Random Tips and How-Tos

How and why you can kill the ActiveSync process

Werner Ruotsalainen discusses why you may want to kill the ActiveSync process and the third-party programs that can be used to do so, incuding KillSync and Resync. Click here for the article.

Extracting Voice Note files to your desktop PC

Werner Ruotsalainen provides his own third-party program for extracting WAV files (Voice Notes) from Notes files so that they can be listened to on desktop PCs. Click here for the article.

Use Geocaching.com to learn about caches in your area and get geocaching software

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a Global Positioning System receiver or other navigational techniques to find and hide containers (called “geocaches” or “caches”) anywhere in the world. You locate the cache by using a set of GPS coordinates (latitude and longitude) provided by the person who placed the cache. Since GPS receivers are accurate to within about 10 feet, you may have to hunt around for it once you get to the coordinates.

How to beam information between two devices using infrared

You can wirelessly transfer (a.k.a., “beam”) documents, contacts, appointments, tasks, and other files from one Windows Mobile device to another using the infrared capabilities built into most devices. The easiest way to beam one of these items from a touch screen device is to find it in the list view of the application, hold your stylus down on the file name until the edit menu pops up, and select the “Beam ...” option. On non-touch screen smartphones, highlight the item in a list and press Menu >Send >Beam.

Control your device with your PC's keyboard and mouse

You can use third-party programs like Remote Keyboard (trancreative.com) and Pocket Controller-Professional (soti.net) to control your Windows Mobile device using your desktop PC’s keyboard and mouse. This makes it easier to enter text, take screen shots, and more.

How to connect Bluetooth serial ports

Some Pocket PC-based multiplayer games (and some other programs) require that you create Bluetooth-based serial connections between two devices. An example of one of these games/applications is TapzMania, a decent multiplayer game. In this tutorial, I elaborate on how this can be done with the Microsoft (MS) Bluetooth (BT) stack.

Change the system registry using Tweaks2k2

The system registry is a file that contains the settings, options, and other information about your Windows Mobile device. For example, whenever you install a third-party application, information is added to the registry, telling the system where the program file is stored, what document files are associated with it, and more.

How to get free Weather Information

Weather information formatted for your Windows Mobile device is offered free on the Internet, and can be accessed via Internet Explorer Mobile.

How to sync documents and other files

Check the File option in ActiveSync's Tools >Options screen to sync documents and other files between your desktop PC and your Windows Mobile device.

Use SmartSearch to find and play a song in Media Player

  1. Open Media Player, select Menu >Library, and open the desired media folder. For example, select My Music and then All Music to display a list of all the songs in your library.
  2. Start keying in the name of the song you want and you will jump to it in the list.
  3. Finally, hit the Play soft key to play the song.

The SmartSearch feature lets you find and play songs quickly.

Quickly deleting e-mails in Messaging

If you have accumulated a high number of e-mails in your Inbox and want to get rid of them quickly, here are a few tips to expedite the process:

How to use hand drawn "gestures" in Transcriber to cut, copy, paste, and more

Use hand drawn gestures to enter spaces, edit text, and more; more info is found in Transcriber’s Help screen.

How to get started with a new touch screen or non-touch screen smartphone device

Insert and charge the battery; turn on your device and follow the setup prompts; install ActiveSync (for Windows XP) and Outlook on your desktop PC (the Windows Vista OS has Windows Mobile Device Center built in); connect the USB cable or cradle that came with your device to your PC, and connect your device to the cable or cradle to synchronize. Then follow the on-screen setup instructions.

Press Ctrl-Z to cancel last action

You can enter keyboard shortcuts using the built-in soft keyboard. One of the most useful shortcuts is Ctrl-Z, which cancels the last change made to a document (first tap Ctrl, then tap Z).

Activating your phone service

If you buy a phone-enabled device from a wireless carrier’s store, they will activate the phone service for you before you leave. If you order a phone from a wireless carrier via phone or online, you may have to activate the phone service yourself when you receive the phone. The process varies and the carrier will give you instructions on how to do it. If you have problems, contact the carrier’s help line.
Most wireless carriers around the world use either CDMA or GSM technology.

Windows Mobile Device Center built into Windows Vista

Microsoft’s new Windows Vista operating system for PCs includes Windows Mobile Device Center (WMDC)—the latest version of the program formerly called ActiveSync. The user interface on WMDC has been overhauled, the partnership wizard has been improved, media files can be automatically synchronized, and Windows Update has been integrated to provide automatic updates. WMDC is compatible with devices running Windows Mobile 2003 or later versions of the OS.

Backing up Windows Mobile 5 devices

Read Werner Ruotsalainen’s complete overview and test of WM 5 backup solutions here.

Using Terminal Services

The Terminal Services program is built into Pocket PCs only. It allows users to remotely access PCs or Windows Mobile devices on a network. To establish a remote connection, the PC you are connecting to must be running Remote Desktop or Terminal Services. Also, your Pocket PC must be able to connect to the PC via the Internet, ActiveSync, Infrared, or Wi-Fi connectivity.

Where to get the latest version of ActiveSync (for Windows XP PCs)

From time to time, Microsoft will update ActiveSync and make it available for download on their Web site (microsoft.com/windowsmobile/activesync/default.mspx).