Month: August 2005

XPower PowerPack 400R

Once I started to virtually have my life stored on my iPAQ, I had a concern about what I would do if I lost the ability to charge my iPAQ. I was especially troubled if I lost that ability for several days which has occurred several times in my life. During the winter, power outages occur due to snow or ice storms. Depending on where you live, the possibility of hurricanes, flooding and other adverse natural weather conditions can bring about the loss of power without notice. Because power outages can occur at any time, without warning, and for a variety of reasons, it is important to have a “backup” plan that is safe, secure and reliable.

How do I charge my cell phone? What about listening to the radio or watching an emergency TV broadcast? Real questions, legitimate concerns — so the search began for an alternative power solution.

Finding sources of alternative power solutions was an easy task but were these solutions practical and were they going to satisfy all the needs I might have? For the most part, if we lose power, rarely is it longer than a day but there are those times when a couple of days without power do occur. So should I buy a generator? How about a very large solar panel?

Cost is an issue and spending up to several thousand dollars for a potential power loss wasn’t really practical. I wanted the ability to charge my devices in an emergency but I also wanted the ability to have a portable power source that would satisfy my need for electricity in those special situations that occur.

I decided to try this solution because, even though I have a small solar charger, every time I have lost power it has either been at night or so overcast that a solar charger was useless. I wanted the comfort of a backup power supply that was not outrageously expensive and yet would provide me with the power I needed for those essential devices that I use daily.In January, I posted a news item on a power supply that began by saying: “If you’ve ever wished you could take an electrical wall outlet with you, now you can”. I remembered that Xantrex Technology Inc. introduced their PowerPack 400R , a portable AC and DC power source that could be used for a variety of electrical needs. It was a seven-in-one power unit that certainly was ideal as a personal security device in a blackout, or a source of power for that “away from an outlet” tailgate party or for the do-it-yourselfer who needs portable or backup power for small power tools.

iPod Shuffle vs Sandisk MP3

Sandisk gives Apple the shuffle!

I know that this isn’t the ordinary review covering iPAQ’s but I truly got sucked into the iPOD Shuffle excitement. Being the gadget geek that I am, I heard the announcement at MacWorld last week concerning the new iPOD Shuffle. My wife enjoys jogging on our new treadmill and asked me to look for a walkman so that she could jog and listen to music. What perfect timing, Apple announces this new 512MB or 1GB player the size of a pack of Trident gum and my wife needs some tunes for her jog. So I went online and forked out the $99.00. Unfortunately, that was one of the worst decisions I have made in a long time, thanks to Sandisk.

The two iPod Shuffles are Apple’s smallest, lowest-capacity, and cheapest iPods to date. Measuring 3.3″ x 0.98″ x 0.33″ and weighing only .78 ounces, each glossy white plastic shuffle is accurately touted as the size of a package of chewing gum and the weight of four quarters – a significant drop in size from last year’s cell phone-sized iPod mini. Neither shuffle is capable of holding the typical person’s entire music collection: the $99 model stores around 120 songs (approximately 10 CDs), while the $149 model can fit roughly 240 songs (20 CDs), depending on the tracks’ size and compression. As the title says its a “shuffle” which means you have no display, no equilizer and no easy way to get to the 221st song on the shuffle, so basically you have to play your songs in random order. My thumb was getting tired since I was looking for that nice and peaceful song while I was resting, unfortunately I was stuck listening to Motley Crew, a song I listen to when working out. I will say one thing – the lack of controls means that there’s also a lack of any adjustable equalizer. Really, it’s just a normal plain jane MP3 player. If you really want your money’s worth why not take a look at Sandisk’s new MP3 players? After reading this review you’ll realize Apple is really good at causing hype and in this case delivering a product that just doesnt compare to the competition.Well last week my iPOD Shuffle showed up and first impressions are that it’s definitely sleek, and sexy. All you get in the package is the shuffle, the lanyard, an extra USB plug cap for those who don’t feel like walking around with it hanging around their neck, two white Apple stickers and the iTunes set up disk. Also enclosed is a laminated card which explains the controls and what the embedded red, amber and green LEDs on the front and back of the Shuffle mean (battery levels). There’s no power charger, it gets its juice from your USB slot when it’s plugged in. If you have a Windows PC the shuffle will look just like another drive like any of the number of other flash-based players out there.

Verizon’s XV6600 delivers the best PocketPC Phone on the market.

Lookout Sprint and Cingular…. XV6600 supports EVDO!

