Windows Mobile Weekly Roundup

by Todd Ogasawara

Here's the weekly summary of a mix of Windows Mobile and general mobile tech related items from my personal blog.

Business Card Scanner for Windows Mobile?
Just noticed a blog post by Microsoft's Jason Langridge: Business Card Scanner for Windows Mobile. In he asks: Is anyone aware of a solution to allow you to take a picture of a business card and then import the details into your contacts? I've seen a solution for Symbian but haven't been able to track something down for Windows Mobile.... anyone know of such a solution?
The scanR Business Cards web application looks like it fits the bill. I haven't tried this service. But, I did try their earlier Whiteboard webapp that cleaned up photos of whiteboards, turned them into PDFs and emailed them to you. It worked pretty nicely Their business card web application appears to be able to use a photo taken using a Windows Mobile Pocket PC or Smartphone with an integrated camera, clean it up, translate the bits into text, and then deliver a vCard you can import into Outlook.

Spb Insight RSS Newsreader for Windows Mobile
Spb Software House has created a lot of amazing software for Windows Mobile Smartphone and Pocket PCs. Spb Insight is their new RSS reader for the Pocket PC with a difference: It is not limited to the summaries usually provided by many RSS feeds. This means that you will get full articles downloaded to your Pocket PC. This differentiation gives a great disconnected experience such as having full articles with images to read when on flights or other times you can't get to the net. It also means, though, that there is a lot of data that needs to be downloaded. I've been using Spb Insight with WiFi on a Pocket PC. It looks like over a megabyte of data comes down when I refresh the five feeds I selected. This takes a reasonably long time over WiFi. A conventional RSS reader that just gets the summary doesn't require such heavy bandwidth requirement. That said, it is great to get full articles for each feed. My recommendation is to buy and use Spb Insight if you plan to sync over WiFi and to take a look at Ilium Software's NewsBreak if you want an RSS reader for the Smartphone or Pocket PC Edition and plan to obtain feed data over the relatively slower (and more costly) mobile phone data services.

You can find a detailed review of Spb Insight by Clinton Fitch at:

Clinton Fitch Reviews: Spb Insight 1.0

You can find my review of Ilium Software's Newsbreak at:

Microsoft.com: A Breaking News Breakthrough

T-Mobile Access Point Names & Wireless Modem Usage
One of the nice things about T-Mobile's GPRS/EDGE data service compared to others (such as Verizon Wireless) is that it lets you use your phone as a wireless modem. And, it worked fine until this past April. Up until this past April, I used internet2.voicestream.com (NAT) Access Point Name (APN). It stopped working at that time and I switched to internet3.voicestream.com (public IP). However, when using my phone as a wireless modem using a Bluetooth connection to my Pocket PC with a nice big QWERTY keyboard, I had to drop the connection from 115.2Kbps to 38.4Kbps. I had to use my phone as a wireless modem a bit over the past week. I played with the settings and verified that I was limited to 38.4Kbps. Then, I switched the APN back to internet3.voicestream.com. And, yep, I was able to set the Bluetooth serial connection speed back up to 115.2Kbps.

Microsoft Windows Mobile + LEGO Mindstorms NXT = WiMo
Ever wonder what would happen if you mashed up a LEGO Mindstorms NXT robotics kit and a Windows Mobile Smartphone? Apparently so did Microsoft's Brian Cross. You can find his source code and other information about his work on...

WiMo: The Windows Mobile Robot

You can find a video demonstration of an early version (May 2006) of this project by Mel Sampat and Brian on MSDN Channel 9 at:

Mel Sampat and Brian Cross - Microsoft Mobile App Compat