Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, July 18, 2002

Mobile & Wireless UPDATEbrought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network
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(below MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES)


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July 18, 2002—In this issue:

1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES

  • Tablet PC Vs. High-End PDA

2. MOBILE & WIRELESS NEWS & VIEWS

  • Palm Security
  • Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of ...
  • 802.11 Security

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Do You Like the Content You're Finding in This Newsletter?
  • Enter the Windows & .NET Magazine/Transcender Sweepstakes!

4. INSTANT POLL

  • Results of Previous Poll: Pocket PC 2002 Upgrade
  • New Instant Poll: Tablet PC Vs. High-End PDA

5. RESOURCES

  • Tip: Stealth Backup
  • Event Highlight: International Mobile Portals & Content Management Asia Pacific 2002

6. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Key Data into Your PDA
  • Communicate by Voice Through Your PDA

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])

  • TABLET PC VS. HIGH-END PDA

  • I've been playing with a device that might just sound the death knell of high-end PDAs: a Tablet PC (specifically, Acer's TravelMate 100). I'll be covering the Tablet PC in detail in a forthcoming issue of Windows & .NET Magazine, but I'd like to give you a rough idea of how Tablet PCs fit into the mobile and wireless arena.

    Let's start with what a Tablet PC isn't: It certainly isn't pocket sized. The Acer weighs a couple of pounds and is about the same size as a conventional notebook PC. Also, because they have hard disks, Tablet PCs don't provide true instant-on capability, as PDAs do. And Tablet PCs offer limited, notebook PC-like battery life.

    However, Tablet PCs are full-blown, Windows XP-based computers that let you do just about anything you do on your desktop PC. (The only real limitation is the display size.) Therefore, you have access to functionality that is impossible—or that requires significant compromises—on a PDA.

    In particular, you can run full applications, including Microsoft Office, on a Tablet PC. Therefore, you have complete email functionality, whereas on a PDA you're mostly limited to text-only mail. (You can receive attachments on a Pocket PC, but you'll rapidly run out of memory, and complex attachments might not work with the cut-down applications that these little devices provide.) You can also use a full copy of Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, or any other key application.

    As a writer and editor, I most frequently use Outlook and Word (and sometimes PowerPoint, when I'm giving presentations). I can get by with Pocket Outlook and Pocket Word for writing, but when an editor sends me a manuscript for review, I'm in trouble. Pocket Word doesn't support revision marks.

    Because Tablet PCs have large hard disks (the Acer I've been testing has a 30GB hard disk), you can take complete databases with you. For example, you can store a full copy of Microsoft's Automap Streets and Trips, which covers the entire United States. You can use Pocket Streets on a Pocket PC, but you must download maps for the specific areas you plan to visit.

    I'm a private-airplane pilot, and one application that would benefit me is electronic charting. When I fly, I carry three-ring binders that contain "approach plates" for nearby airports. Keeping those plates up-to-date is time-consuming, and when I travel long distances, I must buy additional charts. A few years ago, on a cross-country trip from California to Ohio and back, I carried a suitcase full of charts! Jeppesen, the company that makes approach plates, offers the plates on CD-ROM, but a full-blown computer is required to display them. Some companies offer plates for Pocket PCs, but just as with Pocket Streets, you must download the charts you need before you leave. (Alternatively, you could bring a notebook PC that contains all the charts and load the relevant ones into the Pocket PC before departing on each leg.) A Tablet PC would let me always carry a complete set of charts.

    Granted, most of this newsletter's readers aren't pilots, but I'll bet most of you are what Microsoft calls "corridor warriors"—people who spend a lot of time in meetings (or support users who do). The Tablet PC shines in such an environment. PDAs, of course, are now pervasive in offices, giving users instant access to their appointment calendar and address book. The Tablet PC provides that access and a great deal more. The Tablet PC makes particular sense if your company has a wireless LAN—users can enjoy as much access to their files in a conference room as they do at their desks. And unlike conventional notebook PCs, Tablet PCs aren't obtrusive.

    The advent of the Tablet PC is bad news for the high-end PDA—particularly the Pocket PC. The low-end PDA market (dominated by Palm and its partners) is probably safe; Tablet PCs will be priced comparably to high-end notebook PCs, whereas basic PDAs sell for $200 or less. But as you move toward the high end, the cost of a sophisticated PDA such as a Hewlett-Packard (formerly Compaq) iPAQ—in addition to a wireless NIC and the various add-ons necessary to approach full-blown PC capabilities—can approach the cost of a Tablet PC but offers less functionality. Some users will probably still want that power in a pocket-sized form factor, but for many of us a Tablet PC is probably a better choice. Both devices will compete for the same user—I don't imagine many people will want both a high-end PDA and a Tablet PC. Even if they do want both, I doubt many companies will be prepared to pay for both!

    Not everyone shares my enthusiasm for the Tablet PC. I've been watching with interest as pundits have reacted negatively to Microsoft's Tablet PC announcement earlier this month. The device is even controversial among the Windows & .NET Magazine staff: Paul Thurrott tested the same Acer device I'm using now, and he wasn't impressed. (You'll find his reaction in his commentary for the June 26 edition of Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE, titled "The Tablet PC: Evolution, Revolution ... or Nonevent?" which you can access from the URL at the end of this paragraph.) But I believe this technology bears watching.
    http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=25709

    Microsoft and its partners (including Acer, Toshiba, HP, Motion Computing, and Fujitsu) expect Tablet PCs to ship in quantity this fall.
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/tabletpc/default.asp


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

  • PALM SECURITY

  • Enterprise IT departments that support Palm OS-based devices should take a look at a new white paper from PalmSource (Palm's software company) that covers security. Topics include passwords, on-device encryption, user profiles, how to control user access, and more.
    http://www.palmos.com/enterprise/resources/securing/

  • IMITATION IS THE SINCEREST FORM OF ...

