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Which PocketPC to buy?

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Anonymous
June 16, 2005 7:56:10 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.pocketpc,microsoft.public.pocketpc.developer (More info?)

I'm after some ideas on which pocketPC I should buy (and which I should look
at).

I'm intending to do some humanitarian work/research in a warzone, for which
I will need a computer of sorts. Basically, I need to be able write java
programs (or C# if I can get around to learning it), and run them for
(potentially) a few hours at a time to produce a result - in the field. A
nice quick CPU is therefore desirable. If the machine were ARM or x86 based
then I could write assembly for it, which would be nice. I could be covering
quite a bit of ground per day on foot, so a laptop is not practical.
I'll be taking a camera along with me so:
a) I don't need a rubbish built-in one.
b) It'd be nice to be able to plug in a compactflash card and look at /
delete images - so a decent screen resolution would be an advantage.
Mains power is unreliable where avaliable, and in most places is not
avaliable - so I'll need quite a lot of battery power. While I can carry a
few batteries, I want to keep this number as low as possible because I've
got to carry them around with me.
Being able to record voice is also useful, as I will probably use it to keep
a diary of sorts.

SO, can people please offer some ideas?

Thanks,
Alun Harford
--
Include the word 'lemongrass' in any email you send to me, or you'll hit my
spam filter. If you're reading archives, I may have changed this word -
check http://www.alunharford.co.uk/

More about : pocketpc buy

June 16, 2005 7:56:11 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.pocketpc,microsoft.public.pocketpc.developer (More info?)

If I were you I would go for a Axim X50v. Another one that fits your
criteria is the iPAQ hx4705.


Alun Harford wrote:
> I'm after some ideas on which pocketPC I should buy (and which I should look
> at).
>
> I'm intending to do some humanitarian work/research in a warzone, for which
> I will need a computer of sorts. Basically, I need to be able write java
> programs (or C# if I can get around to learning it), and run them for
> (potentially) a few hours at a time to produce a result - in the field. A
> nice quick CPU is therefore desirable. If the machine were ARM or x86 based
> then I could write assembly for it, which would be nice. I could be covering
> quite a bit of ground per day on foot, so a laptop is not practical.
> I'll be taking a camera along with me so:
> a) I don't need a rubbish built-in one.
> b) It'd be nice to be able to plug in a compactflash card and look at /
> delete images - so a decent screen resolution would be an advantage.
> Mains power is unreliable where avaliable, and in most places is not
> avaliable - so I'll need quite a lot of battery power. While I can carry a
> few batteries, I want to keep this number as low as possible because I've
> got to carry them around with me.
> Being able to record voice is also useful, as I will probably use it to keep
> a diary of sorts.
>
> SO, can people please offer some ideas?
>
> Thanks,
> Alun Harford
Anonymous
June 16, 2005 7:56:12 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.pocketpc,microsoft.public.pocketpc.developer (More info?)

I can attest to the x50v. I had only owned iPAQs in the past. I compared
the 47xx to the x50v, and the x50v offered more and cost less. I have had
my x50v for several months, and I like it more than I ever like any of my
iPAQs. Dell has announced that it will offer an upgrade to Windows Mobile
2005 for the x50v.

