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Cornwall, United Kingdom
A married Cornishman who still doesn't know what he wants to be when he grows up. I currently work for a charity and am trying to expand my horizons. [See bottom of page for Blog Archive and Links.]

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Friday, January 12, 2007

A few words for a new Axim x51v owner

A friend of mine recently picked up an Axim x51v and I promised to email a few lines based on my experiences; having done that I thought that it might be worth sharing on the blog.

I just realised I didn't take more than 20 minutes for lunch today so this counts as my break time.

For a list of the best pocket PC software you can't do better than either:

personal recommendation or the recommendation from a panel of people who represent users across the world.

[Three things I would not be without are a screen protector and either a spare battery or device to recharge on the go and a hard case.]

Software

In lieu of the first, have a look at the Pocket PC Magazine Awards 2006 - it gives you a list of some of the best programmes out there and which ones have been selected as the best for 2006.

Click on the link to descriptions, the software is in categories. They don't cover Office like applications: my personal favourite being Softmaker Office

For handwriting recognition, the Dell does well already (tap on the triangle next to the keyboard symbol at the bottom of the screen - it there's no little triangle tap once on the keyboard symbol, and pick the data input option you want) but I recommend Phatware's Calligrapher


I love Phatware's products. I use their Phatnotes programme as it gives much more flexibility in how I store stuff.

I have watched people blogging using their handwriting (known as inking in the Tablet PC world) and, from all accounts, I may have been the first in the world to do it from an Axim - see the December entries on my blog http://lowjib7.blogspot.com/. I use Phatware's PhatPad programme for this - it's a bit specialised and really for storing handwritten notes, not easy on such a small screen, I usually set the page size to A5 and zoom in to write, which gives me clearer handwriting but means I need to scroll quite a lot. For PhatPad to read handwriting and turn it into text at some point you need to also own their Calligrapher programme.


Other software I use:

Flexmail 2007 - for email, much more flexible but just a bit fiddly when setting up initial folders

Pocket Informant - essential PIM software

Skype - used over wifi connection

Hitchiker - programme for sniffing out wifi connections in the wild and attempting to connect (if it spots a conmnection where you have to pay e.g. Starbucks you at least know it's found one and then fire up your Browser to go through the login or pay/login process)

Opera - much more flexible browser, allows tabbing and handles java script

Listpro - great for all sorts of lists that you can use flags, check boxes, filters, etc on


Spb Backup - to periodically take a snapshot of my main device memory in case I ever have to hard reset (totally wipe progs/data on actual x51v

eReader - for occassional eBook reading

KeepTrack - track personal expenses

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Hardware
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The main supplier of extras I use is Proporta
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I have their:

?magnesium case - for 1100 mAH standard battery

aluminium case - for 2200 mAh extended battery

screen protectors

power pack that takes rechargeable AA batteries and has an x51v conector on the end

I picked up a couple of 2200 mAh batteries on ebay (from Hong Kong I think) and pretty much use them and the aluminium case, though the powered pda mount I got for Christmas needs the Axim in it's thinner standard magnesium case.

If you ever try charging from just a USB connection be warned that the device has to be turned off, a normal USB connection only supplies enough power to use the device or charge it when the Axim is completely shut off.
Memory Cards - till now I use 7dayshop but UK Amazon ?have a sale on at the moment - something like 2Gb SD card for ?11

Other hardware:

BT GPS receiver - a sirf III device that tracks up to 32 satellite channels rahter than the standard (till now) 20 - eBay viaHong Kong? -? only good if you want to get into something like TomTom but it was my birthday at the time - using gps to Surrey the other week to try different routes, spot things like off road garages, Little Chefs and speed cameras http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/?(annual membership needed) was brilliant.

Stowaway (now known in many places as iGO) Universal BT keyboard - the latest version has a fourth row for separate numeric keys and I'd probably buy one except myStowaway keyboard is already soooo good for extended typing or taking notes at meetings.

Replacement stylii that have a pen in one end under the cap, plus a 4-in-1 pen that includes a stylus tip

SD/CF Card Reader - much quicker than Activesync to upload stuff from computer to card and vice versa e.g. large files or pictures.?

NB When synching data I use Activesync 4.2 but if yours is a slightly earlier version and you backup stuff via Activesync and then try to restore using the newer Activesync it will not work - hence I use a third party backup porgramme.

[By setting up a dialup connection and telling it to dial something like *99# the Axim can dialup your phone and connect to the Internet via whatever setup your phone has e.g. mine is set to connectvia GPRS wap when I surf on my phone and my Axim will use this when I am not near a wifi connection e.g. I get my emails on the bus when heading home. Be careful with connecting via your phone - unless you have a data plan in place that allows you unlimited or a certain amount of download bandwidth, it can be VERY expensive.]
?
Sundry

make a note of your Owner name.? With mine I couldn't recall whether I had used my middle initial after accidentally wiping it out.? Some software unlocks only with the Owner name you declared when buying it e.g. I couldn't reinstall with the registration code till I had the correct owners name.

Register on the Aximsite Forums at http://www.aximsite.com/ a phenomenal site for info and advice - I am Philhellene on them and usually answer Hardware - Wireless questions when I can.

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