PocketPC Tips

I purchased a Toshiba PocketPC e570 PDA in June 2002. This device is a little bulky, but had the advantage of a CF (Compact Flash) port and a secure media port.

My hopes where to be able to send and recieve emails (plain text is fine), and be able to print (via IRDA).

While printing does work, it is not a part of the default suite of programs available. You have to shell out more money to 3rd party developers to get this support working. Looks like Toshiba, or Microsoft, took shortcuts. I was trying to print to a Hewlet Packard LaserJet 2100 M, and HP’s web site directed me to get drivers from my manufacturer, Toshiba. Toshiba’s PocketPC web site is completely fucking useless. There entire support structure is geared *away* from these products. Their staff reject and disencourage PocketPC support questions. Aghhh!

Luckily, their telephone support does exist. Place a call and save time. While you’re there, ask to speak to a manager, and tell them that in place of wasting their time right now, you could be helping yourself to the information you are after if they put some effort into their web site!

Ho hum. Lets move on. Printing. Looks like the 3rd party software is at fieldsoftware.com. The product is called PrintPocketCE, and while a little sliggish on some redraws, it does work under PocketPC 2002 quite well. Well done FS. A 30 day trial is availale, and the software is around US$39 or so.

Back to getting data in and out of the device. I got a belkin 802.11b wireless CF card. I can cruise around my network; I can see it DHCP, and I can use the built-in IE browser to look at HTTP and HTTPS web sites. I havent forced it yet, but using a specific proxy with HTTPS would be nice; if people are going to use wireless, doing a bit extra to help secure it at an application layer is nice.

And it is security that brings me to my next issue. For me, email is either accessed locally on a server, or via IMAPS. IMAPS is like IMAP, except over SSL. If I am going to have passwords fly around the network, I like them to be encrypted in transit! However, the ‘INBOX’ client that comes with PocketPC 2002 seems to be too cut down, only supporting unencrypted POP3 and IMAPv4. There is no SSL support here. This is pretty important. It seems there are no Mail User Agents (MUA) for the PocketPC that support IMAPS. Fr me. this greatly hinders the use of the product.