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Reminder tip recalled to mind

October 16, 2008

Vista busy cursor A number of weeks ago my PDA phone, an XDA Stellar which runs Windows Mobile 6, stopped reminding me about appointments.  The reminder field would be set correctly, but appointment times would come and go unannounced.

I had rather come to rely on the chirpy reminder tone 5 minutes before I was due on a conference call, or whatever, so this was a real nuisance.  I did all the obvious things like fiddling with settings, changing the reminder tone, soft reset, all to no avail.

Googling threw up a host of suggested solutions to similar problems on various generations of WM smartphones and touch-screen phones. Some of these looked decidedly complex and scary, involving fiddling with configuration files or installing odd bits of external software.

Luckily I came upon this.  The post of interest is from user “bundy” on 13 Dec 2006 at 1:03pm. He happened to recall the solution from an earlier experience.

Apparently, it is all down to an internal appointment database being out of synch.  It can be forced to resynch by changing to a different time zone (causing all appointment times to be updated), letting it chug for a minute then setting it back.  I gave it a minute to chug on both time zone changes and ensured the phone stayed fully on the whole time.

Bingo!  I entered a new test appointment for just a few minutes ahead and with a reminder one minute in advance.  It chirped on cue.

I think keeping the phone on while it goes through the synchronisation processing is key.  What I now suspect caused the problem in the first place was my changing time zone for a trip to the US at the end of August.  Quite possibly I turned the phone off at a critical time, just after changing the timezone setting, and interrupted a resync process somewhere in the middle.

A further lesson, then, is to ensure that the phone stays on for around a minute after changing time zone.

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