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Displaying Pocket PC and Smartphone Screens on Your PC

by Wei-Meng Lee
10/15/2004

If you need to do a presentation with a Pocket PC or smartphone, how do you show the display of your device on the screen so that the audience can see what's on it? One way would be to use a visualizer camera to project the device display onto the screen, but the image quality is usually poor and visualizers are expensive, and so you may not always find one available.

One good, and free, way to show a Pocket PC or smartphone display on a projector is to download the free PowerToys Remote Display Control for Pocket PC from Microsoft's web site. The Remote Display Control is an application that installs on both your Pocket PC and your regular PC. Once installed, you can control your Pocket PC through your keyboard and the screen of the Pocket PC will be displayed.

As well as presentations, one handy use of the Remote Display Control is for screen capture from the Pocket PC device. You can capture the Pocket PC screen just as if you were capturing a conventional screen shot on your Windows PC. The simplest way to do this is to use the Alt-PrntScrn key combination.

Installing Remote Display Control on the Pocket PC

Once the Remote Display Control is downloaded and installed on your PC, and Pocket PC through ActiveSync, you should be able to find it in the Programs folder on your Pocket PC. The application name is cerdisp. Tap it and follow through the introductory screen. Click on the Connect button to start the display (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Starting the Remote Display control
Figure 1. Starting the Remote Display control

When you are prompted to enter a hostname, use the default PPP_PEER and click OK (see Figure 2). Do not change the hostname, as it will stop the remote display working.

Figure 2. Assigning a host name
Figure 2. Assigning a host name

You can launch the Remote Display Control from your PC by going to Start -> Programs -> Remote ActiveSync Display. You should now be able to see the screen of the Pocket PC (see Figure 3).

F igure 3. Viewing the Pocket PC screen on your PC
Figure 3. Viewing the Pocket PC screen on your PC

Using Remote Display Control on the Smartphone

Even though the Remote Display Control was written for the Pocket PC, it also works for the smartphone platform. I tried the Remote Display Control on my Motorola MPx200 and it worked perfectly.

To install the Remote Display Control on your smartphone, follow the same procedure as outlined in the previous section. You should be able to locate the cerdisp application on your smartphone by going to the Programs menu. Figure 4 shows my cerdisp application installed as item 1. The actual location of the program in your menu will depend on the number of applications you have installed on your smartphone, but you should be able to find it easily.

Figure 4. Locating the cerdisp application
Figure 4. Locating the cerdisp application

Press the Action button to launch the cerdisp application. You should now be able to see the screen of your smartphone on your PC (see Figure 5).

Figure 5. Viewing the Smartphone screen on your PC
Figure 5. Viewing the smartphone screen on your PC

Since smartphones do not support touch-screens, you have to rely on keyboard shortcuts to navigate your way on the PC. Figure 6 shows the various key assignments that you can use to simulate a real smartphone.

Figure 6. The various key assignments of the Remote Display Control for the smartphone
Figure 6. The various key assignments of the Remote Display Control for the smartphone
.Net Mobile Web Developer's Guide

Related Reading

.Net Mobile Web Developer's Guide
By Wei-Meng Lee, Ken Cox, DotThatCom.Com

Wei-Meng Lee (Microsoft MVP) http://weimenglee.blogspot.com is a technologist and founder of Developer Learning Solutions http://www.developerlearningsolutions.com, a technology company specializing in hands-on training on the latest Microsoft technologies.


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