x50

Dell Axim x50(v), hx4700, hx2xxx users, attention: WM5+ automatic Filesys.exe patcher released!

I’ve published several articles on the Filesys.exe compaction problems. At first, I had the time to release (manually) custom-patched throttler apps for people requesting them in e-mails. (Sorry for all the folks that I simply didn’t have the time for. I’ve been very-very busy lately – not that I’d complain: given the current economic situation, it’s great to have any kind of a (decent) job.)

Some months ago, XDA-Devs forum member “cook” has written a quick patcher app that does this (semi-)automatically.


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Sony Playstation Emulator, FPSEce, with VGA & some Intel 2700G support, out!!!!

Ever wanted to play Sony Playstation games on your Pocket PC? Ever heard of FPSEce, the only, high-quality and last but not least, FREE PlayStation emulator for the Pocket PC? I have some great news for you: after a LONG waiting, the new version is out - now, with (in Portrait mode only) VGA & some 2700G (Linear Frame Buffering to decrease the CPU load) support!


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Dell releases (minor) upgrade for the Dell Axim x51(v); new x50(v) upgrade info

Dell, manufacturer of the Dell Axim Pocket PC series, has just released a minor upgrade for the x51(v) series. It’s available here for download.


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Dell Axim X50(v)/ X51(v) cradles: are they indeed lethal?!

In the microsoft.public.pocketpc newsgroup, I’ve promised to look into the problem of the Dell Axim X50(v)/ X51(v) cradles frying up motherboards you can read more of here (a highly recommended thread – you may want to read at least the first post in there. Note that there are a lot of posts in there that are uncertain; therefore, it’s better to read my article first. In here, I tried to clean up and summarize everything worth knowing.). Note that there are two other, but older and less specific threads discussing the same question here and here. Note that there is another sticky AximSite thread here on a similar matter. It, however, only discusses third-party sync/charge cables and NOT the standard cradle coming with the PDA. Therefore, I only recommend the last thread if you’d like to purchase a third-party cable. If you don't, you won't need to read it.

First, all the (to my knowledge - if you have a newer cradle revision, let me know) three cradle revisions (the initial A00, A01, which started to ship around December 2004 and A02, which started to ship in July/August 2005) seem to have this problem – again, even the last (and, to my knowledge, still current) A02. (As far as the latest, A02 revision is concerned, see d00567’s posts on 09-25-05 and 09-26-05 here).

Dell states it’s a manufacturing defect. It’s pretty sad to see their quality control does not check for this problem.


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Fathammer gaming news: FREE desktop Windows AngelFish version; 2700G (Dell Axim x50v/ x51v) version of Stuntcar Extreme reviewed

Finnish Fathammer, developer of really nice titles like Toy Golf (review here; generic article on Pocket PC golf games here) has just released a Windows XP version of their vertical shoot’m up AngelFish for free.

I’ve reviewed the Pocket PC version of AngelFish and compared to the alternate titles for example here. I haven’t been particularly happy with the Pocket PC version because

  1. it’s the only vertical scroller shooter on the Pocket PC that can not be controlled with the stylus, only with the D-pad
  2. the graphics of the enemies, the explosions is far-far inferior to that of SkyForce (Reloaded)
  3. the overall game experience is far worse than even non-top vertical shoot’m ups (for example, even the free GikaDiver (reviewed in the Roundup of All Pocket PC Games Part I) is much nicer to play because of the stylus support and the much more action)

Th PC version is the exact replica of that of the Pocket PC. That is, it can only be controlled by the cursor block on your PC and only has a 320*240 window (or uses this resolution in full screen mode - good old MCGA days -even if it was 320*200 only ;) ). However, for free, why not get it? ;) (Also make sure NOT to download it with a download accelerator - it caused me a CRC error in the ZIP file.)

(Note that this game is in no way the best free desktop Windows scrolling shooter. Check out Xenon 2000: Project PCF if you want to play a really-really good, commercial quality, freely available shooter! Note that I've also elaborated on this title in my above-linked PocketMatrix review.)

