Recently I’ve got back into using my PDA, mainly because I found my spare charger meaning I could keep it charged by the bed (I’d packed it in a box when we moved and never unpacked it!). Anyway, so once I reset the date on it I set about looking at the software already on it and some new software for it.
First stop was the OS. I’m currently on Windows Mobile 5.0 and 6.1 is out, however it doesn’t look like there’s any upgrade for my PDA (Dell Axim X51). Okay, that wasn’t a major issue. I then looked at the next two important things, an RSS reader and a decent browser. I used to have an RSS reader on there but when I switched to Google Reader I just used that online, however now I have all of my feeds at Newsgator which allows you to read feeds online and offline and syncs the two (best of both worlds). In the last year I’ve been very lazy with feeds and not kept up to date with reading them, so I pruned my feeds in my account down to those I considered worthwhile of keeping and added a few new jQuery ones.
Newsgator comes with its own software for the PC, however after a quick look I found it also has software for the Windows Mobile OS. This is quite similar to their mobile online version however it does the synchronising which is great as it means I can download the feeds, sit on a train or take them away with me, read them and then just sync it when I can get online again and I don’t see the same post twice.
Newsgator requires the .NET compact framework, so I had to download this from Microsoft.
Next job was a decent browser. The Internet Explorer on the PDA is a bit basic and I longed for tabbed browsing. Firefox used to have a mobile browser called Minimo, but this is no longer maintained, and instead have progressed to Fennec, but that’s for Windows Mobile 6+, which is no good. Then Martin sent me a link on twitter for Opera Mobile. I have this on my mobile, however that doesn’t have tabs, but it is quite nice so I figured it was worth a go. I used to have Opera installed however it was charged for back then so I removed it soon after, but now it’s freely available which is handy. After a quick install I opened it up and discovered that it does have tabs and it’s a really nice browser on the PDA too. It’s got a nice screen and makes full use of the screen. My only gripe is that to scroll down you have to slide your stylus up the page (as if you’re dragging the bottom of the screen up), as the scroll bars don’t display. It’s a bit confusing when you’re used to sliding the scroll bar down!
A couple of other pieces of software that I’ve tried out and recommend are SoftX FTP Client which is a simple but useful FTP client to access sites, and then a Pocket Text Editor to edit the files. Useful if you need to make a quick change or fix whilst away from the PC.
Now all I need to do is work out how I can make the PDA connect online via my mobile when I’m out and about!