Mobile & Wireless UPDATE--brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network http://www.winnetmag.com
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March 27, 2003--In this issue:
1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES - Mobile & Wireless at War
2. MOBILE & WIRELESS NEWS & VIEWS - 802.11b Chips for Under $10?! - Tablet PCs: 72,000 and Growing - Pocket PC 2002 Email Bug
3. ANNOUNCEMENTS - Get a Sample Issue of Exchange & Outlook Administrator - Get the eBook That Will Help You Get Certified!
4. INSTANT POLL - Results of Previous Poll: WLAN at Work - New Instant Poll: PDA Theft Protection
5. RESOURCE - Event Highlight: 802.11 Planet Conference & Expo Spring 2003
6. NEW AND IMPROVED - Use Your Wireless Device to View and Control Your PC Desktop - Load a Spell Checker on Your PDA
7. CONTACT US - See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
* MOBILE & WIRELESS AT WAR I spent last week in Mexico as a volunteer pharmacist at a free clinic in Escarcega, a small town on the Yucatan Peninsula. Because English-language news was all but impossible to obtain, I settled for a Mexican newspaper called "Reforma" (published in Mexico City) on my return flight. To my surprise, on Page 4A of the Sunday, March 23 edition, I saw a sketch of a PDA wearing a soldier's helmet. I'm not well versed in Spanish, but I was able to pull some company names out of that story, and as a result can report that PDAs and other mobile devices have gone to war.
A company called Talla-Com Industries ( http://www.t-com.com/products.htm ) is selling a ruggedized Pocket PC device designed for military use: The Tacter-R PDA runs Windows CE for Pocket PC 2002. The device offers a 400MHz Intel XScale CPU, 64MB of RAM, 32MB of ROM, modular expansion capabilities, and an internal tactical modem. You can use the Tacter-R with a commercial or optional embedded Global Positioning System (GPS). The company also sells the Tacter-31, a larger unit built around a 500MHz Pentium III CPU running Windows NT 4.0. Both the US Army and US Marine Corps use the Tacter-31A.
After researching Talla-Com, I dug around for other military PDA products. Raytheon, a large defense contractor, has developed the Raytheon Agama ( http://www.myagama.com ), a ruggedized version of the Hewlett-Packard HP iPAQ Pocket PC for military use. Specifications seem to be the same as those of the off-the-shelf iPAQ; however, Raytheon has replaced the typical silver iPAQ case with a bulky green plastic cover. The military pays about five times as much for an Agama as you would pay for an iPAQ.
Palm OS-based devices apparently outnumber Pocket PCs and other Windows CE devices in military scenarios--particularly for electronic publishing. For example, the Air Force offers Palm-compatible fact sheets about various topics ( http://www.af.mil/news/pdafactsheets ). Also, the US Navy's Naval Education and Training Command offers a Palm edition of its "Navy Leader Planning Guide" ( https://www.cnet.navy.mil/cnet/nlpg2003/nlpg_index2003_palm.htm ).
PDAs are gaining an increasing importance in homeland security. Last week, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a pilot program ( http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2003pres/20030321.html ) to test the use of handheld devices for transmitting urgent information about biological agents (e.g., anthrax, plague, ebola) to doctors.
I've had less success finding examples of military wireless communications (probably because much of it is classified). However, I'm intrigued by one item that turned up in my search: The Naval Postgraduate School's Cebrowski Institute has initiated The Nemesis Project, which will study wireless information trustworthiness. Initially, the Cebrowski Institute is using a mobile 802.11 network to configure Nemesis.
Past wars lead me to suspect that some of the technology developed for military use today will eventually work its way into civilian devices. And all users will reap the benefits.
Finally, I'd like to give Mobile & Wireless UPDATE readers a heads-up: I'm working on a review of Tablet PC devices for a forthcoming edition of Windows & .NET Magazine. If you'd like me to answer particular questions about Tablet PCs, please let me know and I'll try work the answers into the review. You can email me at email@example.com.
