Archive for October, 2004

New Devices and Old Friends at SMAU 2004

Smau 2004On Friday 22 October I’ve been in Milan to attend SMAU 2004, the 41st International Exhibition of ICT and Consumer Electronics, the biggest event of this kind in Italy.

Although it’s getting smaller at every edition and this year even the big telecommunication operators such as TIM, Vodafone and Tiscali weren’t present, I’ve been able to spot something interesting in both the Windows Mobile and Palm worlds, to meet some old friends and to make a few new contacts.

In particular it has been a pleasure to meet again with Giorgio Cifani and Pino Paparone, the two Italian Microsoft MVPs for mobile devices, Enrico of Pocket PC Italia and Diego, editor of the Italian magazine Il Mio Palmare. There was even the troupe of Netcafé walking around the stands. 🙂

Here are some pictures I shot at the show. The first one is pretty curious. The new Asus A730 in VGA landscape mode with its 1.3Mpixel integrated camera pointed towards the HP stand, where visitors could find notebooks and printers, but alas none of their new iPAQs…

In the Windows Mobile corner of the big Microsoft stand Enrico showed me the new Qtek 9090, the Qtek 8010, the iPAQ 1710 and the Sagem My S7. For the Palm side of things at the Palmosoft stand I’ve been able to make a confrontation between the Tungsten T3 and the brand new Tungsten T5, both in 480×320 landscape mode.

At the end of the day I even got a good deal by purchasing the 2 DVDs box of the Schindler’s List movie, which I was searching for some time but I was not willing to pay it at full retail price. 😉

Asus A730Asus A716Qtek 9090Qtek 8010iPAQ 1710Sagem MyS7Palm T5Palm T5 vs T3

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Essential Development Software

WholeTomatoAs I came back spending much more time in front of the compiler than I did in the previous months, I’ve also started searching for development tools which could increase my productivity or simply make the coding activity easier.

So, when I went back to the Wholetomato website I’ve really been pleased to see that Visual Assist X now supports even the Microsoft eMbedded Visual Tools which I use to build my software for the Pocket PC platform.

In short Visual Assist X is an enhancement to the so called Intellisense, but this definition is too much reductive. If you’re a developer using Microsoft IDEs just try it and you’ll immediately miss it after the trial version will be expired.

So I did and then I’ve purchased a license. On the Wholetomato website there’s also my quote rotating among their many testimonial comments. 🙂

Since Ecpc will soon go multiplatform I’m in the need of a more professional installation tool than EzSetup which I’m using now.

I’m evaluating e-PocketSetup and Installshield X, both finalists in the Pocket PC Magazine 2004 Awards. Unfortunately they doesn’t seem to offer a license model for hobbyists or independent developers.
The choice is an important one because when distributing your software the installation is the last thing you work on, while it’s the first thing the user has to face.

Yes, this means Ecpc version 1.4 is almost ready, although I might delay its release if the two new translators who’re working on the french version will complete the translation this week.

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Strike or Die PayPal Donation Campaign

SoD LogoI recently moved the website dedicated to Strike or Die, my turn based wargame project now suspended due to lack of resources, here on the main website.

Every now and then someone contacts me asking something about its status, since to them it looks good and promising even if I’ve never released a public version of the latest alpha version.

This interest in the project just gave me the idea to start a donation campaign by adding a PayPal link as you can see in the product page, so that people who would like to contribute and support me in completing the wargame now have the opportunity to do it.

I really hope to get back to it as soon as possible, maybe already during 2005, and I plan to work even on a mobile version of SoD.

Any contribution to the project from my visitors will be very important, since I’ve found out long ago that no publisher is going to pay in advance for a wargame unless it has already reached beta status, which means almost finished, but going from alpha to beta is a lot of work…

I hope you’ll show your support if you’re interested in a good conclusion of the project.

The choice is only yours! 😉

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The Clooney effect

Lago di ComoThe Clooney effect, that’s how they called the 40% increase of american tourists who visited our Lake of Como this summer.

Actually, since the Hollywood celebrity purchased Villa Oleandra in 2002, a 25-room 18th century villa in Laglio, a little village near Como, the attention of the international gossip-related press started to focus there and more recently in june the choice of Villa Erba as the location for some shots of the Ocean Twelve movie made the rest. 🙂

On local newspapers I’ve even read that our lake should become the Beverly Hills of Milan in the intentions of the provincial administration. Beverly Hills or not, american tourists are very welcome here, especially if they’ll bring their PDA with a copy of Ecpc to help them discover the secrets of the Euro coins and maybe start collecting them. 😉

I’ve never seen George Clooney in flesh and bones around here yet, but I’ve been curious enough to take a couple of pictures of his Villa Oleandra while I was biking around Laglio during the last may:

Villa Oleandra from the center of Laglio and the footbridge connecting the Villa to the upper section of Clooney’s estate.

Back to my software… do you want a little-big anticipation about the incoming version 1.4 of Ecpc? FREE VIEWER, that’s all I can say! :mrgreen:

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