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  1.    #1  
    Please post your comments on the news item here.

    ------------------
    James Hromadka
    VisorCentral.com
    Personal Website: http://www.geocities.com/jehromadka
  2. #2  
    I'm actually amazed that there's been little comment on this. I guess the mad rush to see who would receive their Visor first has overshadowed the release of full details and the opening of the new www.TRGPro.com site.

    I've attached here a few links to pictures (I tried to set up the images but can't seem to get them to come up) for those interested. The site is up even though the front page comes up looking incomplete. Delve deeper into the site and you'll find tons of information.
    www.trgpro.com/support/cf_compatible.html
    www.trgpro.com/product/trgpro.html
    www.trgpro.com/developer/developer.html


    If you look closely you'll notice the drilled speaker holes on the back of the unit where the amplifier emits sound. Sound is loud and sufficiently clear to run .wav and DTMF. Even voice clarity should work.


    Something folks probably also don't realize is that the TRGPro has a Windows compatible FAT file system which makes it completely compatible with the Windows OS. Potentially you could see ports of certain MS apps available to the Palm device through this compatibility. Again, it appears to me that TRG is way ahead of HS right now given this opportunity.

    Plus, memory options up 340 MB (and climbing) far exceed what the Visor Deluxe currently offers.

    For complete details you should really download the TRG development kit (PDF format) that contains more than you'll ever want to know about the device. I love this new trend in openness that HS started where full documentation is disclosed on the device including schematics. See the kit
    here: www.trgpro.com/developer/developer.html

    [This message has been edited by Jackal (edited 10-19-1999).]
  3. #3  
    http://www.TRGPro.com is up and running.

    The device looks familar. I mean VERY FAMILAR.

    I think $329.99 is a bit on the high side....

    TRGPro has a much better speaker - but no voice recording. What a pity.

    It uses OS 3.3



    [This message has been edited by HipHop (edited 10-19-1999).]
  4. #4  
    No, do not confuse my comments. There is no voice recording capability currently available for the TRGPro itself. It doesn't have a microphone, just an enhanced speaker. That doesn't preclude one from being included in a CF connection though. OR from voice files being saved on the PC and played on the device.

    And as for familiarity, of course it LOOKS familiar, it was designed from the Palm IIIx. For that matter, who didn't look at the front of the Visor and say, that looks familiar, I mean VERY FAMILIAR. It's what's on the back of the device, inside it, and what can be attached to it that is so revolutionary.

    [This message has been edited by Jackal (edited 10-19-1999).]
  5. #5  
    Sorry for the non-voice recording editing. Some overlapping here.

    Familiar - I mean it LOOKS the same as IIIx. I know the inner parts are different. The Visor has at least a somehow new design for those who really don't want to buy a Palm.

    PS: I just got an email from TRG:

    Greetings from TRG,

    You are receiving this email because you requested to be informed
    regarding TRGpro web site.

    We would like to announce that TRGpro site is lunched at http://www.trgpro.com
    Thank you for your interest in TRG and TRGpro.

    Sincerely,
    TRG
    ___________________________________________________________
    Note: TRG respects your privacy. We would like you to know that TRG
    will not be using your contact information for any other communication
    with you, nor will TRG make the list available to others. After receiving
    this email, you can be assured that you contact information will be taken
    out of our database.

    If you would like to receive our monthly electronic news letter "e-Pro"
    please signup at, ]http://www.trgpro.com/e-Pro/

    I signed also up for the Handspring email list - but never got any email.


    [This message has been edited by HipHop (edited 10-19-1999).]
  6. #6  
    Mixed feelings. It looks like a great product, and using the existing CF devices is perhaps a good move, although you're still going to have "driver" issues from time to time that the Springboard conviently eliminates. And there's no reason that somebody could not put that IBM microdrive on a springboard. (And don't throw the 8mb memory limit at me, that's been discussed before.)

