March 2002

Seiko Instruments introduces InkLink

Seiko Instruments, makers of the SmartPad 2, have introduced a pocket sized device for transferring handwritten notes to a Palm, Pocket PC, or even a Windows computer. Measuring 7.6" x 2.9" x 1.4", and weighing 4.75 ounces, the device can connect to PDAs via IrDA and to notebooks and desktops via USB. Unlike the SmartPad, the InkLink can work with any size paper up to 8.5" x 14" (Legal size). Users can enter a standard paper size, or else just clamp the InkLink DataClip sensor to the top of a piece of paper and touch the bottom two corners to define the page for the device. Using an ultrasonic-transmitting pen, the user can write all over the page and the two ultrasonic sensors in the DataClip triangulate the position of the pen and turn the information into ink. InkNote Manager software saves the notes as .ink vector files, but they can be exported into .bmp, .png, and .jpg formats. Available in April for US$99.95 from the SeikoSmart website (check the site over the next few days, as info is not currently posted). Click image for larger view.
-- Posted Friday, March 29, 2002 by sab

RIM goes to Hong Kong
In its first foray into the Asian market, RIM has partnered with Hutchison Telecommunications to bring the model 5820 to their GSM/GPRS network in Hong Kong, ROC. The devices will be marketed under the Orange brand name. The RIM 5820 features built-in email, voice, SMS, browser, and organizer applications. US carriers that have pledged to bring a GPRS/GSM version of the 5820 to the market are AT&T, VoiceStream, and Nextel. RIM and Sun are also showcasing many Java solutions for the upcoming devices at the JavaOne expo in San Francisco, including Siebel's Sales Force Automation and Field Force Automation solutions and Computer Associates' information management solutions. [note: image is of model 5810] -- Posted Friday, March 29, 2002 by sab

Addonics announces Seven-in-one card reader for desktops
It seems that most card readers these days are made for mobile devices, but Addonics has a Seven-in-one reader that mounts in a 3.5 inch drive bay on a desktop computer. It handles CF Type I and II, Smart Media, Memory Stick, Micro Drive, Multimedia Card, and SD. Called the Internal DigiDrive, it is compatible with all flavors of Windows and even Mac 8.6 and above. US$69. -- Posted Friday, March 29, 2002 by sab

DiskonKey available in 256MB
M-Systems has released a 256MB version of its DiskonKey USB drive. Perhaps the most convenient aspect of the device is its driverless installation on most computers. Just plug it into any USB port and it mounts, allowing the user to immediately copy to or from the device. The latest version retails for US$249. Other sizes range from 8 - 128MB. -- Posted Thursday, March 28, 2002 by sab

Targus wireless optical mini mouse
Targus has announced two new products this week. Their Wireless Optical Mini Mouse allows users to mouse around without a wire for up to three feet from a notebook or desktop computer. Its "Screen Scroller Wheel" allows you to scroll in four directions, it connects with USB, and costs US$49.99. The Mini Calculator/Keypad is a USB device that functions both as a numeric keypad that allows quick number entry into programs like Excel, it also works as a desktop calculator, with its 12 digit LCD. US$39.99. -- Posted Thursday, March 28, 2002 by sab

Handwriting recognition for the Web
The Pen&Internet division of Parascript as announced their new product, riteScript, which "accurately recognizes unrestricted English handwriting in any style and is designed for the burgeoning Web Services market." Users just write normally and see their handwriting seamlessly converted into text, according to the company. The software recognizes connected cursive, seperate letter print, and the mix of both styles. An online demo of riteScript, based on Java technology, is available on the Pen&Internet website: -- Posted Thursday, March 28, 2002 by Shawn

Sony to release NR70 series in US
Sony today put up information about its upcoming NR70 and NR70V handhelds on its US site, which were announced for the Japanese market earlier this month. A clamshell design, they hark back to early Windows CE devices, but with a twist: their display twists and can lay back down to function like a more modern PDA. Both models have a keyboard, audio, and a half-VGA screen, and the NR70V has a low-res digital camera built in. The latter will sell for US$599, and the model without a camera will sell for US$499. See our preview, based on the Japanese release. -- Posted Thursday, March 28, 2002 by Shawn

