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iPAQ: need crash course

4 days 'til I leave for Brazil



4:27 am on Sep 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hi all. I just bought an iPAQ 2215. I'm new to PDAs, but need to quickly become adept with it. I am printing the manual, and I'll be reading it cover to cover soon.

I am leaving for Brazil on Sunday. I need to be able to use this thing by then. I need it for e-mail, internet, Excel, Word, and entertainment. I'm not a newb to computers, but not advanced either. Does this sound doable? I can probably spare 25 hours of learning time before then. Please help me maximize that time.

Let's start with entertainment. I want to have some TV shows and movies on CF card. I also want to have a few games. I like strategy and puzzle games. Would like a couple action, and arcade games also.

I have two 256MB CF cards. Willing to buy more if necessary. The iPAQ also uses SD cards. Any advantage to using one or the other?

Right now Media Player only seems to recognize files with .asf or .wmv. I'm not very familiar with codecs. How do I get the proper codecs to view .mpg, .avi, .mov, .ram, and the rest? I may want to recompress some of the stuff I've got, and I only have Windows Movie Maker. :-D Should I buy some software?

Any suggestions on games?

Then there's internet. I don't know what to expect in Brazil. I will probably be able to get some help from the guys that I'm going to be working with. But, right now the PDA is docked, and has connection to PC (I have transferred files), but it's not able to connect to the internet. I'm new to networking, too. ;-) I think what I need to do is set up a VPN. If this is right, I bet that I'll get it working after I'm done reading the manual.

E-mail. It is connecting and syncing with Outlook, on my PC. But I'm using Outlook Express. I guess that's the reason that I don't see my conacts, or have any e-mail in the PDA yet. I'm thinking that I have to start using Outlook instead of OE. And I'll need to import everything into Outlook. Is this right?

I am capable with Excel and Word. So, I'm assuming that I'll migrate to Excel and Word for PocketPC just fine. But I'd welcome any comments on them also.

How about accessories?

I would like a nice case. Dimensions are different than the 3900 series. I don't think there are many cases yet. I will be using this thing in a dirty/oily environment. A case that provides very good protection, is preferred over style/convenience.

How about a keyboard? Any suggestions?

Modem? Do they use regular phone jacks there (RJ-11 is the name, right?)? I guess I should try to research that. It has Bluetooth, can I take advantage of that? Bluetooth modem?

More batteries? How long does one last, say for video playback?

I appreciate any comments. I'll post back regularly to let you know what I've learned, or am still trying to figure out.

Thanks very much.