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Playing with the Pocket PostPet

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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2007-11-09 3:01 AM
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You could call it the world's smallest H/PC, since it has a built-in QWERTY keyboard (or its equivalent) and has Windows CE (in this case version 2.12) as its core OS. I couldn't resist getting one (thanx, stingraze) and seeing what I could do with it.

Since CE 2.12 wasn't a platform release, I got my first look at a true core CE OS. There's no Control Panel, no default wallpaper (and without a Control Panel there's no way I can see to set one), no system tray (no icons can be placed there), and of course no PIMs or other preinstalled applications. But there are lots of apps written specifically for the Pocket PostPet and its 320x240 display:

http://hp.vector.co.jp/authors/VA014969/ppp/index.html

(Japanese site, but you can use Babelfish or - in my case - Google Translate to translate it.)

As a proprietary CE 2.12 device, the Pocket PostPet appears to lack many of the DLL files found in H/PC Pro, and as such won't run every H/PC Pro program. But I was surprised to see what does work. First, SQ ( http://hp.vector.co.jp/authors/VA003011/ ) works nicely as a desktop replacement. Other H/PC Pro apps that work properly within the available screen size: DockWare, DejaVu Software's SameGame (H/PC version), Bubblets (H/PC version). The Palm-size PC version of BigClock (the only MIPS version) fits nicely on the small screen. Then there are apps that have small interfaces that fit on any CE device's screen: Mike Welch's hpcYachtCE (see http://www.hpcfactor.com/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=9695&sta... ), an older version (1.75) of GSPlayer (downloaded through the Wayback Machine) and a few small games I found from a Japanese developer known as Urano235 ( http://urano.sakura.ne.jp/game/ce.cgi ). (Henri Spagnolo hosts a couple of these on Handheld Attitude, but they are written for CE 2.11 and have MIPS as well as ARM versions.) I also got one open-source Pocket PC program to work by changing the OS version: AClock (also available on Henri's site). This is the only program I've gotten working on the Pocket PostPet that won't work on any CE 2.11 device I have.

A few screenshots are below. I apologize for the poor quality, but only one screen capture program will work on it (CEMenuCapture), and it doesn't work very well. Even though the unlocking package includes wceload.exe, I haven't been able to get it to extract CABs thus far (even after using GSFinder+ to associate them with wceload.exe), and since there's no way to sync the device to a PC, the only way I've been able to get programs onto the device has been to copy the executables and their dependencies from CE 2.11 devices. Another issue is that the Pocket PostPet has a card slot that only accommodates MultiMedia cards (SD cards, which are slightly thicker, won't fit), and these cards are hard to find nowadays.

Edited by CE Geek 2007-11-09 3:11 AM




(CeCapture_1.jpg)



(CeCapture_2.bmp)



(CeCapture_3.bmp)



Attachments
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Attachments CeCapture_1.jpg (36KB - 2 downloads)
Attachments CeCapture_2.bmp (37KB - 1 downloads)
Attachments CeCapture_3.bmp (37KB - 1 downloads)
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2007-11-09 3:51 AM
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Oh cool. Maybe I'll get one for myself and make a new cover for it.
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2007-11-09 4:14 AM
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Yeah, something a little less . . . pink.
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thcrw739 Page Icon Posted 2007-11-09 4:19 AM
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Yeah,

I hate that, but even if you redid the case you still have the keyboard thats pink... bah
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2007-11-09 8:01 AM
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Maybe I'll cast it and put silicon in to make a whole new keyboard tops.
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thcrw739 Page Icon Posted 2007-11-09 9:08 AM
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now that would be snazzy
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CAuser Page Icon Posted 2007-11-09 12:55 PM
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My Jornada 420 looks like a PPC, but it runs CE 2.11. J420 also has a screen 320x240. Maybe, it's larger than PostPet, but it does provide those standard HPC functions such as CF slot for expansion and serial port for sync, except a physical keyboard.

Edited by CAuser 2007-11-09 12:56 PM
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2007-11-09 2:05 PM
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The J420 is a Palm-size PC. Its display is 240x320 (portrait), while the Pocket PostPet's is 320x240 (landscape). (Horizontal dimensions are usually given first in describing display size.) I notice, though, that most of the apps I've tried that work in H/PC Pro but not in the CE 2.11 Palm-size PC will also not work in the Pocket PostPet. The Palm-size PC platform also seems to lack a lot of the DLLs present in H/PC Pro. (The Palm-size PC does have a version of aygshell.dll in ROM, though.)
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2007-11-12 4:36 AM
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TCPMP seems to work on the Pocket PostPet too, though it doesn't seem to allow the full-screen option. (The button for this does nothing when tapped on.)

