TechnoMagician's Weblog
(aka Tim Aiello)
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2003
iPAQ Expansion and The Search For a decent Browser

I've been holding off buying a Compaq PCMCIA Expansion pack because it just seemed to pricey for what it is. Basically a piece of plastic with probably a minmal set of electronics that accept a PCMCIA card and connect that card to the actual iPAQ. Well, ok, it also includes another battery but its not like there is an option for one of these without a battery. Its just a method to sell you a device thats 10 times what it should really cost.

I finally scored one for an acceptable price on eBay. It is slick to say the least to be able to roam with the iPAQ wirelessly. Finally I'm also able to sync without requiring the cradle. Now I just have to figure out how to sync from OUTSIDE the firewall.

This all reminds me of the days of the original RIM where I would be wondering why would have to connect the thing to a cradle in order to sync. It just didn't make sense to me to be able to contact my desktop to sync my email YET not be able to sync anything else without the cradle. VERY LAME. I imagine they must have this feature by now as I haven't had a RIM for a few years at least.

The only unfortunate thing so far with the iPAQ is this lousy Microsoft IE browser that comes with the Pocket PC. It renders pages horribly and plain doesn't work with a number of pages that I really need to access on a regular basis (including my Userland Radio news aggregator page). And I'm not tallking about pages with strange Javascript or other stuff. Plain old HTML that just renders horribly.

So I went in search of another browser and so far have been really impressed with ThunderHawk. It uses a client/server architecture which I didn't realize until I visited and noticed that I was connecting with a strange IP address. After a bit of reading I see that ThunderHawk uses its servers as a proxy to enable proper rendering of pages. I guess that is the other reason why one needs a subscription to run the full version after the trial ends. I was also wondering why I couldn't access anything on the intranet here either and of course it was because of the proxy. Obviously the proxy had no clue what IP addresses I was trying to connect to and even if it did it wouldn't have slipped through the firewall. I understand they have an Enterprise Edition that one can run internally. Might be worth looking into.

2:02:01 PM    

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Last update: 5/22/2004; 2:42:43 PM.
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