During this year HP announced 5 new iPAQ’s with one being a PocketPC Phone Edition. Since HP partnered with TMobile I just couldn’t take the plunge and switch over to a network that has to be the weakest provider out there nevertheless the worst technical support. So during this time I have been a Nextel Blackberry customer for the past 2 years. Just recently I heard from my fellow enthusiast site (pdaphonehome) that Cingular, Sprint and Verizon were looking to carry the new HTC Blue Angel phone and rebrand them as (Sprint and Cingular) will rebrand it the Siemens SX66 and Verizon Audiovox XV6600. The main difference being the Verizon version will support EVDO. That was a deciding factor for me so I took the plunge and joined Verizon.

Powered by an Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) third generation (3G) wide-area network, BroadbandAccess offers the fastest commercially available wide-area, fully mobile wireless data experience in the nation today. BroadbandAccess is currently available in 20 major metropolitan areas and 24 airports from coast to coast and the company plans to continue to phase in BroadbandAccess to additional markets throughout 2005. If you like WiFi this is definitely your answer!The XV6600 was not an easy device to get my hands on since it is only available through Verizon’s Business channel. Lucky enough I was able to order this through Verizon’s consumer division which I got someone who knew how to process the order. The XV6600 costs $549.00 with a two year contract and $599.00 with a year contract. The plans are decent but not as cheap as the competitors for example I purchased 2,000 minutes for $99.00 where Cingular offers same price but has the rollover minutes. A big deciding factor was that Verizon offers the new Nationwide Broadband Access for only $44.95 bundled with the XV6600. If you aren’t familiar with the Nationwide Broadband Access.

Dave’s iPAQ Giveaway Continues in celebration of Windows Mobile 5 and Our 5 Year Anniversary

1. No Purchase Necessary – No purchase or payment of any money is necessary to enter. You must be a registered member of Daves iPAQ community in order to particapte

2. How To Enter: Enter this contest from Tuesday , May 3, 2005 through Friday, May 13, 2005. Post your answer in the requested location. First member to answer correctly will win. You have 1 hour to respond to our private message with your name, address, city, state and zipcode. If we do not hear from you within that hour you will not win.

3. Limitations: Members can only win once.

4. Prize(s): A total of 91 prizes will be awarded. .

5. Prize Conditions: Winners must meet all eligibility requirements.

6. Prizes are not redeemable for cash or transferable. No substitutions allowed, except, at vendors sole discretion, a prize of equal or greater value may be substituted. Non-compliance will result in disqualification and forfeit of prize.

7. How to Win: A question will be posted in which the member would need to correctly answer the question. The first member who correctly answers the question will win the prize.

8. Odds: Odds of winning will depend upon the number of eligible entries received.

9. Prize Redemption: Prizes will be either emailed to the recipient or mailed by the particpating vendor.

10.Conditions: Each entrant, by entering this Contest agrees that: (1) he/she will abide by and be bound by the Rules and the Sponsor’s decisions, which shall be final and non-appealable. Winner’s acceptance of the Prize constitutes the grant of an unconditional right to use Winner’s name for any publicity, advertising and promotional purposes without additional compensation. Vendor is not responsible for the inability of the winners to accept the Prize for any reason.

11. Disputes: By entering, each member accepts and agrees to be bound by these official rules and the decisions by Daves iPAQ.

12. Winner’s List: A final list of all winners will be posted on www.davesipaq.com on May 20, 2005.

The contest will start in this thread


Be sure to hear our podcast promo about the giveaway here.

iTECH Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard — A Real Taste of Virtual Reality!!

One very “COOL” device that promises to be the
“Accessory of the Year”!

Some months back, we heard about a Virtual Keyboard that was about to marketed to the “Tech” Community. Of course there was a lot of hype…a lot of discussion…and many who felt it was just not real!

Well folks, it is real, it is terrific, it is accurate, and it is Bluetooth!!

A new era of wireless mobile communications is about to begin with the introduction of the world’s first wireless Virtual Keyboard by iTECH. The Bluetooth VKB is an enhanced version of their Virtual Keyboard (VKB), which is a tiny device slightly larger than a pack of gum that projects a full-size keyboard on any flat surface through a unique system using infrared technology. Truly, we are about to enter into an era of unprecedented convenience!

Dave’s iPAQ was fortunate and extremely pleased to be asked to review the iTECH Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard. Of course, I was honored to be among the first to actually test a device that was “virtual”. I must admit that prior to actually seeing and working with it, I was a bit skeptical as to its real abilities but after spending some serious time with it on several of my iPAQs, I can tell you that this is one very “cool” device that promises to be the “Accessory of the Year”!

