Clinton Fitch's blog

The Daily Grind Made Easy By An Application

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Having been writing Windows Mobile software reviews for over 8 years now, I’ve had the opportunity to use a lot of different applications from a host of developers. Some of these have been good, some not-so-good and others have been brilliant. One of these in the brilliant column is Spb Pocket Plus.

I started using Pocket Plus about 3 years ago and have watched mature and grow with each release.


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How I Save Space on My Windows Mobile Device

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The next topic of joint conversation for the Experts here at Smartphone & PocketPC Magazine is an interesting one: How do I save space on my Windows Mobile device? This is one of my favorite questions and one that I have received dozens of emails on over the last few years.

To answer the question I almost have to ask a question in return: Which memory are you asking me about?

I tend to look at my device like I do my PCs. I have storage memory (ROM) and I have application memory to run what I have installed (RAM). How I go about saving these really are fundamentally different. To be sure though you can save those precious megabytes on your device and here is how I do just that.


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Why I've Chosen Windows Mobile...

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As we here at Ask The Experts post our thoughts on the question of why Windows Mobile, it is probably a good opportunity to do a little introduction.

As most readers know, I am the owner and “Chief Geek†of Clinton Fitch (Dot) Com!, a site that has been dedicated to Windows Mobile Standard (Smartphone) and Professional (Pocket PC) reviews and opinions since August of 2004. Before that I wrote for a variety of sites (I still do in fact: Gear Diary, Pocket PC Thoughts, Pocketnow.com) and focused mainly on the Handheld PC platform. You will still find me writing on the venerable H/PC over at HPC:Factor, a site I co-own with Chris Tilley who is the real brains behind that operation.

So for me, the answer to “Why I have chosen Windows Mobile?†is one that has a long, somewhat drawn out answer. While a student at Dallas Baptist University (go Patriots!), I began finding myself needing more control over my calendar and what seemed to be an ever increasing number of contacts. After asking several friends about devices, I had essentially decided that I was going to buy a Palm. It seemed to do what I would need and with a little bit of piddling with HotSync, I could get my contacts to and from my PC – a 286MHz running Windows 95 if I remember correctly.


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So Long PocketPC

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With the unofficial-official announcement this week of Windows Mobile 6, Microsoft also introduced a new naming convention for their mobile platform as well. Werner in his post earlier this week here in the Blog goes over the details of the new naming scheme so I won't bore you with details yet again. But I will ask this question: Will you miss the terms "PocketPC" and "Smartphone" and will the new namings - Classic, Standard and Professional - clear what is already a somewhat confusing landscape in the device arena?


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A Clone In My PocketPC Kiosk?

As Windows Mobile devices have become an ever increasing part of the enterprise and education landscape, the need to limit the functionality or access to applications or parts of the device have increased as well. After all, the last thing you need is an employee surfing the Internet while they are suppose to be taking a customer's drink order at a baseball game! Or even better, having Junior playing Quake on a PocketPC while he is suppose to be reading Shakespeare.

The challenge of course is the very nature of Windows Mobile itself. As the Operating System is in your device's Non-volitile ROM (Read Only Memory), it is not erasable like your computer's hard disk. This means that if an application is included in the ROM of your device when you purchase it - such as Solitare or Mobile Word - you can't simply uninstall it. This is in contrast to your device's volitile ROM (or in older PocketPCs the RAM) where you install applications. This can be erase meaning that any data or applications you install can be removed.

For those interested in reading all the difference of the ROM/RAM and all things memory related, check out the Windows Mobile Team blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/windowsmobile/default.aspx There are several entries related to RAM, ROM and Presistent Storage

So how do you get around this challenge? Simple, you hide them!

Unlike almost all of my blog entries here at Smartphone & PocketPC magazine, this entry is really geared for the enterprise or academic readers out there. Everyone however can benefit from seeing yet another example of how flexible Windows Mobile devices can be.


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Changing Your System Font

One of the many things that I love about Windows Mobile devices is the amazing array of customization you can do to them. From colorful external cases to a seemingly unlimited amount of Today screen images, you can truly make your device more reflective of you!

One such customization you can do is change your System Font. The System Font is, essentially, the default font that your device uses to display text on the Today screen, menus and dialog boxes. With all due respect to Tahoma... I find it a little boring! :-) So with a little bit of time and a piece of software or two you can change your System Font to make your Windows Mobile device even more reflective of its owner - YOU!

To change your System Font you are going to need a few things ready and available on your PC and your Windows Mobile device:

1. You need to you have your device connected to your PC via ActiveSync

2. You need to have Tweaks2K2 installed on your device (personally I recommend Tweaks2K2 as you can make these types of changes to your device without the fear of "fat fingering" a change in your registry that could cause your device to not work properly)

3. You need to have all files visible on your PC. To do this, go to File Explorer and click on Tools>Folder Options...>View and move the radio button to "Show hidden files and folders"


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What? Pay for WiFi?

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If you look on my blog you will note that my last entry was in July... sad...


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More Windows Mobile 5 Than Ever Before

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Last year I wrote a blog entry regarding the surprising number of Windows Mobile devices I saw during the December 2005 CIPTUG (Cisco IP Telephony User Group) convention in Las Vegas. As one who is tied to the Windows Mobile community, I was struck by the number of devices and in talking to users, found that Windows Mobile wasn't just a "fringe" thing - it was for real.

The question I had then and had as I went to Cisco Networkers in Las Vegas two weeks ago was this: Was what I saw in December just a particular group of "techies" or was Windows Mobile really gaining ground? Afterall, Networkers reaches a broader base of people, not just the propeller heads.

