phil wilson :: a geek commodity

11:36 PM

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Thursday, December 04, 2003

Two years ago, I was mad on mobile technology, I had just about every SDK and emulator available. I coded Java games for fun, written in MIDP 1.0 and god, whatever else there was around at the time. I enjoyed myself. Until I started to actually move the work I’d been doing onto actual phones.

Then it all stopped working.

I was pretty disheartened, but persevered for a while until I realised that not only was the technology only getting better at an absolute snail’s pace, but the emulators still weren’t reflecting what was actually going on. Some more time passed and I realised that not only was I disappointed by the poor level of support given to developers but also that as newer phones came out I wasn’t going to be able to try out my new code on them (I was only a student, and whilst this gave me plenty of time for writing code, it gave me no money to buy the gadgets to run it on!).

So I stopped. Completely. I didn’t see the point.

Fast-forward to now. Phones are probably at about the level I wanted them to be two years ago. Emulators have improved a lot, and advanced phones (especially with Java support) are starting to become a lot more common; but I just don’t have the time any more. Not to re-learn the APIs, learn all the new features of MIDP 2.0 (which according to Sendo still isn’t stable enough to use) and certainly not anywhere near enough time to write new apps, let alone rewrite all my old ones.

But all of this is likely to be moot.

This Christmas I’m likely to be receiving an iPaq. Specifically an iPaq 1940 running PocketPC. It’s only a lowly model (although more than enough for my needs!), and so I can’t put Linux on it (the Familiar distribution, from Originally, I’d wanted a Zaurus, but they’re just too pricy, and I wanted something with Bluetooth built-in.

So, from originally doing some small development for phones, I’m hoping that developing for PocketPC will be a lot easier. Ideally of course, I’d like whatever I do to be easily portable, so maybe something based on Qt would be good, although I strongly suspect that there’s not going to be anything available. In the meantime, I’ll keep on looking for tools and hope that my experience is going to be a lot better than it was with phones.