PocketPC dead? Not when you're diligent enough

Several years ago, in a moment of insanity, I purchased an iPaq 1945 PocketPC. I loved the clear screen and interface, and I had not quite become a complete slave to the fruit. It has worked well, but still been a complete pain. Oh woe, I should have gotten a (now defunct) Clie or Palm.

But I continue to pick the iPaq up every now and then to work on getting it synced with my Macs and transfer info from my work Windows machine and dial-out on my Nokia 6600 cellphone to grab some mail or just browse when stuck indoors in public places.

When in ROM...

I have been running ROM 1.00, which came with the original device, and has been causing me problems for years. I would lose data, random resets, difficult to configure, etc. I finally noticed that there was a ROM update 1.10, which is actually designated for the iPaq 1940, even though the iPaq 1945 is an identitical device, with different branding.

Half-way through the update, the installer died and complained. No amount of resets would bring it back from a white screen with "1.07" plastered on the top. I called HP and chatted with their Tech support. Their analysis was that it was "bricked" and would cost $80-$200 to fix. Essentially the cost of the device.

Originally, I used a very slick Belkin USB charging/syncing cable which travels well. The updater complained because it wanted the *actual* power cable and sync cable, in an attempt to make sure the battery would not die mid-update. Therefore I used the original cabling (which has always been flakey). In a last ditch effort to not leave my iPaq as a silver brick, I used the newer 3rd party cable and ran the updater directly (which doesn't check the cabling type) and the updater ran through great in about 5 minutes.

...do as the ROMs do

Lesson learned, Tech support is only good so far as you can see them.

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About the Author

Andrew Turner is an advocate of open standards and open data. He is actively involved in many organizations developing and supporting open standards, including OpenStreetMap, Open Geospatial Consortium, Open Web Foundation, OSGeo, and the World Wide Web Consortium. He co-founded CrisisCommons, a community of volunteers that, in coordination with government agencies and disaster response groups, build technology tools to help people in need during and after a crisis such as an earthquake, tsunami, tornado, hurricane, flood, or wildfire.