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By Chris De Herrera 
Copyright 1998-2007
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Microsoft ActiveSync 3.8
By Chris De Herrera, Copyright 2005
All Screen Shots By Chris De Herrera, Copyright 2005

 Version 1.00  Revised 1/18/2005

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Introduction

Microsoft has announced a new version of ActiveSync which focuses on fixing the Windows XP, Service Pack 2 firewall prompts as well as disabling the network synchronization option by default.  It also offers the ability to configure the synchronization settings prior to your first synchronization.  You'll need Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000 or XP to install it.  If you have Windows 95 or Schedule + you can still use ActiveSync 3.1.

You can download ActiveSync 3.8 from Microsoft's website.  There you will find the latest version of ActiveSync 3.8, build 5004. 

Note:  Also, you can install over existing versions of ActiveSync 3.x. I have personally installed ActiveSync 3.8 on  Windows XP.  Also it required a reboot to complete the installation.

Installation

Upon running the ActiveSync installation program you will see the option to install ActiveSync 3.8

Select Installation Folder

Then the installer will install ActiveSync.

Set Up a Partnership

If you select Files you will see

Installation Complete

Synchronization begins

Synchronizing

ActiveSync 3.8 now installs their own PPP server for synchronization.  It offers advanced capabilities like auto-detection of the serial port your PC Companion is installed on. It also automatically adjusts the baud rate of the connection based on the settings of your PC Companion (Control Panel - Communications - PC Connection - Change Connection) You can now select 115.2K baud and it will connect without any other changes required on the desktop!   If ActiveSync 3.8 runs into a problem completing synchronization, it will notify you in the status window.  You have the option to see the log to identify the problem and potential options to resolve it.

Configuring ActiveSync 3.8

ActiveSync 3.8 offers the same sync options that ActiveSync 3.6 did. The Calendar defaults to synchronizing two weeks of appointments in the past while the Contacts defaults to synchronizing all contacts and only outstanding tasks.  File synchronization is not on by default, however, I recommend that all users turn this feature on since it automatically copies and converts documents stored in your \My Documents\Synchronized Files\ folder to your desktop.

Sync Options

Sync Mode

On this screen you will notice the new Server schedule option

Sync Rules

Version

Conclusion

Overall, Microsoft has made synchronization of  Pocket PCs very easy with ActiveSync 3.8  Also, the ease of upgrading an existing installation makes upgrades easy.

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