Monday, March 24, 2008

Smartphone display timeout

How do you prevent a Smartphone (sorry, a Windows Mobile 6 Standard) device from falling asleep? I tried everything, including sending null keys:

keybd_event(VK_NONAME, 0, KEYEVENTF_SILENT, 0);

This nasty little trick works but also forces your backlight to the maximum and you may not want it. What I really want to do is mimick going to the Power Management applet and setting the "Display time out" to "Never". With this setting, your Smartphone device will never go to sleep. So how do you achieve this? It's actually quite easy.

The display time out value is stored on the device registry under:


All you have to do is set the Display value (DWORD) to -1 and make the system know that the value changed. How do you break the news? Simple again:


If you use this in your application to avoid the device from falling asleep (I also call SystemIdleTimerReset and SHIdleTimerReset every few seconds), please remember to set the value back to the original value.

Insomnia rules!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Windows Mobile Remote Control - Published

You can now get the latest version of the Windows Mobile Remote Controller application here. This code adds compression to the screen data transport so it becomes a bit faster. Enjoy!

Friday, March 07, 2008

My first hours with VS 2008

My first few hours of work with VS 2008 have been a pure joy. This new beast performs like a champ and has no apparent quarrels with Vista. Upgrading the Data Port Console solution to the 2008 format was a breeze and I was even rewarded with a C# compilation error that had gone unnoticed in VS 2005. The whole product feels much more robust and reliable under Vista and the visuals are also nicer. So far, it has been a great experience. Highly recommended!

Don't worry - if I have anything to gripe about, you will know it.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Installing VS 2008

I finally decided to install VS 2008 this morning. Why so late? I have been very busy and my customers use mainly VS 2005 so I had no urgency to install VS 2008. Now that it has been officially launched I will surely get more and more requests to migrate the products to .NET 3.5 so VS 2008 is a requirement.

Installation went as smothly as possible except for a mysterious shutdown at the end. I was not present, so I cannot tell you what happened but I suspect that the Vodafone 3G card is playing tricks on me. Again.

After installing, I looked at the C drive to check for free space and was appalled to see that it was below 50%. After installing Vista SP1, my C drive used space magically shrunk and has been growing very fast ever since. The culprit? System restore points! After clearing them I got back to post SP1 install conditions. Cool, my disk is back.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Raffael's Blog

Now, here is an ultra-cool blog: Mobile Development! Thank you Chris for the heads-up.

WMDC woes

It's almost a year now since I started using Vista Ultimate. The new OS came on the ASUS VX2 I bought last year and I have found that the overall experience has been very positive. There are a few minor snags like the apparent sluggishness in the couple of minutes after Windows boots and WMDC. This is my major gripe with Vista - I never know when one of my WM5 or WM6 devices will connect or not. One of the quick and dirty solutions I have found is to uninstall the device network adapter, disconnect the device and reconnect. To do this, go to the Control Panel, open the System applet and select the Device Manager link. Under the "Network adapters" tree node, locate the Windows Mobile device and uninstall it. Remove the device and connect it again. WMDC should recognize the device again.

There is an alternative that I have not tested yet and was pointed to me by Mark Arteaga on the PocketPC FAQ site. Anyway this should be an easier experience, especially for people like me who need to connect to everything, from Pocket PC 2003 devices to the latest WM6 devices throwing in a few bizzare Windows CE 5 GPS devices in between...