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Rather then wandering back here randomly to see if anything on my site has changed, plunk your email address into the form below, fill out the form it takes you to, and voila! You'll be notified when this site changes. All changes are noted on this page, and I try to only note changes when they are significant (i.e.: you'll never see an entry here saying "I've fixed some spelling mistakes"). However, I'd ask that you come to this page live rather than have it emailed to you. I like to keep track of my visitors, etc. Thank you!

Velo 500

  • 11/30/99 - Please note: The Velo series has been discontinued, and in fact, Philips has pulled out of Windows CE all together (their mistake). I no longer own a Velo 1 or Velo 500, so I don't have the CD-ROM with the updated 2.0 software, I don't have a ROM chip to sell anyone (check ebay), and I can't provide support for the devices in any capacity. I'll leave this site up as a resource for everyone, but I am unable to answer support questions on specific Velo issues. Please check the Windows CE Newsgroup FAQ for more general Q&A's.

  • 7/18/99 - Not much to report here folks! The Velo site has been down several times lately, but it always seems to come back up - albeit wit no new information of any sort. If you haven't heard, the entire Velo line has been discontinued, and Philips has said they'll only focus on their Nino line of CE devices.

    I finally got my broken Velo 1 back from being repaired, and while they did fix the hinge, they lost my stylus! I don't suppose anyone has an extra one they'd like to send me, would they? Sigh...tech support is now being handled by a 3rd party, and you have to pay a long distance charge to get help (at least, I did).

    In other news Applian Technologies has dropped the price on QuickWallet down to $14.95, which is a steal. Here's the write-up from their site:

    "QuickWallet 3.0 is the best way to protect, organize, and quickly access your sensitive personal information. Includes data encryption, PC desktop sync module, speed dialer, image viewer, note, audio and image organizer, and more. As always, more information and a FREE version are available from the Applian Technologies Web site at http://www.applian.com ."

  • 5/8/99 - Well, it had to happen sooner or later: I sold my Velo 500. It went up on ebay, and I think it's going to a "good home". I simply wasn't using it any more. Microsoft loaned me a Clio and an Everex FreeStyle, and they are my primary CE units now. The Velo 500 was just sitting here doing nothing, so I thought I might as well sell it to someone that has a use for it. Philips will likely take me down from their site now, but that was bound to happen sooner or later - they haven't updated the site in months anyways. And in case you haven't heard this, the Velo 1 and Velo 500 are no longer in production, and Philips has no plans to continue the Velo line - they are focusing solely on the Nino line.

    In other news, I'm also selling my Velo 1 (after it gets repaired AGAIN of course). I'm selling the CE 2.0 ROM upgrade separately, since I know a lot of you are having trouble getting a hold of one. So if you want it, go bid on it via ebay. When my Velo 1 returns I'll likely sell it to, although it might be fun to hold on to it for nostalgia purposes. I'm also selling the 8 meg RAM upgrade card on ebay as well - I'm selling them separately because I know some users already have large RAM cards and don't want to force you to get another card you can't use. So get out there and bid if you want either item! ebay is a fantastic place - I have to admit I'm addicted to it.

    I'll keep the site up and continue to answer your questions, even without a Velo - trust me, I can still picture it all in my head. :-)

  • 2/24/99 - Guess what! I received an email message from someone at Philips!

    Ladies and gentlemen,

    Unless you have already been informed, please note that our offices will be moving to a new location, called Dudullu, on the Asian side of Istanbul.

    The physical movement will take place during week 13 when offices will be closed also due to the "Sacrifice Holiday".


    1 - All computer based communication , including e-mail, and fax machines will be inoperative from Thursday, 99.03.25 evening onwards.

    2 - The only usable means of communication on the last day of office, namely Friday, 99.03.26, will be telephone.

    3 - All the means of communication is planned to be operative the morning of Monday, 99.04.05, onwards.

    4 - All our addresses -i.e. postal, telephone, and fax- will change at our new office EXCEPT our e-mail addresses, which will remain unchanged.

    Attached please find the announcement where all the new addresses are listed.

    At the new office, our working hours will also change in order to give better service to our customers. According to the new plan:

    START: 08:30
    LUNCH: 12:30-13:30
    STOP: 17:30
    working hours will be applied.

    Best Regards,
    Ara Izmitli

    As you might imagine, this means nothing to me - I still don't have any new Velo information. All my efforts are going in the Windows CE Newsgroup FAQ. Windows CE is still growing by leaps and bounds, but Philips isn't. The new colour Nino isn't anything to write home about from what I've heard. It's the same as the previous Nino, just with a colour screen. The killer PsPc seems to be the Compaq Aero or the Casio E-100. I'm personally hankering for an E-100...it looks wonderful!

