Announcing the initial release of Pocket SharpMT 1.2! What’s Pocket SharpMT? It’s a version of SharpMT that has been designed for Pocket PC 2002 devices – it should also work on the Phone Edition of Pocket PC’s and Windows Mobile 2003, but I haven’t tested them yet; that’s what betas are for! How can an initial release start at version 1.2? Simple: I plan to evolve SharpMT and Pocket SharpMT at the same time so they should have the same version number. If you have a Pocket PC device read the FAQ and download the CAB files here.
What’s going on with the Pocket version of SharpMT… simply put, this is a way to write offline Blog entries while on the road. Well, more to the point: this is a way to write entries when you only have a Pocket PC on hand. Every time this idea was pitched to me, I didn’t have much interest in it – the Pocket PC has a small screen, a handwriting based interface, and most of them force you to jump through hoops to get online. So what’s changed? A lot actually. Mobile Blogging sites (moblogs) has gotten to be extremely popular recently. Pocket PC’s can get online more easily than ever before (WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.) and are pretty powerful. Cameras have also started to become common in Pocket PC which is important for moblog authors. The fact that a number of people tote around mini-keyboards also helps with text entry.
So I see this as a great tool for at least two types of people: mobloggers and blog writers that tend to be without a PC for long periods of time. While the first type is a growing group and the second is almost a contradiction these are the people that Pocket SharpMT is targeting. For the record: the desktop version will always be more powerful because I have more power available. Also, if the desktop version wasn’t designed to “replace” the MT web pages for management, you can imagine that the pocket version wasn’t either – I see the pocket version being used for new draft entries and short entries at that… which is why I think it’s a good fit for mobloggers.
Anyway, if this project isn’t a testimony to the .NET Platform, I don’t know what would be. When I announced Pocket SharpMT five days ago, I hadn’t yet opened the compiler. Four days later and I not only have a Beta but my blog server was down for at least 2 1/2 days. And this isn’t just a beta; it’s what I could call a release candidate because it is feature complete and I’ve yet to see an error with it. However, given the different idiosyncrasies of the different Pocket PC devices, I don’t want to “release” it yet. There’s three different platforms to support – Pocket PC 2002, Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition, and Windows Mobile 2003 – and each one behaves slightly differently. Add to that the four included CPU types – ARM, ARM4, SH3, and MIPS – and there can be all sorts of unknown issues. At least that’s always been my experiences with these types of devices.
With regards to installation: in the ZIP file, there are four different CAB files, a readme and a copy of the FAQ. Copy the “right” CAB file over to your device and run the install. That’s all you need to do. The majority of the recent Pocket PC devices are of the ARM type, but I leave it to you to know which you want – I’ll consider working out a better installation method later on…