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Navigating the Pocket PC GUI

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Get the most our of your Pocket PC, from the initial startup procedure to connecting your desktop, to learning your way around the GUI and managing memory.
This chapter is from the book

In this chapter

  • The Initial Startup Procedure
  • Connecting to Your Desktop PC
  • Taking a Look Around the Pocket PC GUI
  • Memory Management and Closing Applications

The Initial Startup Procedure

Because the Pocket PC operating system is based on the success and popularity of Microsoft Windows, it includes a similar look and feel as its desktop counterpart. However, mobile devices with constrained resources have their own special usability needs, which require the Pocket PC operating system to include features unique to mobile devices. This chapter gets you started using your Pocket PC and introduces you to the main components of the Pocket PC graphical user interface (GUI). After setting up your device and connecting it to a desktop computer, you explore some of the main facets of the Pocket PC GUI.

Your Pocket PC is a very sophisticated piece of computer hardware that must be fine-tuned to suit your needs. For this reason, you must set up a few things before you can begin using the device. If you've already gone through the setup process with your device, you can probably speed through this section. I still recommend that you read it just to ensure you properly set up everything on your device.


If you ever let the batteries in your device drain down completely, you'll have to repeat the setup process.

The first step in setting up a Pocket PC is to personalize it by telling it who you are and what time zone you live in. But before you do that, you need to align the screen. This takes place when your Pocket PC first powers up out of the box. If the screen isn't aligned properly, the stylus will misinterpret taps and drags and you'll have a difficult time navigating the Pocket PC user interface. Align the screen by tapping the stylus on a series of crosshairs as they appear on the screen.

Setting the System Clock and Time Zone

After aligning the screen, you are prompted to enter your time zone. This information is important to keep the system clock running properly. Keep in mind that the system clock is used to schedule appointments and meetings, which is why accuracy is a must. Speaking of the system clock, you'll probably have to set it unless your device magically has the correct date and time already set when you get it. Following are the steps required to set the date and time on your device:

  1. Go to the Today screen, which is the main screen you see when you turn on your device (if you aren't sure whether you're there, tap Start in the upper-left corner of the screen, and then tap Today).

  2. Tap the date just below Start, near the top of the screen, which brings up the Clock Settings page (see Figure 3.1).

  3. Use the arrows to set the correct date and time for the Home setting; you can also tap the analog clock and drag the arms around to set the time. The Visiting setting enables you to set another time for when you're traveling and are in another time zone.

  4. Tap OK in the upper-right corner, and then tap Yes to save the changes to the clock settings.

Figure 3.1 The Clock Settings page is where you set the date and time for your device.


Make sure the time zone is set properly on your desktop computer; otherwise, you will find that your Pocket PC's clock will get reset each time you synchronize.

Entering Owner Information

With the date and time set, you are ready to enter owner information, which is very important in case you ever misplace your device. The following steps guide you through entering owner information:

  1. Go to the Today screen (you will automatically return to the Today screen after setting the date and time).

  2. Tap the Owner band just below the date and time, which brings up the Owner Information page (see Figure 3.2).

  3. Figure 3.2 The Owner Information page enables you to enter information about yourself, which can be important if you ever lose your Pocket PC.

  4. Fill in the text fields with your name, company, street address, telephone number, and e-mail address. The Input Panel (soft keyboard) automatically appears when you tap one of the text fields. To enter the @ symbol in your e-mail address, tap the Shift key on the Input Panel followed by the @ key, which appears where the number 2 key was.

  5. Check the check box below the text fields if you want the device to display owner information on a Power-On screen when it is first turned on. The idea is that someone would immediately know to whom a lost device belongs when it's first turned on. This option is a necessity if you plan to set a password on the device (covered in Chapter 4, "Personalizing Your Pocket PC").

  6. Tap the Notes tab at the bottom of the screen if you want to add any notes about yourself. The check box on the Notes page enables you to designate that the notes are displayed when the device is first turned on.

  7. Tap OK in the upper-right corner to accept the owner information.


If you plan to set a password for your Pocket PC, be sure to check the box on the Owner Information screen that displays owner information when the device is turned on. If you don't, and if the device is lost, the person who finds it won't be able to get past the password screen to find out who owns the device.

Naming Your Device

Now that your Pocket PC knows your name, it's time for you to give it a name of its own. Naming your device is important because this name is used to identify the device when you synchronize it with a desktop computer. Altering the name is more difficult after you've set up the ActiveSync synchronization software and connected to your desktop computer, so I encourage you to do it now. The device name also comes into play if you perform a hard reset after having set up the device for synchronization; you'll need to restore the original device name to synchronize and restore the device from a backup. Following are the steps required to enter a name for your device:

  1. Tap Start, and then tap Settings.

  2. Tap the System tab, and then tap the About icon.

  3. Tap the Device ID tab.

  4. Enter a name for the device (no spaces), along with a device description. The Pocket PC device name must start with a letter and consist of the letters A–Z and the numbers 0–9. Underscores are also allowed and can be used instead of spaces if you want to separate words.

  5. Tap OK in the upper-right corner to accept the device name and description.


A hard reset involves completely restoring your device to its factory settings, which means all the memory is cleared. Even though this sounds harsh, it can be valuable on occasion, especially if your device is crashing or otherwise acting strangely. The key is to back up your device on a regular basis so you can restore important information if you need to perform a hard reset. Keep in mind that you must perform all these initial setup steps again if you perform a hard reset.

See Appendix C, "Resetting Your Pocket PC," to find out how to perform a hard reset on your device.

Your Pocket PC is now set up in terms of knowing who you are and having a name for itself. Now, you need to get connected to your desktop PC so you can install additional software and synchronize with desktop applications.

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