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Brief problem description

PDA

The problem I had to solve was synchronizing two Windows CE devices simultaneously connected to one workstation.

Situation

At home I have a little network consisting of a server connected to the internet, and a workstation situated in the living room. The server acts as a mail server (MS-Exchange), file server and printer server. It is situated somewhere on the second floor of the house in a room that is not used too often.

The workstation in the living room is also always on and runs an MS-Outlook client. Both my wife and I use a Windows CE Pocket PC Phone edition (Windows Mobile 2003 and Windows Mobile 5 respectively). Of course are the device cradles of these PPC's connected to the workstation as this is much better accessible than the server.

Problem is however that MS-Activesync is not capable of synchronizing more then one device at a time. So it depends on which PPC is cradled first which one gets synchronized. Besides there is the problem that when the Windows Mobile 5 device gets cradled when there is already connection with the windows Mobile 2003 device, the system pops up some kind of networking-error message that has to be clicked away manually.

Solution

The problem could be solved by connecting one PPC to the workstation and the other PPC to the server. On both machines an instance of MS-Activesync takes care of the synchronization. Because both cradles are physically connected to the same workstation, one of them had to be routed virtually to the server.

USB over Network

This is where Fabulatech's USB-over-network solution came into play. On the workstation an USB-server was installed and on the server an USB-client. The physical USB port where one of the PPC's is connected, is shared through the network and the MS-Activesync program on the server is connected to the virtual USB port created there. Now both PPC's are synchronized simultaneously even though both are physically connected to the same computer.

Remote synchronizing

For achieving this I have tried several solutions, but Fabulatech's offering seemed to be the only one that connected reliably every time. Also they were very responsive in their communication which gives faith in the company.

Kind regards,
A.J.F. Geenen,
The Netherlands.

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