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At GROSSWEBER we practice what we preach. We offer trainings for modern software technologies like Behavior Driven Development, Clean Code and Git. Our staff is fluent in a variety of languages, including English.

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Firmware Updates for Nokia Mobile Phones

Posted in Mobility at Sunday, 03 September 2006 01:59 W. Europe Daylight Time

Nokia finally enables customers to perform firmware upgrades on their own. No need to have a Club Nokia card just to get free firmware updates in the local Nokia store. I appreciate their decision as it's something that other manufacturers like Siemens do for years. However, I'm a little tempted to buy a Windows Mobile 5 phone when my T-Mobile contract is renewed next year. We'll see.

The firmware upgrade software is currently in a testing phase in the UK, but you can download it even if you're not located in the United Kingdom. You'll need the battery charger attached to the device and the phone connected to the PC via the USB cable.

Nokia Software Updater

The update of my 6680 went smoothly without any problems. I just had to run the updater under an administrative account.

As always, be sure to back up your phone data beforehand using PC Suite's Content Copier. Note that the lock code will be reset to its default value of 12345 and that all wallet data will be gone after the update (it's not included in the Content Copier backup). Side note: The update will not remove any phone branding.

Take a look at Aikon.ch for a vast list of Series60 firmware revision changelogs.

RDP/Terminal Services Port Configurator for Windows Mobile

Posted in Mobility | Tools and Software at Thursday, 10 August 2006 21:11 W. Europe Daylight Time

Remote DesktopWindows Mobile devices come with an integrated Terminal Services client (also known as Remote Desktop Protocol, RDP). This client allows you to connect to any Remote Desktop-enabled machine like Windows XP Professional, Windows Server and Linux (another here). Actually a tempting idea to connect to your home machine if you're abroad. You just need a some kind of internet connection.

The Network

If there are multiple machines in a firewalled network the only public IP address known on the internet is the one of the router. The default server port for RDP connections is port 3389 (TCP protocol). RDP clients use this port when connecting to a RDP server. What happens if an internet user (RDP client) connects to port 3389 on the public IP of the router? If the firewall is set up correctly, nothing, i.e. the connection is refused. To enable Remote Desktop connections the network administrator has to configure a port mapping. The port mapping basically tells the firewall to open a specific port and route all data from this port to a specific machine on the internal network (for example your Windows XP box). If two users want to expose their machines to the internet the administrator has to open two ports, because a single port is always attached to a single internal machine. See the illustration below for a general overview.

Port Mappings

The Failure of the Windows Mobile RDP Client

To connect to the first machine ("Your Computer") from the internet the user has to tell its RDP client to simply connect to the firewall (because it's the machine with the public IP address). Because 3389 is the default port this actually translates to ServerName:3389, where ":" delimits the server name from the port number. To connect to "Another Computer" the address is ServerName:3390.

This is where the RDP client of Windows Mobile fails. It just won't accept servers with appended port numbers.

RDP Invalid Server Name

The First Approach

It's actually possible to change the behavior of the Remote Desktop client to connect to non-standard ports like 3390 or any other by applying a registry hack.

  1. Open the device registry using a registry editor
  2. Open the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client\Default\
  3. Create an entry of type DWORD, called Server Port
  4. Set the value to the required port number (3390 in the case above)

My Solution

It's actually a very cumbersome task to edit the registry, especially if you're changing port numbers fairly often because you need to connect to different machines. After proof-reading Torsten's book on Windows Mobile development I thought this would be an easy to automate task.

I've written a little helper application that sets the registry values for you. I've tested it on my Axim x51v and inside the emulators of Visual Studio 2005. It's a .NET Compact Framework 1.0 application so you most likely don't have to install the .NET runtime on Windows Mobile 5.0 devices.

RDP Port Switcher

DownloadDownload the RDP Port Switcher Setup CAB. Feel free to add your own functionality, source code is available.

Now playing: Big Bud - Late Night Blues - State of mind

Windows CE Plug-In for Total Commander

Posted in Mobility | Tools and Software at Thursday, 03 August 2006 01:15 W. Europe Daylight Time

Today I was checking the list of plug-ins for my favorite Windows Explorer replacement Total Commander. There I found the WinCE file system plug-in (direct download) which plays perfectly with my Dell Axim x51v. No need to launch Explorer just to copy my podcasts to the device. It's been a pain in the neck, especially the inconsistent handling of double-clicks on the device folders: Sometimes a new Explorer window would open for no obvious reason.

The SymbFS plug-in for my Nokia phone didn't work so well, but this is maybe due the its beta state and that development ended in late 2004. If you're a Total Commander user you should definitely take a look on the other plug-ins like Events NT, Registry, ProcFS, Services and WebDAV.

BTW, Dell released firmware update A04 (German version) for the Axim x51v. This release should provide "enhanced CF I/O card performance". Several forum entries state that the update has resolved the disappearing CF card problem. I've updated my device last weekend and didn't have any problems so far.

Update: The NokiaFS plug-in works fine with my Nokia 6680.

Now playing: Aural Float - Freefloat - Soulsearching

Possible Solution to the CF Card Problems with Axim X51v

Posted in Tools and Software | Mobility at Saturday, 10 June 2006 20:11 W. Europe Daylight Time

I found a possible solution to the disappearing CF card problems with my Dell Axim X51v on Aximsite:

CF/SD disappearance intermittently **   (posted by Corny)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\StorageManager\
PNPUnloadDelay=1500
The solution is to change PNPUnloadDelay to 4096.
Soft Reset is required after the application of this registry hack.
I tried this but I am still experiencing problem..Soft reset is only way to get CF/SD back.

In case you don't have Visual Studio's Remote Registry Editor at hand, you can use one of these free utilities to edit the device's registry.

Dell Axim X51v

Posted in Tools and Software | Mobility at Thursday, 08 June 2006 22:23 W. Europe Daylight Time

I recently got hold on a Dell Axim X51v PDA. I'm going to see how the device fits into my daily workflow managing tasks and appointments. The device runs on Windows Mobile 5 and has a really great looking 480x640 high-resolution display. Characters appear crisp and clear, a nice reading experience.

Dell Axim X51v

From the beginning I had problems using the device. The original firmware had a bug that turned off the device completely after a random amount of time. It is especially annoying if you're missing an appointment because the PDA decided to have a little nap. Strangely enough the updated firmware for my German device was only available on the Dell's English website. Dell's German web site has only the English version listed.

Now with firmware revision A01 the only thing that fails after some hours is the Compact Flash card. Unfortunately this is where I store my podcasts and the only thing that helps is to reboot the device. How could I recommend my roommate Silke buying this PDA?

I've found some tools that I consider indispensable to operate a WM5 device smoothly. Some of the built-in functionality isn't really usable, for example the task manager. As always Microsoft relies on third party vendors to enable better usability.

  • WisBar Advance
    A task manager that shows running processes as icons next to the start menu. No more guesswork which applications are currently running and easier task switching. WisBar has a vast set of options that allow you to tweak your Pocket PC experience.
  • PocketMusic
    A Winamp-like music player.
  • IM+
    Instant messaging for Jabber, ICQ, AIM, MSN and Yahoo protocols.
  • Mobipocket Reader with Wikipedia
    Mobipocket is an e-book reader application. A stripped-down version of Wikipedia without images eats about 550 MB of external memory (i.e. Compact Flash). Mobipocket and Wikipedia are available free of charge.
  • Total Commander
    The best file manager ever as a free version for Pocket PC.
  • Adobe Reader for Pocket PC
    Opens PDFs on the mobile device.

Now playing: The Cranberries - Animal instinct

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