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  1.    #1  
    Kopsis is contemplating the development of a new software product that would be of interest to folks with "networked" PalmOS devices. Since that includes most Treo owners, this should be a good place to do a little market research

    The basic idea is this: with this new software product installed you could go online, connect to a file server on the network, and then use any VFS enabled application to access the files on the server just as though they were on an expansion card on a PalmOS 4.x device.

    For example, you could fire up FileCaddy or McFile, browse the files on the server or in your Treo's RAM, and move files back and forth between the two. You could even use VFS enabled applications like WordSmith and open documents directly off the server (though I have to believe that would be extremely painful given current wireless data rates). Essentially, you'd be using a network file server the same way Palms use the SD card.

    So the first question is: is that a piece of software that you would buy (let's assume it's priced under $15)? The second question is what type of file servers (FTP, Windows Shares, NFS, etc.) would you want access to? Right now I'm thinking FTP. FTP servers are widely available on the internet while I think most Windows and NFS servers are kept behind a firewall on internal corporate networks. But I could be wrong about that so I'd like to hear what you folks would want. I'm looking forward to your feedback
    <ul><li>Dave Kessler<br>President - Kopsis, Inc.</li></ul>
  2. #2  
    Dave,

    I think your app idea is an excellent one. i would defintely pay 15 bucks for it. However, I would like it to have some kind of backup functionality built-in. That way, you can retrieve your data if you have to hard reset the unit. I think FTP would be the best method. Its fast, simple and ubiqutious. Still, I dont think that the current market is ready for an app like this. The market will be readyy when consumers can get access to cheap, unlimted high speed (or near high speed) data access.
  3. #3  
    Dave, Excellent Idea!

    Here's my take.. I agree with yardie about the market not quite being ready yet - don't let that stop you though - marketed right (NEVER worry about your Palm hard resetting and your documents being lost! ) it could easily become a new trend. I would see myself more inclinced to use it with a thinmodem though. This kind of app would help make my office more mobile (wait I have an offfice?)

    I think FTP is your best bet. It is open, it is everywhere, and I've not met a server which doesn't run it yet .

    This is what mobile is going to, data at your fingertips anywhere $15 is a good price for this, if you were able to offer the service of storing documents you could charge more to..
    -Michael Ducker
    TreoCentral Staff
  4. #4  
    Haven't we already discovered that you cannot access the internet after a hard reset without syncing first? Wouldn't that make the FTP idea bad?
  5.    #5  
    Originally posted by yardie
    I think your app idea is an excellent one. i would defintely pay 15 bucks for it. However, I would like it to have some kind of backup functionality built-in. That way, you can retrieve your data if you have to hard reset the unit.
    Well, I'm not a Treo expert, but my understanding is that all apps (including the one I'm proposing) are stored in RAM (just like other PalmOS devices) and will be erased on a hard-reset. Unless the Treo provides a way to move an app to Flash, there's no way around that problem.

    I think FTP would be the best method. Its fast, simple and ubiqutious. Still, I dont think that the current market is ready for an app like this. The market will be readyy when consumers can get access to cheap, unlimted high speed (or near high speed) data access.
    That is probably my biggest concern. At 9600bps, a 50KB document would take nearly a minute to transfer. Useful in a pinch, but painful enough to prevent frequent usage.
    <ul><li>Dave Kessler<br>President - Kopsis, Inc.</li></ul>
  6.    #6  
    Originally posted by miradu
    I would see myself more inclinced to use it with a thinmodem though. This kind of app would help make my office more mobile (wait I have an offfice?)
    This wouldn't be a Treo only app - I just figured Treo owners would be a good place to do a little market research (since they could use the app without any add-on hardware). The app itself (if we do it) would also work with a Visor using a modem, Visor Phone, or 802.11 module.
    <ul><li>Dave Kessler<br>President - Kopsis, Inc.</li></ul>
  7. #7  
    A really valuable feature of your program would be the ability to restore after a hard reset. That can be accomplished by putting the program on ROM, which can be accomplished with JackFlash of Brayder, provided your program isn't too large. I suspect you would get a sizeable fraction of treocentral members for this application alone. I haven't personally solved KRamsauer's problem of restoring internet access after a hard reset although other threads suggest this is possible for Voicestream users, though not for Cingular users. I don't know about Sprint users.

