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Did I Convince Robert Scoble to Get a Pocket PC?

Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger – Josh wows me with Dell Axim PocketPC. RSS, video, and more

Robert wrote up a lengthy post about his impressions of our lunch last Friday. I didn’t go in with any intentions of convincing anyone about anything – I just wanted to show off the really cool stuff I can do with my Dell Axim. I’m very passionate about these devices, and I guess that shone through to Robert:

I thought that all I really need is my SmartPhone. After all, that plays audio, video, does text fairly well.

I assumed that for people who wanted to play more video, or that wanted a screen that they could actually see some detail in the video that a portable media center would be the ticket.

I’m now convinced I’m wrong. I’m convinced that the PocketPC form factor is the better way to go. Here’s how Josh convinced me:

Go read the rest of his post to see what he thought.

Since some of the people in the comments of Robert’s post wanted to know what I demoed, here it is. I showed him DivX rips of some HD TV shows (640×480) in BetaPlayer. BetaPlayer takes advantage of the Axim x50v’s Intel 2700G integrated graphics accellerator (with 16MB of dedicated video RAM), so playback is super smooth and looks fantastic. I’ve never had a hiccup or playback glitch. The Intel XScale PXA270 624MHz processor helps, too.

I’m using SE_VGA to run in “true vga” mode, which yields four times the screen real estate compared to the default Windows Mobile 2003 SE VGA mode. This lets me get a LOT more text on the screen in Pocket IE, for web browsing and feed reading.

For reading RSS feeds, I showed off Bloglines Mobile. I use Bloglines to read my 1300+ subscribed RSS feeds in Firefox whenever I’m using a full computer. If I’m somewhere that has WiFi, but it’s not practical for me to whip out my laptop, I use Axim to read feeds. If there’s no WiFi, I use my Blackberry 7100t. Bloglines keeps read/unread items in sync across all of these platforms, no matter where or how I access them. If you use Bloglines, or an aggregator like FeedDemon that syncs with Bloglines, you really should try this out on your mobile device.

Anyway, post a comment if you want any more info about the apps I use on my Pocket PC, or listen to TinyPodcast (feed). Once a week, Brian and I talk about the latest cool thing we’ve discovered for the Pocket PC, or mobile technology in general.

Thanks again to Robert Scoble for having lunch with me, and writing such a long and complimentary post about our visit. I look forward to meeting with you again, Robert! You’ll be hearing from me soon.

Oh, and Omar Shahine doesn’t want to carry more than one device, so he insists that the next PDA-type device he’s going to get have phone capabilities built in. Omar, the HP iPAQ 6315 can do everything Robert and I talked about, except it only has a QVGA (240×320) screen. The upcoming T-Mobile MDA-IV will have a VGA screen, phone bits, QWERTY keyboard, and WiFi. But who knows if/when it will become available in the U.S. Personally, I’ve adapted to carrying a communication device and a PDA, and I use them for different purposes. I use my Blackberry 7100t to communicate (phone, email, IM, web, etc.) and my Pocket PC to consume media (web, ebooks, reference, video, etc.). To me, they each have their strong points, and having tried many “convergence” devices that try to do it all, I just haven’t found one that can do everything well. They all have some glaring problem or other. Maybe someday we’ll get the perfect converged device.

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4 thoughts on “Did I Convince Robert Scoble to Get a Pocket PC?

  1. I’ve considered the HP iPAQ 6315 but it’s rather underpowered and doesn’t have a built in keyboard. The new MobileMessenger looks great, but I hate being at the mercy of the carriers, and this device is vaporware to me till AT&T/Cingular sell it :-).

  2. I’ve considered the HP iPAQ 6315 but it’s rather underpowered and doesn’t have a built in keyboard. The new MobileMessenger looks great, but I hate being at the mercy of the carriers, and this device is vaporware to me till AT&T/Cingular sell it :-).

  3. For getting RSS feeds and podcasts directly to your Pocket PC, you might consider FeederReader. FeederReader has integrated file management for watching videocasts and listening to podcasts. Has a cool Enclosure Toolbar. See http://www.feederreader.com/MediaWalkthrough.html
    and
    http://www.feederreader.com/EnclosureSupport.html

    Greg Smith
    Author, FeederReader – The Pocket PC RSS, podcatcher, videocatcher
    http://www.FeederReader.com – Download on the Road

  4. Anonymous says:

    I too use Bloglines on my desktop and Pocket PC and find that the synchronization between the two makes it invaluable.

    However, I do find a problem with large feeds on the Pocket PC. For example Scoble’s Link Blog.

    How do you guys deal with this problem – once you open the feed on the Pocket PC, all the entries are marked as read. However, if I don’t have time to read all the entries I can’t mark some of them unread, I have to mark them all unread.

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