    I guess I like the TRGPro, but I'm still glad to have purchased the Visor.
  7. #7  
    on the issue of drivers; none of us should get toasted. I would imgine TRG will offer regular flash upgrades to accomodate the latest cf cards. We pay enough attention to keep upgraded

    but, on the issue of regular users; this is silly. compact flash doen't have a large following, and doesn't have the convenience we see possible with the quick snap-in snap-out'ness of springboard.

    besides; customers will not flock to the trg model. it isn't even marketed for regular users. I guess only time will tell what was the smarter move.

    ------------------
    Tom Alphin III - alphin@bucknell.edu - www.students.bucknell.edu/alphin/


  8. #8  
    Hmmm, I wonder if Palm will acquire TRG? If they don't I think they will be very stupid. This is precisely the type of device that will work best to corporate buyers which is what Palm says is their target market. If Palm doesn't, they'll be squeezed by Handspring on the consumer side and TRG on the corporate side.
  9. #9  
    One thing that I forgot to mention is why didn't Handspring improve the speaker! This has been a major complaint from everyone who has a Palm that the speaker is inadequate for alarm or DTMF use. TRG was smart to wait for Handspring to come out, look at the criticism of the product and improve on Handspring just as Handspring has improved on Palm. Saying that I think that TRG is aiming at a different market and pricing the product at $100+ Handspring's most expensive product is a sign that they think that they're buyer is more upscale/corporate.

    This combined with the new color Dragonball announcement is the death kneel for Win CE. As soon as a color TRGPro comes out, you might as well kiss off that platform.
  10. #10  
    Given that the Springboard slot is more or less electrically equivalent to a PCMCIA Type 2 slot, and that the CompactFlash interface is a subset of the PCMCIA standard, it seems to me that it would be relatively simple to to create a CompactFlash Springboard for the Visor, for Microdrives and similar devices.

    You'd put a set of drivers to handle the most common CompactFlash devices on the Springboard's ROM. If TRG would cooperate with creating a standard, you could probably even use the same drivers as the TRGPro for any devices NOT handled by the ROM drivers.

    The electronics would be pretty simple in this Springboard -- excluding the driver ROMs, it'd probably be very similar to those $15 adapters that let you plug your digital camera flashcards into your laptop's PCMCIA slot.

    If such a Springboard comes to be made (and it certainly seems a logical and easy-to-design device), then the Visor would be the more flexible solution than the TRGPro, given that it would be able to use CompactFlash *and* Springboards.
  11. #11  
    I'm not so sure that the IBM microdrive will work with the TRG pro. I looked at the specs for the microdrive and the TRG pro and found that the TRG pro doesn't provide enough current (250mA - 500mA peak) to the CF+ devices to satisfy the microdrive (500mA minimum).

    from http://www.storage.ibm.com/hardsoft/...e.htm#hardware
    "A minimum of 500 mA current must be supplied to the IBM 340 MB or 170 MB microdrive through the CF slot with a minimum duration of 300 ms from a 3.3V or 5.5V power supply."

    from the TRG pro devkit:
    "Continuous currents up to 250mA (500mA peak) can be delivered to a CF+ device"

    Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I'm sticking with my Visor (when I get it).

    An update: I must be wrong, or the specs must be wrong, because one of the "key features" mentioned at http://www.trgpro.com/product/trgpro.html is "Capable of operating industry standard CompactFlash cards including the 340MB IBM MicroDrive"

    [This message has been edited by minicooper (edited 10-19-1999).]
  12. #12  
    Looks kinda interesting, but not for me, thanks.

    BTW, what's this from the TRGpro FAQ?

    What does TRGpro have in common with other Palm OS devices?

    Applications that run on other Palm OS 3.3 devices will run seamlessly on the TRGpro. Applications running on older versions of the OS must be ported to Palm OS 3.3.


    What's that all about? I mean, how many apps are there that run on 3.1 but not 3.3?


    [This message has been edited by bearpaw (edited 10-19-1999).]
  13. #13  
    Hart, buddy, sorry but the TRGPro has been in development for quite some time. TRG didn't improve the speaker because Handspring failed to do so. They improved it because many current and potential enterprise users have complained loudly about Palm's lack of a decent speaker.

    Why Handspring didn't take the same tack and improve theirs is beyond me. Probably fell under the category of "high falutin' enhancements" in Hawkins' mind.

