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Last week I got a new PDA-phone, an Xda Diamond. It is running Windows mobile 6.1 and of course it can sync its contacts, calendar, e-mail and tasks with Outlook. Using a tool called "Jeyo Mobile Extender" it can also sync its SMS messages to Outlook for backup and search purposes - very handy. I am using Windows Vista and Microsoft Outlook on my PC in my office and I don't use an Exchange Server or similar product.When I am at home and want to check my email or create a calendar event, I just connect to my office PC using RDP. But then my PDA isn't up to date any more, so there should be a possibility to sync it remotely.
Unfortunately Microsoft removed the network sync feature from current versions of ActiveSync, officially because of security problems. And although Windows Mobile 6.1 uses a virtual network connection and TCP for ActiveSync, I could not make it sync over VPN within reasonable time and effort.
So I had to look for another way and came across the idea to extend an USB port over Network. Not as nice as ActiveSync over WLAN but better than nothing. I googled for "USB over Network" and found several products. The first I tried was too complicated to setup, because it used a few TCP ports and an UDP port, which I cannot squeeze through an SSH tunnel.
The next I tried was FabulaTech's "USB over Network". It looked quite nice and worked out of the box using a single TCP port that I could easily forward by SSH.But since it was quite expensive I looked for cheaper alternatives and came across another software which looked very similar. But this just didn't work, it connects as easily as FabulaTech's product does, the USB device appears in the Device Manager but the Windows Vista Sync Center just won't recognize the connection. I suspect, this is because it takes to long for the device to answer, because there is a lot of data transferred over the tunnel. Maybe FabulaTech's product uses better compression or better timing - I dont' know.
However, I was about to give up and live without syncing from home or try writing the virtual device driver by myself when FabulaTech contacted me and won me back by making an interesting offer.Andre