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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Going Retro Again with a Dell Axim X50

For those of you that may remember Aximsite in its glory days (or it's "successor", Mobilitysite), you might remember me as Steven855 (same username for XDA-Developers as well). I am the one who posted the simplified Axim X50 unbricking thread in the X50/X51 section. After Dell decided not to give the X51 series an upgrade to Windows Mobile 6, things went downhill until we figured out how to make custom roms for the axim. I have been working at making custom roms for the axim ever since we first discovered how to, but I never got a working (booting) rom (until now).

So, from the end of this past summer to a week ago, I decided to take up the task of making custom roms for the Axim X50 again and start nice and slow. I am happy to announce that after 4 (almost 5) years, I finally have a working rom for the X50(low). Unfortunately, it's a Windows Mobile 5 rom, but I am now working on a Windows Mobile 6 rom for the X50(low).

The axim got lost whenever the convergence of pocket pc and phone became big. With this, the thought was that people no longer had a need to carry around a pocket pc AND a phone when they could carry around a pocket pc phone (or other smartphone) which could fulfill both roles.

Even though the axim doesn't have phone hardware, it still functions as a handy machine. Which phones that exist today can offer an amount of storage which is bigger than what the axim can provide? The axim, theoretically, can offer you up to 64gb of CF card storage (at least, 64gb is the biggest CF card capacity I remember seeing) along with up to 4gb of SD card storage. If you have a windows mobile 6 rom, your x50 or x51 might be able to handle SDHC cards (which have more storage than normal SD cards) as well. This gives you plenty of room for your music, movies, pictures, and other files. It is true that the version MS Office is kind-of outdated, but it still works (as a plus, you CAN use a Bluetooth keyboard with it, unlike Windows Phone). There is also no limit to emulators (and roms for them) as well. There are NES, SNES, Gameboy (Color), Gameboy Advance, and Sega Genesis emulators out there that the Dell Axim can run. Besides emulators, there are a bunch of great games made for Windows Mobile which you can play on the axim (such as Orions: Legends, which, on a side note, needs to be ported to windows phone since it is a great game and can you imagine the multiplayer possibilities of it with Xbox Live and the whole Arvale saga of games).

In my travels for Microsoft work, I have found that a pocket pc (like the Axim or my Asus Mypal A626) works well to ease the stresses of air travel. The axim has no cellular radio, and all you have to do in flight is turn off the bluetooth and wi-fi radios.

There will come a time when the axim cannot keep up with the Windows Phone updates and its usefulness will become inferior to what is presently offered. Until then, I continue to use my Axim and my Asus Mypal A626 in my work.

So, does anyone else besides me remember aximsite? Do you have an axim and still use it? If so, what do you still use it for? I am curious to see how many people still use their axim even though official technical support for it has ceased. If you have any comments or thoughts or memories on this, please share them in the comment box below. Also, if anyone wants the rom I made for the axim, please request it in the comment box, and it shall be available for download.

You and I both know how hard it is for some people to wake up in the morning without coffee. If you are going to drink coffee, why not drink it like a mystic monk? Some tasty Mystic Monk Coffee (use this link or click on the picture below to access the store and purchase) is what you really need when it comes to coffee. Trust me, it's good coffee (in most instances, much better than Starbucks coffee) and you won't regret buying some (just keep it away from your computer keyboard or laptop/tablet). For the summer (or what's left of it), they are also offering Iced Coffee as well. If you like tea more than coffee, they also offer tea. Using the link (or picture below) to buy the coffee (or tea) helps the monks out and helps me with college expenses as well. The coffee (or tea) also makes for great gifts for friends and family as well.

Feel free to try out my apps for Windows Phone: Mobile Media Manager, a media player app I made which has some features which (I feel) are missing from the system Zune player, and BSA Eagle Tracker, an app that boy scouts can use to track their progress to Eagle Scout (when the scout handbook isn't always handy). The update for the paid version of Mobile Media Manager is out, but my last submission update for the free version failed, with Microsoft taking somewhere between 1-2 weeks to get back to me and tell me that my submitted update failed. BSA Eagle Tracker will also be getting a bug fix for an obscure bug I noticed recently.

BSA Eagle Tracker download:
Mobile Media Manager (paid version) download:
Mobile Media Manager (free version) download:


  1. Do you have a smartphone in addition to your A626? What is your device of choice? I too have an A626 and I prefer to use that than my phone for appointments, notes, etc. I do however get laughed at for using an "ancient" device

  2. I do have a smartphone which I use. I decided to stick with the Windows Mobile/Windows Phone line and I use a LG Quantum. You shouldn't feel bad about being laughed at for using an older device. If it works for you, that's great. At least by separating your phone and pocket pc, if one goes down, then you are not out for both purposes (just 1 of them). For some people, the separated approach meets their needs more than the converged approach.

  3. I dusted off my Dell Axim X50 low today and came across your "Going Retro" post and news of your WM5 rom after a bit of searching. I would be very interested in trying it out if you decide to make the download available. Best of luck with your WM6 efforts!

  4. "Catholic Tech Geek" - the internet keeps sending me here....thought maybe I would give you a try....Long story short, I am in the Army and was cleaning out some old cages. I came across the Axim X50 and it looked kinda cool, old but figured I would plug it up and see how it works. It took me about 5 days to get it to Windows Mobile 5, now I want to get it to WM6.5 but cannot seem to find it anywhere...I have been to HTC Geeks and had to sign up at their forum, but still could not download it. If you can help me out it would be greatly appreciated. I am curious what this little bad boy can do. Thanks again.


  5. I've been using my Axim X51v and earlier models since get first arrived. The bundled Excel app remains the best I've seen. Easy to hold in one hand. Easy to manipulate data. No iPhone or Android app comes close. Use everyday. Gotta new one in the box that'll last until I retire. A great device.