Bobby

"TJ" <someone@somewhere.com> wrote in message
news:WOSdnXT8OaKSci3fRVn-qQ@midco.net...
> If I were you I would go for a Axim X50v. Another one that fits your
> criteria is the iPAQ hx4705.
>
>
> Alun Harford wrote:
>> I'm after some ideas on which pocketPC I should buy (and which I should
>> look
>> at).
>>
>> I'm intending to do some humanitarian work/research in a warzone, for
>> which
>> I will need a computer of sorts. Basically, I need to be able write java
>> programs (or C# if I can get around to learning it), and run them for
>> (potentially) a few hours at a time to produce a result - in the field. A
>> nice quick CPU is therefore desirable. If the machine were ARM or x86
>> based
>> then I could write assembly for it, which would be nice. I could be
>> covering
>> quite a bit of ground per day on foot, so a laptop is not practical.
>> I'll be taking a camera along with me so:
>> a) I don't need a rubbish built-in one.
>> b) It'd be nice to be able to plug in a compactflash card and look at /
>> delete images - so a decent screen resolution would be an advantage.
>> Mains power is unreliable where avaliable, and in most places is not
>> avaliable - so I'll need quite a lot of battery power. While I can carry
>> a
>> few batteries, I want to keep this number as low as possible because I've
>> got to carry them around with me.
>> Being able to record voice is also useful, as I will probably use it to
>> keep
>> a diary of sorts.
>>
>> SO, can people please offer some ideas?
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Alun Harford
Related resources
Anonymous
June 16, 2005 9:37:45 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.pocketpc,microsoft.public.pocketpc.developer (More info?)

In article <d8qpju$jcu$1@gemini.csx.cam.ac.uk>, usenet@alunharford.co.uk
says...
> I'm after some ideas on which pocketPC I should buy (and which I should look
> at).
>
> I'm intending to do some humanitarian work/research in a warzone, for which
> I will need a computer of sorts. Basically, I need to be able write java
> programs (or C# if I can get around to learning it), and run them for
> (potentially) a few hours at a time to produce a result - in the field. A
> nice quick CPU is therefore desirable. If the machine were ARM or x86 based
> then I could write assembly for it, which would be nice. I could be covering
> quite a bit of ground per day on foot, so a laptop is not practical.
> I'll be taking a camera along with me so:
> a) I don't need a rubbish built-in one.
> b) It'd be nice to be able to plug in a compactflash card and look at /
> delete images - so a decent screen resolution would be an advantage.
> Mains power is unreliable where avaliable, and in most places is not
> avaliable - so I'll need quite a lot of battery power. While I can carry a
> few batteries, I want to keep this number as low as possible because I've
> got to carry them around with me.
> Being able to record voice is also useful, as I will probably use it to keep
> a diary of sorts.
>
> SO, can people please offer some ideas?

I like my hx4705 a lot. Also look into Otterbox, the 1900 is what I
have for extreme conditions: http://www.otterbox.com/product.cfm?
product=178&code=NA

/steve
--
Free Privacy Resources
http://www.cotse.net/resources.html
Anonymous
June 16, 2005 2:32:41 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.pocketpc (More info?)

On Wednesday, TJ wrote:

> If I were you I would go for a Axim X50v.

</lurk>

I have one of these and it will fit the OP's criteria except for
the battery life...the standard battery is awful, so he'll need
to opt for a number of high capacity batteries if it's to be used
in the field for log periods of time.

<lurk>

--
Bryan Anderson <usenet@bryans-place.com>
Anonymous
June 16, 2005 9:05:28 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.pocketpc,microsoft.public.pocketpc.developer (More info?)

On Thu, 16 Jun 2005 03:56:10 +0100, "Alun Harford"
<usenet@alunharford.co.uk> wrote:

>I'm after some ideas on which pocketPC I should buy (and which I should look
>at).
>
>I'm intending to do some humanitarian work/research in a warzone, for which
>I will need a computer of sorts. Basically, I need to be able write java
>programs (or C# if I can get around to learning it), and run them for

What development tools have you found? Java on a Pocket PC is a bit
iffy (definitely not supported by Microsoft). And development tools
that run _on_ a Pocket PC are limited.


>(potentially) a few hours at a time to produce a result - in the field. A

What kind of result? Are you sure you need to build the program(s)
yourself (yes, I am biased, but I think this is a legit question
anyway).


>nice quick CPU is therefore desirable. If the machine were ARM or x86 based
>then I could write assembly for it, which would be nice. I could be covering

Are you sure you can find an assembler that you can use in the field?


