Colleagues,

 

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 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/817379/en-us.  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.

 

Thanks,

 

Ben Whorton

Network Administrator

Information Technology

Birmingham-Southern College

205.226.3035

[log in to unmask]

http://www.bsc.edu

 

 

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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 technology.

 

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.

 

Thanks.

 

Paul

 

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Paul Luppino

Manager, University IT Support Services

Tufts University

169 Holland Street

Somerville, MA 02144

617 627 4504

 

 

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