iPaq and Freedom Keyboard

Posted by jerry on March 18th, 2006 — Posted in Journal

Some time ago I mentioned that I had finally succumbed to the lure of wifi and bluetooth in my travel technology with the purchase of a Hewlett-Packard iPaq2750 and a Freedom Keyboard – as a replacement for the trusty Psion 5mx. A few weeks ago I was about to head off to Darwin and dragged out the iPaq which I hadn’t used since the trip on which I bought it. Hmmm – I had let the battery completely drain – bad move… the machine had reset itself to factory settings – which did not include the drivers for the keyboard. What about the CD? That’s fine if you have a PC, but I’m a mac user and so .exe files are useless to me.

Next stop the Freedom keyboard site – no problem, they have a downloads area – including of the .cab files for those like myself who use macs. Loaded up, pressed the soft reset and set about establishing a bluetooth connection with the keyboard: “cannot connect to this keyboard, please check the power status and try again”. I tried – new batteries to no avail. So back to the Freedom site and put in a ticket to their service centre. I had a response very quickly to say that the .cab file on the site was an old one, and that the new one was in the .exe file – but they would extract it and send it that afternoon. Wow, I thought – that’s good service. A week passed and with no further response I put in another ticket.

Another fast response apologised for the delay, and then said a new driver was being written and would be available in about two weeks. Well this was more like it – an honest reason for the delay. And sure enough almost a month to the day since I found the problem, I got an email with the new .cab file as an attachement – and it worked perfectly!

Well done Freedom Keyboard! I understand that programming drivers can take time, and I appreciate the fact that I was not just given a story and palmed off – and that your service department provided genuine service. I shall now feel more confident in taking the iPaq and keyboard away on trips – albeit with a copy of the driver on a CF card.

As for the Psion 5mx? Yes I took that instead and despite its age (made in 2000) it worked perfectly to take notes and write up the trip. It also will continue to travel with me as a backup to the iPaq.

So now they are working, how do they compare? That will be my next blog post


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