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Weekly geek meeting at Astoria

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 21-Jul-2006 12:05

This week's meeting at Astoria Cafe (Midland Park, Wellington) was quite an exciting one. I tend to meet people from all companies, sometimes back to back from 1pm through 5pm in my Wednesday stop at the Astoria Cafe.

You know the drill: I bring my tablet PC so I can work from there connected to Telecom NZ Hotspot (which is free for mobile broadband users until end of August 2006) or Cafenet (which is not giving a good signal lately). While I drink coffee or munch through some lunch a string of IT people will come and go, for a good chat and geek stuff all around.

But back to this week's meeting. We had to join two tables, to accomodate all the gadgets around and it actually looked like a Microsoft MVP meeting.

We had myself with my Toshiba M205 tablet PC and Windows Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition (Mobile Devices MVP), Craig Pringle with his Motion LS800 tablet PC (MVP Tablet PC), Chris Auld with his Windows Moble Smartphone (MVP Mobile Devices), Nick Randolph with his Windows Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition (Embedded MVP), and Darryl Burling with his spanking new eo UMPC (Microsoft New Zealand)!

We had a good talk about Darryl's new UMPC, compared sizes with the Motion LS800, talked about the next Windows Mobile User Group activities, the creation of an Auckland Windows Mobile User Group, apparently managed to convince Nick to install Vista on his laptop, and overall had some good time.

We also found out that my Victorinox man bag is the ideal size for the eo UMPC, and Darryl dashed to Kirk's afterwards to look for a Victorinox addition to his list of geek stuff.

I really enjoy these meetings, a lot of disconnected talk, people throwing different ideas, all good stuff. And we have to be quite loud sometimes because it's a busy cafe.

This week we missed Peter Torr Smith (I still owe him a cigar!).

Care to join us? Contact me or post a comment..

Vodafone Palm Treo 750v

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 20-Jul-2006 11:42

Vodafone UK has posted a Palm Treo 750v webpage up now, so users can register their interest in the new device.

This is one of the models I talked about in my previous blog post "Vodafone is getting some hot smart devices in New Zealand". I was actually shown the device but couldn't talk much about it, but there it is.

We all know it's not an exclusive offer for Vodafone UK users, right? But I am not sure when it will be available in New Zealand, although the model I was playing with had a "Network test" label stuck on it.

The tip came from Conchango Blog.

Visit wormy!

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-Jul-2006 14:39

Wormy, the admin at has just sent me a couple of t-shirts promoting his site:

He's one of the new Microsoft MVP Mobile Devices, and his website has lots of information on Windows Mobile software and hardware, plus dedicated support sections for some best seller software.

Hmmm. These are nice t-shirts, with different designs. And I have to prepare some of our own for the Geekzone 2006 coming soon.

Microsoft released ActiveSync 4.2

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Jul-2006 16:49

If you have a Windows Mobile device running the latest OS version (Windows Mobile 5.0) then go ahead and download the new ActiveSync 4.2 for your PC.

Microsoft ActiveSync 4.2 is the latest synchronization software for Windows Mobile-based devices.

Changes in ActiveSync 4.2 help resolve connectivity related issues with Microsoft Outlook, proxies, partnerships, and connectivity: 
- Microsoft Outlook Improvements: Resolves issues relating to error code 85010014
- Proxy/DTPT interaction Improvements: Improved auto configuration of device Connection Manager settings when desktop has no proxy path to the internet.
- Improved Desktop Pass Thru behavior with ISA proxy failures
- Partnership improvements: Better resolution of multiple devices with the same name syncing with the same desktop
- Connectivity Improvements: Better handling of VPN clients (resolve unbinding of protocols from our RNDIS adapter).
- New auto detection of connectivity failure with user diagnostic alerts.

ActiveSync 4.2 supports PC sync via USB cable, Bluetooth, or infrared connection. 

If you are using Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition or older, please use ActiveSync 3.8 instead.


Welcome new Microsoft MVP Mobile Devices

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 2-Jul-2006 17:11

Welcome to the new fellow Microsoft MVP Mobile Devices, Laura and Stephen (a.k.a. wormy).

Wormy is a new MVP Mobile Devices down under, based in Australia. He is the admin on wormwholecreations, a website dedicated to Windows Mobile, and home of some software support forums, including 1-Pass, XCPUScalar, Tweaks2k2, Battery Pack, IP Dashboard and more.

Laura is a moderator and contributor on Mobility Today.

If you don't know about the Microsoft MVP Awards program, here is a short description:

Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) are recognized, credible and accessible individuals with expertise in one or more Microsoft® products who actively participate in online and offline communities to share their knowledge and expertise with other Microsoft customers. Customers want an enriched pool of knowledge and real-life experience to tap for advice and feedback. MVPs are helping to satisfy this need by independently enabling customers in both online and offline technical communities. Customer feedback is vital to product development and R&D. The MVPs represent an important part of this feedback loop by providing another link for Microsoft to listen to the customer.

I am sorry if I missed any new Asian or European MVP Mobile Devices, but I only receive notifications on new USA and Oceania MVPs.

Congratulations again!

Windows Mobile User Group meeting report (29 Jun 2006)

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-Jun-2006 21:35

Tonight we had another Windows Mobile User Group meeting, here in Wellington. Attendance was ok, still not many people as I'd like, and less than our record sessions a couple of years ago.

I wonder why is that? Is that people are not interested in development for this platform, is the last Thursday of the month a not so good day for these meetings, or something else?

