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View Full Version : Minimum hw requirements for PocketPC slimserver thick client (e.g. TelCanto)



padolph
2005-04-19, 15:22
I agree with earlier threads about the need for a better remote control experience given my largish library.

I'm considering buying a wireless PocketPC device to run a thick client app for SlimServer, like TelCanto or just the Slimserver Web interface. The problem is, these things can get quite pricey depending on the screen resolution. For example the new VGA Dell Axim x50v is over $400. But the x50 (QVGA) is $100 less and otherwise comparable.

Does anybody have any experience doing this on a handheld with a lower res (less than VGA) display? What resolution do you think is the minimum required? Also, how about CPU speed? Is there any need to get a really fast handheld? I can't see why but...

I'm not going to use the PDA for anything else, so ideally I'd like to just get an older model off eBay if it will do the job sufficiently. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Jim Dibb
2005-04-20, 04:45
Check out www.aximsite.com for more discussions of the differences
than you can shake a stick at. Note that TelCanto on an x50V will not
really make use of the 640x480 anyway, but the 320x240 view you get is
really sharp. Many applications are this way.

On speed, as long as you're only going to use it for Telcanto and even
typical PDA stuff, you probably don't need a real fast CPU.

I'll tell you though, the sharpness of my x50v screen really amazes
people with its readability.


On 4/19/05, padolph <padolph.1nrbbn (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> I agree with earlier threads about the need for a better remote control
> experience given my largish library.
>
> I'm considering buying a wireless PocketPC device to run a thick client
> app for SlimServer, like TelCanto or just the Slimserver Web interface.
> The problem is, these things can get quite pricey depending on the
> screen resolution. For example the new VGA Dell Axim x50v is over $400.
> But the x50 (QVGA) is $100 less and otherwise comparable.
>
> Does anybody have any experience doing this on a handheld with a lower
> res (less than VGA) display? What resolution do you think is the
> minimum required? Also, how about CPU speed? Is there any need to get a
> really fast handheld? I can't see why but...
>
> I'm not going to use the PDA for anything else, so ideally I'd like to
> just get an older model off eBay if it will do the job sufficiently.
> Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
>
> --
> padolph
>

bjmacdow
2005-04-20, 08:55
I picked up a 64mb/312mhz processor AXIM X30 w/WIFI capabilities for this purpose off of EBAY a couple of days ago (it might be here today..!). I was able to get it with all DELL included OEM equipment/software/manuals in like new condition for $171. I figured that if the interface isn't to my liking I can immediately put it back on EBAY without taking a loss.

I am excited to try it out and will post regarding my experience when I use it for a bit.

padolph
2005-04-20, 10:12
FYI: I posted a similar question on the TelCanto site and received the following response. (I think it was from a TelCanto rep, but it is hard to tell)

> Most Pocket PC PDAs should work OK. I suggest a minimum CPU
> speed of 400 MHz with 64K RAM. Screen res of 240 x 320 is
> fine. I've had positive experience with HP iPAQ and Dell
> Axim models.

bjmacdow: Looking forward to hearing how it goes with your new/used x30. Currently that is the exact model I am considering.

Seems like battery life might be the downer for this approach. I forgot about that aspect. I checked aximsite.com and it seems that with an x5 you get no more that 2 hours with Wifi on, which confirms what 'philip bouscarle' reported. I will have to think more about how I plan to use this to see if this will actually be a problem. For comparison, Sonos claim that their remote battery lasts 2-5 days per charge.

Jim Dibb
2005-04-20, 10:52
One solution to the battery life is to keep a charging cradle in your
'listening area'. Then set it there when you're not using it. If the
cradle is in a convenient enough spot, you can use it while it's
actually on the cradle.

Another thing to think about is that the unit will 'stand by' every
few minutes of inactivity. I've found that it takes a little while to
get the wifi connected upon coming out of standby, so it's not going
to be instant response like most remote controls.

If you're in a position to leave it on the cradle, you can leave it
'on' all the time and not go into standby.

On 4/20/05, padolph <padolph.1nsrmz (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>

> Seems like battery life might be the downer for this approach. I forgot
> about that aspect. I checked aximsite.com and it seems that with an x5
> you get no more that 2 hours with Wifi on, which confirms what 'philip
> bouscarle' reported. I will have to think more about how I plan to use
> this to see if this will actually be a problem. For comparison, Sonos
> claim that their remote battery lasts 2-5 days per charge.

bjmacdow
2005-04-20, 12:54
This is what I am planning to do. Sitting in a cradle it will act like a mini dedicated touchscreen. I have also heard that the AXIM's have excellent IR range and may look into putting all of my Home Theatre control onto it.


One solution to the battery life is to keep a charging cradle in your
'listening area'. Then set it there when you're not using it. If the
cradle is in a convenient enough spot, you can use it while it's
actually on the cradle.

Another thing to think about is that the unit will 'stand by' every
few minutes of inactivity. I've found that it takes a little while to
get the wifi connected upon coming out of standby, so it's not going
to be instant response like most remote controls.