Several weeks went by from the first conversation I had with the folks at Power Positioning (2P) Ltd. They are a worldwide company specializing in online marketing, Search Engines Optimization and worldwide distribution and promotion of technology products. During that time, I had several conversations about this product, its anticipated announcement, and when the Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard would actually be released to the public. Most importantly, I was able to learn a little about the folks I was dealing with. They were a group of kind, caring, dedicated professionals that were absolute believers in the quality and the function of their product. It was because of these conversations that my excitement over the BTVKB (Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard) began to grow.

I received a call last week saying that my BTVKB would be shipped on Monday and that I would get it two days later. I just couldn’t wait for the time to pass—I wanted to see and use this keyboard. Finally FedEx delivered it within 10 minutes of the expected delivery time (I love the ability to track a shipment on the web). I wanted to “tear” open the box to look inside but NO—I need to take a picture first!

As I have said several times before in past reviews, presentation means a lot to me. The keyboard just wasn’t encased in some plastic covering, it was placed in a well designed box meant to give you a feeling that you were about to open something special — and you were!

Inside, neatly placed in a form fit container, I found the keyboard, a very nice leather case that had a soft protective interior, a charger, a mini CD with the drivers and software, and a Quick Start Guide. Each item was packaged in plastic to protect it. I tore open the plastic on each item to look at each piece. I actually tore the quick start guide as I hurriedly tried to get the CD out of its package.

iPAQ hw6500 Blackberry Killer?

In this photo you will notice the new belt clip on the hw6500. Users should also notice the unit is almost identical in size. Those who question if this unit is smaller or bigger than the treo it is quite close.. The belt clip also swivels just like the Blackberry style holster. I find this holster more secure than my Blackberry holster since it has a top clip to hold the unit in place..

iPAQ-hw6500

Dave’s Ipaq – Seidio G2500 GPS Ready Mount @ Dave’s iPAQ

I have used a GPS for years and have found it to be an invaluable tool when traveling. In the early years, I had a GPS attached to my laptop which I would use to help guide me through the highways and byways of those new and exciting places we would visit. I tried to figure out a comfortable way to position my laptop in the car so either my wife or I could see the screen while we were traveling.

Of course, anyone who has ever used a laptop knows full well the difficulty that exists in driving and trying to view the screen which of course is why most (if not all) sellers of GPS devices place the caveat on their products that these devices should be used with a navigator in the passenger side of the car to assist in the navigation. I heartily agree!

However not every trip that you take may allow you the flexibility to have a navigator. With the advent of both written and spoken directions on the GPS program I use, a lot of the difficulty of navigation was eased while driving. Eventually I bought my first iPAQ and when I found a GPS solution I could use, it was a world of difference.

My wife found it significantly easier to use while we were on a trip and when I was alone, I could keep it resting on the console to glance at as I was driving. Hearing and seeing the directions clearly made it easier but it still was not enough. For a long time I adjusted to having my iPAQ rest on the consol but I wanted a better solution. I started to look at mounting solutions but the ones I saw were either too bulky or just really looked terrible. Most were made to be universal holders and that was just not the look I wanted. I wanted a better solution but I just was unable to find what I needed, that is until I saw the Seidio G2500 GPS Ready Mount.

The Seidio G2500 GPS Ready Mount had a variety of features that caught my attention but what I liked the best was that it was made specifically for my device — the 4700. That meant it was going to not look like an “add on” but rather something that would have an aesthetic look as if it was supposed to be there. It has the same color as the iPAQ and its slim design molds into the iPAQ giving the appearance that it was part of the original equipment. Besides good looks, what this mount provides is a professional, safe and secure system for your iPAQ!

So besides the “look”, what was it that I liked? Because it was a model specific holder, my iPAQ was going to fit snugly and securely in the holder eliminating the fear of it becoming dislodged while driving. There is an integrated power system so that when it was plugged into my DC power source, it would charge my iPAQ while driving. In addition, with the power on, there is an amplified speaker with a volume control built into the unit and there is a power out enabling me to charge additional devices while using the GPS mount. Although I use a Bluetooth GPS, it is GPS ready for wired GPS units. What you get is a neatly designed unit that is slim, stylish and lightweight that will provide you with the ability to use your iPAQ and GPS in your travels comfortably and most importantly, safely!