    I've had a few people email me lately about the CE 2.0 upgrades for their Velo 1, so take note: Philips doesn't sell them any more, Mobile Planet doesn't sell them anymore, and the only place you can get them is via private sellers in the newsgroups or via ebay.

    You'll also notice a Phatware banner at the top of this page - I've actually got a sponsor for the site! If you haven't tried out HPC NOTES, you should. I use the Notes feature in Outlook quite a bit, and I love it - but without HPC NOTES, you can't synch notes with your CE device. It's 100% transparent and automatic - very slick. I'd encourage you to check it out.

  • 2/17/99 - I've been getting a few questions lately about Y2K compatibility of the Velo 1 and Velo 500, so here is some information for you: for the official line on CE 1.0 and 2.0 Y2K compliance (in all languages), click here. For CE 2.11 compliance, use this link instead.

    I've also added a new banner all over the site. It's for the @BACKUP service, a 100 meg virtual hard drive that's fantastic for data storage (27 cents per day is cheap for the security you get). I partnered with @BACKUP because they have a really good affiliate program. Now here's my request to you - if you appreciate the work I've put into this site, the personal responses and aid I've given you, and would like to see it continue, please click here and download the software. You don't need to install the software if you don't feel the service is valuable to you, but I'll get a little bit of $$ for each person that downloads the software. This will help me to keep the site running and encourage me to keep answering my email. 8-) Please don't view this as a "cash grab" - no one needs to do it, but if you want to help me out, I'd certainly appreciate it. Thank you!

  • 2/12/99 - Well, it's been quite a while since my last update, but there's not a lot I have to say. I've made contact with two people at Philips in an attempt to get SOMETHING to put up on this site. Here's one reply I received:

    Jason --

    Thanks for your support over the times. It has been a great ride and we appreciate your enthusiasm especially around te [sic] Velo product! Philips Mobile Computing has undergone alot [sic] of positive changes over the past few months. As our Windows CE mobile business has grown, we've begun to engage with other Philips organizations in highly synergistic and innovative ways. Due to this dynamic, we are not at liberty to share future products plans with outside personnel, especially for public consumption off a web site.

    Please routinely check www.velo.philips.com, www.nino.philips.com and www.philips.com for public announcements we make. If there is anything you want clarified about Nino and Velo which is not located at any of these sites, please feel free to contact me. I get over 100 emails a day but generally respond to everything within 5 business days. thanks again for your support, time and attention!

    Chris Sanders
    Senior Manager, North American Marketing
    Philips Mobile Computing Group

    So this was a nice reply, but essentially they're saying "Check our web site like the rest of the world".

    Using this site to regurgitate Velo news isn't my idea of being useful, and there isn't even any new Velo news to speak of, so I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to do from here. I did get a call from their PR person, but we didn't get a chance to have an actual discussion. I have this feeling that, based on Chris' words above, the usefulness of this site is at an end. The Velo 500, in the world of CE products, is "old" now. Everyone else is innovating like mad - new colour units are on the way, and I'm sure that Philips is releasing a colour Nino. Blake Patterson is the "Nino guy", so I have no desire to start covering Nino issues.

    From what I can tell, Philips won't be making another Velo unit. They appear to be focusing all their efforts on the Nino. The Velo 500 is a wonderful little unit, but it's getting a little long in the tooth. And, for the record,
    don't touch the Velo 1 with a 10 foot pole unless you WANT to deal with dead screen issues, broken hinges, and all sorts of other ugliness. Of course, if you get it for dirt cheap and don't need to rely on it for critical applications, give it a try - it's much better than any $50 SHARP phonebook unit.

    I have added some new content - check out Eric's Excellent Adventure if you want to read about this adventures in Europe with his Velo, especially when it comes to telephone connectivity.

    So this may or may not be the last entry for this site, but rest assured that I'll be leaving the web site up as a resource to you all for quite some time (until my traffic drops off to nothing). Be sure to check out the Windows CE Newsgroup FAQ - there's a lot of awesome information in there, and that's where I spend more of my CE related time (the newsgroups).

  • 12/30/98 - A mish-mash of news today, and not all Velo-related, but important enough to share with you: first, I've acquired a Vadem Clio on loan, and I have to say it's AMAZING! Incredible little unit that fills a different niche than the Velo 500, but lately I've been using my Everex FreeStyle and Clio more than my Velo 500. If you need a larger unit with a colour display that lasts for 12 hours, check out the Clio! I'll likely be making a Clio users site, with direct support from Vadem, so stay tuned! If you haven't seen the Clio, please take a look. It's the single-most gorgeous piece of engineering I've ever seen in the handheld market (although the Nino is a close second...)