>quite a bit of ground per day on foot, so a laptop is not practical.
>I'll be taking a camera along with me so:
>a) I don't need a rubbish built-in one.

I've tried two cameras, and the software that came with each is
especially piggish. Not something I would want around when battery
life is an issue.


>b) It'd be nice to be able to plug in a compactflash card and look at /

CF Card slots are somewhat common, but not universal. My x50 has a CF
Card slot _and_ an SD Card slot.


>delete images - so a decent screen resolution would be an advantage.

Pocket PC screens are physically small, so increasing resolution has
limited benefits for viewing photos. In terms of pixels, the standard
has been quarter VGA (320 high x 240 wide), but at least some new
units support VGA (640x480) and portrait/landscape switching. My x50
(QVGA) has a screen that looks good for apps, but is only fair for
pictures; other screens would have to be _much_ better for me to be
impressed.

I tried several slide show applications and liked none. I can be very
fussy, and particularly wanted something that would allow annotations.
I don't remember other specific objections I had. For just checking
pictures to make sure they're OK, several are probably good enough.
But you should try a few before hand.


>Mains power is unreliable where avaliable, and in most places is not
>avaliable - so I'll need quite a lot of battery power. While I can carry a
>few batteries, I want to keep this number as low as possible because I've
>got to carry them around with me.

Battery life is an issue. For at least a while, Palm OS devices with
monochrome screens were _way_ better than Windows CE / Pocket PC
devices in this area (weeks rather than hours).

Pocket PCs with removable batteries were scarce for a while. I know my
Axim x50 has one. I _think_ they are becoming more common, but don't
know. So check before you buy.

The Axim x50 has a feature that is especially nice for traveling: a
slider that disables all other buttons. Unfortunately, it does _not_
disable notices. So alarms _will_ turn your unit on.

To conserve power, avoid any sort of built-in radios. They tend to
turn on and/or stay on, and can drain power quickly. My x50 has a
button to turn Bluetooth on/off, and it is way too easy to trigger.

Large, full-color screens do use more power.

I know I've seen at least one recent discussion of solar-powered
chargers, but don't remember details offhand. And I just did a quick
google search with not much luck. I'll try harder if you think it's
relevant.

>Being able to record voice is also useful, as I will probably use it to keep
>a diary of sorts.

That seems to be universal. In fact, on many Pocket PCs, triggering
the voice recorder is all too easy.


>
>SO, can people please offer some ideas?
>
>Thanks,
>Alun Harford

-----------------------------------------
To reply to me, remove the underscores (_) from my email address (and please indicate which newsgroup and message).

Robert E. Zaret, eMVP
PenFact, Inc.
500 Harrison Ave., Suite 3R
Boston, MA 02118
www.penfact.com
Anonymous
June 17, 2005 8:38:35 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.pocketpc,microsoft.public.pocketpc.developer (More info?)

<r_z_aret@pen_fact.com> wrote in message
news:g8k3b1lmd2pcm3r9ckhinsfsbuarhlfltk@4ax.com...
> On Thu, 16 Jun 2005 03:56:10 +0100, "Alun Harford"
> <usenet@alunharford.co.uk> wrote:
>
> >I'm after some ideas on which pocketPC I should buy (and which I should
look
> >at).

Thanks for the detailed response.

> >
> >I'm intending to do some humanitarian work/research in a warzone, for
which
> >I will need a computer of sorts. Basically, I need to be able write java
> >programs (or C# if I can get around to learning it), and run them for
>
> What development tools have you found?

None as yet, but I've not looked.

> Java on a Pocket PC is a bit
> iffy (definitely not supported by Microsoft).
> And development tools
> that run _on_ a Pocket PC are limited.

The advantage of Java is that I know the API spec well enough that I don't
need a pretty IDE (I'd like one if it's avaliable, but I don't *need* one).
I'm not *that* familiar with anything else.
All I really need is a java compiler and a JVM that supports JIT
compilation.