    For most GSM treo users, the ability to move a MB to or from the internet is not so valuable because of the slow speed we currently face, so your product isn't producing flash card functionality for us. Perhaps when GPRS is enabled for the treo that will change, but beware -- I'm not currently planning on enabling GPRS in my Voicestream plan because it works well for email and the occasional web browsing on small sites; pricing plans for GPRS are pretty expensive.

    Even if I couldn't figure out how to make a satisfactory backup, I would spend $15 for your product if I could mimic FTP, and thereby download, edit and upload html files.
  8.    #8  
    Originally posted by Preston
    A really valuable feature of your program would be the ability to restore after a hard reset. That can be accomplished by putting the program on ROM, which can be accomplished with JackFlash of Brayder, provided your program isn't too large.
    Well, given that the app would be providing VFS services, any VFS enabled backup app (CardBackup, BackupBuddyVFS, etc.) would theoretically work. Our app plus CardBackup would probably be just under 100KB. Could you squeeze all that into the Treo's flash?

    As for restoring internet access after a hard-reset, I don't know anything about those problems. But even if you could, restoring over a dialup connection would take about 18 minutes per megabyte (at 9600bps). That's nearly 5 hours for a full 16MB backup Now you could also use a file manager to selectively backup/restore just certain critical files (addressbook, calendar, and memo files for example). Maybe that capability would be useful - though it seems like you can already do that using something like LFtp (though maybe not quite as easily). I really don't know how people are using their Treos (hence this discussion) so feel free to enlighten me

    Even if I couldn't figure out how to make a satisfactory backup, I would spend $15 for your product if I could mimic FTP, and thereby download, edit and upload html files.
    This app wouldn't get you all the way there. You'd still need a VFS enabled HTML editor that can open/save files from/to an expansion card in "real" (not .PDB) HTML format. I haven't seen any that will do that yet.
    <ul><li>Dave Kessler<br>President - Kopsis, Inc.</li></ul>
  9. #9  
    I would try to go with your idea Dave - your last idea was pure genious (cf to sb)

    The Treo has a good amount of room that can be made available in flash.. I don't know if this is the right use for it htough wireless settings are hard to deal with...

    More importantly. The Treo is at 3G and is billed (with sprint) for 2 cents a KB. Thsi turns out to be mayn dollars a meg. Doing a 16 MB restore would take forever and cost a fortune!
    -Michael Ducker
    TreoCentral Staff
  10. #10  
    I think the app would be great to store critical files and databases. Doing a complete backup/restore would be bad given the limitations we have now. However, downloading a 50 kb file in one minute is pretty reasonable.

    There are times that I have files cluttering my Treo that I would rather have stored somewhere else. The app, if it sees the light of day, would allow me to do this. I would say go for it Dave! You can put me down as a beta tester and customer .
  11. #11  
    I'd buy it...

    ...but what I'd much rather have is access to a server that could take commands from my treo via SMS (or direction connection, if necessary) to send files out to emails. Imagine how nice it would be to put a bunch of your most common/critical documents on server, and during a meeting say "Just let me email that to you." A couple of taps, and a full-fledged document not limited by what the PalmOS arrives in their inbox....

    ftp can't quite do that...
  12. #12  
    Is it even feasible to provide a filesystem via ftp? I was under the impression that you'd have to provide random access to files, which isn't what ftp is good at (although still quite possible).
  13.    #13  
    Originally posted by calroth
    Is it even feasible to provide a filesystem via ftp? I was under the impression that you'd have to provide random access to files, which isn't what ftp is good at (although still quite possible).
    Actually, with careful use of the "resume" feature found in most FTP server software, random access isn't too much of a problem. It may not be as efficient as it is with SMB or NFS, but with the bandwidth bottleneck the inefficiency wouldn't be noticed. Not to mention that a lot of VFS enabled apps simply move the entire file to RAM and operate on it there.
    <ul><li>Dave Kessler<br>President - Kopsis, Inc.</li></ul>

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