This page details our sudden interest in PDA's or pocket PC's. Hopefully I'll add to this page with various links to software etc that I come across. If your're looking for one of these useful items, then check out e-bay as may a bargain can be had.

How it all got started PDA Crazy !

Our sale rep for Scotland came in just before Christmas for the annual sales meeting and it gave us a chance to replace / upgrade some of his IT kit. One of the items was a pocket PC which would not hold a charge, but would work OK when inserted into its cradle. We had purchased a more uptodate iPaq and this was set up and the guy went off to his meetings. I asked our IT Manager what he wanted me to do with the old iPaq and he replied that it was scrap as the replacement battery from HP was around £70 and it's not know if that is the fault with it. He then said that it was mine if I wanted to have a go at repairing it. - The thing was in a really good condition and I like a challenge, however the thought of shelling out £70 on a battery and then finding it was something else that has caused the problem didn't fill me with joy. However a quick scout on e-bay and I found lots of offerings all well under £10 !

I took the thing home with me when we broke up for the Christmas holidays, and ordered one of the compatible batteries off e-bay. It arrived in the week between Christmas and New Year and came with a tool for removing the screws from the back cover. The cover was removed, the old battery removed and the new one fitted - bingo the thing burst into life !

The remainder of that day was spent importing all our contacts and appointments into Outlook and then installing active sync so that it all got exported to the iPaq. I've not really been one for electronic organisers, but this thing has stared to take over my life, and has to be one of the best perks of my job I've had.

I then discovered that there is stacks loads of software and utilities available on the net for these devices, even one that is running 2003 versions of MS windows mobile.

One of the things I stumbled on was a theme generator that allows you to build custom backgrounds and settings, and in no time at all had customised my iPaq with the image shown right (the text is default in the application and not a screen capture from my iPaq!)

There are also loads of other freeware offerings, and I've yet to explore the full potential of this device and the software available, but I'm having fun finding out :-)

Since writing this page it appears the guys website is no longer up and running. I'll see if I can locate a new link or get permission to offer the files for download here

Its gone crazy here since I brought home the ipaq. Following on from the story on the left, we've now got 4 PDA's in the house !

One of the things that impressed me was the possibility of using GPS and some navigation system on the PDA. I purchased a co-pilot system for the Ipaq, but found that there was no means of updating the maps, nor was there any means of fitting it in the car, and the seller was less than helpful ( one of the oitfalls of buying from e-bay I guess ).

Anyway, a few days later I noticed a guy selling a Fujitsu Loox520 with a bundle of software including tom-tom 6 and OS maps. I began watching this and was successful enough to secure the winning bid. The item arrived via special delivery with lots of notes on how to install the maps etc. The seller even helped out when I had issues with the memory card causing tom-tom to ask for the activation code again. (boy do I wish all sellers on e-bay acted this way)

The main reason for bidding on this item is that in addition to the excellent specification it has built in GPS, so there is non of the trailing wires, add on jackets etc as per the ipaq.

The 3950 has now been passed to Dawn who has also found 101 uses for these pocket PC's, including the games ! Also my son wanted one for use at school, so I scanned e-bay once more and managed to pick up another 3950, but with one of the Compaq extendable keyboards for less than £20 !!

Not to be out done, my eldest daughter then wanted one, so we bid on anther item, a 3630 and even ended up getting a small Palm organiser for my 6 year old daughter to play with. So there you have it, what started out as spending £10 on a new battery to breath life into an old ipaq resulted in my wallet being a lot, lot lighter !

We've also updated our network at home, as the old safecome router packed up the other night. This gave me the opportunity to make provisions for going wireless with my PDA, so I purchased a D-Link wireless router and have had "fun" setting up the new network. The task would of been a doddle if it wasn't for the built-in DCHP server installed in a network attached storage disk we use - something that I had forgotten about when I was trying to work out where the PC's were getting their IP settings from even when the router was detached !