HandEra Releases AutoCard Beta

HandEra has released a beta version of AutoCard 2.0, AutoCF's successor. It allows applications and databases on a CompactFlash or SD card to act as if they were stored in RAM. This new version, in addition to getting a name change, also allows the user to choose which folder on the card to pull from. Another major change is it no longer appears as a preference panel; It is now a regular Palm application.

The current version of AutoCF allows programs and databases stored on a Compact Flash memory card to be seamlessly accessed by the Palm OS. It is free.

Both applications work only on the TRGpro or HandEra 330.

On the Web:

Thanks to Steve Emery and Michael Waldro for the tip. -Ed

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Memory Stick

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/8/2001 7:09:32 AM #
Now why can't sony do something like HandEra have someway of accessing the memory on the MS as if it were a extension of the built in RAM. Instead of copying the program over then deleting. I have PEG-S300 kinda disapointed at the lack of support from Sony althought not surprise from other remarks on message boards. If Handspring and Handera have the ability to run programs off memory cards why not Sony or Palm.

Why only on Handera devices?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/8/2001 8:17:40 AM #
Is there any danger to installing this on a 505 instead of using something like PowerRun?

RE: Memory Stick
mwalter @ 6/8/2001 8:32:18 AM #
This version of AutoCard will not work on non-Handera devices. However, we will release a version that does work on the Palm and Sony devices in a few weeks. I do not have pricing at this time, but AutoCard will remain free for TRGpro and HandEra 330 owners.

Mike Walter
VP Software Engineering
HandEra, Inc.

RE: Memory Stick
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/8/2001 9:54:17 AM #
Now That Rocks!

RE: Memory Stick
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/8/2001 10:06:00 AM #
What will be the difference between using this and
Will it be able to trick the Sony so that the
memory usage is correct? (with MsMount, apparently
the Clie sometimes still thinks the memory is in use even for files copied to the memory stick).

RE: Memory Stick
skytraveler @ 6/8/2001 10:41:46 AM #
Could someone please educate me as to the alternatives that are available for the Palm platform to make the SD card more user friendly. Up until now I have had little luck being able to read files off of the SD card. I've read about MS Mount and PowerRun and now this new program for Handera. I'm just a little confused and would appreciate some additional info. Thanks!

The SkyTraveler
It's because of their digital content protection
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/8/2001 10:45:43 AM #
If you could access files on the Memory Stick just like they were in memory, then you could play MP3s off the Memory Stick. Sony doesn't want that.

Sadly for Sony, consumers do want that, so their Memory Stick is not exactly setting the world on fire.

Jon Acheson

RE: Memory Stick
CarlJ @ 6/8/2001 12:32:52 PM #
If you could access files on the Memory Stick just like they were in memory, then you could play MP3s off the Memory Stick. Sony doesn't want that.

Er, how's that again? I have the new Clie, and AudioPlayer v2.0 (which came with it) is specifically designed to play MP3's directly off the Memory Stick -- I have a 32mb Memory Stick (the "plain" blue/purple one, not one of the white "MagicGate" ones that have built-in "digital rights protection"), and I've currently got nine MP3's on it (about 40 minutes worth of music, along with half a dozen books and a handful of pictures). BTW, transferred in the MP3's with a dos "copy *.mp3 e:" command (AudioPlayer can make the memory stick look like a removable drive to Win9x), which took under a minute total, because USB rocks :-)

The end of HandEra?
Satan @ 6/10/2001 2:06:17 PM #
Once they release AutoCard for Palm and Sony models, HandEra will become redundant as a PDA manufacturer. Their whole raison d'etre was seamless access of large amounts of data. MSMount and PowerRUN have succeeded in making this a reality for the new VFS PDAs like the m505 and CLIE, but currently lack the simplicity of AutoCard/AutoCF. Since MSMount and PowerRUN will be mature programs in a few months, HandEra probably had no other alternative but to release a version for Palm and Sony and hope to earn some money from software sales.

