Windows Mobile 5

A couple weeks ago I upgraded my Dell Axim X50V from Windows Mobile 2003 to WM version 5, and I’ve decided to go back to the 2003 version.

WM5 just seemed to run a lot slower on my PDA, and the new features really weren’t worth the trade off. I’m not necessarily bashing either MS or Dell about this, since WM5 isn’t officially supported on this device, so if you’re looking for a review of the OS in general (running on a targeted & supported device) this may not be a great reference for you.

There were two primary reasons I wanted to upgrade in the first place. The primary one is the better browser that is included in WM5; the 2003 version is a very limited version of IE, and it doesn’t support a lot of stuff that current web sites are coming to depend on. The WM5 version is much better, but even so it’s still not good enough. I really wish the Minimo project was farther along, since I’d love to use something like that, but until then I may check out Opera. This is what I did on my phone, and even though it isn’t free (I think it was around $10), it’s definitely worth it to have a really usable browser on my phone, and I’d like to do the same for my PDA.

The other reason was that the current and previous versions of Acrobat for the PPC for some reason crash on exiting on my current Axim. They worked fine on my old Axim X3, but on the X50V it causes a soft reset when the app closes, which is obviously not good. It does work on WM5, but the slower performance wasn’t worth the trade off. I usually use iSilo for document viewing / conversion, and it works great for everything. It’s just kind of a pain / extra step to extract the text from a PDF then let iSilo convert it after that, but I’ll just do that until Adobe releases a version of Acrobat Reader that works on my PDA (when/if that happens).

UPDATE: OK, disregard almost everything I said above.

Before making the switch back, I decided to look around for some fixes online and found these registry changes that seem to get it back to the usual quick speed that I’m used to from my Axim. In case this forum post goes away in the future, I’ll copy the settings at the end of this post, but thanks to “Munk” for the post. I believe this difference is primarily related to the difference in the way the two OSes handle memory, as described here.

Also, the Acrobat software still crashes on both WM2003 and 5, so that ends up being a wash. Like I said above, I don’t really need that too much anyway, so no big deal.

Here are the settings for anyone who’s searching around regarding the same issue:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\StorageManager\FATFS\CacheSize=0x2000(8192)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\StorageManager\FATFS\EnableCache=0x1(1)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\StorageManager\Filters\fsreplxfilt\ReplStoreCacheSize=0x2000(8192)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\StorageManager\Profiles\MSFlash\FATFS\Filters\DataCacheSize=0x2000(8192)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\StorageManager\Profiles\MSFlash\FATFS\DataCacheSize=0x2000(8192)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\StorageManager\Profiles\MSFlash\FATFS\Flags=0x28(40)

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