    Next up, I've confirmed that the Velo 500 can use non-Philips flash cards as long as they are 3.3 volt. You can buy flash miniature cards from Mobile Planet, made by companies like AMD, Intel, etc. Make sure you get the flash miniature card software from Philips to format the card with. Philips doesn't guarantee non-Philips cards, but since they're not making anything larger than 4 megs, it's time to move on to a new brand! Thanks for George for this info.

    In other news, I've discovered perhaps the single-most useful piece of "webmaster software" I've ever seen. It's called WEB POSITION, and you can check out a demo of it off my site. As someone who practically LIVES on the web, I can honestly tell you this software is amazing. In a nutshell, it allows you to track the position of your web site in the search engines based on different keywords. What used to take hours to do manually now takes 60 seconds with Web Position. Seriously folks, this isn't just blind hype here - I registered the software 10 minutes after using it. I love the thing so much that I've decided to become a reseller for them, which isn't something I do lightly - I'll only recommend a product that I truly believe is the BEST on the market. You'll also see banners on my site now, something I've avoided in the past because there's just so much garbage out there. Adding banners to my site isn't something I undertake lightly, but they repeat the same image, so download times shouldn't be increased by much.

    A little note here: please do NOT email me trying to sell your Velo, and do not ask me if I recommend the Velo 1. If you spend the time reading over this web site, you'll certainly deduce my opinion of the Velo 1 and Velo 500. I'm nearly at the point of taking my email address off this site because I'm getting so much "silly" email - people telling me they found a Velo 1 at www.egghead.com and asking me if they should buy it. People, I have better things to do than answer email like that! Sorry to sound so negative! :-)

    Nothing from Philips lately, so I have a feeling that they're going to tuck me away under a floor mat and leave me there. Virginia was the only person at Philips who ever took the time to keep me abreast of what was going on, and her replacement doesn't feel that's important I guess...

    Lastly, the CE FAQ has undergone a make-over and is much more "friendly" now (special thanks to Miles Raymond for his help). Read there before asking any questions...thank you and have a safe and happy New Year's eve. Remember not to drink and drive! (or drink and use your Velo!)
  • 12/16/98 - The site has been moved! Welcome the new and expanded CE site I'm building! The Velo pages won't be changing much. I'll continue to provide the best information I can, but most of my efforts lately are going into the CE FAQ. Please be sure to read it before asking me any questions! There's a lot of great information in it...
  • 12/15/98 - Philips has finally added CE Services 2.2 onto their web site, so for those that were put off by the slow download speed before, get it now. It's a worthwhile upgrade - there is a list of features on that page. In other news, this page will be moving to a new address. I've registered an addition onto my domain: http://windowsce.kensai.com - this will be for the growth I anticipate as I move outward from the Velo to other units. There's not much there now, but I'm going to move this site over in the next few days, so update your bookmarks now. I'll be adding NETMIND again to the new site, so that should still make it easier for everyone to keep up to date on changes. In other news, a book publisher contacted me about writing a Windows CE book for them, so stay tuned. I might even co-author with my fellow MVP Chris de Hererra!
  • 12/3/98 - CE Services 2.2 is available, but only from this rather slow New Zealand site. It's supposed to offer increased speed (synching is 33% faster) and should take care of the headaches that occur when you try to install CE Services on NT 4. It's also supposed to support NT 5.0b2, but no promises on that. I'm downloading it as I type this, but I wanted you to know about it right away. It still hasn't come out on the official Microsoft site, but that doesn't surprise me.
  • 12/2/98 - Something interesting is afoot - first, read this article. Now that article leads the reader to believe that Microsoft themselves will be providing Velo owners with the CE 2.11 ROM chips...but I have my doubts. I'll look into this and keep you posted, but it sounds a little too good to be true. It makes sense mind you, but to completely circumvent the OEM seems a little odd. The article wasn't exactly written to be crystal clear.
  • 11/28/98 - I've been forced to add a "warning" for people to read before they email me, because I keep getting the same questions: 50% of my Velo-related email lately is from people who have Euro Velo's and are asking about GSM connectivity. I'll say this again: I don't know the answers, because I have absolutely, positively no experience with it. From now on, I'll be ignoring all such email. I hate to ignore people who need help, but I simply can't afford to take the time to keep writing the same thing. The knowledge about GSM issues is contained in the CE FAQ, which can be read by sending an email to [email protected] - please read the FAQ before contacting me, and contact the owner of the Cell/GSM web site if you have questions.

