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Saturday, April 30, 2005

Pocket PC Tips and Tricks - - Streaming Video

Tip #4
Watching streaming video and TV
Streaming video from your PC is very similar to streaming Audio. You use the same program (Windows Media Encoder), stream over the same WiFi network, and you access the stream through Windows Media Player. The difference is in the source file. To stream a video, you'll need to create a custom session in the Encoder, and select a File as the source.

Just browse to the video file you'd like to play (continued...)(it has to be one that Windows Media Player can handle). You can set bit rates on the Compression tab, but I've found that it's generally best to just leave the default settings. Your Pocket PC will be able to handle it just fine. Click Apply when you're done with the settings, and then close the Session Properties window.

You should see a blank "Input" screen. Click "Start Encoding", and your video will begin playing. Now you'll need to connect to your WiFi network on your Pocket PC. Once the connection is established, open up Windows Media Player, tap Tools and then Open URL. Type in the address that Encoder is streaming to. By default, encoder streams to port 8080, so if you want to access the Internet stream, you'd enter http://192.168.2.xx:8080/ as the URL, and if you're accessing the LAN stream, the address would be http://yourcomputername:8080/. Tap OK, wait a minute, and you should be able to see your video!

There are a few different ways to stream live TV. The free method involves Windows Media Encoder, and requires that you have a TV Tuner card in your PC. The steps to setting up the stream are the same as they are for file streaming, except that instead of browsing for a file, you'd simply select your TV Tuner card in the Video drop-down box on the Sources tab. That's about it, really!

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Tip #3
Keyboard shortcuts

Just as there are keyboard shortcuts in Windows XP, there are shortcut keys on the Pocket PC too.

Here is a list of shortcut keys you can use:

CTRL+A - Select All
CTRL+B - Bold
CTRL+C - Copy
CTRL+I - Italicize
CTRL+N - New (create new document)
CTRL+Q - Quit the current application
CTRL+U - Underline
CTRL+V - Paste
CTRL+X - Cut
CTRL+Z - Undo

In addition to this list, the CTRL+arrow functions also work (allowing you to skip words, etc), however some SIP's don't have arrow keys, negating their use. You can also combine the CTRL and the SHIFT keys to use the arrow keys for selecting text.
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Tip #2
What do I need to have for a Pocket PC with GPS?

Although some Pocket PCs, such as the Mitac Mio 168, have an integrated GPS, most Pocket PCs commonly do not come with GPS installed. In order to be able to have a GPS, as a general rule you will need:
1. A Pocket PC device.
2. A GPS of type Bluetooth, Compact Flash, SDIO or by Serial Port depending on our necessities, Pocket PC and budget.
3.Software for GPS navigation and the cartography of the country that we need. The best known programs for GPS are TomTom Navigator and PowerLoc Destinator that are sold in Packs with different cartographies of countries or sets from these. Be certain that any GPS package you purchase supports both the Pocket PC and GPS receiver you will be using.
4. A Memory Card. Because the cartography occupies a significant amount of space in memory, it is advisable to have a memory card (Compact Flash, Secure Digital, etc) to store this information.
Optional accessories:
Antenna. If we needed to improve coverage, or the windows of our car have a plumb layer, you may need to use an additional antenna for our GPS.
Car Charger. If the trip is going to be very long, the battery of Pocket PC could be exhausted. You can use a car charger to connect your Pocket PC to a cigarette lighter and provide energy for both the GPS receiver and Pocket PC.
The approximated price of a solution of GPS + software + antenna + support + charger can vary between $400 and $900. Like always, you get what you pay for.
Of course, there are many other GPS possibilites but hopefully after reading this article, you've got a better picture of what's involved in this fun and interesting area of mobile computing.
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Syncronizing The Time

ActiveSync not only synchronizes appointments, tasks and files; it has another trick up its sleeve - synchronizing the clock on your Pocket PC. Now assuming we always want to be on time to meetings and appointments, we better keep the time correct to the millisecond. Hence, we should use an Internet atomic clock server to keep the desktop PC and Pocket PC ticking on time.

If you do not have Windows XP on your desktop PC, then you can use free program AboutTime.

If you use AboutTime, then you only need to have it open automatically when starting your computer. AboutTime will then itself update your desktop PC's clock with the Internet time when it is running.

On Windows XP:
1. First, you will need to enable the time syncing feature of Windows XP. Open the Control Panel and open the Date and Time settings.
2. Under the Internet Time tab, check the box for "Automatically sync with an Internet time server" if it isn't checked. "Automatically sync with an Internet time server" if it isn't checked.

3. Optional: If you happen to know an Internet time server near you, then you can enter its address in the Server text box.
4. Click the Update Now button to update the time on your computer.

5. Open ActiveSync and click Tools > Options.
6. On the first tab, make sure that there is a checkmark for the "Synchronize mobile device clock upon synchronization".

7. Click OK and you are done!

The result of this procedure is that every time your Pocket PC is synchronized, the clock is also synchronized. No more missing important meetings... well, not at least due to a lagging clock on your Pocket PC.