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InnoPocket FlashPlus CF Adapter Review
By Robert Zach
Hot on the heels of my last review of the InnoPocket FlashAdapter comes the InnoPocket FlashPLUS review. InnoPocket did it, they answered my "major gripe"!
InnoPocket bested their first offering and addressed the concerns on the basic FlashAdapter. The plus can now truly be called a SpringBoard module - it's Plug 'N' Play!
Specs: Compatibility: Visor Prism, Platinum, Edge, Deluxe
This device is so simple to use; To use the FlashAdapter just drop it in the SpringBoard slot the software and drivers are installed and ready to go. Pull the adapter out, and the same files are removed. The two screen shots below (gotten by selecting "info" from the built-in launcher app) illustrate the file sizes and versions of the utilities installed when the FlashPlus is slotted in.
As the next two screenshots demonstrate, full SpringBoard compatibility is now available - you can see what's on the FlashAdapter (not on the CF though) module and applications on the Adapter show up in the launcher (and the Category selector) pre-pended by a · symbol.
As an added bonus, the Adapter also includes CSpotRun on the Adapter. This application is a DOC reader that allows you to read DOC files directly from the CF card.
About the only question unanswered about that hardware at this point is; "Does the FlashAdapter contain Flash". That is, can the drivers and CSpotRun be updated on the adapter. I know, I know, settle down.
Well with the hardware now squared away I focused more on the software. I tried many read/write/delete operations to/from CF/RAM. In fact so many that I ran the Prism's batteries way down. I was nice prompted with a warning stating that CF operations with battery under 14% may cause data corruption on the CF. I promptly put the Prism back in it's charger! ;-)
So looking more as FAFileMover I decided that I really like the ability to sort. And there is a preference to allow this behavior at application start. Simply select the primary sort as "info" and then the secondary as "size" and you can find those big apps that may be better served off CF (I moved all the big games off my Prism and onto CF for the occasional use).
But here's where I started nit-picking. I don't like the bytes vs. "K" display in the browser, I'd rather personally just see everything in Kilobytes. Also, I think there really needs to be a display of free memory both on the CF and in RAM. Several times I selected several items in CF to move to RAM only to be notified halfway through that there was not enough available free space - why not tell me this before I attempt the operation (this is especially important when you are moving an app that has several associated databases - they all HAVE to fit for the app to work).
I do like that fact that after performing an operation on multiple selections the selections are NOT cleared. This makes "moving" apps simple. Since there is no explicit MOVE function, you can perform a multiple select, then a COPY followed by a DEL - the selections are not cleared between the MOVE and DEL operations, making for an easy MOVE function.
The next thing I'd like to see from InnoPocket is support for running apps directly from the CF card. I believe the makers of the MemPlug (SmartMedia Adapter for the Visor are onto this with the PiDirect application due on June 15th).
Finally, I'd like to see support for Palm's VFS API. At this point the limitation is really a Handspring issue; my Visor doesn't run a version of PalmOS that has VFS nor is there an OS patch that makes it available. Others, like HandEra have written their own software to the spec. Having VFS would allow applications like BackupBuddy VFS functional - making CF a viable means for instant Visor backup and restore and eliminating the need for any type of external software or HotSyncing. In this scenario all I'd ever need is an InnoPocket FlashPlus - Visor owner bliss!
Overall, this is an exceptional product and InnoPocket has been really burning away the midnight oil in the engineering department. Congratulations to InnoPocket, and thanks for so quickly releasing this product!
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