Tuesday, August 22, 2006

PocketPC annoyance

It may be that I'm overlooking something obvious, but if my experience is typical, I'm at a loss to understand why anyone keeps using this platform. Here's my question: "If the battery is completely discharged, do I lose everything on it?"

It seems as though, on my 3 day drive back to Wisconsin, where my HP iPaq 4350 PPC was left in its case with an admittedly low battery, the battery died. This shouldn't matter, but when I restarted it, it ran through the initial set up (and stupid tutorial) sequence, and when it announced that it was ready to use, all my files and settings were gone.

Why does this matter? After all, my game files are safe because I have to load them from the Dell, and the things that I had sync should be safe, right? But the programs like chikyu, that lets me take waypoints and save them as Google Earth-friendly files, is gone. And all the Google Earth-friendly waypoint files I made in the Wildlands (in Maine) are gone. And the Task Manager program I loaded is gone. And EarthComber. And a bunch of other programs. Gone. Very annoying.

I suppose the thing to consider is that this sort of thing usually only happens once, and after that the user (me) learns to either never let the battery die, or to back up everything all the time. Maybe there's a program that will automatically back everything up to the storage card (I have a 1GB card I could use for that). But the bigger issue is that the waypoints are lost. They're still on the 'backup' GPS unit I bought when I was having troubles with the PPC and BT GPS combo -- as far as I know the Explorist 400 uses a memory that does not lose data when the battery is dead (at least it didn't when the battery last died).



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