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(below MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES)


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August 1, 2002—In this issue:

1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES

  • Windows XP for Touchscreen PCs?

2. MOBILE & WIRELESS NEWS & VIEWS

  • Palm OS 5 Simulator
  • Wireless Database Access
  • Palm Partners with IBM

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Don't Miss Our Storage Web Seminar—Free!
  • Get One Step Closer to Certification at CertTutor.net

4. INSTANT POLL

  • Results of Previous Poll: Microsoft Mobility Solutions
  • New Instant Poll: Windows XP on Touchscreen Devices

5. RESOURCES

  • Tip: 802.11 Resources
  • Event Highlight: Critical MASS Mobile Applications and Services Summit

6. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Turn Your PDA into a Messaging Network
  • Visual Basic Programming for the Palm

7. CONTACT US

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES
(contributed by John D. Ruley, jruley@winnetmag.com)

  • WINDOWS XP FOR TOUCHSCREEN PCs?

  • For the past 10 days or so, I've been playing around with a ViewSonic ViewPad 1000. ViewSonic calls the device a Tablet PC, and it certainly looks like one. Its dimensions are approximately 11" x 8.5" x 1". Most of the front is composed of a 10.4" LCD display. The device features an 800MHz Celeron processor, 256MB RAM, and a 10GB hard disk. The ViewPad 1000 comes with a nifty docking station that includes a CD-ROM drive, and the device works with a wireless keyboard.

    Sounds like a Tablet PC, right? Not according to Microsoft. The ViewPad uses a touchscreen rather than an active-matrix digitizer. The ViewPad's touchscreen works just like a Palm device's or Pocket PC's display—you can use the supplied stylus or your finger as a mouse replacement. With an active-matrix digitizer, you must use a supplied stylus, which interacts electronically with a grid beneath the LCD display. Active-matrix digitizers run at much higher resolutions than touchscreens do. Microsoft is specifying active-matrix digitizers for Tablet PCs because they provide better-looking electronic ink and improve handwriting-recognition performance.

    The downside of an active-matrix digitizer is that it doesn't work without the stylus. If you lose the stylus, you're out of luck. (For this reason, the Acer convertible notebook-or-Tablet-PC device I recently tested has a spare stylus that fits in a slot on the display.) Also, using your finger is often much more convenient than grabbing the stylus.

    This discussion raises a question: Will Microsoft permit devices such as the ViewPad to use Windows XP Tablet PC Edition? I think the company should. An established market—mainly vertical—exists for touchscreen "pen tablet" devices such as the ViewPad (and similar devices from Fujitsu, Sharp, and others). Anyone looking at these devices will think they're Tablet PCs—and for all intents and purposes, they are.

    Today, ViewSonic is using Windows 2000 on the ViewPad. Fujitsu and Sharp primarily use Windows 98 with Microsoft's Pen Extensions, which I'm told Microsoft will discontinue when XP Tablet PC Edition ships this fall.

    I wish the ViewPad came with XP. The device has a built-in 802.11b wireless NIC, but I haven't been able to get it working with my in-house wireless network. XP includes a standardized UI that lets you easily identify and join existing wireless networks. Older OSs don't provide the necessary UI: Instead, you must run a vendor-supplied utility, which seems to be missing from the ViewPad. I've avoided XP until now, but having used it on other devices, I miss it on the ViewPad!

    How will this controversy work out? When I find out, you'll read about it here. For more information about the ViewPad, see the following URL.
    http://www.viewsonic.com/products/tablet_pc_viewpad1000.htm


    SPONSOR: WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE STORAGE WEB SEMINAR

    DON'T MISS OUR STORAGE WEB SEMINAR—FREE!
    While the cost of buying storage capacity continues to drop, the cost of managing storage and keeping it available continues to rise. Find out why this happens and how to address it by bringing your Windows storage under control. Register today for this important online seminar sponsored by VERITAS!
    http://www.winnetmag.com/seminars/veritas


    2. MOBILE & WIRELESS NEWS & VIEWS
    (contributed by John D. Ruley, jruley@winnetmag.com)

  • PALM OS 5 SIMULATOR

  • Last month, PalmSource announced the release of Palm OS 5 to licensees and developers. Version 5 is a major update to the Palm OS and includes a slew of new features, such as preemptive multitasking, memory management, and OS-level support for wireless networking. Because a drastically changed OS can cause compatibility problems for some applications, PalmSource is offering a software simulator that runs OS 5 on a Windows-based desktop PC. Although the simulator is intended primarily for developers, IT departments that support Palm devices might benefit from an advance look at what applications will and won't work with the new OS. You can download the simulator from the following URL.
    http://www.palmos.com/dev/tools/simulator/

  • WIRELESS DATABASE ACCESS

  • SoftExit's Data Messenger Server monitors ADOand ODBC-compliant databases, generating messages that you can send to any device that supports SMTP-compatible email (or, optionally, fax). The program uses standard SQLto access the target database and provides simple programming options through a wizard-based GUI. Pricing starts at $3000, and a free 30-day trial version is available. For more information, go to the following URL.
    http://www.softexit.com/

  • PALM PARTNERS WITH IBM

  • Palm has entered a partnership with IBM that will make Palm handheld devices available to IBM customers. Palm is also working with IBM on a mechanism to provide secure access to enterprise applications and data from wireless-enabled Palm handheld devices. Under the terms of an agreement announced in July, IBM is becoming a nationwide reseller for the entire range of Palm devices. Palm and IBM also announced a development initiative that will provide Palm-based client support for IBM's WebSphere Everywhere Access product on selected Palm devices with color displays.
    http://www.palm.com/enterprise/news/

    3. ANNOUNCEMENTS
    (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

  • DON'T MISS OUR STORAGE WEB SEMINAR—FREE!