Now, for the second, even more important part:

2. 2700G-enabled (Dell Axim x50v/ x51v-specific) version of Stuntcar Extreme tested and compared to GeoRallyEX by IonFX

Now that I’ve started judging the Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine Best Software Awards 2006 titles (including Stuntcar Extreme), I’ve thoroughly tested the 3D acceleration-enabled, already X-FORGE 2-powered version of Stuntcar Extreme, the company’s most widely known, excellent racing title (which is, incidentally, sold for 7 euros only in Europe right now, bundled with another, great 3D-accelerated game Enigmo).


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Great 2700G-enabled games Enigmo and StuntCar Extreme for only 7 euros in most of West-Europe!

Upon greatly expanding the Dell Axim x50v/x51v VGA output article published yesterday with, among other things, country-specific Dell availability / ordering info, I’ve run into something that may really appeal to European Dell Axim x50v/x51v users that don’t refuse playing some really nice 3D-enabled games.


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ROUNDUP: VGA output solutions for Dell Axim x50v/x51v

The Dell Axim x50v and x51v models have a really decent feature: an Intel 2700G Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), which not only means great 3D (gaming, modeling) and 2D (pixel smoothing, video playback), but also VGA output capabilities.

Note that you can’t directly have analogue (composite / RGB / S-Video) output, as opposed to, say, consumer video and digital cameras or the latest multimedia smartphones like the Nokia N93 (latest reports here). You must buy a, mostly, pretty expensive separate VGA -> analogue converter if you want such functionality. Also note that you can't have DVI output either. The latter isn't a big problem though - there are cheap converters and all projectors/monitors with DVI input have VGA input too.

Also note that in this article I only discuss the most optimal x50v/x51v-based solution. If speed isn't that important and/or you can also use a notebook/desktop computer, some kind of TCP/IP connection or you are willing to buy a CF/SD VGA out card to display the screen of your PDA, you may also want to read this, this and this.

Unfortunately, Dell doesn’t ship a VGA output cable with these two PDA's – you must purchase it separately (this is in stark contrast with Nokia’s approach with their latest flagship phone, the N93, where the analogue RCA output cable is bundled with the phone – see the above-linked N93 report for some sample shots of all this.)

Right now, there are three VGA out connectors for the Dell Axim x50v/x51v. In this roundup, I elaborate on all of them.

First, the most widely known one is Dell’s own


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This is how you can store your ActiveSync-synchronized Outlook mail on your storage card! Dell Axim x50, HP iPAQ hx4700 and hx2x

For a long time, I’ve thought there is no way of relocating ActiveSync-synchronized Outlook mail (that is, mail that ActiveSync synchronizes from/with your desktop Outlook; not to be confused with mail you download straight from your POP3/IMAP mailboxes on your PDA without any ActiveSync synchronization!) to memory cards.

Now, the situation has changed – you can store all your mail bodies (not just the attachments) on storage cards! This is handy for everyone (to lessen the load on the main storage) and particularly for people that have upgraded their ‘legacy’ WM2003SE Dell or HP devices to WM5.

Importance for WM5-upgraded Dells and HP devices

This hack is of extreme importance to Dell Axim x50(v), HP iPAQ hx4700, hx2x1x and hx275x users that have upgraded to WM5. As I’ve pointed out several times (for example here), you MUST reduce writing/deletion to/from the Flash ROM for these devices to be usable (that is, to avoid the filesys.exe compaction ‘kicking in’). This also means avoiding synchronizing Outlook mail with WM5-upgraded devices because, by default, they are all stored in the main storage. Now, with this hack, you can freely and safely synchronize your mail on these devices without lengthy filesys.exe compactions!

And, of course, the hack is very important for anyone wanting to store more than a handful of his or her mails on his or her PDA to keep the built-in free memory as large as possible, independent of the Pocket PC model.

