributed by John D. Ruley, [email protected])

  • PICO'S BLUETOOTH DEVELOPMENTS

  • I was fascinated to read a recent Pico Communications press release that announced "the largest Bluetooth wireless network in the United States." Pico is providing Bluetooth access points (APs) throughout all four buildings (covering 160,000 square feet) of Palm Computing's headquarters in Cupertino, California.

    I've been skeptical of Bluetooth since I saw it demonstrated at a fall COMDEX show 2 years ago. At that time, the network-browsing mechanisms were crude, and frequent updates to both the Bluetooth hardware and software made Bluetooth seem unstable. Since then, the price of 802.11b wireless Ethernet has dropped to a point at which 802.11b competes directly with Bluetooth, while providing better range.

    However, those of us who've had experience with 802.11b know that it's not always the simplest protocol to work with. I switched my home wireless network to 802.11b from HomeRF earlier this year, and although I'm pleased with the performance, 802.11b was a pain to set up and I've had trouble getting some mobile devices to communicate with my desktop computers. Neither 802.11b nor the newly introduced and faster versions of the protocol are designed for true mobile operation. These standards basically extend the IP protocol for wireless use. You can't carry an 802.11 device from one network to another and expect it to work automatically. Bluetooth, in contrast, was designed from the outset to be fully mobile, making Bluetooth a potentially better system for users who move around in a campus network.

    I'm anxious to see how Pico's Bluetooth network works out at the Palm site. I live in central California, so I'll make a point of asking for an on-site demonstration after the system is installed. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, for more information, go to the following URL.
    http://www.pico.net/


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    2. MOBILE & WIRELESS NEWS & VIEWS
    (contributed by John D. Ruley, [email protected])

  • INSTANT MESSAGING FOR SMARTPHONE 2002 DEVICES

  • Antepo announced an instant-messaging client for Microsoft Smartphone 2002 devices. The Smartphone 2002 client for Antepo's Accept platform uses the Jabber extensible messaging and presence protocol, designed to provide cross-platform and cross-protocol connectivity in both wired and wireless environments.
    http://www.antepo.com/

  • PLATFORM-INDEPENDENT EMAIL

  • Pen&Internet LLC announced RiteMail, a platform-independent, handwriting-enabled email client that runs on Palm OS devices, Pocket PCs, and Windows, Macintosh, and Java-enabled systems. The product has completed an extensive beta program (more than 15,000 testers). RiteMail offers a wide range of features, including high-quality electronic ink, a small memory footprint, data compression, and compatibility with Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Outlook Express, Microsoft Mail, and Eudora. Pricing starts at $29.95, and you can download a free 30-day trial version at the following URL.
    http://www.ritemail.net

    3. ANNOUNCEMENTS
    (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

  • REAL-WORLD TIPS AND SOLUTIONS HERE FOR YOU

  • Register online for Windows & .NET Magazine LIVE!. Network with the finest gathering of Windows gurus on the planet. This event is chock full of "been there, done that" knowledge from people who use Microsoft products in the real world. Early-bird discount expires soon. Register now and you'll also receive access to sessions of concurrently run XML and Web Services Connections.
    http://www.winnetmagLIVE.com

  • UNIX, LINUX, AND WINDOWS: MANAGING THE UNRULY TRINITY

  • Sign up for our latest Web seminar at which we'll discuss the concerns associated with managing a heterogeneous server environment. You'll learn more about the management characteristics of each platform and about existing management solutions and how well they work. The Web seminar is sponsored by NetIQ. There's no charge for this online event, but space is limited so register now at
    http://www.winnetmag.com/seminars/netiq

    4. INSTANT POLL

  • RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: UBIQUITOUS PDA?

  • The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's Mobile & Wireless Solutions nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "How often is your PDA with you?" Here are the results (+/-1 percent) from the 83 votes:
    • 67% Most of the day, for both business and personal use
    • 11% Half the day, while I'm working
    • 5% Half the day, for personal use
    • 17% Every single nanosecond of my existence

  • NEW INSTANT POLL: HOT SPOT AVAILABILITY WHEN TRAVELING

  • The next Instant Poll question is, "When you travel, do you find that you have adequate access to wireless LAN (WLAN) hot spots?" Go to the Mobile & Wireless Solutions Web site and submit your vote for a) Yes or b) No.
    http://www.mobile-and-wireless.com

    5. RESOURCES

  • TIP: HOW TO REBOOT ACTIVESYNC

  • (contributed by John D. Ruley, [email protected])

    Earlier this year, in several editions of Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, I discussed the pitfalls of Microsoft ActiveSync, software that synchronizes Pocket PCs (and other Windows CE-based devices) with desktop PCs. One particular ActiveSync annoyance is that when it fails to connect, you sometimes must shut down and restart the host PC before ActiveSync will recognize the mobile device.

    While working on a follow-up column about ActiveSync (which you'll see later this year in Windows & .NET Magazine), I discovered asreboot.exe, a little-known Microsoft utility program that can stop and restart ActiveSync. You can download this tool from the URL at the end of this paragraph. (Be forewarned: The tool comes with no documentation.)
    http://download.microsoft.com/download/pocketpc/utility/1.00/wce/en-us/asreboot.exe

    Perhaps more important, I think I've figured out how asreboot.exe works: It stops both wcesmgr.exe (the application that displays the ActiveSync window) and wcescomm.exe, a background program that doesn't automatically stop when the ActiveSync window closes.

    The next time ActiveSync fails to connect, follow these steps:

    1. Disconnect the mobile device and perform a soft reset.
    2. Close the ActiveSync window.
    3. Using either Microsoft's asreboot.exe utility or Task Manager, terminate wcescomm.exe.
    4. Start ActiveSync and connect your device.

    For more tips about using mobile and wireless devices, visit Windows &.NET Magazine's Mobile & Wireless Solutions FAQ section.
    http://www.mobile-and-wireless.com/articles/index.cfm?action=faq

  • EVENT HIGHLIGHT: POCKET PC SUMMIT

  • October 21 through 24, 2002
    Hollywood, California

    The third Pocket PC Summit will bring together industry leaders to discuss today's hottest Pocket PC and wireless topics. Sponsors include Microsoft, Navigation Technologies, and Symbol Technologies. For more information, go to the following URL.
    http://www.pocketpcsummit.com/

    For other upcoming events, check out the Windows & .NET Magazine Event Calendar.
    http://www.winnetmag.com/events

    6. NEW AND IMPROVED
    (contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])

  • MANAGE YOUR DATABASE ON YOUR PDA

  • PhatWare announced Pocket dbExplorer 2.0, a database management utility for Windows-powered mobile devices. You can browse, view, edit, and manage databases on Pocket PCs, Handheld PCs (H/PCs), and palm-sized PCs. You can back up and restore one or more databases and system registry settings to a file, which you can store on the memory card or copy onto the desktop PC. Pricing is $19.95. Contact PhatWare at 510-796-8949 or [email protected]
    http://www.phatware.com

  • ILLUMINATE YOUR PDA SCREEN

  • Belkin released the PenLight Stylus for PDAs, a device that lights your screen so you don't overdraw your battery when using the backlight setting. The stylus also helps you avoid eyestrain. The stylus features a twist-on power switch and works with PDAs from any vendor, including Handspring, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Palm, Platinum, Prism, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba. Pricing is $9.99. Contact Belkin at 800-223-5546 or [email protected]
    http://www.belkin.com

    7. CONTACT US
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    (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

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