The answer: Windows Mobile was everywhere!


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Do You Know Where Your Spring Storm Is?

It's officially Spring here in the United States. The flowers are in bloom, pregnant rabbits run about and here in Texas, it's thunderstorm season! On the change that you have never experienced a thunderstorm in Texas, well you have just not lived. Having been born and raised here, I don't think you ever get use to them and the only thing scarier is a thunderstorm in Oklahoma!


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View local TV and recorded content on your Pocket PC

Sling Media introduced the Slingbox in 2005 and it has been a great success for them. The Slingbox is a small device that sits within your audio/video equipment at home that allows you to control your television, your cable or satellite tuner, and your DVR all from your PC. The beauty of it is you can view your local stations and DVR content from anywhere in the world! As long as you can get to the Internet, you can view it!


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Review of WebIS Pocket Informant 2005 Available

Today Clinton Fitch (Dot) Com! is proud to release our latest Windows Mobile review!


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Mobile Voice Over IP - What's It Gonna Take?

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It is not a too-well-kept secret that my "day job" is that of a senior engineer, selling and designing Voice over IP networks, primarily in the Call Center arena. The growth of my company's business over the past year has been phenomenal, partly due to our own processes, applications and designs and partly due to the ever increasing demand for VoIP technology. Without going too much into a sales mode here, VoIP is faster, cheaper and far more flexible than traditional telephony. There have been countless examples, especially around hurricane Katrina here in the US, that also prove that VoIP is the best solution for disaster recovery scenarios.

As Voice over IP has continued to grow, many of the companies who produce VoIP solutions have also developed wireless solutions to support the technology. A case in point is Cisco Systems, the leader in the VoIP marketplace. Cisco has in the past 4 years developed a series of phone that support VoIP while running wirelessly. These phones run on 802.11x, allowing an enterprise who has a Cisco telephony solution in place as well as wireless access points to distribute phones that can "roam" while in their wireless coverage area. A good example of use is in the Call Center arena where supervisors may be walking the floor and not necessarily be at a desk. By having the WiFi/VoIP solution, they can still take calls and virtually be at their desk.

Switching to the residential implications of VoIP, here in the United States one of the biggest VoIP providers is Vonage. Vonage gives people who have broadband connectivity to eliminate their local telco by switching to a VoIP solution while still, in most cases, keeping their original phone number. The cost of Vonage compared to traditional telco's is substantially less and the adoption rate of their solution continues to grow at an impressive if not staggering rate.

How then do mobile devices take advantage of what is clearly a growing and important market?


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Help Save The Screens!

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In the last 72 hours I've received emails from no less than FIVE site visitors asking about screen protection for their Windows Mobile devices. Unfortunately, in 3 of those 5 cases, the damage had been done with scratches - one to the point that I think he is going to have to get a new digitizer (sorry Dave!)....

So that said, I wanted to shed a bit of light on Screen Protection options you have for your devices.


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SMS'ing in the USA! SMS'ing in the USA!

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Over the last couple of months I've gotten to know Frank Levering over in Thailand. Frank is the Product Manager for the O2 XDA Atom with O2. For those of you who don't know, O2 is a leading OEM in Europe & Asia and they make some great, non-HTC devices.

Of the many discussions I've had with Frank, one that has been discussed several times is Short Message Service, or SMS. Most people here in the United States refer to this as Text Messaging. The discussions have been around the fact that most people here in the United States don't SMS. In fact, Frank was surprised when I told him that most cellular companies charge extra fees just to enable SMS on your calling plan!

So what is it? Why do most American's not use SMS?


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The Lost Art of Etiquette Regained on The Internet

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If you have driven a car long enough, you have figured out that the courtesy and general sanity of most drivers today has diminished greatly. Without really having to think about it, I had no less than 5 drivers cut me off (2 gave me the universal sign that I was #1). This of course doesn't count the people who are driving in two lanes because they are more focused on their soda or cell phone than the road, or the lady who is jerking back into her lane constantly as she realizes she has crossed over into another lane - while putting her makeup on.

Part of the inspiration - if you will - for this article was from last January. I had, for the first time in nearly 20 years of driving, a hit-and-run accident. The gentleman - I'll use that term so as not to offend - in a truck pulled out in front of me and after hitting him I hit the guy next to me. Me and the other guy stop while the chap in the truck kept on going. Now I've had a couple of accidents in my life. Some have been my fault while others haven't been. But the thought of not stopping never occurred to me. Yet another example of poor judgment and behavior on the road.

The same erratic behavior can be said for the Internet today, especially in forums and public newsgroups. I do a lot of posting in both of these arenas and rarely does a day go by that I don't shake my head at what someone has posted about someone else, a company or a product. Now as one who has been been the target of these types of posts I can tell you that it is not only irritating but completely distracts from the intent of these user based help areas. And we all have experiences of poor customer service or a product we simply don't like. There is nothing wrong with that nor with stating your opinion. But opinions turn to venom really quickly and in Internet forums, it seems to have all-to-fast.


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To Blog or Not To Blog.... Sure, I'll do it!

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So here I am, blogging on Smartphone & PocketPC Magazine's all new-for-2006 Expert's Blog. I'm very excited to be here and appreciate Hal working out the details with me to make it happen.

So why am I here? Simple really... To be a part of the best Windows Mobile centric magazine out there! I've enjoyed writing for the magazine itself off-and-on over the last year and this is just a natural extension of that in my mind.

When asked, I've always said that I wanted my site to be the Windows Mobile software & hardware review site.


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