    I've updated the MY VELO page, because my Velo 500 has developed a minor hardware glitch. Nothing serious, but I'm sure everyone was curious about how long it would last before SOMETHING went wrong. My contact at Philips has moved on to a new job, so I might be left in the ditch by Philips. If it wasn't for Virginia, I'm sure Philips wouldn't have acknowledged me in any fashion. We'll see what happens.

    I'm looking forward to the forthcoming WYVERN units - there are the 2nd generation Palm-Sized PC's (like the Nino, FreeStyle, etc.). According to some reports I've seen the greyscale units will be no more than 1/3rd of an inch thick! Wow! And there will be colour units as well, although they will be thicker due to battery constraints. The Wyvern will be the unit that has a chance to vault over Palm Pilot and take the lead. Still not a peep on any sort of 3rd generation HPC from Philips...
  • 11/19/98 - Someone emailed me the most complete list of Philips technical support numbers I've ever seen! If you travel, this would be important to have. There's been a few people calling Philips asking about the lack of CE 2.11 ROM upgrades, and the techs are telling them that CE 2.11 is for "HPC Pro's only". That's a line people - don't you want Pocket Access? Or the ability to store anything you want on a flash card? More on this later...
  • 11/17/98 - Bad news my friends. It's official - I heard the word from my contact at Philips today.
    They will *NOT* be making a CE 2.11 ROM upgrade for the Velo series to give it the same capabilities as the new HPC PRO units (Pocket Access, etc.). No word on the Nino. This seems to support the theory that Philips is backing away from their HPC designs and focusing solely on the Nino. I seriously doubt angry emails will persuade them to make a CE 2.11 ROM - but go ahead if it makes you feel any better! How the mighty have fallen... (I'll do a more detailed write-up on this later, but I need some time to mull it over). Sigh. This site will stay where it is (I never take down web sites), but it might be nearing it's end...
  • 11/6/98 - It's finally up - my 3000 word summary on what it was like to use the Velo 500 as my only computer for two weeks: my Mobile Journey Journal. I apologise for how long it's taken to get finished and posted, but it was quite the effort to get this finished. I have very little time, as the CE newsgroup keeps growing in traffic, so I spent a lot of time answering questions there. Enjoy my little "story" - hopefully it will give you an idea of how well the Velo 500 works as a mobile tool for everything from word processing to web site maintenance.

    In other news, Philips has announced they won't be making an HPC Pro - but 16 other vendors are. The HPC Pro is the 3rd generation of CE device - it's larger, more functional, and has a much longer battery life (up to 15 hours for the colour units). It also runs CE 2.11, which has more functionality (IMAP4 email support and Pocket Access to name two things). Why isn't Philips making one? They say they're not sure how the PRO will fit into the scene - people didn't want the Velo to get any bigger, remember?