If you're in a position to leave it on the cradle, you can leave it
'on' all the time and not go into standby.

On 4/20/05, padolph <padolph.1nsrmz (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>

> Seems like battery life might be the downer for this approach. I forgot
> about that aspect. I checked aximsite.com and it seems that with an x5
> you get no more that 2 hours with Wifi on, which confirms what 'philip
> bouscarle' reported. I will have to think more about how I plan to use
> this to see if this will actually be a problem. For comparison, Sonos
> claim that their remote battery lasts 2-5 days per charge.

davegerke
2005-04-20, 15:08
Hi guys,

before you jump in and buy yourself PDA's to control SS I think you should know about my experience.

I run a DELL X50v with true VGA driver. My SS is running on a linux distro.

Firstly Go the vga PDA's if you are even for a second thinking about using the web interface.

Secondly I have a little bit of an issue with the web interface when running on Windows Mobile 2003. Every time the right-hand frame refreshes the *play now* command is resent to my SS thus making the song restart after every refresh. I hadn't piped up about this because I didn't think there were many of us out there. - Solution - Turn the PDA off or close IE when not actively searching / compiling playlists.

Battery Life - On my X50v with VGA & wireless on I get about 4 hours with the standard battery & 7hrs with the extended battery. If you are really keen on this whole concept go the
cradle option Jim Dibb recommends. But hey, you are only likely to use it for a fraction of your listening time

A word on Telcanto...
As far as I am aware this is a Windows Only serverside product (I think) so it rules it out for us *nix SS users.

As far as CPU & res go...
When viewing via the web interface the bottle neck in my opinion is the interpellation of the TCP/IP stack via 802.11b. Which means, faster CUP means faster processing which means faster browsing. As far as res goes, I like the true VGA but if you wear glasses or have less than 20 20 vision you are going to cry after a day or so.

Bottom line is,

I have no experience with Telcanto - it might be great (even at low res)

Maybe a different skin (other than Default2) will solve my WM2003 IE browser issue

Consider the battery time / docking options when looking at PPC's

Hope that sheds a little more light on things for you..

Dave

mherger
2005-04-20, 15:52
[..]
> Maybe a different skin (other than Default2) will solve my WM2003 IE
> browser issue

Have you ever tried the handheld skin? It's optimized for small screens -
no framesets or incompatible javascript.

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
Help translate SlimServer by using the
SlimString Translation Helper (http://www.herger.net/slim/)

Jim Dibb
2005-04-20, 18:00
Dave,
Telcanto has a PPC only client that works with Slimserver on unix just
fine. I used the trial, still have a few weeks left. It actually
seems to work quite well (after you get it set up right, which is a
little tricky if you're not on the 6.x server), but will not utilize
true 640x480 VGA effectively. It looks great in standard (QVGA) on my
x50v. Its too expensive for me though, as it would only be a tertiary
control (after the remote and a laptop).

On 4/20/05, davegerke <davegerke.1nt5an (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:

>
> A word on Telcanto...
> As far as I am aware this is a Windows Only serverside product (I
> think) so it rules it out for us *nix SS users.
>

Notthebomba
2006-05-25, 15:50
Jim:

I am a new SB3 user, but have a Dell Axim v50 already. Can I use the Axim as a "remote" to play .flac files? (I've been ripping all my CDs to flac.) All the chatter I've seen (and the TelCanto site) only reference MP3 and wav.

Thanks,

Roger

ceejay
2006-05-26, 00:05
Well, as Michael has been very modest in joining in this thread without mentioning his own creation, I'll do it for him - check out SlimRemote, discussed at http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=22065

Still one or two buglets, but it works very well for me on a (not hi res) iPaq Hx2400.

The handheld skin is usable, but clunky.

I tried Telcanto but didn't really like it (personal taste).

Battery life with wifi on is certainly an issue: I don't know how the Axims work, but if you run an iPaq battery into the ground it does a HARD reset and forgets all the configuration and data you've put into it. There is a workaround - use the (provided) backup utility to back everything up to a flash card (eg SD), then you can restore after bringing it back up. Only takes a couple of minutes, but its irritating - the more so if you've made configuration changes and not backed up recently!

Ceejay

Mark Lanctot
2006-05-27, 13:12
Jim:

I am a new SB3 user, but have a Dell Axim v50 already. Can I use the Axim as a "remote" to play .flac files? (I've been ripping all my CDs to flac.) All the chatter I've seen (and the TelCanto site) only reference MP3 and wav.

Thanks,

Roger

If you mean play back FLAC on a network-connected Squeezebox, of course.

If you mean play back FLAC on the device itself, you'd have to install a 3rd party player as the built-in WMP can't. I'm not aware of any ones that can play FLAC. I thought GSPlayer (http://hp.vector.co.jp/authors/VA032810/) could, but it only adds Ogg playback. Perhaps there is such a player out there though.