Taking the No Reboot Challenge with Windows Mobile

In my recent post about stability, I talked about Windows Mobile and how it is a stable platform. The source of all that instability is poorly written 3rd party applications. To help prove my point, I’m taking on the “No Reboot Challenge”. The idea is simple, no more reboots of my phone for any reason and let’s see how long I can go before it starts acting funny or crashing. Furthermore, I won’t be killing or stopping any process’s. I’ll leave that up to Windows Mobile and Microsoft to see if they truly know best when it comes to managing memory on the device. The only applications that I will close are ones that have an Exit option in the menu.

To get the ball started on the right foot, I’m going to hard reset my device so I can be sure that there’s nothing weird hanging around in there. I’m doing this on a Samsung BlackJack II with a near final build of Windows Mobile 6.1. From what I’ve been told, this is what will be shipped on upcoming BlackJack II’s from AT&T. If you’re following along and taking the challenge with me, it doesn’t really matter what version of Windows Mobile you have on your device. I just ask that it’s the production ROM and not something that’s been cooked up and downloaded from the internet. The changes added into those illegal ROMs could easily be a source of instability.

After hard resetting the device, I need to ActiveSync it with my laptop to get all my Contacts, calendar, etc.. synced to it. Also, there are a couple applications that I can’t do without. So I’ve installed the following: Ilium’s eWallet, Sling Media’s SlingPlayer Mobile, Modaco’s Smartphone GPS Utility, and Microsoft’s Live Search. I use these applications on an almost daily basis and can’t imagine being without those. I also need to add my the data settings for my network so I can actually use data on the device. The last thing to do is configure email on the device. I’ve added 2 email accounts and both are set to pull email from the last 3 days and will do that every 60 minutes.

That’s it – that’s all the changes / additions I’ve made to the default configuration of this device. From now on I won’t reboot the device or close programs. I’ll be making updates to this post on a regular basis over the coming weeks reporting on how things are going. The success of my mobility is in the hands of Microsoft.


UPDATE (August 20 @ 10:10pm) – Everything has been going very well so far. I always forget how much there is to setup and configure on a freshly reset device. I went to use my JawBone Bluetooth headset only to learn that it hasn’t been paired with the phone since it was reset. Not a big deal, but it does make it a little hard to use. ;) I also noticed that my mobile favorites had not synced back to the device. If I recall, this is a bug with the Windows Mobile Device Center. Annoying, but again, not the end of the world.

I’ve included a screen shot of the task manager so you can see what applications are running on the device. The items that are below the fold are Ilium’s Screen Capture tool and the Task Manager itself.

About Mike Temporale

Mike Temporale has written 614 posts on Mobile Jaw..

Mike Temporale grew up fascinated by computers since an early age. His first hands on with a computer came when he was 7 years old and a travelling lab of Commodore PET computers made a stop at his school. Hooked on the new world these devices offered, he took any chance possible to get in front of a computer. When Compaq launched the iPaq 3600, he was hooked again. This time on a whole new world of mobile computing. Today, Mike spends his day helping clients deploy and manage their mobile device around the world. From installing custom software, to locking and securing data, and everything in between. He is also the Editor in Chief at Mobile Jaw - a site focused on today's mobile world.

  • http://www.pharfruminsain.com Peter Temporale

    Good luck. I know i reboot my phone about once every 3 or 4 weeks – just to be safe and avoid those weird problems that occur after it’s been running for weeks on end.

  • http://www.MobileJaw.com Mike Temporale

    @Peter – Well, you’re running a hacked ROM. You should really upgrade that to the final release version of WinMo6 :)

  • http://www.MobileJaw.com Mike Temporale

    Chris Spera has taken up the “No Reboot Challenge” as well. He’s doing this on his Tilt (Pocket PC device). So now we’ve got both sides of the Windows Mobile platform. You can follow his progress over at Gear Diary – http://www.geardiary.com/2008/08/19/take-the-no-reboot-challenge/

  • egarayblas

    After reading this article, I realized that I’ve actually used my HTC Touch for 6 straight months now without rebooting or any soft-resets. I have the following applications installed:

    Newsbreak
    Splash ID
    Resco File Explorer
    Yahoo Go! 2.0
    Wordbook
    Citytime

    …and a couple of eSoft Interactive and Astraware games.

    I don’t use the camera much but I always check my emails on the go and I’m heavy on SMS usage. I synch and charge almost everyday by connecting it to my laptop. And yeah, I agree that WM is a pretty stable device if you do know how to use it and install only the stable and true-tested apps. Does that include me on the No Reboot Challenge? :)

    Oh, and I’m planning on upgrading to a newer device soon since I have this device for almost a year now.

  • http://www.MobileJaw.com Mike Temporale

    @egarayblas – Yeah, I think that qualifies you! :)

  • heliod

    My Samsung i780 (which is a WM Pro device) is holding around 3-4 weeks between soft resets, with approx. 15 third-party applications installed on it (but all from good and well known software houses).

    So I believe that with your device you could get to 5-6 weeks easily. Let’s wait and see. I wish you luck on the experiment.