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On The Net - Issue 09

On The Net is a regular Internet column for handheld computing magazine Palmtop User. The column is put together by the FileSaveAs team, and we'd like to thank Palmtop User for allowing us to include back issues on our site.

Worldwide wi-fi?

Net addicts will be the first to admit that life has improved considerably now that our PDAs and smartphones allow us to catch up with our emails on the move and get online via our mobiles... but what about Wi-fi? There are now more and more wireless access points offering short-range Internet access to mobile devices in range - coffee shops, fast food restaurants, hotels and airports are all moving quickly to increase the size of the network. At the start of this year, more than 13,000 hotspots existed in the US and nearly 3,500 in the UK. If you fancy finding your nearest access point worldwide, take a look at Internet access via a public access point isn't always cheap, but it's frequently cheaper than using a mobile phone connection, and it's a heck of a lot faster.

In the UK, Total Hotspots has just launched. This service allows you to identify your nearest access point by entering your postcode at, after which you'll see a nice map to help you track it down. If you're on the move, they also offer SMS support. Costing £1, you text the word "hotspot" to the 84140 SMS short code number, and you'll get a message by return with a list of the nearest points.
If you're interested in wi-fi on the move, here are some snippets:

  • Take a look in Palmtop User Issue 2 for our introduction to using wi-fi on your PDA
  • MiniStumber is a small application for Pocket PC to help you track down local wi-fi signals - available from Update: Better yet, try Wi-Fi Companion
  • If you use wi-fi at home or in the office, a small device called a Flatenna can be bought for under £10 to squeeze a little more range out of your wi-fi hardware. Details at
  • Somewhat less credible, is the wi-fi Speed Spray - if it doesn't improve your reception, it'll certainly make you smile.

Not FoxPop

After reporting in the last issue that the popular PDA site FoxPop site has closed, a phoenix has arisen in the form of @FoxPop. Seven contributors have got together to post articles and link their blog files, using the old FoxPop site to pull it all together. An archive of the original FoxPop content is still available. New approach - same domain

Hard for me to say I'm sorry

Another new Net service has leapt up to fill a void. Every wanted to reject someone without having to look them in the eye? Fancy fobbing people off with a false email address? This new service lets you give potential pains-in-the-backsides an email address of - when they send you an email, they'll be told that, in no uncertain terms, that you'd like your own space. Even if you don't fancy e-rejecting someone, take a look at the log of received emails over at


The ultimate must-have?

Thought you'd got all the accessories you every needed? Thought you'd seen everything? Well, here's something for the Christmas list.... Get yourself an SeV and you'll never need to dock to a desk again. You can now obtain true independence from the hassle of mains electricity by getting hold of a Solar SCOTTeVEST. At first it looks like an ordinary jacket, but look at the back and you'll find an array of solar cells to capture the sun's energy and provide your USB-powered devices with 5 volts of juice. As well as boasting PIP (Pocket in Pocket), a weight management system and a PAN (Personal Area Network) in it's specification, apparently it can be used to keep you warm and stop the rain from getting into your SD port!
The SeV becomes available in November this year. More pictures and a video presentation may convince you. Details at

Flexible fax

Thanks to the Internet and email, our reliance on the good old fax machine has decreased considerably of late, so much so that it may have been some years since you last needed to pass on your fax number. For those occasions when you need a fax fix, rather than tracking down  a paper-based fax machine or a software solution for your desktop, consider a fax-to-email service. Puma Unified Communications are offering a free fax-to-email service, and email-to-fax facilities for a small fee. The service provides you with your own number for incoming faxes and when they're received, they're delivered to the inbox of your choice in the TIFF image format (a PDF version is available too).
Use the Net as your free fax machine, via

Alternatively check out how you can send and receive faxes by email, with


Article from Palmtop User Issue 09. Click here for Issue 10's article


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