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Be sure to install Outlook first, than ActiveSync.

Your Pocket PC primary interacts with Microsoft Outlook. Outloook comes with your device and organizes addresses ("contacts"), appointments ("calendar"), to-do lists ("tasks"), and notes. Once Outlook is installed on your computer, install ActiveSync.

ActiveSync is the program that synchronizes your information on your Pocket PC with your computer and vice versa. Essentially, it compares the information you have on your computer with what you have on your Pocket PC and saves which ever version is the most recent.

During the initial set-up it will ask you which types of files you want to sync with your computer. I'd suggest syncing at least calendar, contacts, tasks & notes.

Setting up your inbox

Your device also can be used for your e-mail. Once you set up the "Inbox" on your desktop computer it can be accessed on the Pocket PC. To set it up in Outlook go to Tools/Accounts. Most of the set-up is self explanatory.

For example, if you use Yahoo! mail note that it is on a POP3 server, the incoming mail server is pop.mail.yahoo.com while the outgoing is smtp.mail.yahoo.com. Enter your current user name and password and when you sync your device you'll have e-mail on there.

If you have your options set to sync your Pocket PC's inbox with your Outlook's it will download all your e-mail onto your device and put any e-mails your have on your device's outbox into Outlook's outbox. Your e-mail from the device will be sent the next time you log-on to the Internet and send your e-mail with Outlook.

Entering text on your Pocket PC

There are two default ways of writing on your device. When you have the option to enter text, your selected method for text input will automatically pop up at the bottom of the screen. To toggle between them press the triangle in the bottom right corner.

The first is the Keyboard. This one is pretty straight forward, but cumbersome for lengthy entries. Second is the Character Recognizer. This one is very similar to the one on Palm OS devices, but the alphabet is almost exactly like the standard print alphabet. Some of the characters with two strokes, like the 't', will display a letter based on the first stroke, but then change to the correct letter after the second stroke is done.

The third writing program is called Transcriber. This one actually has to be installed onto your device, for some reason Microsoft didn't think this handy program should be part of your default programs. (Look for the TScribe folder on the ActiveSync disk.

You can write complete words anywhere on the screen and after a short pause, Transcriber converts your writing into type. Play around with it a bit. Once you get used to it Transcriber can be quite useful. Using the 'a' button on the Transcriber bar you can customize the program to recognize your handwriting more efficiently.

Pocket PC 2002 devices, which comes on all new Pocket PCs, have a new input method named Block Recognizer. It recognizes the same Graffiti characters that Palm OS devices use. So if you had a Palm OS handheld and became good at writing Graffiti, this is a good choice for writing.

Enter in useful information into the contact notes field

Each contact has a notes field. I find this to be a great place to write notes on people, i.e., hobbies, interests, background, family issues.

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