New iPAQ owner

Hi all. I just bought an iPAQ 2215. I'm new to PDAs, but need to quickly become adept with it. I am printing the manual, and I'll be reading it cover to cover soon.

I am leaving for Brazil on Sunday. I need to be able to use this thing by then. I need it for e-mail, internet, Excel, Word, and entertainment. I'm not a newb to computers, but not advanced either. Does this sound doable? I can probably spare 25 hours of learning time before then. Please help me maximize that time.

Let's start with entertainment. I want to have some TV shows and movies on CF card. I also want to have a few games. I like strategy and puzzle games. Would like a couple action, and arcade games also.

I have two 256MB CF cards. Willing to buy more if necessary. The iPAQ also uses SD cards. Any advantage to using one or the other?

Right now Media Player only seems to recognize files with .asf or .wmv. I'm not very familiar with codecs. How do I get the proper codecs to view .mpg, .avi, .mov, .ram, and the rest? I may want to recompress some of the stuff I've got, and I only have Windows Movie Maker. :-D Should I buy some software?

Any suggestions on games?

Then there's internet. I don't know what to expect in Brazil. I will probably be able to get some help from the guys that I'm going to be working with. But, right now the pDA is docked, and has connection to PC (I have transferred files), but it's not able to connect to the internet. I'm new to networking, too. ;-) I think what I need to do is set up a VPN. If this is right, I bet that I'll get it working after I'm done reading the manual.

E-mail. It is connecting and syncing with Outlook, on my PC. But I'm using Outlook Express. I guess that's the reason that I don't see my conacts, or have any e-mail in the PDA yet. I'm thinking that I have to start using Outlook instead of OE. And I'll need to import everything into Outlook. Is this right?

I am capable with Excel and Word. So, I'm assuming that I'll migrate to Excel and Word for PocketPC just fine. But I'd welcome any comments on them also.

How about accessories?

I would like a nice case. Dimensions are different than the 3900 series. I don't think there are many cases yet. I will be using this thing in a dirty/oily environment. A case that provides very good protection, is preferred over style/convenience.

How about a keyboard? Any suggestions?

Modem? Do they use regular phone jacks there (RJ-11 is the name, right?)? I guess I should try to research that. It has Bluetooth, can I take advantage of that? Bluetooth modem?

More batteries? How long does one last, say for video playback?

I appreciate any comments. I'll post back regularly to let you know what I've learned, or am still trying to figure out.

Thanks very much.
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  1. I remember when I tried to run a ppc as a notebook replacement. I've had three pocket pcs hehe my amigo was my favorite but I did enjoy my ipaq 3800. I had a 2gb pcmcia hard drive for my amigo as well as a wifi card. Compact flash cards are generally cheaper than the sd cards but the advantage of using an sd card for storage is that you can plug in a compact flash wifi card or even a cf to ide converter and run a notebook hard drive on your ppc while being able to access your files on the sd card. I ripped my own movies and tv shows with virtual dub, put the resolution at 640x480 tops lower is better if you don't run it in landscape. For a movie player use pocket mvp it runs divx and several other formats beautifully. Do not use pocket divx or pocket tv they are older versions of pocket mvp. targus stowaways are great keyboards they're so small too and fold up. I don't know if there is one for your model but there probably is. there are some great games availible for ppc, there is pocket everquest which is very fun, there's a new game coming out that's similar to freespace and there's age of empires and sim city and some aircraft simulators. Pocket Pcs are great fun. I was in the process of making a small version of windows 95 boot on my amigo but I only got a boot screen in bochs and then it got pissed at me for not having a bios. Some people have gotten past that tho I heard so you may try it for shits and gigles if you get bored. Bochs is an x86 emulator and running anything in emulation slows it down, as fast as the xscale in your ppc is you'll still not ever be able to run windows 95 as a CE replacement :D I got so tired of the ppc shell that I just sold my stuff in favor of a notebook. Go to they are a great bunch of people who turned a casio be-300 (my first pda) into a pocket pc and are now working on fixing the pocket pc interface with a series of skinners and other goodies. If you want a good music player look around for winampaq it's a winamp look alike and is the best mp3 player out there it also plays ogg which is a superior codec IMO it gets files smaller with much better quality if you want to fit more music files onto your storage card and have them sound the same go with ogg trust me it's great. enjoy your ipaq

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