>
>
> >(potentially) a few hours at a time to produce a result - in the field. A
>
> What kind of result?
Using perceptron-based learning to predict population movement among
refugees/IDPs following significant events (to, for example, guess at where
disease will hit or what effect an attack in a particular location will
have)

> Are you sure you need to build the program(s)
> yourself (yes, I am biased, but I think this is a legit question
> anyway).
It's a fair guess that I'll end up writing code while a few days away from a
doctor, let alone a wi-fi hotspot :-)
I'll be somewhat on my own.

>
>
> >nice quick CPU is therefore desirable. If the machine were ARM or x86
based
> >then I could write assembly for it, which would be nice. I could be
covering
>
> Are you sure you can find an assembler that you can use in the field?

Nope. Interesting point.

<snip>

> >delete images - so a decent screen resolution would be an advantage.
>
> Pocket PC screens are physically small, so increasing resolution has
> limited benefits for viewing photos. In terms of pixels, the standard
> has been quarter VGA (320 high x 240 wide), but at least some new
> units support VGA (640x480) and portrait/landscape switching. My x50
> (QVGA) has a screen that looks good for apps, but is only fair for
> pictures; other screens would have to be _much_ better for me to be
> impressed.
>
> I tried several slide show applications and liked none. I can be very
> fussy, and particularly wanted something that would allow annotations.
> I don't remember other specific objections I had. For just checking
> pictures to make sure they're OK, several are probably good enough.
> But you should try a few before hand.

Thanks for the tip.

>
> >Mains power is unreliable where avaliable, and in most places is not
> >avaliable - so I'll need quite a lot of battery power. While I can carry
a
> >few batteries, I want to keep this number as low as possible because I've
> >got to carry them around with me.
>
> Battery life is an issue. For at least a while, Palm OS devices with
> monochrome screens were _way_ better than Windows CE / Pocket PC
> devices in this area (weeks rather than hours).
>
> Pocket PCs with removable batteries were scarce for a while. I know my
> Axim x50 has one. I _think_ they are becoming more common, but don't
> know. So check before you buy.
>
> The Axim x50 has a feature that is especially nice for traveling: a
> slider that disables all other buttons. Unfortunately, it does _not_
> disable notices. So alarms _will_ turn your unit on.
>
> To conserve power, avoid any sort of built-in radios. They tend to
> turn on and/or stay on, and can drain power quickly. My x50 has a
> button to turn Bluetooth on/off, and it is way too easy to trigger.
>
> Large, full-color screens do use more power.
>
> I know I've seen at least one recent discussion of solar-powered
> chargers, but don't remember details offhand. And I just did a quick
> google search with not much luck. I'll try harder if you think it's
> relevant.

Providing it's small and unlikely to break, then it'd be really helpful!
Unfortunately, I'm under the impression (maybe incorrectly) that they tend
not to be.
I may well be better off buying lots of batteries, but any information is
welcome!

Alun Harford
Anonymous
June 17, 2005 3:02:37 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.pocketpc (More info?)

On Fri, 17 Jun 2005 04:38:35 +0100, "Alun Harford"
<usenet@alunharford.co.uk> wrote:


>> >I'm intending to do some humanitarian work/research in a warzone, for
>which
>> >I will need a computer of sorts. Basically, I need to be able write java
>> >programs (or C# if I can get around to learning it), and run them for

>> >(potentially) a few hours at a time to produce a result - in the field. A
>>
>> What kind of result?
>Using perceptron-based learning to predict population movement among
>refugees/IDPs following significant events (to, for example, guess at where
>disease will hit or what effect an attack in a particular location will
>have)
>It's a fair guess that I'll end up writing code while a few days away from a
>doctor, let alone a wi-fi hotspot :-)
>I'll be somewhat on my own.

Just a thought but here it is :

I'm a web developer. Sometimes I *edit* a little code on the PPC using
the built-in (screen) keypad. But even with the best IDE if you can
find one, you will gain a lot of benefit from getting an external
keyboard - the small ones are *still* better for editing than the
on-screen keyboard.

