Coded blue, for lack of a separate hardware color.

Wednesday 13 December 2006

HP iPAQ hw6515

Pic of the day: Hewlett-Packard iPAQ hw6515 personal communicator. Yeah, it's more than a year old now, but the next model seems to be the same only with national keyboards and slightly cheaper.

En route to 2010

Six years ago I wrote about the future of the Pocket PC, how it would include Bluetooth and wireless Internet access by 2010. By now, as regular readers may remember, I already have a pocket PC with these features, up to and including GPS that can keep track of where I am within a couple meters. I don't use these features though. In fact, I rarely even use the built-in mobile phone or the camera. But they are there. They will have to be cheaper and easier to use though, in the three years we may have left till 2010.

For instance, I don't think this one has WiFi. The previous one had, or so it said, but it may be that it only included the software and not the hardware; I certainly didn't get it to work. But then again it took me hours and much googling to get the Bluetooth to work on that one. I don't think I even set it up on this one. As I said, it needs to get user friendly. Idiot proof more like it. People who can afford these things don't have the time to tinker with them. Ideally when the Pocket PC needs to access the Internet, it should go like this:
1)Check if connected to a PC by USB, if so, use that PC's internet access, if any.
2)If not, use Bluetooth to check for a nearby PC that allows you. (Could be my own PC or a work PC, not just any random stranger.)
3)If not Bluetooth, try WiFi. Again, first try my own WiFi network, and only if not found try open wireless networks.
4)If all else fails, call the Internet via the mobile phone technology.

WiFi sure is spreading. Some people think all cities and towns will be WiFi zones. Evidently there is a new standard spreading that covers larger areas, but I forgot what it is called. I'll notice when it becomes relevant to me, I suppose.

The Pocket PC also needs more entertaining software if it is to pass from Executive Toy to Exciting Toy. Nintendo DS and the less than successful PSP are coming from the other end. Nintendo DS now has an Opera browser, though it is not very good. The PSP has its own built-in browser too, or rather it is part of one of the first update downloads. It is even worse though. But for the Pocket PC to move on, it needs to run normal software. You should be able to forget that you have a different type of machine, just like with a laptop. On a laptop or notebook PC, you can run your favorite browser and play your favorite games, at least within the limits of the hardware. Pocket PC should be like that too. In fact, I want to play the same Sim family on my Pocket PC as I do at home.

Perhaps in 2010. We are almost on schedule.

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: Religion and filters
Two years ago: Fast forward
Three years ago: Familiarity breeds?
Four years ago: Return of the old women
Five years ago: Princesses
Six years ago: Datapad 2010
Seven years ago: If it wasn't illegal
Eight years ago: Relax day

Visit the archive page for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.

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