    As for adoptability, remember that the TRGPro moves in a different direction than the Visor. Assuming that TRG has overcome the potential configuration challenges for various CF devices, this should be an excellent choice for the very markets they're targeting: health care, real estate, government, education, transportation and dispatch services.

    Note, it doesn't say consumer market anywhere. So you folks who get all defensie about how it can't compete with the Visor, think about it, they're not trying to!

    BTW, has anyone thought about how this simplifies the connection issue between a non-GSM digital phone and the Palm device? Check out this link to see what I mean: www.socketcom.com/dpcprods.htm

    [This message has been edited by Jackal (edited 10-19-1999).]
  14. #14  
    So, my question is, does HS have plans to "do" the corporate market...to compete with TRGpro?
  15. #15  
    The Visor, Although not generaly targeted at the corporate marketplace, should make good headway into the market because of the pricepoint\springboard.
  16. #16  
    Dear Jackal,
    I have no idea of how long the TRGPro has been in production. However a better speaker for a palm is a relatively easy thing to design compared with the CF interface which would be a very difficult thing to create. Since the TRGPro will not be shipping until December I assumed they might have added the speaker idea after seeing the criticsm that Handspring received about not improving the speaker. However, it would be a logical idea to improve to speaker if you have a CF because there would be no room to put a speaker in a CF slot. Since you obviously are much more informed about the product design cycle of the TRGPro than I am, I'd love to hear about when the decided to create it, when they came up with the CF slot, when the idea of a better speaker came up. There have been many interviews with the Handspring people but there seems to be little with the TRG people. Maybe you could inform us about the details?

    Second, my feeling that TRG is emphasizing the corporate market with the TRGPro comes from the news blurbs that were issued at announcement time (for example http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/...017687,00.html ) which states that "TRG Products Inc., best known for its flash memory products for 3Com Corp.'s Palm platform, plans to introduce a Palm OS-based handheld computer aimed at the enterprise".
  17. #17  
    I don't think there is a hard figure on which applications aren't working. Check out comp.sys.palmtops.pilot and you can get a better idea of which apps are working. The majority of apps are working quite well. Backup and communications programs seem to be the most affected.

    [This message has been edited by hart@catholic.org (edited 10-20-1999).]
  18. 10basetom's Avatar
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    #18  
    So if the TRGpro supports FAT, does that mean we'll see a DOS emulator soon? Wow, if that's the case then it will become a hacker's dream machine very much like the HP OmniGo and LX series pda's. Badass.
  19. #19  
    I'm one of the beta testers of the TRGpro and
    I'd just like to clear up a few technical errors in the posts to this group about the device.

    First, i doesn't have a full FAT file system, it merely uses FAT to access CF storage cards. It has to convert files from FAT format to Palm's internal file format to store them in the Palm's memory. The FAT library is available to any program that wishes to use it however, so it's a trivial effort to get programs to read and write to files in CF.

    Secondly, the improved speaker and improved audio subsystem have been in the device since day one, which was LONG before the release of the Visor.

    Thirdly, the Springboard is not electrically equivalent to a PCMCIA slot, it merely uses the same connectors. The electrical design of the slot is actually much closer to the system slot in the IIIx and it will require a LOT of electronic smarts to build a CF-enabled Springboard. It's not impossible, but don't expect it to be anywhere near as cheap as the CF-PCMCIA adapters (which just pass the signals from the CF straight through to the PCMCIA slot).

    Fourthly, the IBM microdrive does work with the TRGpro (there's even a picture of it on the front page of www.trgpro.com) but it's a battery hog. Even with the improved power supply in the TRGpro, it will still drain your batteries in just a couple of hours. TRG are suggesting that people look at the 320MB CF cards that manufacturers are releasing early next year instead, which will require ess than 10% of the power.

    Finally, TRG are emphasising the corporate market because they're the ones that are most likely to require the extra storage and hardware in CF. They will still be selling the device to the public through their website, but corporate orders >500 will be able to request a custom build, with varying amounts of RAM/Flash (up to 16MB) and other add-ons.

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