The solution


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Everything you need to know about flushing the Registry and WindowsCE databases under Windows Mobile 5

I’m constantly asked about why I keep telling users to power off (suspend; “full†power off is an overkill and is not needed!) their Pocket PC’s after making some registry changes and before resetting their Pocket PC’s. As the answer also contains some really interesting stuff highly useful particularly to WM5 users that have a non-natively WM5 Pocket PC (the Dell Axim x50(v), the hx4700 or the WM2003SE-based HP iPAQ hx2xxx series), I devote an entire article to it.

(Executive) Summary

If you have a non-native WM5 device with WM5, you will really want to read at least the second part of this article so that you can make the “filesys†burden (the worst thing on all non-native WM5 Pocket PC’s) lesser.

If you’re a Pocket PC guru/hacker and (also) interested in how WM5 works, the first part of the article will be of definite interest to you too. Note that understanding it is not needed for casual WM5 users to implement the changes in the second part!


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Mike Calligaro addresses the compaction problem in non-native Windows Mobile 5 devices

http://blogs.msdn.com/windowsmobile/archive/2006/06/07/621132.aspx

Everyone that has a device (let it be an iPAQ hx or a Dell Axim x50(v)) upgraded to WM5 knows what problems the compaction service (filesys.exe) causes. The problem has been addressed by Pocket PC gurus/hackers (including me) several times, with varying success. (See for example this article.) Now, well-known Windows Mobile Team blogger Mike Calligaro addressed this problem in his blog, with particular attention to the WM5-upgraded HP iPAQ hx4700. The article is a nice read to anyone that wants to know more about the compaction process. Also, it points the reader to the new, free, much more WM5-friendly (it doesn't write temporary files back to the main storage) DockWare version, which is highly recommended for all hx4700 users (go and get it!).

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A review of Pocket-Jongg 3D.V5 , a video hardware acceleration-enabled Mahjongg game

http://www.pocket-jongg.com/default.aspx

Owners of Pocket PC’s with the great Intel 2700G graphics accelerator chip certainly want more and more games that make use of the excellent features of this wonder. This is why I’ve jumped right on the new, V5 version of Pocket-Jongg 3D as soon as I’ve heard of it. I didn’t have high expectations because, in general, board games don’t really make use of the 3D capabilities of the 2700G. A well-known example of these games is Jackpot Casino 1.01 (see my review here). Fortunately, Pocket-Jongg is definitely better than Jackpot Casino. You can tilt the board, zoom (with the invisible vertical slider) and slide it (with the also invisible horizontal one) and the title animation is pretty good too. In addition, the game uses high resolution, which is certainly welcome on Pocket PC devices. Finally, the game runs in both Landscape (see screenshot here; in this screenshot, the Frame per second (FPS) value is also displayed, showing the 3D speed of the game) and Portrait (see screenshot here), depending on the current system-level orientation), which is good news for anyone sensitive of the problems of the uneven polarization of the Axim screens in Landscape mode.

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Let me introduce the free multiplatform (including some 3D-accelerated Pocket PC’s) First-Person Shooter game Cube!

http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=91993

If you have read the Definitive Multiplayer PPC Game Roundup, you’ve already heard about this free game. It even has a Pocket PC port, which makes it even more appealing for (some) Pocket PC users. The port runs on the (currently) two Intel 2700G-enabled Pocket PC’s, the Dell Axim x50v and x51v. As the Pocket PC platform really lacks multiplayer titles, I’ve spent quite a lot of time in trying to make the multiplayer part of Cube work. During this, I’ve made a lot of other discoveries that may interest you, particularly interoperability- and Linux-wise. If you have never wanted to play it in multiplayer but still have one of the two Dell Axim models mentioned, read on - the game may offer a lot of leisure in single player mode too. The same stands for people not having these 3D-accelerated models - on the desktop or even Linux/Power PC/Mac stations, you can surely kill some time by playing the game. After all, it's free and doesn't take up much disk space.

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