Memory Stick MemPlug Coming Next Month

Portable Innovation Technology has announced that they are developing a Springboard module that can access Memory Sticks. The company is currently planning to sell it with a suite of applications, including an image viewer and a backup application.

This version of the MemPlug will be available next month for an as yet undisclosed price.

This company already makes versions of the MemPlug that can use CompactFlash and SmartMedia cards.

This was actually announced last month but I missed it.. Fortunately, Eugene Thoo found a reference to it on ZDnet Japan.. -Ed

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I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 8:18:52 AM #
Okay MemPlug.. the icing on the cake will be to offer a SD/MMC module. If they do, Handspring would be smart to license all of MemPlug's modules. While other Palm devices can use the memory stick only, or only MMC/SD, or compact flash, Handspring would be able to say, "You want Compact Flash? We got it. You want memory stick? We got it. You want MMC/SD we got it? You want SmartMedia? We got it." Handspring could bundle a "universal" driver with all their Visors and offer your choice of one these modules with every Visor purchase! This type of expandability is really what makes Handspring shine...

RE: Coool....
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 8:31:48 AM #
"...You want a new and innovative PDA? Sorry we don't have it. ..."

RE: Coool....
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 8:55:07 AM #
Yes, and then people with Visor Edge handhelds can attatch a Springboard adapter to their Visor. A MemPlug to the Springboard adapter. Then a SD/MMC adapter to the MemPlug and then the SD/MMC card.

We can then call the resulting atrocity the "HandSpring's Monster"

RE: Coool....
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 9:29:17 AM #
>> "...You want a new and innovative PDA? Sorry we don't have it. ..."

Ok, sure. Fine. The design isn't sleek and sexy like the m505 or anything like that, but innovative? You're a damn idiot if you think Handspring isn't innovative. Who designed the original palm pilot? Handspring. Who designed and incorporated USB support into PalmOS 3.1? Handspring. Who released the first 16 MB device? Handspring again. And who first had 16bit colour support in their devices? Oh yes, that was Handspring again wasn't it? And now who's USB and 16bit colour code is Palm incorporating into OS 4? HANDSPRING!

Handspring is the MOST innovative handheld designer out there. Maybe they are just more focussed on the quality of their devices than the looks. Look beyond the case man.

RE: Coool....
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 9:33:41 AM #
Except the Handspring only can do memory CF cards.

RE: Coool....
slot_machine @ 10/2/2001 9:38:26 AM #
>>The design isn't sleek and sexy like the m505 or anything like that

Not sleek and sexy? Its hideous. The only thing worse is hanging the visor phone off the SB adapter... off the back of the edge. This is unacceptable, unless you are going for the reverse-ziggurat motif.

RE: Coool....
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 11:34:00 AM #
>>Handspring is the MOST innovative handheld ....

Handspring was "innovative" BEFORE , but handspring NOW is small and pale.

RE: Coool....
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 11:38:36 AM #
This is hilarious and I have to comment:

>Handspring is the MOST innovative handheld designer
>out there. Maybe they are just more focussed on the
>quality of their devices than the looks. Look beyond
>the case man.

I bet you're the kind of guy that picks up hideous and fat girls because you're "more focussed [sic] on the quality of their devices [hmmm...] than the looks. Look beyond the case..."

RE: Coool....
ckrupsha @ 10/2/2001 11:56:40 AM #
And I suppose you are the type that would date a pretty but dumb girl, with whom you couldn't carry on a conversation. It is acknowledged that the base handspring design is dated. Few complained of its looks at its introduction. They are, nevertheless, able to produce a device that can grow (in the case of the Edge -- grow literally) and expand to fit the needs of the user MORE so than can a Palm, Handera, or Sony unit.

RE: Coool....
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 12:51:27 PM #
The only reason either of you is comparing PDAs to girls is because you don't understand women enough to ever get one to give you a second glance. Can the sexist bull**** and talk PDAs or go home and play with your hand(spring).

RE: Coool....
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 1:29:16 PM #
> The only reason either of you is comparing PDAs to
> girls is because you don't understand women enough
> to ever get one to give you a second glance. Can the
> sexist bull**** and talk PDAs or go home and play
> with your hand(spring).

OK, it' easy to see you're a frustrated (and ugly) girl who has never been asked for a date. Next time I see you we can strike up a conversation about handsprings and plug-in modules.

RE: Coool....
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 1:57:42 PM #
Tell me,

Is there a bridge all you trolls live under? Perhaps one that we can easily destory? Just a thought.

Can we PLEASE just stick with PDA talk and cut out all this crap?