Pendragon Calendar puts your PDA to desktop use
Pendragon Calendar adds the beauty of old paper calendars to your PDA, turning it into a desktop accessory while in the cradle. A desktop companion, the Pendragon Calendar Builder, allows users to assemble and generate calendars to be synched with the device. Available as a bundle for US$19.95 from -- Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2002 by sab

RIM introduces BlackBerry J2ME Dev environment
To encourage development of secure enterprise applications for their popular BlackBerry handhelds, Research in Motion this week introduced their BlackBerry Development Environment for the Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME). The new dev kit allows for "building, testing, and debugging of BlackBerry applications, including facilities for code profiling and optimization," and "includes a BlackBerry handheld simulator that features a full copy of the Java Virtual machine," plus a network simulator to give HTTP connectivity. -- Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2002 by sab

Palm Desktop 4 for Mac released
Mac and Palm users can rejoice with the release of Palm Desktop 4 for OS X. The new application will finally vanquish having to boot into OS 9 to HotSync their devices, leaving most no reason to revisit OS 9 at all. An icon for the new app rests in the Dock, with fly-up menu access to many features. Download is free for either OS 9 or OS X versions at -- Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2002 by sab

Slim case/keyboard for slim devices

thinkDevice is shipping Q-pad for Handspring Visor Edge and Palm Vx. The case/keyboard combo offers a built-in stand and numeric keypad in addition to the Qwerty keypad. Use is done on a flat surface, and index finger operation appears preferred. US$69.99, available at
-- Posted Tuesday, March 26, 2002 by sab

Sharp Zaurus software on Handango
Handango and Sharp have announced, which they're calling "The first Linux handheld software store on the Web." The site is intended to support the new Zaurus SL-5500, with both Linux and Java software, and can be reached by going to the above site and clicking on "Software." To get Linux and Java software for other devices, visit and click on Java. You'll find software for Motorola Accompli, Nokia Communicator, Siemens SL45i, and Nokia 3590, 6310i and 7210. -- Posted Tuesday, March 26, 2002 by sab

Handspring announces Treo nationwide
Handspring's Treo communicator is now appearing in Best Buy, Staples, and CompUSA, as well as certain regional retailers like Fry's Electronics. The device is also available from Cingular and Handspring on their websites. As a side note, the Treo 180g, sporting a Graffiti interface instead of the standard keyboard, is available only from Handspring also announced that Treo is available in Malaysia for RM2549 via the Celcom network. -- Posted Tuesday, March 26, 2002 by sab

Apple announcements at MacWorld Tokyo
Apple Computer had a few minor announcements at MacWorld Tokyo today, including two of interest to the mobile computing world: software will be available to allow the iPod to carry contact information (vcards that don't necessarily sync, but have to be dragged over to the iPod), and a new version of the iPod will have twice the storage, with its 10GB drive for only US$100 more. Jobs also announced his upcoming suppoort for Bluetooth in OS X. A preview version of its Bluetooth Software for Max OS X 10.1.3 can be downloaded, and they are also selling a D-Link brand Bluetooth USB adaptor for US$49. The official version of the software is due in April. The price of the base model iMac was also raised US$100 for new purchases. -- Posted Thursday, March 21, 2002 by sab

Virtual keyboard shown at CeBIT

Palminfocenter featured an interesting story this morning on a future product shown at CeBIT. Currently a concept that the company will want to sell to manufacturers, it is a virtual keyboard that is projected onto a desktop. A sensor reads where your fingers hit and characters are input into the device. Interesting as it is, one wonders why it has come up again when no one uses membrane keyboards, technology that has long since been passed over in favor of keys with tactile feedback. It will be interesting to see how this develops.
-- Posted Thursday, March 21, 2002 by sab

Remote control Web cam
Kyushu Matsushita will begin selling a Web camera that can be remote controlled from any computer with an Internet connection. The camera is waterproof and can pan up to 165 degrees and tilt 78. Mobile phones can even receive images for 75 cents a shot. A Web site subscription is required, at US$23 per month. Available in May, the purchase price could be called remarkable: US$5,235, and a LAN version that will cost US$7,485. [source: Reuters] -- Posted Thursday, March 21, 2002 by sab