I'm sure they realize that once AutoCard (or mature versions of MSMount or PowerRUN) are available, they have essentially lost their main advantage over other PDA manufacturers. HandEra's previous PDA, the TRGPro found a niche with power users like physicians and sales professionals who needed to access large files and maintain backups of databases. I can't speak for the sales types, but I can say it will be hard for HandEra to convince physicians to purchase the bulky, gaudy HandEra 330 instead of a color CLIE or sleek m505. HandEra will likely be seeing their share of this market quickly diminish over the next few months.

HandEra: please realize that small size, attractive styling and a good color display would have sold you more PDAs than all of you engineering marvels put together. SoftGrafitti, dual expansion cards, voice recorder, dual batery, jog dial, etc. are all nice, but your company still has no concept of what it takes to sell PDAs to typical users.

(Of course, HandEra defenders will say that the company isn't targeting typical users, blah, blah, blah...)

Unfortunately for HandEra, if you're a small company and big companies swallow up your niche - almost overnight - it leaves you in a very difficult position. Competing based on price will be difficult for HandEra. They apparently are having the 330 made in the Far East to save on costs, but loss over production control may (has?) cost them in the long run.

HandEra probably won't be able to release a new unit for almost a year, based on their prior performance. It seems unlikely that the 330 will be able to even maintain the tiny market share that the TRGPro once had. They should IMMEDIATELY look into the feasibility of using a CLIE N710C screen in a modified 330. This would be the kind of PDA that might allow HandEra to survive.

You know where you're going...

RE: Memory Stick
Stephen @ 6/10/2001 5:55:17 PM #
Oh great evil person that you are - I think you just don't get it do you...

TRG / Handera has had the technology on the market and has been 1 step ahead for the longest time. Making future predictions of what might come about in the future by Sony, Palm, HS, etc. is just speculation and does not matter one bit until it becomes a reality. Until that time, my TRG is working for me every day using an industry standard CF card. Did I say industry standard?

Waiting for Sony or Palm to decide on something and stick with it.... well I hope no one is investing too much money in those cute memstick blue things. MAYBE they become the defacto standard and I'll eat my words. Maybe..

At least Handera had the sense to keep a standard and not change connectors again...

Updated Beta

Mike Barney @ 6/9/2001 3:32:48 AM #
Here is the updated BETA

#1 did allow SD cards.

RE: Updated Beta
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/10/2001 12:38:15 PM #
I have tried the verion but it still not work in palm M505

RE: Updated Beta
Satan @ 6/10/2001 1:15:10 PM #
They won't have a version for your m505 until July.

RE: Updated Beta
DvsMark @ 6/11/2001 9:53:42 AM #
I haven't been able to downlooad either Beta, everytime I try I get a File system error (1026). Is it me or are others having the same problem? Does anyone know of a fix for this? Thanks.

RE: Updated Beta
fleegle @ 6/11/2001 2:11:28 PM #
It downloaded fine for me using the link above.

Beware of Update BETA

Mike Barney @ 6/9/2001 3:41:49 AM #
Sorry about the posting of the UPDATED Beta. Beware, It crashed my 330.
I guess we just have to wait.

What about FlashPro

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/9/2001 1:34:53 PM #
Ever since I bought my m505, I've been waiting for HandEra to update FlashPro to work with it. I really miss being able to load my frequently-used apps into flash memory for safekeeping. I was happy to see that they'll be releasing a version of AutoCard for other PalmOS devices though. I wonder if it will eventually be able to support some of the CF and SmartMedia Springboards out there for Handspring devices? That would certainly increase their market substantially

RE: What about FlashPro
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/11/2001 12:38:27 AM #
Isn't program storage in Flash Memory irrelevant for any Palm (clone) which has CF/MMC/Memory Stick? As I understand it, putting a program in Flash lets it suvive a hard reset or similar diasaster - which about describes what it can do when stored on a CF/MMC/Memory Stick.
Or have I missed something fundamental here?

RE: What about FlashPro
Lucky Dragon @ 6/11/2001 1:54:31 AM #
Previous poster:
"Isn't program storage in Flash Memory irrelevant for any Palm (clone) which has CF/MMC/Memory Stick? As I understand it, putting a program in Flash lets it suvive a hard reset or similar diasaster - which about describes what it can do when stored on a CF/MMC/Memory Stick.
Or have I missed something fundamental here?"