U.S. Wireless Online Acquires Verge Wireless Networks

U.S. Wireless Online, Inc., which owns and operates one of the nation’s largest wireless Internet broadband networks, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Verge Wireless Networks, Inc. Additional transaction details will be filed on Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Verge Wireless is a provider of broadband connectivity and solutions to municipalities, businesses, academic and medical institutions, convention centers, and the hospitality industry. Verge Wireless currently provides municipal Wi-Fi “hot zones” in parts of Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Baton Rouge. It is also the wireless contractor for one of the largest broadband video security systems in the country, which allows the police department of a major municipality to coordinate video feeds from approximately 200 broadband-enabled wireless cameras.

“U.S. Wireless is continuing to move toward its goal of becoming the leading wireless broadband Internet provider in America,” stated Mark E. Rodgers, President of the Company. “The acquisition of Verge Wireless significantly extends our broadband capabilities in the fast growth sectors of municipal Wi-Fi networks and broadband homeland security applications. In addition, we are pleased to welcome Carlo MacDonald, Verge Wireless’ founder and CEO, to our management team. Carlo brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the Company and will be a great asset as we expand within the broadband solutions market.”

“I am very pleased and excited now that Verge Wireless has become part of U.S. Wireless Online,” commented Mr. MacDonald. “This combination allows us to aggressively pursue new opportunities, expand our current systems and service opportunities, and develop new broadband solutions for homes, businesses and municipalities. The enormous potential for broadband solutions involving homeland security, handheld gaming, and VoIP, is just now being realized, and I look forward to contributing to the success of U.S. Wireless.”

HP Grabs Top Awards Across Its Consumer Electronics Portfolio

HP on December the 15th announced that it has won 21 industry awards over the last three months, including prestigious innovation and design awards from the Consumer Electronics Association and iF International Forum Design.

Demonstrating the company’s broad leadership in the digital entertainment market, every product category in HP’s consumer electronics portfolio – digital cameras, PCs, handhelds, displays, printers and digital entertainment products – received recognition during the period.

Consumer Electronics Show honorees include the HP Photosmart R707 Digital Camera, HP LightScribe Direct Disc Labeling Technology and the HP z545-b Digital Entertainment Center.

The iF International Forum Design recognized three PC products from HP, including the HP Pavilion dv1000 Entertainment Notebook PC.

Additionally, Popular Science magazine gave HP three “Best of What’s New” awards in computing, home entertainment and gadgets and it awarded the company the Grand Prize for the HP R707 Digital Camera in photography.

“HP innovation now touches every aspect of today’s consumer digital lifestyle,” said Siobhan O’Connor, vice president of consumer brand and marketing, HP. “With breakthroughs like our Digital Entertainment Center and at-home digital prints for as little as 29 cents, HP is blazing new trails for consumers. We’re honored to be recognized by this distinguished group of organizations.”

HP received several awards for its service, sales and support:

  • PC Magazine awarded HP its Readers Choice award for the 13th straight year for outstanding printer service and reliability.
  • HP’s online shopping website, www.hpshopping.com, was honored with “Best Computer Retailer Web Site” in the 2004 WebAward competition sponsored by the Web Marketing Association.
  • The Service and Support Professionals Association (SSPA) awarded HP its first ever SSPA WebSTAR award, recognizing HP’s global support website for exceptional customer service and technical support.

HP has also been recognized in other countries, garnering more than 30 industry awards worldwide over the same three-month period. Key honors include the coveted EISA (European Image and Sound Association) and DIWA (Digital Imaging Website Association) awards for digital photography products, as well as Gartner’s “Best Digital Home Product” award for HP’s digital projectors, presented during its Europe Fall 2004 event.

U.S. award details

2005 International CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards – each year the CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards honors the latest in outstanding design and engineering across a broad range of consumer electronics categories:

  • HP z545-b Digital Entertainment Center – Computer Components
  • HP f2304 23″ LCD Monitor – Digital Displays
  • HP Photosmart R707 Digital Camera – Digital Imaging
  • HP Deskjet 6840 Color Inkjet Printer – Digital Imaging
  • HP Photosmart 2355 All-in-One Printer – Digital Imaging
  • HP Photosmart 2710 All-in-One Printer – Digital Imaging
  • HP Officejet 7410 All-in-One Printer – Digital Imaging
  • HP xb2000 Notebook Expansion Base – Computer Accessories
  • HP Dual TV Tuner – Computer Accessories

Popular Science Best of What’s New 2004 – thousands of new products and innovations are reviewed and the top 100 winners across 12 categories are chosen for inclusion in the annual Best of What’s New issue:

