Monday, 29 November 2010

Demise of the DELL

Recently, I wrote about synchronizing Windows mobile PIM data with Thunderbird on my Ubuntu distro. I have a couple of PDAs running Windows mobile: a DELL Axim X50 (running WinMob 2003) and an HP iPAQ hx2790 (running WinMob 5.0). Since publishing my tutorial, I have been happily synchronizing both devices successfully over my home network.

However, my recent attempts to improve my understanding of small networks have persuaded me to improve my wireless access security from WEP to WPA and this simple change of security encryption played havoc with my PDAs: after changing to the more secure WPA protocol, neither could connect to the network. A little research suggested that this is a well-known problem and HP has already issued a fix for my iPAQ: however, installing it still didn't allow my device to connect but, following some chatter on various forums, I suspected that using Odyssey Client (pdf) might provide the solution. Fortunately, although Odyssey isn't installed by default on the iPAQ, HP ships a licenced copy on the companion CD (at least, it did with my hx2790!) and installing it is simple using Activesync or Mobile Device Center (and a Windows machine, obviously!). Once installed, configuring the client was straightforward and my iPAQ rejoined my network as a wireless node.

Sadly, the news for my X50 is not so good. DELL did ship the X50 with a pre-installed version of Odyssey, but even with this utility running, my PDA can't connect to my wireless access point even though it has no trouble detecting the network. Even a hard reset hasn't had the desired effect and I suspect that the DELL will shortly be consigned to the drawer where legacy devices go to die.

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