    I personally thing the PRO is a great idea, but I don't want to see the Velo-sized units disappear. Will Philips make another Velo? That's up in the air at the moment - they haven't confirmed or denied this, but they have stated they are "focusing" on the Nino for now. Will Philips make a new ROM chip for CE 2.11 to slap into the Velo 500? Un-confirmed as well. I'll keep you posted - I'll be very disappointed if they DON'T make a ROM chip.
  • 10/13/98 - I was away for the long weekend, and quite a few Velo emails were waiting for me when I got back. I want to get three issues clear with everyone who visits my site - I only have knowledge and am able to support the US Velo 1 and Velo 500. The Euro Velo units have a slightly different construction and communications system, and I've never actually laid eyes on a "telephone connectivity kit", so I can't answer questions about it. The software builds are slightly different, and I can't troubleshoot modem/communications issues. Please do NOT ask! Also, I have no interest in answering questions about where you can sell your Velo - this web site is not for classified ads. Lastly, I am not a programmer. I'm a designer and communications consultant. Please do not ask me questions about development - I can't answer there. Your best bet is one of the CE newsgroups.
  • 10/9/98 - What have I been up to you might ask? Well, lots! I have day 1 of the mobile journal done (and it's pretty long) but my spare time has been eaten up creating the official FAQ for the Windows CE group. It's quite extensive, so be sure to check it out. The version on my web site won't be updated beyond this version, so be sure to read in the CE Newsgroup for the newest version (which will be posted 2-3 times a week).
  • 9/5/98 - A CE newsgroup contributor, Dan Huber, has launched a Velo 500 site. It's got a great walk-though where he tells us what he needed, what he looked at, and what he chose. Good reading! Mobile journey guide is still underway...(work has been hell lately!)
  • 8/30/98 - I've had some people tell me about new lines on getting the 16 meg DRAM card. I'm not too excited about it. Here's the catch - what are you going to do with the 16 meg DRAM? CE 2.0 has a 16 meg RAM storage limit, meaning that if you have a 32 meg HPC, the most RAM you can allocate to storage is 16 megs, leaving you with a whopping 16 megs to run programs with. It's a waste I'm afraid to say, and for this reason the HP 660LX and Sharp 4600 are bit of of a hoax - 20 megs is the most I'd recommend. 16 megs of storage, and 4 megs of program memory (which is enough to even run the monstrous Java VM). Before anyone asks, the Java VM (virtual machine) is for developers only, doesn't work with Pocket Internet Explorer, and takes 4 megs of RAM to run and 4 megs of RAM to store. Hence the "monstrous"! Mobile Journal is still underway...I've fixed the site search engine. FrontPage 98 extensions are so fragile!
  • 8/24/98 - I've had a few people email me saying that the FIND error on PPC's like the Nino also affects any Velo running CE 2.0. On PPC's without the patch, it really does cause the unit to hang. But on HPCs, it's just painfully slow - I've done some testing on my Velo 500, and it takes at least 30 seconds with only 500 contacts. It's for this reason I never use it, but if you do, expect to wait a while.
  • 8/23/98 - Want to connect to AOL on your Velo? It's now possible, but it's not easy. It involves a DOS emulator and an old AOL client. Why didn't I think of that? :-)

    Also, Philips has released a CE 2.0 Service Pack for the Velo series (1 and 500). Check it out. Doesn't seem all that critical, but if you were having any of the problems they described, get it.
  • 8/16/98 - A new question and link has been added for those who want to connect to the Internet via their HPC's when they are docked. You can find all about it here.
  • 8/15/98 - I've added some new questions on issues that I've been getting lately like the irritating auto-connect to the 'net of the Velo, etc. Too many to list here. THE POUCH now available in bright new colours like lime, blue, purple, etc. Journal is underway...EVEREX is sending me a Freestyle to test out so I can get a handle on PPC issues. I'll be moving to a new section on my domain, likely something like ce.kensai.com or something similar to deal with the expanding world of CE. Stay tuned!
  • 8/5/98 - For those who thought I gave up on this site, fear not! As this moment I'm sitting in a kitchen in LA using bSquare's HTML editor to update this site. What have I been up to you might ask? Well, for quite some time I've had a list of things that I needed to get done on this site. That list has included a review of the Velo 500, and a review of the software I use. After reading the GO INSIDE review, I realized I couldn't match the sheer level of detail he delved into. Instead, I'm trying something new (a "social experiment" if you will) that will accomplish all my goals and give everyone something interesting to read: a journal of my "mobile adventures" in LA.

    Before I left on vacation, I loaded up my Velo with every piece of software I could find, with the express purpose of finding out how well the Velo 500, and the CE platform in general, performs as a mobile tool. It will include roughly a dozen mini-reviews of software with screen shots, and the review of the Velo 500 will span the entire 14 day period.I'll fomat it for easy reading, and make looking up each product simple. Look for this review in the third week of August.
  • 7/10/98 - Philips has FINALLY released the Flash miniature card software for the Velo 500. Yes, that means you can add more storage for your Velo 500. Better yet, I have a report that it works with Sharp miniature cards, and I assume it would also work with AMD and Intel cards as well. Good news! You can check out this software update, and a few other minor ones, on the Philips Support Update site. And since I haven't yet found the time to review the Velo 500, I'll just add that it's still working GREAT and I love it!
  • 7/1/98 - No, I haven't abandoned by web site. In up to my neck doing research for my thesis, and time is not my friend at the moment. An in-depth review of my Velo 500 is coming (I promise!) but I can't say when...but here's some news: Philips has done a makeover of their site, and it's organized a bit differently. They've added a community section which features this humble site - I'm quite honoured! They also have an improved Software Solutions area, which is great when you're looking for that perfect 3rd party solution. Also, Mobile Planet has a Velo-specific section for all your Velo needs. I've been getting a few questions lately about Ethernet cards and bar-code scanning solutions - the best place to visit is Socket Communications and of course my fellow MVP Chris de Herrera's site (who knows far more than I do).

Read some older "What's New" information...