Epson ships Bluetooth adapter
Epson has begun shipping its Bluetooth Print Adapter, compatible with the Stylus C80, C60, Stylus Photo 1280, 890, and 820. It can be purchased at many Epson retailers, as well as Epson's Web site: Price US$129. -- Posted Thursday, March 21, 2002 by sab

Arizan AirDoc Reader for Blackberry 5810
Arizan's new AirDoc Reader allows businesses to deploy document delivery services to their RIM Blackberry 5810-carrying employees. Text, spreadsheets, presentations, and graphics can be viewed via the Java application, and security is built into the system.
-- Posted Wednesday, March 20, 2002 by sab

Palm Bucks program launched
Palm today sent an email introducing their new referral program to get existing users to refer new users to Palm products in exchange for "Palm Bucks." Customers enroll as a "Palm Champion" and can earn, for example, 45 Palm Bucks for each i705 purchased, 40 for each m515, and so forth down the line. "I'm going to be rich," said Shawn Barnett, Palm Editor for Pen Computing Magazine. -- Posted Wednesday, March 20, 2002 by sab

Handspring cradle, Rogers AT&T deal

Handspring is offering a charging cradle for the Treo for US$50. This one item was missing from the original bundle. In other Handspring news, they've partnered with Rogers AT&T Wireless in Canada to bring the Treo to our brothers in the Great White North. Starting April 2002, the Treo will sell for CDN$749 (with a one year service plan; CDN$849 with a one year plan) in RadioShack, Future Shop, Business Depot, and GlenTel, or at -- Posted Wednesday, March 20, 2002 by sab

Schwarzkopf and Hawkins keynote Wave 2002
Cingular's Wave 2002 is coming to Orlando, Florida this May 13 - 15. Register before March 31, and save US$300. Keynote speakers will be General H. Norman Schwarzkopf and Jeff Hawkins, CPO of Handspring, Inc. -- Posted Wednesday, March 20, 2002 by sab

Microsoft and VoiceStream team up
Microsoft has partnered with VoiceStream to bring Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition devices to customers via VoiceStream's GSM/GPRS wireless voice and data network.
-- Posted Wednesday, March 20, 2002 by sab

New Mark/Space software for Mac/PDA
Mark/Space software has a few new software applications for various Palm OS device users to check out: Missing Sync 2.2, the latest version of the software that allows CLIEs to work with Macs adds support for the S360 and includes more thorough documentation. Mark/Space Mail allows retrieval of POP3 mail, supporting all types of connections, including WiFi and Bluetooth, US$19.95. PhoneWatcher has a sortable and searchable Area and County code database for North America, and v1.0 will dial the phone on TRGpro, HandEra 330 and Sony CLIE T Series products. US$9.95.
-- Posted Tuesday, March 19, 2002 by sab

Handspring Treo will come to Sprint's CDMA network
Handspring has announced plans to work with Sprint on bringing Treo to their CDMA network. "Sprint's expertise in developing and deploying state-of-the-art network technologies is a strong match for our innovative approach to communications products," Handspring Chief Operating Officer Ed Colligan said. "We are working together to develop a compact yet full-featured CDMA version of the Treo that appeals to customers that want a smart device that meets both their voice and data needs," said John Garcia, Sprint's Senior VP of sales and distribution. Whether this means the new Treo will be smaller or different is unclear. The Sprint-branded Treo is expected this Summer, and will include Sprint PCS Business Connection Personal Edition; it will be designed to "take advantage" of Sprint's 3G network, expected to launch nationwide mid-2002.
-- Posted Tuesday, March 19, 2002 by sab

New portable keyboard smaller than previous models

Pocketop Computer Corp has announced their Pocketop wireless PDA keyboard, which uses the IrDA port, and is thus compatible with most computers that have such a port, including the Compaq iPAQ (Click for picture). The new keyboard is also smaller than the popular Stowaway (click for comparison shot). It folds in half, instead of the four-quarter fold of the Stowaway, and it includes software to rotate the screen so that some models with ports in difficult places can be oriented as necessary. The device uses one AAA battery, which the company says doesn't use the PDA's battery as does the Stowaway, but of course running the IrDA port does use the PDA's battery. The keys appear to be close to full size on home row, then the row above and below are more narrow, with a flare or ramp which might require less movement. Number keys are embedded in the top letter row, accessed with a function shift key. US$119.00
-- Posted Tuesday, March 19, 2002 by sab