  • Wireless startup Good Technology has been making waves by offering Research in Motion (RIM) BlackBerry users an alternative to RIM's wireless email service. RIM has responded by suing Good Technology, claiming infringement of both its patent portfolio and copyright. In related news, RIM made several announcements at the TechX show (formerly known as PC Expo) in New York last month, introducing new BlackBerry devices for Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM)/General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and iDen networks, an enterprise server with multiprotocol support, and advanced management features for IT departments.
    http://www.good.com
    http://www.rim.com

  • 802.11 SECURITY

  • The Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) has published a white paper on its Web site that details steps you can take to secure an 802.11 wireless LAN. Recommended steps include enabling Wireless Equivalent Privacy (WEP) and changing the WEP key daily; password-protecting drives and folders; changing the SSID; using session keys and MAC address filtering (if available); and using a VPN. The white paper also details some of the IEEE 802.11 task group's plans for enhanced wireless security in the future.
    http://www.weca.net/pdf/20011015_wep_security.pdf

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

  • DO YOU LIKE THE KIND OF CONTENT YOU'RE FINDING IN THIS NEWSLETTER?

  • If so, we have more than a dozen email newsletters just as informative as this one on the topics you care about most. From Windows 2000/NT to security to storage, our technical authors cut to the chase about what's going on in the industry so that you can stay informed in less than 5 minutes a day! Subscribe for free!
    http://www.winnetmag.com/email

  • ENTER THE WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE/TRANSCENDER SWEEPSTAKES!

  • Nothing can help you prepare for certification like Transcender products, and no one can help you master your job like Windows & .NET Magazine. Enter our combined sweepstakes contest, and you could win a Transcender Deluxe MCSE Core Pak (a $569 value) or one of several other great prizes. Sign up today!
    http://www.winnetmag.com/sub.cfm?code=swei202fus

    4. INSTANT POLL

  • RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: POCKET PC 2002 UPDGRADE

  • The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's Mobile & Wireless Solutions nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Have you upgraded to Pocket PC 2002?" Here are the results (+/-1 percent) from the 64 votes:
    	69% Yes 
       31% No

  • NEW INSTANT POLL: TABLET PC VS. HIGH-END PDA

  • The next Instant Poll question is, "Will the Tablet PC sound the death knell of the high-end PDA?" Go to the Mobile & Wireless Solutions channel home page and submit your vote for a) Yes or b) No.
    http://www.mobile-and-wireless.cohttp://www.mobile-and-wireless.com

    5. RESOURCES

  • TIP: STEALTH BACKUP

  • (contributed by John D. Ruley, [email protected])
    I experienced a disaster last month: My desktop PC's hard disk crashed. It gave no warning (at least, none that I recognized), and silly me, I didn't have a properly organized backup strategy in place. Fortunately, I had been traveling and had fully synchronized my PDA (an older NEC MobilePro Handheld PC); I had not only loaded my current appointment calendar and contacts database but also copied recent files. As a result, I was able to keep working on current projects and restore some of the key information back to my desktop PC.

    This synchronization-as-backup worked so well that I highly recommend it to anyone who uses a mobile device—whether it's a PDA, notebook PC, or Tablet PC. If you synchronize Outlook on your mobile device with your desktop and keep copies of recent key files in both places, you're giving yourself quite a bit of insurance against disaster. You still have no excuse for neglecting to implement a full-blown backup strategy (I have one now, thanks), but believe me, this bit of insurance helps!

    On a personal note, I've been unable to recover the letters I've received from readers. If you've recently sent me a letter, please forward a fresh copy. I'm particularly interested in mail related to Microsoft ActiveSync. Thanks!

    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: INTERNATIONAL MOBILE PORTALS & CONTENT MANAGEMENT ASIA PACIFIC 2002

  • July 29 through 30, 2002
    Singapore

    For many content providers, mobile portals serve as a potentially lucrative distribution channel. However, industry players must clear many hurdles before they can exploit the potential of mobile portals and content management for profit. Featuring the industry's top professionals, the fourth International Mobile Portals & Content Management Asia Pacific 2002 will give your organization access to up-to-date business intelligence you need to overcome those hurdles.
    http://www.ibc-asia.com/Mobile-Portals/Mobile-PortalsIntro.htm

    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])

  • KEY DATA INTO YOUR PDA

  • Belkin released the G700 Series, a portable keyboard for Pocket PC and Palm PDAs. The standard full-sized keyboard weighs seven ounces and provides comfortable key spacing so that you can enter large amounts of data. You can fold the keyboard for easy storage. Additional features include a built-in docking connector, quick-start keyboard-application keys, and the ability to plug into any power port. Pricing starts at $79.99. Contact Belkin at [email protected]
    http://www.belkin.com

  • COMMUNICATE BY VOICE THROUGH YOUR PDA

  • Avaya released Avaya IP Softphone for Pocket PC, software that lets you communicate by voice through your handheld device. The software integrates with Microsoft Outlook, so you can access your contact lists and company directories. The product supports multiple call appearances, single or dual connect options, and LDAP. For pricing, contact Avaya at 908-953-6000 or 866-462-8292.
    http://www.avaya.com

    7. CONTACT US
    Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

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