Initial Configuration Recommendations
De Herrera, Copyright 2001-2002
Version 1.02 Revised 5/5/2002
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When you first get a Pocket PC or Pocket PC 2002 there's a
few things you will want to do to make it easier to use. There are many
options to customizing your Pocket PC. This discussion focuses on
the initial configuration you will want to do right after you take it out
of the box.
Settings - Another Name for the Control Panel
First you will notice that there is no Control Panel in the Pocket
PC! Microsoft uses the name Settings to refer to the functions that
you would find in the Control Panel on the desktop. You can get to
these settings by clicking on Start -Settings.
I recommend the following changes in the Settings - Personal:
- Owner Information - Make sure you enter your name and address in
here or in the notes. That way if you lose your Pocket PC and
someone finds it they can contact you. I recommend adding a
reward if you want to further ensure that you get your Pocket PC back.
- Sounds & Reminders - Don't you find it annoying that the Pocket
PC makes all kinds of noise right out of the box? Picture taking
it to a meeting this way! Well I turn off certain sounds to make
it silent except when there's a problem or an alarm. I start
with unchecking the Screen Taps and Hardware buttons. Then under
Sounds, I remove the sounds for Menu Popup and Menu Selection so it
won't make sounds whenever I navigate.
- Password - You can always set a power-on password as well. If
you do this you must remember it! If you do not remember it,
there is no function that Microsoft or an OEM can do to save your data
off your Pocket PC. The workaround is a full reset where you
will lose everything!
- Buttons - Most Pocket PCs have the top left button programmed for
the Notes - Voice Recorder application to make voice notes.
While initially this sounds cool, I ran into problems with certain
Pocket PCs like the iPAQ where if the button gets pressed
inadvertently then the iPAQ turns on and starts recording! So if
you put it in a purse or a briefcase, you can run your battery down
without even knowing it! I suggest unmapping that button to
prevent this from occurring.
- Menus - I suggest that you go through and add applications you use a
lot and remove the ones you do not use. If you add more than 9
applications, you will see arrows at the top and bottom of the
menu. These are used to scroll up and down on the main
menu. If you add more than 8 items, the menu will pop up to the
right rather than under the Start button.
I recommend the following changes in the Settings - System
- Brightness: Make sure you set the brightness to the lowest setting
you feel comfortable with. This will extend your battery life
compared to using the highest brightness level. The difference
can be as much as double the battery life!
- Power - You can check the amount of power you have left here.
It's a simple bar graph on the remaining power and the condition of
the backup battery. The backup battery is critical so on units
with replaceable backup batteries, if it's low it's time to replace
it! If you do not and you let your main battery run low, you may
lose all your data! You can also set the amount of time before
the Pocket PC turns off when it is not in use. The default of 3
minutes seems good for me however you may want to choose another
All the Pocket PCs ship with ActiveSync 3.1. Since the CD was
created, Microsoft has released an updated version of ActiveSync.
I suggest you install it as soon as possible. It addresses potential
problems with synchronization such as USB. The Pocket PC 2002 ships
with ActiveSync 3.5. Since the
Pocket PC 2002 shipped, Microsoft has updated ActiveSync 3.5 has been
updated to Build 12007. I suggest that all Pocket PC and Pocket PC 2002
users upgrade if they are running Windows 98 SE, ME, 2000 or XP.
Windows 95 and NT are not supported nor is Outlook 97 with ActiveSync 3.5
Better Handwriting Recognition
Also, I recommend that you install Transcriber
on your Pocket PC - it's free! Transcriber is a better natural
handwriting (printing works too!) recognition program. Once you have
installed it you can select it for input by clicking on the down arrow
next to the keyboard icon in the lower right hand of the
screen. In the Pocket PC 2002, Transcriber is in rom. You can
select it by clicking on the arrow next to the keyboard and select it from
One thing you will find is that all computers have service packs to fix
problems with them. I suggest you look over the service packs from
your OEM. I recommend reviewing the following service packs in
- Casio EM-500, E-125 - Contact Casio for the latest service pack that
addresses USB connectivity problems.
iPAQ Pocket PC - Install the latest rom release (known to be
version 1.77 as of this writing). This resolves multiple issues
including USB connectivity and includes Service Pack 1. If you
choose not to install the latest rom, then at least install the USB
patch that is available from their website.
- Casio E-200 - Contact Casio for the latest service pack that
addresses multiple problems with using the E-200 with peripherals.
Pack 1 - Pocket PC - Microsoft has released Service Pack 1 for the
Pocket PC. Generally if you are not having a problem with your Pocket
PC you do not have to install it. If you do have a problem, I suggest
you start looking here to see if Microsoft has addressed the issue.
- Service Pack 1 - Pocket PC 2002
- Many of the OEMs have released the Microsoft Service Pack 1.
Generally if you are using TCP/IP I suggest installing this release
since it fixes multiple issues with communications.
Contacts - Where does it get the Area Code?
The Contacts application uses a different setting for the area code
than the Connectivity/ Connection Manager application does. You
should set it to your area code as soon as you get your Pocket PC.
Click on the Contacts or press the Contacts button. Then click on
Tools -Options. There you will see the area code that the Contacts
default to. Otherwise you'll be constantly annoyed with seeing the
default area code of 425, Microsoft's area code of course!.
You probably noticed that there is a new way to get to functions on the
Pocket PC when you went through the setup. It is called Click and
Hold. There are many applications that use Click and Hold for
functions on items. So if you don't see an option on the menu for
something you want to do, try Click and Hold. If the item supports
this then you will see a drop down menu that you can select from.
Basically Click and Hold is used in a similar way to the right mouse
button on the desktop. In the Pocket PC 2002, you will notice that
there's a red ring of dots indicating that you are using Click and Hold.
Just hold the stylus until the circle is complete.
Now you are on your way to being more productive with your Pocket PC or
Pocket PC 2002! I'm sure you'll find your own ideas on how to
further customize your Pocket PC or Pocket PC 2002.
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