Anyway, this time we moved the meeting from the traditional Microsoft office location to Unisys. Thanks to John Cleveland who arranged with Unisys to host and supply us with the traditional drinks and pizza.

First to talk was Nick Randolph (Microsoft MVP .Net CF and general good guy), who is living in Wellington for six months because of a consulting gig. He's from Australia, and is coming along to my weekly Wednesday coffee meetings at Astoria as well. He showed interest in participating in our user group, so nothing better than making him talk!

His session was about some development stuff related to data storage, connectivity options and management, SMS notification, user interface design. He also showed some code and did a demo involving replication between SQL 2005 and a mobile database. Cool stuff.

I then did a quick run of the new Archer Field PC, running Windows Mobile 5.0... This is a very interesting rugged Pocket PC, and I managed to keep it here for an extra week, just to show it during the user group meeting. You can find more about it through Lat37 (New Zealand) or through the manufacturer, Juniper Systems.

The first five people to arrive each got a Culminis T-Shirt. We also had a copy of Microsoft Voice Command to give away, a copy Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition, a couple of copies of Caveman for Pocket PC.

See you in the next meeting!

Crossbow to kill Blackberry?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 24-Jun-2006 10:25

If you read Geekzone for some time you will find out that is our policy not to publish rumours or information we have under NDA. That's why you won't find out much about the upcoming Windows Moble Crossbow, which is rumoured to be "Second Edition" release of Windows Mobile 5.0.

Some say the MSFP is the Blackberry killer. Some say it may be Crossbow. Perhaps this page about Crossbow actually tells us what it is?

If you want to read the rumours, then Google is your friend.

Thanks to riki, fellow Microsoft MVP for the tip. He authors some interesting software for Windows Mobile Smartphone (such as Theme Changer and AbstractStart).

Newsgator for Windows Mobile

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 9-Jun-2006 16:42

I have been using the Newgator Mobile (beta) for a couple of weeks, but it looks like I can talk a bit about it now, since it's a according to Newsgator.

The software runs on Windows Mobile and completely integrates with the web-based Newsgator feedreader. It means that you can have all your Newsgator subscription being synchronised between the mobile device and the web-hosted RSS feedreader, replicating the Read status between device and on-line version.

The software has been under development by the guys behind Smartread, bought by Newsgator earlier this year.

You can download the beta now. I run my own Newsgator Enterprise Server (NGES), and apparently the NGES has all the same APIs as the public server, so in theory a future version of this software could even synchronise with NGES too.

Currently I synchronise the Newsgator Enterprise Server with my Exchange Server, so I get all my feeds on my Pocket PC through ActiveSync. The result is the same in terms of synchronisation, etc - but not everyone can run this platform, so the Newsgator Mobile software is perfect for users of the web-based Newsgator service.

Are HTC and VIA planning something related to Windows Mobile?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-Jun-2006 00:06

Oh, this sounds good: VIA and HTC have just sent out an invitation to an event, in Taiwan, showing the release of VIA On-demand. According to the invitation: 

You are invited to witness this fantastic moment first hand together with leadership from VIA, HTC, and many others in the industry.

It goes on to say:

VIA OnDemand is a digital all-in-one platform... serving digital content OnDemand - anytime, anywhere, and any device.

The event is scheduled for this 8 June, 2:30pm Taiwan time.

There's a VIA OnDemand website now, but with a holding page, inviting users to come back later. You can also find an interesting PDF file "Peer-to-peer Communication and Entertainment for Mobile PCs" which probably can clarify more on this. In this PDF we find out more about this "total media client" as they call it, with IM, video conferencing, VoIP, content distribution and more.

We all know how HTC made its name by manufacturing Windows Mobile devices (Pocket PC, Pocket PC Phone Edition and Smartphones), but I can't find any reference to HTC and VIA OnDemand . What are these guys up to now?

VIA OnDemand

Synchronisation of SQL Mobile with Microsoft Access

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 1-Jun-2006 22:42

It looks like one of the "problems" on Windows Mobile 5.0 will have a solution: synchronisation of Microsoft Access databases with a Windows Mobile device. Actually this is not a problem at all, since the Access synchronisation conduit was discontinued from ActiveSync 4.x, but this was announced to developers a few months ago.

A post on the SQL Mobile blog points to an upcoming software that will enable the synchronisation of SQL 2005 Mobile running on a Windows Mobile device to a Microsoft Access database running on a desktop computer.

ADOCE is not supported in Windows Mobile 2005 and those customers/ISVs that used ADOCE to synchronize CEDB with Access desktop database are seeing a gap in this functionality. Hence these customers/ISVs don’t have a good migration path when they move to Windows Mobile 2005. To address this functionality gap we are implementing Sync with Access to synchronize SQL Mobile with Access. Customers/ISVs can migrate from CEDB/ADOCE to SQL Mobile/Sync with Access. Providing SQL Mobile synchronization with MS Access will also speed up the SQL Mobile adoption. A solution developed using SQL Mobile/SSEV and MS Access sync will have the capability to scale up to SQL Mobile/SSEV and SQL Server replication solution.

The beta for this solution should be available in August 2006 and a final release before end of 2006.

About time to have this. When the deimplementation of ADOCE synchronisation to Access was announced, Microsoft promised a solution. It looks like it is going to happen, sooner or later.

freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
New Zealand

I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

I'm the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums. Also worth visiting is TravelTalk NZ, a community for travelers!

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If you want to contact me, please use this page or email me Note this email is not for technical support. I don't give technical support. You can use our Geekzone Forums for community discussions on technical issues.

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