I'm also having a weird problem trying to upgrade to a larger MultiMedia Card to make room for MP3s and videos. I've tried two cards (512 MB and 256 MB, respectively) and I get an error message - in Japanese, of course, so I don't know what it says. I'm guessing, though, that it can't read the card and is asking if I want to format it. When I tap on the right-hand one of the two response buttons (presumably "No" ), the dialog closes, but then it doesn't report any contents in the card in either GSFinder+ or TotalCommander. If I then check the card in my PC, it still finds all the files and folders that were placed there. (The card is formatted to FAT.) I tried re-formatting the card in my PC (again to FAT), but still got the same result. So I tried reinserting the card in the PPP and this time tapping on the left-hand button in the error dialog (presumably "Yes" ), but then I got another error message with one response button, which closed when I tapped on the button. Now, however, not only did the PPP report no contents in the card, but my PC could no longer recognize it either, reporting that it was not formatted and asking if I wanted to format it. When I clicked on "Yes," however, I got an error message saying that the card cannot be formatted. I ran CHKDSK on the PC, but got the error message "Cannot open volume for direct access." I tried to format the card on the Command Prompt window on my PC, but got the error message "Error in IOCTL call."

So now I have two MMCs that have apparently been hosed by the PPP. Any way I can bring them back? And anyone have an idea what happened to them?
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-11-12 6:43 AM
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my 512mb mmc works, my 128mb mmc doesn't.. and my 16mb does. blah

no idea what happened there..
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CAuser Page Icon Posted 2007-11-12 10:49 AM
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I guess you need to do a low-level format. Maybe, you can format the cards using a camera. I formatted a CF card on a PC, but it can't recognized by a Linux machine. Then, I formatted it using a camera and it works. Of course, I did a low-level format in the process. Basically, low-level format->Windows format->camera format. I even used a tool called PartitionMagic to 'Wipe' out the contents.
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2007-11-12 6:09 PM
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I thought about trying to format it in one of my cameras. Sure couldn't hurt. I'll give it a try.

EDIT: Okay, now the cards work again, but the PPP still can't read them - same error message as before. (Camera formats them to FAT.) I'm now officially stumped.

BTW, I should note that GQ works quite nicely as an image viewer on the PPP.

Edited by CE Geek 2007-11-12 6:41 PM
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Animo
Animo Page Icon Posted 2007-11-12 8:54 PM
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Hi there,

Found an interesting site on MMC cards for PPP.. hope it helps

visit
at http://homepage2.nifty.com/carulli/ppp3.htm (in Japanese)
or
with Google translated at http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fhomepage2.nift...

So check your build version as suggested above

I once had a PPP a several years ago but not any more with me
Ive gave it my daughter as she loves it !

Cheers,
Animo




Edited by Animo 2007-11-12 8:57 PM
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2007-11-12 9:09 PM
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Build 4300. It occurred to me that maybe some off brands of MMCs wouldn't be compatible. The 16 MB card that I had for some time, and am currently using in it, is a Pretec card. The other two I bought are lesser-known brands. I suppose I should look for a better-known brand name. (The ones listed on the linked page I haven't seen anywhere here in the US.)
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2007-12-17 8:11 PM
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This thing seems to be the "device that eats files off memory cards." Running out of room on that 16 MB card, I tried a 512 MB PQI card, and it seems to work for the most part, but it won't let me copy files between folders - when I try, it appears to delete the file that I'm trying to overwrite. Then, when I soft reset, the whole destination folder comes up empty - and a second soft reset appears to obliterate several more files and folders on the card. Even my PC can no longer see them. (Of course they're still there, as is clear by viewing the amount of used data space on the card. They've just been corrupted to the point where they are no longer even identifiable.) I've had to reformat the card and recopy the contents to it (a copy of which I now keep on my PC for just this purpose) several times. (The PQI card is a RS-MMC card, but I don't assume that that makes a difference, since AFAIK that's just a form factor modification.)

Edited by CE Geek 2007-12-17 8:13 PM
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