  • While the cost of buying storage capacity continues to drop, the cost of managing storage and keeping it available continues to rise. Find out why this happens and how to address it by bringing your Windows storage under control. Register today for this important online seminar sponsored by VERITAS!
    http://www.winnetmag.com/seminars/veritas

  • GET ONE STEP CLOSER TO CERTIFICATION AT CERTTUTOR.NET

  • Have you seen the CertTutor.net Web site? If not, you're missing practice exams, discussion forums, articles, and much more—all designed to help you reach your goal of Microsoft or Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification. Check it out!
    http://www.certtutor.net

    4. INSTANT POLL

  • RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: MICROSOFT MOBILITY SOLUTIONS

  • The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's Mobile & Wireless Solutions nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Which Microsoft mobility solution most interests you?" Here are the results (+/-1 percent) from the 56 votes:
            38% Pocket PC 2002
       25% Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition
       13% Windows Smart Phone
        5% Handheld PC (H/PC)
       20% Windows XP Tablet Edition

  • NEW INSTANT POLL: WINDOWS XP ON TOUCHSCREEN DEVICES

  • The next Instant Poll question is, "Should Microsoft permit touchscreen 'pen tablet' devices to use Windows XP Tablet PC Edition?" Go to the Mobile & Wireless Solutions channel home page and submit your vote for a) Yes or b) No.
    http://www.mobile-and-wireless.com

    5. RESOURCES

  • TIP: 802.11 RESOURCES

  • (contributed by John D. Ruley, jruley@winnetmag.com)
    Windows XP provides a decent UI for 802.11 wireless network configuration. However, you can still get lost in a sea of confusing terms. What are the differences between Infrastructure and Ad-Hoc modes? Should you use Wireless Encryption Protocol (WEP), and if so, how should you configure it? The options are confusing, and the range of choices can drive an administrator—or small office/home office (SOHO) end user—nuts.

    I've found some helpful information at Microsoft's Wi-Fi page (which you can access from the first URL below), particularly "The Cable Guy's" 802.11b overview. If you're confused about 802.11 settings, this page is a good place to start. The Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) Web site also contains excellent technical references (see the second URL below).
    http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/technologies/communications/wifi/default.asp
    http://www.wi-fi.org/whitepapers.asp

    For more tips about using mobile and wireless devices, visit Windows & .NET Magazine's Mobile & Wireless Solutions FAQ section.
    http://www.mobile-and-wireless.com/articles/index.cfm?action=faq

  • EVENT HIGHLIGHT: CRITICAL MASS MOBILE APPLICATIONS AND SERVICES SUMMIT

  • September 24 through 26, 2002
    San Francisco

    Critical MASS is an executive-level conference featuring 3 days of interactive workshops, presentations, and expert-led conference sessions. The conference's focus is on generating new revenue, increasing average revenue per user (ARPU), and boosting profits. You'll learn about such topics as identifying marketable content, creating profitable partnerships, using wireless voice services, selecting billing and pricing solutions, and planning a profitable technology strategy.
    http://www.iirusa.com/mobileapps

    For other upcoming events, check out the Windows & .NET Magazine Event Calendar.
    http://www.winnetmag.com/events

    6. NEW AND IMPROVED
    (contributed by Carolyn Mader, products@winnetmag.com)

  • TURN YOUR PDA INTO A MESSAGING NETWORK

  • Inventop announced ProximityMail 1.0, communications software that turns Bluetooth PDAs into a messaging network. Built on the technology platform called BluePing Network, ProximityMail lets PDA users communicate anonymously to groups of users, without requiring a specific user's PDA ID, phone number, or email address. For more information, contact Inventop on the Web.
    http://www.proximitymail.com

  • VISUAL BASIC PROGRAMMING FOR THE PALM

  • O'Reilly announced "Programming Visual Basic for Palm OS," a book by Matthew Holms, Patrick Burton, and Roger Knoell that details how you can put your Visual Basic (VB) skills to work in the handheld market. The book describes UI techniques for the Palm and how to program the Palm database model. You can also learn the Palm programming environment, including how to download and use the software development tools. Pricing is $39.95. Contact O'Reilly at 707-827-7000, 800-998-9938, or order@oreilly.com.
    http://www.oreilly.com

    7. CONTACT US
    Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

    • ABOUT MOBILE AND WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES — jruley@winnetmag.com
    • ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL — jbovberg@winnetmag.com
      (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)
    • TECHNICAL QUESTIONS — http://www.winnetmag.net/forums
    • PRODUCT NEWS — products@winnetmag.com
    • QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR Mobile & Wireless UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION?
      Customer Support — mobile_&_wirelessupdate@winnetmag.com

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