  • HP LightScribe Direct Disc Labeling – Computing
  • HP Wobulation – Home Entertainment
  • HP Photosmart R707 Digital Camera – Grand Award Winner 2004
  • HP iPAQ 6315 Pocket PC – Gadgets

iF International Forum Design Award – enhancing appreciation for excellent design, drawing attention to outstanding design achievements and helping users recognize the different nuances in a complex product world, the iF design award honors the latest in design trends:

  • Compaq Presario V2000 Notebook PC
  • HP Pavilion dv1000 Entertainment Notebook PC
  • HP xc2000 Notebook All-in-One Media Cable

Web Marketing Association – judged on seven different criteria, including design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity, navigation and ease of use, the seventh annual WebAward competition recognizes outstanding corporate websites that are judged against Internet standard and peer sites within their industry:

  • www.hpshopping.com – “Best Computer Retailer Web Site”

Service and Support Professionals’ Association:

  • First ever SSPA WebSTAR award recognizing HP’s global support website for exceptional customer service and technical support
  • SSPA High Call Volume STAR award recognizing HP for the excellent quality of its customer support delivered through the call centers
  • First company ever to win two STAR awards in the same year from the SSPA

PC Magazine

  • Printer Service and Reliability award – 13th straight year, November 2004

About HP

HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company’s offerings span IT infrastructure, global services, business and home computing, and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended Oct. 31, 2004, HP revenue totaled $79.9 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at www.hp.com.

© 2004 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

—————

Produced for HP

Editorial Contact: Pat Kinley, HP +1 858 655 8068

[email protected]

HP Media Hotline:

+1 866 266 7272

[email protected]


www.hp.com/go/newsroom

—————

HP iPAQ h6300 @ Dave’s iPAQ

Wifi/GSM/GPRS/Bluetooth HP delivers a monster of a phone

It is Monday July 26th at 6:00am in the morning and my new iPAQ h6300 alarm goes off as I hit the snooze for another 15 minutes. Before I knew it my alarm went off again and I was delighted to lay comfortably in my bed, as I make a connection via wirelessly on my 802.11 network. I immediately connect into my corporate network via VPN and log into my Microsoft Exchange email. Seeing that my assistant made a change to my Power Point presentation, I download the presentation and opened it in the ClearView Presentation software bundled in my iPAQ h6300 in which I noticed my assistant spelled the customer name wrong and made the change. I hop out of bed and jump into the shower, get dressed and I am off to my work. As I am driving to work I turn on my iPAQ h6300 and log into AOL Instant Messenger which is bundled with the unit and send an instant message to my assistant telling her about the mistake and that I made the change and not to worry. Since I didn’t need to go to my office I drove directly to my customer’s location. I grabbed my portable projector which works with my iPAQ and was ready to make my presentation for the customer. During my presentation with the customer they had requested some literature on some products I spoke about during my presentation and told me they would make a decision once they received the literature. After leaving the customers site I got into my car and started to respond to their request immediately. Since I have all my product literature saved as a PDF I was able to connect via GSM/GPRS on T-Mobile’s network and log into my corporate email. I typed my message using the attachable keyboard supplied with my iPAQ h6300 and attach the PDF and sent it off to the customer. Does this sound more like how you envision working? Well now you can!

The iPAQ h6300 is probably one of the most advanced Pocket PC phones available in the market today. Since I have been using this iPAQ for some time I was able to put it through the paces and really get a feel of the unit. In our review we will go over four different elements of this phone such as design, wireless definitions, software included, and functionality.

Design

The iPAQ h6300 is comparable to an iPAQ h2215 in size. The unit has some new characteristics such as as (1) Receiver (2) GSM/GPRS LED indicator (3) Bluetooth LED Indicator (4) WLAN LED Indicator (5) Power Button with Charging LED. The top of the iPAQ no longer features the traditional SD or CF slot in which the traditional iPAQ owners are used to. While traveling in my car at night I liked the placement of the LED indicator lights showing me which connection I was using such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or GSM/GPRS. HP has done a fabulous job with providing a smart data connection. What this means is that if you are in your house and running a wireless network your iPAQ will not connect to the GSM connection but will utilize your WLAN. Once you leave your house your iPAQ will notice you left a WLAN connection and switch to the T-Mobile GSM connection. Home network users make sure to encrypt your wireless network since any iPAQ h6300 user walking by will auto detect your network and be stealing some bandwidth. A word of advice for all, encrypt your wireless network.