Now that my Dell Axim’s USB dock has failed (which a quick forum search indicates to be the norm for this product), I need a way to ActiveSync it with my laptop. Bluetooth is one such option - and gives the additional benefit that I don’t need to carry a dock with me when I travel.
The problem is, ActiveSync seems to have problems with high COM port numbers, which are common under Windows XP2. Every you pair a new device a new higher set of COM ports is assigned (i.e. the number assigned to new ports is much like an auto-increment value in a database). For example, my laptop, which has paired with many, many Bluetooth devices over the years is into 3 digit COM port numbers:
(To find out COM port assignments, go Control Panel -> Bluetooth Devices -> COM ports tab)
The problem is ActiveSync won’t play the game:
Fortunately it’s just a problem with the File -> Connection Settings dialog. Basically a simple solution (as compared to editing the complex registry structures of the NT PnP manager) is to “Allow connections to one of the following” and choose any of the COM ports there. Now edit HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows CE Services\SerialPort and change it to the desired port number.
Now, use ActiveSync on the PocketPC to establish a connection back to the PC and all should work.
One problem is every time “OK” is clicked in the connection settings dialog this key will be changed back to whatever port is selected in that dialog. For me this is not a huge problem as I don’t regularly change those settings.