Preferably Bluetooth if you can get it - the IR keyboards are a drag
cause they seem to be a little position sensitive to catch the beam. A
bluetooth, you can move it several inches away (feet if you like, but
then you couldn't read the screen !)

If you need a text editor, PocketHTML from iSquared is quite good :
http://www.isquaredsoftware.com/pockethtml.php?page=Scr...

Although it's showing examples as an HTML editor, you can customise
the 'tags' to be more program oriented - and as a bonus it can handle
XML which might be useful.

One additional program worth a look is the XSForms database. Although
it uses Embedded SQL to do the queries, the content is held as XML
data which makes it easy to parse. In addition, you can create your
customised database forms for quick data entry / storage, as well as
upload the completed forms to a server for processsing later. This
gives you the flexibility to work on the PDA and do a 'data dump' when
you're in range of youe web server, so you ahve a backup of your data
;-) http://www.grandasoft.com/Products/XSForms/default.aspx

HTH
Cheers - Neil
Anonymous
June 18, 2005 11:31:37 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.pocketpc,microsoft.public.pocketpc.developer (More info?)

I have a digital camera with SD card, and HP h4150 with WiFi. If you think
you could find a hot spot (not very likely in a war zone is it?) it would be
handy.

You can get extra batteries for it.. you could fit 6 of those in one pocket,
each giving up to 6 hours in my experience, with continuous use (half of
that with WiFi I think). Outside in sunlight you should simply disable the
back light, for significantly improved battery life, without making much
difference on visibility.

It's not as powerful as the 624 Mhz CPU's now, but that means more battery
life and I watch divx movies on them and run skype, so good enough for me.

If you have no experience developing assembler, I can't imagine you picking
it up quick enough to develop any useful application. It takes quite some
assembly to make anything useful, and pretty hard to enter in a pocket pc.

Not sure what kind of apps you plan to build, but a shell scripting kind of
program might be sufficient for you.
Oh wait a minute, I was assuming you'd be developing these applications in
the field.. is that the case, or you want to develop them here before you
head out into the field? You might want to learn VB instead.

Hey, not sure if it would suffice for your application, but maybe you could
use JavaScript for the built in Internet Explorer.. it's limited but might
be sufficient for you.. then you can just edit text file and it will be
easier to implement and test, without need of any extra tools.

Lisa

"Alun Harford" <usenet@alunharford.co.uk> wrote in message
news:D 8qpju$jcu$1@gemini.csx.cam.ac.uk...
> I'm after some ideas on which pocketPC I should buy (and which I should
> look
> at).
>
> I'm intending to do some humanitarian work/research in a warzone, for
> which
> I will need a computer of sorts. Basically, I need to be able write java
> programs (or C# if I can get around to learning it), and run them for
> (potentially) a few hours at a time to produce a result - in the field. A
> nice quick CPU is therefore desirable. If the machine were ARM or x86
> based
> then I could write assembly for it, which would be nice. I could be
> covering
> quite a bit of ground per day on foot, so a laptop is not practical.
> I'll be taking a camera along with me so:
> a) I don't need a rubbish built-in one.
> b) It'd be nice to be able to plug in a compactflash card and look at /
> delete images - so a decent screen resolution would be an advantage.
> Mains power is unreliable where avaliable, and in most places is not
> avaliable - so I'll need quite a lot of battery power. While I can carry a
> few batteries, I want to keep this number as low as possible because I've
> got to carry them around with me.
> Being able to record voice is also useful, as I will probably use it to
> keep
> a diary of sorts.
>
> SO, can people please offer some ideas?
>
> Thanks,
> Alun Harford
> --
> Include the word 'lemongrass' in any email you send to me, or you'll hit
> my
> spam filter. If you're reading archives, I may have changed this word -
> check http://www.alunharford.co.uk/
>
>
Anonymous
June 19, 2005 7:57:06 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.pocketpc,microsoft.public.pocketpc.developer (More info?)