Palm and Sony agree to joint marketing of Bluetooth
Palm and Sony Ericsson announced a marketing alliance agreement to develop easy-to-use Bluetooth solutions between a Palm SD Bluetooth card--currently available in stores for US$129--and a Sony Ericsson T68 Bluetooth phone, scheduled to be available online in a few weeks. Cingular plans to enable customers with its suite of Xpress Mail and other wireless products using Bluetooth as the connection between the two devices.
-- Posted Tuesday, March 19, 2002 by sab

Treo Mail transforms PDA phone into complete email solution
Handspring today released the beta of their new Treo Mail solution. Coming in three versions, the first two are for end users, and the third is for IT departments and larger installations. On the user side are Treo Mail Internet Edition, which utilizes a Visto site that checks a user's POP3 account and holds the email until software on the Treo checks for it. Treo Mail Corporate Edition employs a desktop application that forwards email from behind the corporate firewall to the Visto server, and again software on the device dials as often as half-hour intervals to check for mail. An SMS message can also be sent to the user to notify that there are messages to download. The product will go on sale in mid-2002, but the individual user editions are now available for download from the company's site.
-- Posted Monday, March 18, 2002 by sab

SavaJe first to support complet Java APIs
SavaJe has entered the Smartphone market with its SavaJe OS Smartphone Edition. The company says it is the "world's first operating system to support the complete set of Java APIs--from MIDP to J2SE--on handheld and wireless devices." The OS includes a smartphone GUI, Java security, a "universal messaging system," browser, PIM, and support for both MP3 and MPEG4.
-- Posted Monday, March 18, 2002 by sab

Netaphor releases SNMP sofware for PDAs
Software company Netaphor today released PDAlert, a Pocket PC application for monitoring SNMP-managed devices (a Palm OS version is under development). With PDAlert and a Pocket PC with an 802.11b card, network administrators can detect faults in their networks and devices (like UPS and gen systems). Upon launch, the application automatically discovers SNMP devices on the network and notifies the user of any SNMP generated alerts.
-- Posted Monday, March 18, 2002 by sab

Scott eVest makes the fashion show
The Scott eVest will be featured in the Fashion in Motion Show at CTIA Wireless 2002, which is taking place March 18 - 20, 2002. The event has become a popular attraction at the show, featuring professional models showing wireless wearables, both current and concept items. Scott eVest will likely be showing version 2.0 of its vest for holding multiple devices, as well as channels for routing cables.
-- Posted Monday, March 18, 2002 by sab

Vindigo 2.0 offers more content--for a fee
Vindigo launches version 2.0 today, with new features like musical entertainment and museum listings, broader geographic coverage, and a "wider selection of brand-name content partners," according to the company. The new features in 2.0 come with a subscription fee of US$24.95 a year, which includes access to all cities currently served by Vindigo. Those who subscribe before March 31, 2002 will pay only US$19.95. Current users will receive a 30-day trial upgrade to 2.0 on their next HotSync. A free Vindigo will still be available, with names and addresses of major restaurants and movie times. The software is for both Palm and Pocket PC devices. Jason Devitt, Vindigo's CEO, estimates that the service has about a half million subscribers.
-- Posted Monday, March 18, 2002 by sab

Plantronics reveals Bluetooth headset at CeBIT
Plantronics is showing its new Bluetooth headset at CeBIT. Called the M1500, the wireless solution works with your existing mini-jack enabled cell phone via a small plug-in module. The module then communicates with the headset. Range is up to 30 feet, and users can talk for up to three hours between charges. Pricing and availability will be announced March 18, 2002.
-- Posted Friday, March 15, 2002 by sab

16MB upgrades for Palm i705
STNE Corporation is now offering 16MB upgrades to the Palm i705 for US$114.95. They've also announced a price reduction for Palm IIIe, IIIx, VII, m100, and Visor 8MB upgrades for US$68.95. [Source:]
-- Posted Friday, March 15, 2002 by sab

