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On the Road with Pocket PC

Posted on: July 25th, 2006 by Craig Rairdin 4 Comments

I’m currently in Hungary on a short term missions trip. Craig asked me to talk a little bit about how I’m using technology during this trip.

It’s been a lot of fun actually.

I brought my PocketPC (iPAQ rx3715) with me along with the power cord, the appropriate outlet adapter (“B”) and my keyboard. The camp that I’m working at is WiFi equipped.

I’ve been able to keep in almost constant contact with our family, friends and other supporters while we’re here (about an hour east of Budapest in a small village).

I’ve been using “Messaging” (included on every PocketPC) to handle email. We have a group set up using Google to broadcast the emails and individual team members are also sending and receiving email from their families.

I’ve been using a program called AudioBay to post “podcasts” on the Internet right from my PocketPC. We use these to let our supporters hear some of the Hungarian praise and worship music and now and then I have the team members give audible reports.

I’ve also been using Skype to call my family. I had my Cingular phone unlocked so that I could buy a SIM card for it when I got here, but Skype works well enough and costs only two cents a minute (versus 99 cents plus the $6/ month for Cingular international).

Some of the other things that I’ve been doing with my PocketPC include watching movies on the plane (using DVDtoPocketPC), and translating words from the Hungarian students and learning basic phrases in Hungarian (programs from LingvoSoft). I even wrote and sent in my next article for Christian Computing Magazine. Of course I’ve been using PocketBible for devotions and devotional preparations. It’s great having multiple translations immediately available.

It’s pretty cool to be out in the middle of Hungary and still be connected to all this computing power using a device smaller than a paperback book (which reminds me…I’ve also used it to read some books that I bought in MS Reader format before I left).

4 Responses

  1. Scott Showalter says:

    I really enjoyed your article. Letting your readers know the applications that you use, and how you use them is very interesting. I didn’t know any of the other applications beside PocketBible.

    More articles like this would be appreciated…

  2. Yvonne says:

    Hi,

    I found your article very interesting. I was particularly intetested in how to use Skype from your mobile. I have been all over the Skype website but did not find anything to indicate the costs for making international calls from the Pocket PC with Skype. Can you give me more details?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  3. Jim VanDuzer says:

    Yvonne
    From my experience with Skype it’s been a little more than 2¢/minute. That was calling the US from Hungary. Skype doesn’t care from where you are calling, only to where you are calling. All of the places listed below cost 2¢/minute: Argentina (Buenos Aires), Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Canada (mobiles), Chile, China (Beijing, Guanzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen), China (mobiles), Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hong Kong (mobiles), Ireland, Italy, Mexico (Mexico City, Monterrey), Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland (Poland, Gdansk, Warsaw), Portugal, Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg), Singapore, Singapore (mobiles), South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan (Taipei), United Kingdom, United States (except Alaska and Hawaii) and United States (mobiles). Other places cost more. You can get all the rates at Skype’s rate page.

    If you call from computer to computer (Skype considers handhelds to be computers) the calls are free. When you purchase credit on Skype you are doing so in Euros. If you’re using a credit card, your bank will handle the conversion.

    Jim

  4. Steven Baxley says:

    Hello,

    Talking about being in Hungary. I live nearby in the Czech Republic, where I work as a missionary. Any thoughts on the possibility of seeing Bibles in languages other than English in PocketBible? This is the one thing I really wish I had in PocketBible … the ability to use the Czech Bible along with English translations. If you have any desires in this direction, I can help you get into touch with the major Bible translators / publishers here.

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