The Wallpaper Emporium
A few Pocket PC Microsoft Money screenshots
A Pocket PC UI change suggestion I have
A few Pocket PC device photos
The Unofficial Velo FAQ
I don't have much time to devote to this page, but there are always things I want to talk about in relation to Windows CE, so this opening page will serve as a sort of one-sided journal about whatever happens to be on my mind at the time...
August 25, 2000 - I really need to
stop neglecting this site don't I? I have something new in the works, so
keep an eye out for it. I spend most of my time writing
for PocketPC.com, although lately I just finished a book on PhotoImpact
6.0. The Amazon.com
listing has the wrong author at the moment, but that should be corrected
soon. If you're still using PhotoShop for your graphics work, you don't know
what you're missing. In late September I'm heading down to Redmond with my
fellow MVP's, and we'll be having a series of meetings with the Pocket PC
team. We have a LOT of feedback to give them, collected from our personal
thoughts and the feedback we get from people in the Pocket PC newsgroups. It
should be fun!
May 7, 2000 - Well the Pocket PC
launch has come and gone. I think the product is fantastic, and only has a
few flaws in my eyes, but in the Palm-dominated media, it's only faring
so-so. Anyone who has used a Palm for months becomes used to the UI, so any
change (no matter how minor) seems to cause a knee-jerk reaction of
"It's too hard to use!". It's disappointing to me to see most of
the mainstream media doing such a disservice to consumers - people really
need to go down to a local store and see a device for themselves.
April 3, 2000 - Sixteen days until
the Pocket PC launch! This is going to be great! Make sure to check out the user
group tours if you can! There's supposed to be some sort of discount on
Pocket PC devices for those who attend. Cool! None are in Canada though. :-(
March 24, 2000 - Well, Rapier
cometh...and it's called the Pocket PC. I don't have time to delve into all
the details I want to, but suffice it to say that the Pocket PC is so much
better than the previous Wyvern-generation devices it makes me drool. There
are many reviews and sneak peaks up on the web, but the best one I've seen
is by the WiredGuy
- he gives a lot of screen shots and great info. Check it out! I have to
apologize for the infrequent FAQ updates - I'm so busy with other Windows
CE-related things I haven't had the time to update it. I'll probably let it
languish for a few more weeks until the Pocket PC launch (April 19th) then I
do a big edit to the whole thing to update it for Pocket PC info.
February 24, 2000 - Wow, it's been
a long time since I've updated this page! I've been pouring my efforts into Uplink
lately, for basically two reasons. #1, I have a real strong desire to make
it a fantastic resource site, and there's a great team of writers that are
helping to make it that way! #2, heck, I can get paid for writing about
something I love. What could be better? Keep your eye on PocketPC.com
- there will be some cool things happening with it soon. Lastly, Rapier is
coming really fast now...there are articles
on ZDNet about it, and while they don't know everything there is to know
about Rapier, it's pretty evident that the excitement is building for a
reason - Rapier is going to rock! I've had a Rapier device for about five
months now, and it's gone through the various beta and RC builds, and while
there are some things I don't like about it, overall it's a very impressive
upgrade. Palm is going to be hurting in 2000....
December 3, 1999 - Inspiration
struck at 2 AM, and The
Wallpaper Emporium was born. Check it out.
November 30, 1999 - Just a quick
catch up. I have a Casio E-105 now, and for the most part, love it. The
colour, the speed, the storage space, it's just incredible! I have the Casio
digital camera, Xircom 56K modem, and 48 meg CF cards for it - so it's an
incredibly useful tool for me! The new HP 430SE is comparable, but doesn't
have the slick design or CPU power of the Casio. Still, HP generally makes
good stuff. In other news, the media has been going on a feeding frenzy with
"Death of Windows CE" stories. And as usual, they're dead wrong.
Has Windows CE stolen a lot of market share from the Palm Pilot? Nah, not
really. Most estimates place Windows CE at about 13% - 18% of the total
market share. So that's a decent amount, but not enough to satisfy the media
OR Microsoft for that matter. Microsoft is in this to the end, so don't
expect them to abandon the platform anytime soon. Windows CE is so much more
than P/PC-sized devices, and most people forget that. But that P/PC platform
is where Microsoft is taking the fight to Palm, and Rapier is a part of that
fight. I'm under several NDA's, so I can't talk about Rapier, but I will say
this: 2000 will be the year of Windows CE, no question about it. There are
more things in motion now that I can keep track of, and they all promise to
do the same thing: push Windows CE on the P/PC (and other, ah, *interesting*
form factors) into the stratosphere.
