PocketPC work

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We spent the past weekend having an early Christmas with the in-laws. My father-in-law has recently had his Palm die on him and was given a Toshiba e310 that his son had and wasn’t using to replace it. I knew he was having some problems with it, and went in thinking that I was probably going to have to do some teaching on the differences between the old Palm and this new PocketPC for him. It turned out to be quite a bit more than that. First off, it wasn’t syncing, so off to investigate that. First problem, the desktop didn’t recognize that it was in the cradle. Seems like the XP desktop, when it goes to “sleep” is losing it’s connection to the USB peripherals. Simply unplugging the USB cord and plugging it back in solved that problem. I make a note to have him leave it unplugged and plug it back in when he comes home ready to sync. Second problem popped up immediately. The sync was choking on some very big files. OK browse around the documents, find numerous voice record files. Play one. Hmm seems like he accidentally hit the record button and recorded a good 30 minutes of something! Spend some time cleaning those off, one of which was so big that his son and I both spent some time trying to figure out how to get it deleted before he finally came up with the idea of increasing the allocated memory for processes to the maximum. Yes, it was so big that there wasn’t enough memory to process the delete function. *L* Spend some more time figuring out how to disable the record button, as he doesn’t use it, and it’s in a really bad place, top left hand side of the handheld, right about where you would normally pick it up to take it out of the cradle, or where your thumb would fall if you held it in one hand while using the stylus with your right hand. Who designed these things?

While looking around in the documents I noticed the next problem. Screen needed to be aligned. So I did that. Then I went to bed, enough work for one day. He picked it up the next morning and proclaimed that he liked it a whole lot more now that the screen seemed to be aligned correctly, and that it seemed to be syncing and what not. (big surprise, eh?) Then I went out to find a few extra freeware games for him to load on it, downloaded a Yahtzee clone and a FreeCell clone. Then we got into explaining how things sync, the use of “PocketPC_My_Documents”, integration with Outlook, the difference between Notes and Pocket Word, running apps from the SD card, etc. I think he’ll be fine now…

Of course if, the next time I see him, he’s playing with his new PocketPC karaoke I might just rue the day that I did all of this. Let’s hope he doesn’t find out about it..:)

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