VPen works with cell phone via Bluetooth

OTM Technologies demonstrated their Bluetooth integrated optical pen-mouse at CeBIT this week. Called the VPen, "it is a pen-shaped input device that enables full interaction with a cell phone handset or any other data terminal, including text input and editing, drawing, and continuous screen navigation and selection." The device was shown working with a Motorola Timeport i280 Bluetooth-enabled handset. "The VPen paves the way for more user friendly interaction, enabling consumers to write text messages and navigate through graphical user interfaces with greater freedom on the go," said Mike Robinson, Corporate VP and GM of Motorola's Companion Products and Accessories Division.
-- Posted Friday, March 15, 2002 by sab

Handspring announces Module Madness
Handspring is announcing a 20 percent instant rebate on modules purchased at The promotion they're calling "Module Madness" includes 22 Springboard modules, among them the Blade Bluetooth module by Red-M, the Parafone Cordless Telephone, and Intelligolf by Karrier Communications. The madness continues until April 22, 2002.
-- Posted Friday, March 15, 2002 by sab

Philips shows Detachable Monitor using Microsoft Mira

Philips showed their concept Detachable Monitor at CeBIT today, tethered to the PC with an 802.11b wireless connection. This concept has been emerging as a new way to give users the portability of a tablet with the full power of a desktop PC without all the extra heat and weight. The Detachable Monitor is "always ready to operate with or without a host PC." It can operate as a tethered PC monitor, or as a smart device based on Microsoft's Mira technology. It will be "introduced over the course of this year," according to the site. While it is called "revolutionary," we have seen this concept in actual products like the Zenith CruisePAD (mid-1990s) and Panasonic Toughbook 07 (2002).
-- Posted Friday, March 15, 2002 by sab

Nokia taps Socket for Bluetooth CF cards
Nokia is recommending Socket's Bluetooth CF solution for their upcoming products. "As part of a Socket agreement with Nokia, Socket has acquired and licensed certain Bluetooth technologies that will allow Socket to continue to enhance the Bluetooth solutions it brings to market in the future." Socket's CF Bluetooth Connection Kit for Pocket PC 2002 devices is US$179.
-- Posted Friday, March 15, 2002 by sab

Handango launches wireless update service for Pocket PCs
Using Handango's new Over-The-Air software provisioning service, Pocket PC 2002 and PPC 2002 Phone Edition users can wirelessly purchase, download, and install software without having to go through a desktop computer. "Handango Over-the-Air Technology delivers on the promise of wireless data for our partners today," said Laura Rippy, CEO of Handango. PPC users can just point their browser to: and
-- Posted Thursday, March 14, 2002 by sab

Weblicon enables Ericsson's MMSC for T68i
Weblicon has partnered with Ericsson to announce the Ericsson Multimedia Messaging Service Center, which will capture and deliver images, sounds, and films through MMS, or Multimedia Message Service. "The user chooses an addressee from the Weblicon Organizer, writes the text and adds images, sounds, and animations, stored on the hard disk. With a click of the mouse, the multimedia message wings its way directly to the addressee." The service is still mostly waiting for the hardware to support it. Phones like the Ericsson T68i will support the service.
-- Posted Thursday, March 14, 2002 by sab

Iambic updates Mail software
iambic, Inc. has revealed an upgrade to their iambic Mail software. Now in version 2.1, users get IMAP compatibility, a three-line preview pane for new messages, and "automatic text-version display through improved multipart MIME parsing." When used with Handspring VisorPhone and Treo, iambic Mail 2.1 can send and receive SMS messages. HTML tags are also removed from incoming email messages to improve readability. Now available, retailing for US19.95.
-- Posted Thursday, March 14, 2002 by sab

Ballmer pledges Phone Edition is coming to Europe
Microsoft's Steve Ballmer pledged at CeBIT that their new Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition software will be commercially available on mm02's xda Pocket PC device in Europe in May 2002. [press release]
-- Posted Thursday, March 14, 2002 by sab

Matsushita to make SD GPS card
Matsushita is announcing an SD GPS card in Japan, which will go on sale this Fall. Source:, reporting on Japanese ZD Net article.
-- Posted Wednesday, March 13, 2002 by sab