Someone loaned me a Palm V, and while I do love the form factor and design of the thing, if you need ANYTHING beyond simple PIM, the Palm is the most useless and dysfunctional piece of garbage I've ever seen! I loaded up an "image viewer" app that had a few sample images in it, and I nearly killed myself laughing when looking at what a photo of a dog looked like on the Palm V. The graphics were identical to my original Apple IIe back in the early 80's. THIS is cutting edge handheld computing? I think not. It may do PIM functions ok, but it's so LIMITED by it's design, processor, and most of all, the OS.
Lastly, I'm doing a lot of writing for the new Microsoft UPLINK site. It's a really cool site that focuses on maximizing the value of your P/PC device. I'm the topic manager for GAMES and PRODUCTIVITY (what an interesting combo!) so I'll be reviewing a product and writing a column on a monthly basis for each area. There are some incredible things coming for Windows CE, and the goal with Uplink is to keep you informed and in the loop!
September 27, 1999 - There has
been some controversy over the Dreamcast issue, so I thought I'd clear it
up. The unit itself has no OS, it's just a preloader that loads whatever is
on the disc. So far, in the half-dozen or so games that are out, none have
been built using the CD development tools, hence no CE is actually being
loaded. However, there are games coming out soon built with CE, so it will
be "Powered by Windows CE" soon enough. :-)
August 30th, 1999 - I finally saw
a SEGA Dreamcast unit! For those of you
that don't know, SEGA has built their new game console using Windows CE, and
I was very impressed! You can read all the specs here,
but in a nutshell it's a 3 million polygons per second gaming powerhouse
built on my favorite little OS. I've only seen two games for it, but the
frame-rate and textures in the games were unreal - it blows away the N64 in
terms of visual quality. And since the units also come with 56k modems and
other expansion options, it seems like a very flexible platform.
In other news, my trusty Everex Freestyle PsPc has been messed up for a while now. The battery pack wouldn't charge any more, so I thought I'd contact them. Michael Hu, Director of Marketing and Business Development, was the nice fellow who responded. He said he's send me a battery pack, so I gave him my info - who'd pass up a free solution to a problem? Well, three weeks past, no battery pack or response to my emails. In the meantime, I was going through 1-2 sets of AAA's per week - you don't realize how expensive CE devices are to operate until you start using regular batteries. Brutal! So I went to the Everex web site and ordered a new battery pack - for $21.99! I couldn't believe the price - you can pick these units up for a couple hundred now, and a simple battery pack is 10% of the cost? Can we say "gouge"? Then, because I live in Canada, I had to pay an additional $10 in shipping. And, much to my dismay, UPS wanted $18 CND at the door when they delivered it. So, all told, this little rechargeable battery pack cost me about $70 CND. And guess what? It still didn't work. The charging unit inside the device is fried somehow! So I sent off an email to the Everex support people, expecting some sort of resolution to my problem. Well, that was 2 weeks ago, still nothing. Who are these guys anyways? They apparently don't grasp the concept of responding to the needs of their customers. Sigh...
Canadian stores are always a little behind at getting new CE devices in, so I haven't seen an E-105 yet. I have to admit that looking at the HP Jornada 420 wasn't very exciting - it's too big! The PsPc form-factor is fantastic, but when you get even 20% bigger than the size of the FreeStyle I have now, it's just too clumsy and heavy. Hopefully 2nd gen color PsPc's will be smaller and still have the speed and storage we all love...
Rapier, the interface re-design for PsPc devices, it still a ways off - we'll know more in the coming month, but there's no firm release date or details.
Lastly, if you haven't already, PLEASE get ActiveSynch 3.0 - it's a quantum leap above Windows CE Services 2.2, and will solve a lot of your connection problems. And heck, it's free!
All content © 2000, Kensai Design
& Communications unless otherwise specified.
Windows CE® and Microsoft® are copyright Microsoft Corp.
All other product names/company names are copyright of their respective owners.