RE: Coool....
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 4:31:02 PM #
Guys! Chill out! Visor case is two years old. It was a real cool design compared to the grey Palms. As for innovation a 3.1 Deluxe works better and faster than any monochrome Palm, while Prism is faster than m505. Expandability? Handspring did it. And while many people criticize prices and form factor of Visors and Springboards, there are not so many options and at reasonable prices for other PalmOS and not even for PocketPC (cut the c..p with CF expansion...)
Form factor? The Edge is nice but it would be great a new version with MMC/SD slot. (I owned a Visor Deluxe and now I own a m505 and would love to have a new CLIÉ) All PalmOS devices are great... :)

RE: Coool....
skoty @ 10/2/2001 6:11:17 PM #
By the way, I believe the MiniJam springboard (MP3 player) supports MMC memory and can be used as normal memory for storing things other than MP3's.

Does it fit?

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 9:48:48 AM #
I have to admit that I've never seen a memory stick firsthand, but from the pictures I've seen, and the picture in the article, it looks like it will protrude from the springboard about a half inch. Can anyone else confirm or refute this?

One of the things I like most about the springboards I have is that they don't make the visor any bigger. There are some out there (all GPS modules) that make it quite a bit bigger. I have to admin that sticking to the form factor is something I look for in a springboard.

RE: Does it fit?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 9:54:18 AM #
I haven't seen one of these so I'm only guessing but all the early pictures of the 710 had a memory stick sticking way out of its top and I was worried that's the way it really looked. Turned out they just did that to make the memory stick easier to see. They may have done something like that in this picture. Not pushed the memory stick in all the way so it shows up better in the picture. We might not know until nexxt month.

RE: Does it fit?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 12:13:48 PM #
The mem plug is big enough to flush a memory stick, and stil be flush with the handspring

RE: Does it fit?
skoty @ 10/2/2001 12:18:47 PM #
Speaking of fitting... It almost looks like you could squeeze two memory sticks in the size of a springboard. I don't know if that would leave enough space for the hardware though. Sony doesn't even offer that!

True, you could just buy a bigger memory stick, but alot of times the smaller ones are substantially cheaper than the bigger ones.

RE: Does it fit?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 3:23:27 PM #
Actually The Memorystick would have to stick out about .5 MM. Not that big a deal tho.

RE: Does it fit?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/3/2001 7:24:47 AM #
Oh, yes, it is a great idea to have 2 memory sticks or even 2 SDs in one springboard. That would let us use one for memory expansion and the other for I/O devices.
I hope the Springboard people will be able to come up with such design.

this is disturbing

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 10:53:16 AM #

RE: this is disturbing
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 6:42:42 PM #
Why? AFRAID of the Memory Stick platform?? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....idiot.

Uh...No. It's disturbing because they actually think
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 7:50:07 PM #
that someone wants to buy such a contraption. Sheeeeesh......all of this hardware. It's getting to a point with some of these devices that you need an adapter for the adapter to use the adapter. I like me clean, slick m505....................Best of all worlds. Hopefully, Yankowski & Co. won't drive them under.

Handspring is fine. The sky is not falling.

james_sorenson @ 10/2/2001 12:13:20 PM #
Okay, will somebody please explain to me why everyone thinks that Handspring is dying? I just got done talking about the Visor in the "Documents To Go" article, only to find another bunch of Handspring-Doom-Sayers in this article! Fine. The following is a modified re-print of what I had to say about Handspring:

Handspring is still top for expandability. They are very reasonably priced. It seems the only real problem is the lack of color-screen models. I don't really want to re-start the war about the pros and cons of color, but it seems to be an awfully small reason to claim their impending death. Look how cheaply you can get a VisorPhone (which has far more uses than than a wireless-only Palm). I can use any type of memory by getting the proper Memplug. Look at all the cool connectivity springboards. Remember that many of the enhancements in PalmOS 4 where programmed by Handspring (hence, why there is little difference between PalmOS 3.5.2H and 4.0). Who else has 16MB of built-in, easily accessible RAM? That's what I thought.

Some complain about the lack of Flash ROM. A debatable issue. However, many Palms don't contain Flash ROM either. For me, I'm about ready to upgrade to something newer by the time the next OS comes out anyway, and I appreciate the cost savings of cheaper ROM. As I said, OS 4 has nothing to offer us Handspring 3.5.2H users--we already had all that.

Some complain about a lousy form factor. Well, get the Edge then! It amazes me. People complain about the VISOR not being small enough, then they complain if the springboard doesn't completely fit inside the Visor. Imagine how much springboards would cost if they had to fit in an even tighter form. Micro-technology is not cheap. My Platinum fits in my pocket, and that's good enough.

Handspring is no way near to dying. They are doing just fine. Check out the talk on the upcoming Treo series. It has the memory, battery-duration, wireless/voice connectivity, and a smaller form factor. There, is that good enough?