"Lisa Pearlson" <no@spam.plz> wrote in message
news:o QKNpb8cFHA.3808@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
> I have a digital camera with SD card, and HP h4150 with WiFi. If you think
> you could find a hot spot (not very likely in a war zone is it?) it would
be
> handy.

Unfortunately, I am unaware of a camera outside of the cheap point-and-shoot
jobs, that uses SD cards, and they are very expensive compared to
compactflash.

> You can get extra batteries for it.. you could fit 6 of those in one
pocket,
> each giving up to 6 hours in my experience, with continuous use (half of
> that with WiFi I think). Outside in sunlight you should simply disable the
> back light, for significantly improved battery life, without making much
> difference on visibility.
>
> It's not as powerful as the 624 Mhz CPU's now, but that means more battery
> life and I watch divx movies on them and run skype, so good enough for me.
>
> If you have no experience developing assembler, I can't imagine you
picking
> it up quick enough to develop any useful application. It takes quite some
> assembly to make anything useful, and pretty hard to enter in a pocket pc.
I have a solid knowledge of x86 and ARM assembly. Has anybody got
pocketpc-gas running on a pocketpc (rarther than just targetting it)?
>
> Not sure what kind of apps you plan to build, but a shell scripting kind
of
> program might be sufficient for you.
> Oh wait a minute, I was assuming you'd be developing these applications in
> the field.. is that the case, or you want to develop them here before you
> head out into the field? You might want to learn VB instead. [yuck! -
Alun]

Using perceptron-based learning to predict population movement among
refugees/IDPs following significant events (to, for example, guess at where
disease will hit or what effect an attack in a particular location will
have)

>
> Hey, not sure if it would suffice for your application, but maybe you
could
> use JavaScript for the built in Internet Explorer
Don't think so! :-)
Making an RSA encoder in JavaScript was enough pain, thanks. :-P

Thanks for the tips.
Anonymous
June 19, 2005 9:04:22 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.pocketpc (More info?)

In article <d92mpr$b6a$1@gemini.csx.cam.ac.uk>, usenet@alunharford.co.uk
says...
> Unfortunately, I am unaware of a camera outside of the cheap point-and-shoot
> jobs, that uses SD cards, and they are very expensive compared to
> compactflash.
>
no longer true, SD cards are now the same or lower cost than CF.
Anonymous
June 19, 2005 10:11:05 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.pocketpc,microsoft.public.pocketpc.developer (More info?)

"Alun Harford" <usenet@alunharford.co.uk> wrote in message
news:D 92mpr$b6a$1@gemini.csx.cam.ac.uk...
> "Lisa Pearlson" <no@spam.plz> wrote in message
> news:o QKNpb8cFHA.3808@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
>> I have a digital camera with SD card, and HP h4150 with WiFi. If you
>> think
>> you could find a hot spot (not very likely in a war zone is it?) it would
> be
>> handy.
>
> Unfortunately, I am unaware of a camera outside of the cheap
> point-and-shoot
> jobs, that uses SD cards, and they are very expensive compared to
> compactflash.
>

The Minolta Dimage range uses SD, I would hardly say they are cheap point
and shoot cameras.
And the prices used to be very expensive compared to CF- have you looked
lately? I think you'll find things have changed.
Anonymous
June 20, 2005 10:18:12 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.pocketpc,microsoft.public.pocketpc.developer (More info?)

This is turning into a long discussion. I sure hope you have enough
lead time to digest all the suggestions folks are providing.