Well, let me see if I can "enlighten" you. FlashPro allows the user to load applications and read-only databases the extra space in Flash ROM that the OS isn't using. This memory wouldn't ordinarily be available for user applications, but with FlashPro, you have effecvtively gained an additional chunk of application space... here's a chart from their website, listing the addtional useable space this application frees up on various devices:

Palm OS release / Device Available User
Flash Memory
3.0 on Symbol 1500 696KB
3.0 on Palm III, IBM Workpad 20x 824KB
3.1 on Palm IIIx, V, Workpad 30x, c3 824KB
3.2 on Symbol 1700/1740 504KB
3.3 on TRGpro 568KB
3.3 on Palm V/Vx/III/IIIx 696KB
3.3 on IBM Workpad 20x/30x/c3 696KB
3.5 on TRGpro 440KB
3.5 on Palm V/Vx/III/IIIx/IIIxe/IIIc 568KB
3.5 on IBM Workpad 20x/30x/c3/50u 568KB

As you can see, this is a SUBSTANTIAL amount of additional memory, with the addtional benefit that any data stored there will survive a hard reset. This may not be quite as useful on a Palm OS unit with removable storage, but it's certainly nothing to sniff at... and the newer Palm OS units (m500/505, Sony, HandEra 330) are all shipping with 4 MB of Flash ROM, so they should have even MORE available space, once HandEra updates this application.
So, to sum it all up...

* For a very resonable price, you get ~512K of
addtional memory--even more than that on newer Palm
OS devices. Just TRY to find a MemoryStick or MMC
(even 8MB) for even twice the price!

* 99% of applications--and most read-only
databases--can use this memory space without any
addtional utilities and no performance hit, since
the data doesn't have to be swappeded into RAM
before it can be accessed.

* Unlike MMC, CompactFlash, etc. you won't have to
worry about misplacing the data unless you lose your
whole PDA, in which case you'd be screwed even WITH
a memory card, and if you need to do a hard reset,
you won't have to reload the data--it will still be
there and accessible.

RE: What about FlashPro
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/11/2001 9:29:42 PM #
morningstar1844@hotmail.com here. I am using the beta of Flashpro for the M505 and I get about 1500 K which I can use until they release the 5 OS. It should be released this week! There will be An upgrade charge of 4.95 .

RE: What about FlashPro
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/22/2001 8:53:59 AM #
I had a reply from Handera support regarding FlashPro for M50x machines.

Basically it is finished and ready for release, but the web master has been off, I was informed thatt he update should be available from their site Monday 25 June.

Jonathan Lane

what is new?

Stephen @ 6/10/2001 5:29:03 AM #
Does this mean the barrier of using read-only databases/programs has been lifted? If so, does there still need to be enough free convential RAM to run these? If this is true, then once again, TRG - I mean Handera has set themselves ahead of the pack.

(the TRGPro fan who wishes Handera would send him a free 330 for all the advertising he has done for them... :-)

Be Care!

Mouse Pad @ 6/11/2001 2:48:19 AM #
It crashed my TRGpro too...

supposedly must uninstall CF Card Pro before install AutoCar

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/11/2001 5:24:41 PM #
I think supposedly we must un-install CF card pro before install autocard. But 330 does not allow delete from app launcher.
Anyone has any idea.
The beta version of autocard crashed my 330.

RE: supposedly must uninstall CF Card Pro before install AutoCar
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/22/2001 7:43:47 AM #
To uninstall a panel application such as autocard you must make a soft reset while holding the up button. This prevent the panel apps from starting. You can the delete the program the normal way. This is explained in AutoCF documentation and works: I uninstalled and reinstalled autocf 3 times already.

RE: supposedly must uninstall CF Card Pro before install AutoCar
ericlinto @ 12/23/2007 2:16:19 AM #
I changed my handera 330 for treo 650
cause of the screen is crashed
but i still like the speed of autocf and autocard
someone could help me to let the autocard software running on treo 650
cause the msmount software is unstable
and the other software like powerrun still need time to
wait the software moving from sd card to ram
autocard ~ miss you so much



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