Windows Mobile 6.1 Upgrade Experience Report

There is a new WM6.1 release out for the Motorola Q9c sold through Sprint.  After reading a bit about it I decided I wanted to do this upgrade.  This is my experience report from upgrading my device.

I started off by going to the Motorola website and downloading the upgrade tool.  This is about 18M.  I thought sweet, this is going to be easy.  I was wrong.  The upgrade tool is merely a downloader type tool.  The first part of the install this tool verify's the device and then it proceeded to download the update--about an hour on DSL. 

You are also told to make sure you have the device backed up as it is wiped as part of the install.  However, they give you an option to keep personal information.  I did this.

When doing the update you'll see a black and white DOS like screen on the device.  I did end up with an error in the install process.  The software on the PC detected the condition.  I had to power cycle the Q9c by removing the battery.  The process picked back up where it was when I plugged it back in.

Around this time the device reboots and you'll see a graphical Windows Mobile 6.1 screen.  Status on the PC indicates around 34% complete. 

Soon thereafter a manual reboot is requested by the software.  During reboot I see the Sprint screen.  When I reconnected the device nothing happened.  I power-cycled it again while it was plugged in and this time it was detected.  ActiveSync was seeing the device with a guest partnership.  The software continued loading the device and then went to load my personal settings.

Next, it looked like partnerships were removed and the device rebooted.  It might take a couple of seconds before the auto-reboot.  Don't panic.  After it rebooted is when it recreated the partnerships.  If you end up with an ActiveSync screen that is showing a guest partnership, reboot the device.

Bad Stuff

While my settings were retained and information that was on my SD card was left alone, I did have to re-install all of my applications.  I also had to reinstall the GPS application. 

Partnerships & Blue Tooth

Even though my Exchange partnership was showing up, it wasn't working properly.  I ended up removing and recreating it.

I also ended up with a second partnership on my personal Outlook account on my home PC.  I removed the original partnership and renamed the newly created partnership.  I started getting some synch errors on the PC, so I backed off what was being synched and added them back on one at a time.  That seems to have taken care of the synch problem.

All BlueTooth settings were lost.  I need to recreate those pairings.

Cool Stuff

I now have my Yahoo! small business email accounts set up and working.  They use SSL connections so I wasn't able to configure the email client to work with them previously.

A feature I really like is that I can now lock and auto-lock my device with a PIN or password!  They still haven't updated the software to display owner information when the device is locked.

Other cool new features include a "slider" home screen, zoom feature in the web browser and the threaded text messaging.  Microsoft got it right when they made it very easy to see a text "conversation" and respond without having to create and address a new text message.


Overall, a worthwhile upgrade.

You need to plan several hours for this upgrade and for reinstalling applications--oh yeah and for playing with, I mean learning more about it.  It is not for the faint of heart.  You need to be at your PC that you normally sync with--you'll be using ActiveSync.  If you're using a laptop, make sure you're plugged in!  Losing power or Internet during the process and you could have a bricked device.

ProjectCards Evaluation and Installation

I'm looking at ProjectCards as a tool to augment my current project management process that uses OneNote.

What do I hope to gain from using ProjectCards? 

  • I would like to have a management and user friendly dashboard for reviewing project/release/iteration/task status. 
  • Be able to determine how much time there is in unscheduled stories.   This can be accomplished by creating an "unscheduled" iteration and moving all unscheduled items into it.
  • Be able to easily review and work with unscheduled stories -- release planning?   There are numerous filters and planning group options available.
  • Be able to link to detailed information in OneNote.  Using the custom fields URL type I can link to OneNote or a HelpDesk ticket.  However, with anything other than a standard web URL you end up with a funky empty "error" browser on your screen.  The ProjectCards staff said they would change this in the future so it will let the OS handle the URL.
  • Be able to determine overall project time
  • Be able to set up multiple users with various access rights.  Besides being able to easily set up and manage users, there are a handful of default roles built-in to the system which seem to do the job nicely.
  • Be able to identify in what release a feature was added/enhanced or changed

How will OneNote continue to be a part of the process?

Detail information - notes, pictures, technical data, etc for the stories will reside in OneNote.


The installation instructions were a little confusing for the windows server since it talked about needing TomCat.  It ended up being a very simple install.  No configuration was needed.

Hm. How do I specify where the repository is located?

I later discovered how to configure the project data directory in the following post:

I pointed out to the ProjectCards guys this oversight in the manual and they agreed that it was a pretty big omission and belonged in the next manual.  On the down side it seems that the install directory for the web reports is fixed, UNLESS you use another different web server.

The first time I used the client to connect to the server I took their advice and changed the admin password.  It then promptly gave me a "corrupt license key" error.  I quit and logged back in with the new password--everything went through OK.


So, now I can take a look at the product and the manual to determine if it will meet our requirements outlined above.

Sketch out the project using "themes" and putting cards under them.  For example, the Search feature theme may have search by name, search by room number and search by parking spot under it.

You have to go into each individual story to set it's time and status.  It'd be nice to be able to do this from the dashboard grid.

Use drag and drop to schedule a task in an iteration.

Filtering in the theme view allows you to quickly see unscheduled stories.

I'm finding it annoying that a single account can only be logged in from one location.  So, when I'm working at the desktop pc and then I go over to the TabletPC to do something, I'm logged off of the desktop and any unsaved changes are lost!

I can link to a OneNote section using a custom field of the URL type.  However, it thinks it's a bad link format.  Also, it tries to open it in a ProjectCards wrapped web browser.  So, you end up with an empty blank browser and the correct OneNote document open.  Maybe, "dumbing" down this feature may be appropriate.  ProjectCards guys indicate that they will do this in a future release.

Manage users can be used to create users that are used through out the ProjectCards application--that is they are good for all projects.  You can use Manage Project Access to set a users access level in the project--that is you can set what role they have in this project.  You can create custom project roles.  Unfortunately, they are only good for that project.

If you have a single team that is working on multiple projects (a program in PM parlance), then you'll want to check out the "planning groups" feature.  This same feature also works well for multiple teams working on a single project.  Tip: once you have one item of the planning group type on the release plan, drag and drop other items under the planning group and they will have their planning group automatically assigned.

I'm still warming up to how the iterations work.  Basically, you set your start day and then specify how long each iteration is in length.  So, you don't have the flexibility to say nothings going to happen this couple of days so we don't want to start the iteration until the 1st of the month.


I've emailed with the developers on a number of occasions and they have either provided an answer to my query, engaged in a dialogue to better understand what I was trying to do and added items to their feature requests.