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TECH TALK: Helping Small Businesses and Organizations Bridge the Digital Divide

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If you are a mobile business owner that needs to be in touch with your staff and clients regularly, but need more portability than a laptop, you may want to consider obtaining a Pocket PC or Pocket PC Phone. These devices allow you to perform many of the functions that you would perform on the road with a laptop, but with a much smaller device.

The Pocket PC is a great solution for those who don't require "always connected" functionality and desire greater performance and screen size. These ultra-portable PC's usually have better performance than the Pocket PC Phones, since the phone versions are optimized to conserve battery life. The Pocket PC is usually larger in size that it's phone counterpart as well; which can be a benefit if you prefer a larger screen. The Pocket PC Phones allow you to be "always connected" provided you have a cell signal and a subscription to a data plan. Most Pocket PC's have WiFi, which limits your connectivity to those places that offer WiFi.

I recommend that you obtain a Pocket PC integrated with a phone (Pocket PC Phone). I personally use the xv6700; however, I have seen many good reviews for the Treo 700w. Both of these devices are equipped with the Windows Mobile OS which works well with Microsoft Exchange and Outlook. Although these phones can be pricey, you can get discounts for subscribing to various call and data plans. If you require GPS, I suggest you take a look at Seidio's (www.seidio.com) portable and affordable solutions that allow you to integrate GPS functionality into your phone via Bluetooth technology.

Now that you have your new mobile device, here are some recommended usages and features: appointment tracking, to do lists, contact lists, read PDF's, read electronic books, read and edit Word, Excel and Power Point documents, browse the Internet with Internet Explorer, make voice recorded notes, write notes using handwriting recognition, view videos, listen to music, send and receive emails and text messages and use the built in calculator. In some editions, you can record video, take pictures and use voice activated phone number dialing.

Next, I will discuss backup and data storage.

Please send all feedback, topic suggestions and/or questions to TechTalk@AboveTheLimit.com. Digital archives can be found at www.BlackVoiceNews.com and www.IngleWoodToday.com.

Elmer Thomas Jr. is Founder of Above the Limit, Inc., an award winning web and software development company dedicated to bridging the digital divide. You can find out more about Mr. Thomas at www.AboveTheLimit.com.

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