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* 802.11b CHIPS FOR UNDER $10?! If you think wireless networks are common now, just wait. DigiTimes.com, a daily Taiwan newspaper that covers IT, reports that several Taiwanese chip-design houses have dropped prices on their chips to as low as $7. For more information, go to the following URL: http://www.digitimes.com/NewsShow/Article2.asp?datePublish=2003/03/24&pages=06&seq=31
* TABLET PCs: 72,000 AND GROWING According to the technology research firm IDC, the total number of shipped devices running Windows XP for Tablet PC has now exceeded 72,000. Vertical-market sales are primarily driving that number. For more information, go to the following URL: http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jhtml;jsessionid=W045CWYCAQZ24CTFA4FCFGAKMUDYWIWD?containerId=pr2003_03_13_094016
* POCKET PC 2002 EMAIL BUG Microsoft has identified a bug in the Pocket PC 2002 Inbox on devices that have Microsoft ActiveSync partnerships with more than one PC. The bug causes an intermittent failure of the software's ability to move messages between the Inbox and other folders--including the Deleted Items folder. In extreme cases (for heavy email users), this bug can produce an out-of-memory situation. Microsoft recommends two workarounds for the problem: Either manually delete messages from Outlook's Deleted Items folder on the partner PC or recreate the primary partnership and don't use a secondary partnership. http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q813787
* GET A SAMPLE ISSUE OF EXCHANGE & OUTLOOK ADMINISTRATOR Exchange & Outlook Administrator, the monthly print newsletter from Windows & .NET Magazine, gives you the in-depth articles you need to secure, maintain, and troubleshoot your messaging environment. Try an issue of Exchange & Outlook Administrator, and discover for yourself what our expert authors know that you don't. Click here! http://www.exchangeadmin.com/rd.cfm?code=fsei233xup
* GET THE EBOOK THAT WILL HELP YOU GET CERTIFIED! The "Insider's Guide to IT Certification," from the Windows & .NET Magazine Network, has one goal: to help you save time and money on your quest for certification. Find out how to choose the best study guides, save hundreds of dollars, and be successful as an IT professional. The amount of time you spend reading this book will be more than made up by the time you save preparing for your certification exams. Order your copy today! http://winnet.bookaisle.com/ebookcover.asp?ebookid=13475
* RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: WLAN AT WORK The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's Mobile & Wireless Solutions nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Do you have a wireless LAN (WLAN) at work?" Here are the results from the 84 votes: - 74% Yes - 26% No
* NEW INSTANT POLL: PDA THEFT PROTECTION The next Instant Poll question is, "Do you have any theft-protection measures in place for your mobile device?" Go to the Mobile & Wireless Solutions Web site and submit your vote for a) Yes or b) No. http://www.mobile-and-wireless.com
* EVENT HIGHLIGHT: 802.11 PLANET CONFERENCE & EXPO SPRING 2003 June 25 through 27, 2003 Boston
At 802.11 Planet Conference & Expo Spring 2003, 802.11 industry experts and business innovators converge to exchange ideas and strategies and chart new paths through this transforming technological landscape. Learn how to build a high-gain antenna, a turnkey wireless LAN (WLAN) installation, and a multihop network. Learn about security, public markets, multimode networking, and value to the enterprise. For more information, go to the following URL: http://www.jupiterevents.com/80211/spring03/index.html
For other upcoming events, check out the Windows & .NET Magazine Event Calendar. http://www.winnetmag.com/events/calendar
* USE YOUR WIRELESS DEVICE TO VIEW AND CONTROL YOUR PC DESKTOP Expertcity announced GoToMyPC PocketView, a remote access solution that lets wireless device users view and control their PC desktop in realtime. Features include scaling and rotating of images for better viewing and single-click scrolling so that you can move faster around the desktop. GoToMyPC PocketView will launch with GoToMyPC 4.0 corporate and personal versions in June. For pricing, contact Expertcity at 805-690-6400. http://www.expertcity.com
* LOAD A SPELL CHECKER ON YOUR PDA PhatWare released PhatSpell for Pocket PC, a spell-check utility that consists of a collection of 10 dictionaries in 8 world languages--Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish. To save memory space, you can decide which dictionary you want to install. PhatSpell retails for $29.95 but is selling for $19.95 for a limited time. Contact PhatWare at 650-559-5600. http://www.phatware.com
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