Contact Info:

Innopocket Inc. Bottom Line:

The Price:
  • $40 -includes software
The Pros:
  • The best CF adapter to date
  • Rugged plastic
  • CF sits flush in the adapter

The Cons:
  • Adapter must be removed to remove CF card
  • Software not contained on the SpringBoard module - requires install and space Ratings*:

*Maximum Rating is FIVE (5) InfoPalms

InnoPocket Springboard CompactFlash Adapter
By Rob Zach

The creative minds at InnoPocket have added another exciting Palm device to their lineup and in the process have heated up the CF Adapter market for the Handspring Visor.

The InnoPocket CF Adapter is very similar to the recently reviewed MatchBook Drive but InnoPocket has addressed some of the concerns I had pointed out with the MatchBook.

First the similarities:

  • Will work on the Handspring Visor, Visor Deluxe, Platinum, or Prism
  • Like all the CF Adapters currently on the market the InnoPocket requires the installation of drivers and utility software on the Visor itself - and they all use the same Kopsis Engineering software.
    • CFATALib.prc [~4k] (provides the ATA software interface to the CF)
    • CFFATLib.prc [~23k] (provides the FAT filesystem)
    • FAFileMv.prc [~27k] (the Main application - allows you to move files to/from CF/Visor RAM)
    • FAFormat.prc [~7k] (simply formats the CF Card)
    • CFCardInfo.prc [~10k] (provides some diagnostic info on the CF card)
  • Will not support CF+ (I/O type) cards nor the IBM Microdrive (not enough power supplied by the Visor)
  • CF cards can only be inserted one way (the correct way)
  • Comes in an ICE version ;-)
And now the differences (or "where the InnoPocket excels"):
  • The CF card fits snugly and completely within the adapter module [flush] (although MatchBook states their next version will do this as well, we have not seen it yet)
  • The plastic seems more rigid and the long internal guide rails make for a more substantial feel
  • The InnoPocket has a small cutout to remove the CF card. The cutout is concealed when the module is inserted. Due to this design, the entire adapter must be removed from the SpringBoard slot to remove the CF card

These are the only striking differences between the CF adapters, but they seem to make for a nicer product. My major gripe with both of these products is the software. They use the same Flash software from Kopsis Engineering. The software collection allows for formatting, deleting and moving files, and creating directories (see the MatchBook review for more detail on the software). But these applications can not be run directly from the Adapter or from the CF card itself. For that matter any files stored on the CF card must be moved to the Visor's RAM before use. In my opinion this seriously degrades the effective usefulness of these products.

The InnoPocket package includes the adapter and a mini CD-ROM. The CD includes the registered version of FlashAdapter and a HTML version of the user's manual.

Overall, the InnoPocket CF adapter is the best incarnation of a Visor CF Adapter to date. InnoPocket coming second into the market seems to have addressed most of the issues with the competition.

Special Notes:

  • You can also download newer versions of the FA software by visiting the Kopsis Engineering website and registering yourself there. I did this and the Kopsis team was very helpful. I also downloaded the latest software and they have made some updates. In the MatchBook Drive review I suggested condensing some of the small "utility" software apps into a single application - Kopsis did just that in the latest version; go get it!
  • Looks like pdaLight is trying to solve the IBM Microdrive issue! Hopefully they will announce more soon.
  • InnoPocket says they will have an answer to my major gripe (see above) shortly!

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Why don't.....

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/29/2001 8:30:52 PM #
Why don't people start producing SD Card assecories, instead of pumping out these things strictly for Visors?

RE: Why don't.....
JET8810 @ 5/29/2001 9:03:31 PM #
because the standard for I/O for sd is not completed...this must pass some tests before people cna develop using it.

Because Handspring VISORs RULES !!!!
redartic @ 5/29/2001 10:35:39 PM #
Because Handspring Visor product RULES!!!
And it kicks asses.


RE: Why don't.....
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 1:01:42 AM #
I might also point out that you can buy a visor which can do 95% of the stuff the m500 can do for half the price of the m500 (and you can pick one up at target or wal-mart).

There are a LOT of Visors out there and they work very well. If I were building PDA add-ons, I think I would want to sell to the huge audience of visor users rather than the few early-adopter m500 users.

I would love to have a 500 or 505 but those things are waaaaay too expensive for the average person. When the greyscale gets a little below $299 or the color below $349, I think there will be lots of SD stuff on the market.

Mini-CD is a mistake

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 11:45:21 AM #
"Shrinkwrap" software products should not be distributed on mini-CD media. There are some computers (mostly laptops) with slot-loading drives that will choke on this format. I hope that they're prepared for the angry support calls on this one.

RE: Mini-CD is a mistake
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 7:20:18 PM #
Mini-CD's actually cost more to make too! I don't know what they were thinking.



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