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We are well into our first week using the T-Mobile MDA and SDA devices
running Windows Mobile 5.0.  When I assumed responsibility for wireless
mobile devices last fall, the first thing done was to put a moratorium
on the acquisition of new devices until we could see and test these new
products.  After much research and waiting, our T-Mobile provider
announced the release of the above products.  


We have been eyeing the RIM saga continuously and things continue to
look more bleak as the weeks progress.  Rather than wait for something
to happen, we are moving officially to the T-Mobile devices as the only
handhelds supported by our department.  There are currently 6 or so
"Crackberries" in use by our general officers; once the contracts expire
(or RIM has to shut down service), they will be moving to the MDA or
SDA.  Two MDA's are on order for the Provost and VP of IT.


Benefits of the MDA:

Smaller than either the Blackberry or Treo, but no loss of screen size.
The slide out QWERTY keyboard is a nice feature and is easy to use.  It
comes with a stylus for use on the touchscreen or those with a decent
fingernail can navigate just as easily.  We are an Exchange 2003 SP2
shop, so setup was a breeze with one caveat - I had to make a virtual
website in IIS then create a registry key that pointed to the virtual
site and restart IIS.  This is explained in further detail in KB817379  Once I made the change,
everything started working.  There is even an add-on piece (free
download from MS) that allows you to browse the GAL in Active Directory.


Benefits of the SDA:

More phone like and is missing the QWERTY keyboard.  Does not have an SD
slot to upgrade the memory.  Does not have mobile versions of Word,
Excel, and Powerpoint like the MDA.  However, for road warriors (think
athletics/coaches or admissions recruiters) who need to stay in touch
via voice and data, the SDA is a competent tool for the job.  


While we didn't test the Treo 700 or the new Cingular device (vendors
wouldn't return our calls requesting test models???), we feel that the
MDA and SDA will serve the mobile needs of our campus community
especially in light of the issues surrounding RIM.


I'm sure I've left out many things and raised other questions, so feel
free to email me off post or to the group at large if there is something
specific I can address.




Ben Whorton

Network Administrator

Information Technology

Birmingham-Southern College


[log in to unmask]




It's been a little while since we've had some activity on the list so I
thought I would send a note to check on new projects out there and to
ask a few questions.  I've also included a couple of articles from
EDUCAUSE and the Chronicle of Higher Education that discuss mobile


I'm also wondering what your experiences have been with the Treo 700
and/or Windows Mobile in general.  Are schools moving toward devices
other than the Blackberry because of the recent legal issues?


Feel free to reply to the list and share your thoughts.








Paul Luppino

Manager, University IT Support Services

Tufts University

169 Holland Street

Somerville, MA 02144

617 627 4504



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