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Monday, August 15, 2005

Don’t Throw Away Your Old PDA

By: Steve Bralovich

As the main contributor and publisher of this blog, I've decided to take it in a new direction.

For the past several months the blog has been focused in more general terms and not in one specific area.

During that time I have been trying to come up with ways to give this website more of a focus that will really benefit my readers in a significant way. And now I have the solution to that problem. (continued...)

Recently, it occurred to me that what many users are looking for are ways to get the most out of and extend the useful life of their existing PDAs and mobile devices.

The technology industry tends to focus on creating new and better devices which is a good thing.

However, in their quest to create new products and revenue streams they often forget about their more established products and customers.

Companies will drop entire product lines due to lack-luster sales. This is certainly the case for Viewsonic users who can't get Pocket PC 2003 upgrades for their V36 and V37 PDAs.

I have an old Compaq 3630... one of the original Pocket PC's. It's only got 32MB, a 206Mhz Strongarm processor, a dead batery and a screen that's not long for this world. It's been replaced by my brand-spanking new Dell Axim X50v but I'm not going to throw it out just yet.

I'm going to replace the battery and screen, add a GPS unit and use it in my car for navigation on trips to unfamiliar places.

With any luck, I should be able to get another year or two of service out of it. Not bad considering I bought it refurbished for $199 2 years ago.

That's what I call cost-effective computing and starting now, that's what this website is all about.

Sooner or later, we all have to upgrade our technology. Whether it’s your old device or a major software upgrade like the new Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system it's inevitable.

But, older devices are still powerful and can be used for many things that don't require the latest and greatest processor and memory specs. You can still use them to surf the Internet, read e-books and play some games among other useful things.

In keeping with that idea, this weblog will focus mainly on ways for readers to accomplish this.

The way this is done will not always be conventional and may require, at times, some knowledge of computers and electronics and some additional money on your part.

Wherever possible, we will provide links and information about ready made solutions such as software and hardware add-ons that don’t require much knowledge on the user’s part and are reasonably priced.

But periodically, you may need to roll your own solution via some registry tweaks, programming scripts or disassembling your device. Please don’t attempt these on your own if you're not experienced in this area.

It's my hope that you'll be able to use the information on this blog to get the most out of your PDA and only upgrade when it's absolutely necessary.

When you are ready to upgrade, there will be information about that here too and we may even tell you when it’s necessary to do so in your particular case.

Please leave your comments and suggestions on these ideas using the comments link below.

Stay tuned for more and happy computing.

Save Money On Pocket PC Software