PocketPC (2006)

There were times in the past I used windows phone, good times... Here's a few tricks from those times.

MDA Vario / HTC Wizard

The PDA I am currently using is HTC Wizard (MDA Vario, to me more precise)... When I was deciding which device to buy, this was the last option (because of the 200 MHz processor it contains) - but now I'm more than satisfied with it :-) This text contains useful informations I found out by using it...

Device configuration - wifi

Although the manufacturer and sellers claim, that Wizard only supports 802.11b wifi, it can be modified to also support the G band. The only problem I've come to is that some previously functionating APs (in B band) stop to be seen by Wizard.

Also, many of G hot-spots use WPA authentication - and, unfortunately, pre-AKU3.2 (I guess) Windows Mobile 5 systems do not support this. Anyway, the workaround I use is the Hitchhiker software - which is pretty handy anyway, when it comes to using wifi. The only problem is that it crashes everytime it connects to a network - fortunately, the connection stays established :-)

Converting movies...

Although Wizard doesn't possess a fast processor, it's fast enough to play movies in full display resolution. The only limitation is that the bitrate has to be relatively small and so in most cases the video has to be pre-processed. A great utility for windows is the PocketDivXEncoder - which uses internally mencoder. As I'm not using windows on my laptom any longer, I'm using the mencoder to convert movies directly.

So, to convert the video to the "right" format, you have to do 2 things: downscale the video (so it's maximally 320x240) and then decrease the bitrate (so the video and audio rate is smaller than ~350 kbps). For that, I use a very-very-very simple script (usage: ./mencoder_script <fname without extension>; subtitles have to have the same file name (but srt/sub extension) to be included), which sets all the parameters for me... I guess that then you look at the script, you'll know that it does :-)


As the Wizard doesn't have a GPS device built-in, I had to buy a external one - MSI Starfinder SF200. The device connects thru bluetooth and works without problems (when not counting a few days of 'being dead' after I tried to play with 'static navigation' :-)). I use a software written by myself to find caches - PocketGPS-Map - because it's free and there are enough free maps of the region I live in also. Anyway there are plenty of other (free and non-free) alternatives.