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Advice on PDA purchase

by johndziner / March 7, 2010 4:03 PM PST

I need to purchase a PDA with large screen that can work with a Bluetooth hand-held laser scanner. I'll use the scanner for barcode lookup pricing on various retail web sites as a support tool for my new business as a book reseller. I am looking at the HP iPaq 211 and Socket SoMo 650. I have also considered the Blackberry Bold, but the screen is small and I don't plan to use the device as a phone or for email.

Questions: 1) Which of the PDAs is better?, 2) What service to I need to connect to the internet remotely when WiFi is not available?, 3) How can I link info from the Windows-based PDA to my desktop iMac OSX?

I am using an iPhone currently but it does not support scanners. I have Windows XP and OSX on my MacBook Pro, but don't generally have it for daily use. I am not a big PC or Windows enthusiast as I've been on Apple-based hardware for 25 years, so this will be a big transition for me.

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Quick points...
by John.Wilkinson / March 8, 2010 2:13 AM PST
In reply to: Advice on PDA purchase

1.) Is there an appropriate driver for the PDAs you're looking at? Barcode scanner support doesn't come out of the box, so the scanner must come with a driver for the specific PDA OS.

2.) The Socket SoMo 650 has several variations. Some are better than the iPaq 211 while others are not. Since the specs on some of those models are not provided, you'll have to ask for the details.

3.) A PDA needs a WiFi connection to connect to the internet unless you have a cell phone, with a data plan, that supports tethering your PDA to it over Bluetooth.

4.) WindowsMobile cannot be directly synced with OS X unless you purchase third-party software. See: The MissingSync for $40.


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Follow-up info on PDA + scanner needs
by johndziner / March 8, 2010 3:23 AM PST
In reply to: Quick points...

Sorry to be a neophyte about this. There are just some things in the PC-compatible world us Mac users don't comprehend b/c with Apple, everything works pretty intuitively ot of the box...

The scanner I'm looking at is the Socket CHS 7P that uses SocketScan CE software, compatible with Windows Mobile 6. While Socket seems to be a good brand as well for PDA, the price is prohibitive. That's why the iPaq 211 and 7P scanner look like a good bet.

Thanks for answering my question on internet access. Use near a wireless router of WiFi location seemed obvious. It was the remote access without the above I didn't understand. Do you suppose the HP PDA will tether to my iPhone via Bluetooth???

Somewhere on Cnet I saw a reference to MissingSync and will look into it for my desktop needs. I have a MacBook Pro running both OSX and Windows XP, but don't use it daily (and haven't used the XP hardly at all in over a year...

Thanks, John. Any further insight you could supply would be greatly helpful.


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No problem...
by John.Wilkinson / March 9, 2010 1:57 AM PST

I used to be a Mac user in 'the good old days,' but switched to Windows a decade ago and now just use a Mac when obligated to, so I fully understand the different ideologies.

In the case of Bluetooth tethering, it is supported by both the iPaq and the iPhone. However, there are two stipulations:
1.) You must be running iPhone OS 3.0 or higher.
2.) Your wireless provider must allow tethering on your current data subscription plan.

Given the decreased speed and data rates, though, you'll want to use the WiFi option whenever possible.

Hope this helps,

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Say I own the iPaq 211 and
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 21, 2010 2:43 AM PDT
In reply to: Advice on PDA purchase

Have a bluetooth barcode scanner. Even better I write my apps in VS2008 to bring it all together.

But first a question. Did you look at the RED LASER BARCODE SCANNER APP on your iphone? Maybe that author can help you reach your goal and get it on what you have with what you have?

Ok, back to WinMo and barcode scanners. I found one downside to this on a few winmo machines. You can't auto connect to the scanner in such machines. The HTC Touch Pro 2 for example.

I have 5 WM machines I test my apps on, and only the HTC Touch Pro 2 with WM 6.1 has that annoyance.

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Socket Bluetooth Cordless Hand Scanner works with iPhone
by chascona22 / December 7, 2010 3:28 AM PST
In reply to: Advice on PDA purchase

John, not sure if you are using the latest version of the Socket CHS 7P (which supports Bluetooth Human Interface Device (HID) profile), but it does work with the most of the latest iPhones, which support Bluetooth HID connections.

There's a video on the Socket website (or you can search on YouTube) that demonstrates the CHS scanning barcodes into an iPhone.

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Any word on SPP on iPhone, iPad or iTouch?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 7, 2010 3:41 AM PST

It's been almost 2 years since we had to cancel an iPhone app due to no SPP.

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