I welcome all responses. I want to know why so many people think my next Palm should not be a Visor.


James Sorenson

RE: Handspring is fine. The sky is not falling.
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 12:43:50 PM #
Don't bother, all you'll get from these clowns is a bunch of flame-baiting. I was just doing some PDA advising this weekend, and recommended a Visor - I don't own one mind you, I just think they are the best bargains for entry-level PDAs right now, and the expansion is great. I have no doubt that someone will make an SD/MMC slot, or maybe even a dual SD slotted springboard. They haven't released a new color unit in a while, and that's why all these jokers are whining. Sure the Sonys are great but for mono devices Visors win (except that the Handera 330 is a very solid machine too). Anyway, I digress. The point is that your next PDA should be a Visor, and enticing people to tell you why it shouldn't be is only a call out to the Sony fanboys who say stupid stuff like "Handspring doesn't innovate".

RE: Handspring is fine. The sky is not falling.
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 1:28:52 PM #
Rest assured the SD/MMC is on the way. The guys from Pi Solutions(memplug) told me they are developing a SD/MMC memplug as we speak. Don't expect to wait very long. And to all the visor bashers here, you are so sad. The visor is the most innovative handheld on the market. My visor deluxe (pro as soon as I order it) can do everything all your "amazing" handhelds can. I was playing mp3s on my visor before sony even had plans to make a handheld. I was using my visorphone before ipaq made plans to develop a gps sleeve. The clie is so great, wow memory stick, all it does is sit there. Sony has been promising to release memory stick devices for 2 pcexpos in a row. This years they didn't even bother to show any concept models. CF, good luck finding CF modules that do anything but get you online. SD? Ha, even bigger joke. As useless as bluetooth. Visor has it all, so stop being so jealous and go get a pro.

RE: Handspring is fine. The sky is not falling.
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 3:32:37 PM #
Handspring is hardly innovative. They were a couple of years ago when the original visors came out, but that lasted all of a couple of weeks until I realized they didn't have flash to upgrade the OS. Since then they have stagnated. 3rd parties coming up with all kinds of wacky and useless Springboard cards does not change the fact that Handspring themselves have just introduced two totally uninnovative PDAs that are essentially identical to their original ones. Still running OS 3.5 to boot. They may still offer good features for the price, but to claim that Handspring is innovative is a joke. They are still hiding in their strong early sales from years ago when they had a price and features advantage over Palm.

I was expecting the Pro to have a 240x320 screen like the HandEra along with both SD and Springboard slots and OS 4.0. That would be progress at least, though not even really "innovative" at this late point.

RE: Handspring is fine. The sky is not falling.
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 11:30:09 PM #
People attack Handspring due to three reasons:

1. Handspring does not have color device (except Prism), nor does it offer hi-res monochrome models
2. They don't have flash ROM
3. The version NAME is OS3.5

Surely, their points stand if:

1. They don't care about paying $350 bulks or more for a color PDA
2. They are willing to pay for upgrading their O/S every year without upgrading their hardware, like Windows ;-)
3. They value VERSION NAME more than what the O/S offers

That's what I want to say.

RE: Handspring is fine. The sky is not falling.
redartic @ 10/3/2001 3:09:41 AM #
Handspring's design was designed to handle its usability several years ahead of its time. Its designs and expandability features are what that are currently seen in the newer PalmOS devices.

I love my Visor Deluxe.
That's my comment.

RE: Handspring is fine. The sky is not falling.
james_sorenson @ 10/3/2001 12:45:15 PM #
Well, thanks for the comments from both sides. I'll admit that Handspring should provide at least one "power-user" Visor that has a higher-resolution color screen. But, I hear a new Visor Prism is around the corner, so who knows?
The most interesting note is the claim that they WERE innovative, but have not come out with anything new. Well, I suppose that's true (if you don't count all the new springboard modules that have come out since then). But, I have this question: has anyone caught up, yet? The springboard expansion is just too important for me.
Thanks, but I think I'll stick with Handspring.

James Sorenson

Which image viewer?

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 11:23:35 PM #
The article says:

> ...including an image viewer...

Does anyone know whose viewer they're using? Thanks.

RE: Which image viewer?
TDS @ 10/3/2001 10:01:49 AM #
It comes with "PIViewer" which is a simple JPEG viewer. It does a great job of scaling any jpEG image down to 160x160. My Images from my 1.3 Megapixel Olympus look great on my Visor Prism. The software really does not do anything else except view pictures, but it does a nice job of that.

On a side note, the images come up a little slow, due to the on-the-fly scaling that is taking place. A processor accellerator hack goes a long way towards speeding Piviewer up to a reasonable level.