Logitech shows cloth keyboard

Logitech announced their KeyCase product for Palm Universal connector devices. The new case is also a cloth keyboard when unfolded. Price is US$99.
-- Posted Wednesday, March 13, 2002 by sab

Electric Pocket shows Mailer app
Electric Pocket today released its Mailer POP3 email application for Palm OS devices at CeBIT. "Mailer offers a powerful, multi-account email engine to enable users to have greater control over which email messages are received. It also provides a first-of-its-kind option to reply to an email with a phone call rather than another email," according to the company. Available for devices running OS 3.5 and 4.0, including Treo and the m500, the application will retail for US$29.95.
-- Posted Wednesday, March 13, 2002 by sab

Symbol shows new CE device for factory floor

Symbol announced it's new Windows CE based VRC 8900, which they are calling "Tough enough for the factory floor." The new machines are designed to be mounted on a forklift or other mobile factory or warehouse vehicle. The processor is a 206MHz StrongArm processor and the display is a 12.1 SVGA touchscreen. Also available is an optional detachable keyboard. It also works with Symbol barcode scanners.
-- Posted Wednesday, March 13, 2002 by sab

Palm unveils browser for newer Palm OS devices
Palm today unveiled it's new browser at CeBIT in Germany. The new browser will be available for US$19.95 on April 8 in the United States at and in Europe at It is designed to work with late model Palms, including the m125, m130, m500, m505, m515, and i705. The company notes that an ISP is still necessary for all models to access the Internet; is the ISP for the i705. The browser will also work with any device running Palm OS 4.0 or higher, according to contacts at Palm.
-- Posted Wednesday, March 13, 2002 by sab

Pocket LOOX Pocket PC from Fujitsu announced
Fujitsu announced the Pocket LOOX Pocket PC. The device runs on an Intel PXA250 XScale processor, has a Li-Polymer battery, Type II CF Card and a SD slot, a relfective TFT, measures just 5.15 x 3.2 x 0.7 inches and weighs less than six ounces. Price is expected to be US$599. Battery life is said to be up to 15 hours, and up to 24 hours with an optional extended pack. The device is said to go on sale in the US by the end of May. [press release]
-- Posted Wednesday, March 13, 2002 by sab

STNE offers 16MB upgrades can take your Palm m130 to 16MB for US$114, and m505's can be brought up to the new m515's 16MB RAM for the same price. The company offers plenty of upgrades for many devices.
-- Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2002 by sab offers "Fix-it" videos is launching some new Do it Yourself aids on its website, now including videos. The company offers repair services and parts for Do-it-Yourselfers wanting to save a little money. Their main selection is among Palm and Visor devices, but they are working on parts for Compaq iPAQ, HP Jornada, and Sony CLIE. Users can use the site to diagnose what's wrong with their devices, and watch the videos to see whether they think they can perform a given operation themselves. Most of the fixes are fairly easy, according to Gethightech President Robert Stanley. He relates a story about a self-professed "non-technical" single mom who fixed her son's broken Visor digitizer in under 18 minutes for only the price of the part. Parts include motherboards, screens, even color casing. If you have a broken or damaged Palm device, is worth a look.
-- Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2002 by sab

BREW conference scheduled for San Diego in June
BREW 2002 Developer's Conference is scheduled for June 3-5 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina. BREW, the Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless, is a "very thin, standardized platform that resides in handsets," and runs C/C++ applications as well as Java and XML. It is created by Qualcomm and called "open source." To learn more about the dev conference, visit
-- Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2002 by sab

MemorySafe software update, price drop
Northstar Mobile has announced that a third party software application enables users to back up and restore individual databases and files to and from their MemorySafe products. Called FlashCmdMS, the new app is sold by JKS Technologie for US$9. In other news, the price of MemorySafe has been reduced to US$19.99 for the 8MB module, and US$14.99 for the 2MB module.
-- Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2002 by sab

Treo software from Electric Pocket
Electric Pocket has released Ringo, a free ringtone manager for the Handspring Treo. Users can compose and share custom ringtones, or download and install new ringtones from the Internet. Users register the program for free via the Treo's built-in SMS service.
-- Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2002 by sab