On Fri, 17 Jun 2005 04:38:35 +0100, "Alun Harford"
<usenet@alunharford.co.uk> wrote:

><r_z_aret@pen_fact.com> wrote in message
>news:g8k3b1lmd2pcm3r9ckhinsfsbuarhlfltk@4ax.com...
>> On Thu, 16 Jun 2005 03:56:10 +0100, "Alun Harford"
>> <usenet@alunharford.co.uk> wrote:
>>
>> >I'm after some ideas on which pocketPC I should buy (and which I should
>look
>> >at).

clip


>
>
>> Java on a Pocket PC is a bit
>> iffy (definitely not supported by Microsoft).
>> And development tools
>> that run _on_ a Pocket PC are limited.
>
>The advantage of Java is that I know the API spec well enough that I don't
>need a pretty IDE (I'd like one if it's avaliable, but I don't *need* one).
>I'm not *that* familiar with anything else.
>All I really need is a java compiler and a JVM that supports JIT
>compilation.

I suggest checking a current thread called "Develop java ON a
pocketPC" in microsoft.public.pocketpc.developer. But I don't think
you'll be happy:-(

On the other hand, I just used google
(http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search) to look up
java pocket pc
and got 17,300 hits. The very first thread says "I have an Pocket PC
java application". Seems like good news, so I stopped looking.


>
>>
>>
>> >(potentially) a few hours at a time to produce a result - in the field. A
>>
>> What kind of result?
>Using perceptron-based learning to predict population movement among
>refugees/IDPs following significant events (to, for example, guess at where
>disease will hit or what effect an attack in a particular location will
>have)

Doesn't sound like any program I've seen for sale. Or I'm likely to
write. So I'm convinced writing it yourself makes sense. But my take
(definitely based on insufficient details) is that you've got a basic
formula that you will want to tweak. So maybe you can right a program
to run a generalized version of the formula, and tweak with input
data. Given that you're the only user, you could use rather
straight-forward text files for the input parameters. Then you could
rather easily use Pocket Word to edit the files, could even have
several input files, and would not have to do any programming in the
field.


>
>> Are you sure you need to build the program(s)
>> yourself (yes, I am biased, but I think this is a legit question
>> anyway).
>It's a fair guess that I'll end up writing code while a few days away from a
>doctor, let alone a wi-fi hotspot :-)
>I'll be somewhat on my own.

All the more reason to avoid writing code or doing anything that might
require reference materials and/or help.


>
>>
>>
>> >nice quick CPU is therefore desirable. If the machine were ARM or x86

x86 will be hard to come by. ARM is rather common. Slower CPUs tend to
use less power, and thus drain batteries less quickly. Are you sure
you need a fast CPU?

I sure don't know how hard your program needs to work, or how often
you need to run it. Perhaps a little extra patience would be
appropriate. Sometimes having a slower computer promotes thought
(yikes!). But if you're trekking a lot, you may have enough time to
think already.

Also, see my thoughts about pictures below.


>>
>> Large, full-color screens do use more power.
>>
>> I know I've seen at least one recent discussion of solar-powered
>> chargers, but don't remember details offhand. And I just did a quick
>> google search with not much luck. I'll try harder if you think it's
>> relevant.
>
>Providing it's small and unlikely to break, then it'd be really helpful!
>Unfortunately, I'm under the impression (maybe incorrectly) that they tend
>not to be.
>I may well be better off buying lots of batteries, but any information is
>welcome!

I went to www.mobileplanet.com, searched for solar, and got 3
products.

Real Goods (www.realgoods.com) has a lot of solar stuff, but I tried a
quick search and didn't find anything small. Cyberguys
(www.cyberguys.com) has a lot of geeky stuff, but I didn't find any
solar panels.

I used google to look up
solar
in microsoft.public.pocketpc and got 88 hits. I took a quick look and
think you'll find some useful leads.

More thoughts about pictures (I clipped a bit too much):
Your camera will produce pictures with much higher resolution than the
screen on your handheld. And viewing them might be painfully slow,
unless you have a fast CPU. I have an old iPAQ (original Pocket PC)
that chokes on the 3 Megapixel pictures from my camera. My Axim x50
(400 MHz ARM) can manage to show them, but slowly.


>
>Alun Harford
>

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