Microsoft

Handy tips for palmtop users

Jim Christian presents a compilation of helpful tips for palmtop users.


Convert files to pocket files without having a PDA synced with a PC
The Windows CE Services File Converter simplifies the task of converting files. You can quickly convert files without connecting your PC and mobile device, and without using Windows CE Services Explorer. Files can be converted in place, or they can be converted and copied to a specified location such as a PC storage card. You can convert any file type that's convertible via Windows CE Services Explorer except TrueType font files (.ttf) and Microsoft Windows font files (.fon). These font files can only be converted using Windows CE Services Explorer.

Playing MP3 files on your palmtop? Here's a hint to save main memory.
Make sure your MP3 files are stored in a folder named My Documents on your Compact Flash card. You then will be able to play them with Xaudio without having them in main memory. You'll experience little, if any, speed degradation. However, sound quality using a Windows CE device is another issue. Aside from Casio's new E-10X series, the sound quality just isn't there yet… but the potential exists for the Xaudio application to have a great future. It's also fun to experiment and learn this dynamite new way of listening to audio on a pocket computer.

Hey, don't follow the contact entering rules
If you find that the majority of your contacts come from a specific area code and you get tired of entering the complete telephone number every time you create a new entry, it's time to change your default area code. Go to Tools | Options, enter the new default area code, and tap OK.

Does the modem connect sound bug you? Turn it off.
Generally, using a modem initialization string of "ATM0" or "M0" (M and the number zero) tells the modem to be silent. Insert the string in the modem's Device Properties extra setting. Also, ATLx (where x is some small number) sets the speaker volume. The settings range from:

M0: Total Mute

M1: Low Volume

M2: Medium

M3: High

Are you a new user who's trying to set up IrDA and it's not working?
You must first establish the partnership between the handheld PC and desktop via a cable before you can use IrDA synching.

Need more main memory? Delete your e-mail attachments.
You can easily free up main memory by deleting e-mail attachments that you no longer need. Go to Mobile Devices on your desktop system and then go to directory \Program Files\Communication\Mail Attachments on your Windows CE system. Deleting these attachment files removes the e-mail attachments.

Free palm-size PC "Find" patch
Some palm-size PC users have reported a problem with the Find function on their devices. The problem occurs only on a limited number of devices and is limited to scenarios where Find is used to search the Contacts data. When the problem occurs, the device usually hangs, requiring users to reboot to resume normal operation. Microsoft found that the problem is related to how the Outlook messaging and collaboration client was originally set up on the desktop computer. Under certain circumstances, importing data into Outlook on the desktop computer can cause the data to become stored in an incompatible format. Once this data has been synchronized to the palm-size PC, it causes the Find function to fail. The data is never corrupted or lost, it's simply stored in an incompatible way. This problem can be easily corrected by running the free palm-size PC Find patch.

Free faxing idea for mobile users
E-Fax's free faxing service gives users a free personal fax number. Faxes can be sent to your fax number. When a fax is received, it's immediately sent to you via e-mail as a .tif file. Using a .tif viewer, you can view the fax. Neat, huh? Now, receiving a fax is as easy as receiving an e-mail with an attachment.

Jim Christian holds a BSEE and has been writing for and supporting palmtop users for over 12 years. Jim has owned and tested over 75 palmtops and more than 500 pieces of software, including Casio E-105, HP 690, and Palm Pilot VII. Few people possess the online support experience Jim has, with his more than 100,000 palmtop-related messages and articles—he has answered over 10,000 since his first foray with palmtops 10 years ago. Jim is in “Who's Who in the West,” he has a CD that’s available at Handheld PC Magazine Online, and he runs CompuServe's WW forum on palmtops (including Windows CE, Palm Pilot, Psion, and Red).

The authors and editors have taken care in preparation of the content contained herein, but make no expressed or implied warranty of any kind and assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. No liability is assumed for any damages. Always have a verified backup before making any changes.

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