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By Chris De Herrera 
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Travel Nearly Anywhere with the Xircom CompactCard Modem 56
By Chris De Herrera, Copyright 2000
Revised April 19, 2000
As published on Microsoft's Website

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So you want to get connected to the Internet with your Pocket PC? A new Xircom CompactCard Modem 56 enables you to connect at the highest rate possible.

Overview of the Modem

The CompactCard Modem 56 is a type II CompactFlash™ card that will work in any Pocket PC with a type II slot.

The CompactCard Modem 56 is designed to work in many countries throughout North America, Asia, and Europe. (Check Xircom's Web site for product details.) It has an external dongle that connects to a standard RJ-11 phone jack for easy remote access. You will need to carry a phone cable with you in order to connect.

Also, if you purchase the GSM cable (available separately), you can access the Web via your GSM cellular phone. If you do want to use a phone with the modem, you will also need to purchase a splitter.

The CompactCard Modem (right) and its external dongle (left).

Using the CompactCard Modem 56

It was easy to insert the CompactCard Modem 56 into my Pocket PC. I was able to connect to the Internet to send and receive e-mail as well as surf the Web. It supports pulse and tone dialing for easy access via any phone line.

One thing I really like is the status LEDs. Once you're connected, the green LED stays lit until you disconnect. The yellow LED is used to indicate that you are sending or receiving data.


Though it works with most Pocket PC models, the CompactCard Modem 56 will not fit in any model with a type I slot (HP 545 and Compaq Aero 1550). Make sure to check your device specifications before purchasing this card. Also, it's difficult to remove the card from the slot without first attaching the dongle to pull it out -- a small edge with which to pull it out would have been a nice touch.


The CompactCard Modem 56 is a must for accessing the Internet while traveling. It will work in many different countries making it an especially handy accessory for international travelers. I found it simple to use, and it worked flawlessly. The status LEDs made it easy to see when I was online and that data was being sent or received. Of the modems available as of this writing, this is the modem I carry with my Pocket PC. If you need any additional information or would like to purchase the Xircom CompactCard Modem 56, visit Xircom's Web site.

*The views expressed in the above article are provided by an independent third party and do not reflect any official view or endorsement by Microsoft.

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