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  1.    #1  
    I've browsed the TRG site and now I'm curious as to how Compact Flash works.

    Is it plug and play? Or do you need to install the drivers onto the PDA manually?

    Is there any reason you couldn't develop a springboard-like module with complete plug'n'play'ability around a CF card/slot? How is Springboard different or an improvement?

    Given the range of CF products available, it begins to look a little like Springboard is just an alternative platform that divides the industry standard.

    Or am I missing the point?


  2. #2  
    There is no plug and play in the CompactFlash format. It was not part of the specs (and not hard to understand why: the CF form factor is a cross-platform, multi-device specification).

    I don't see why some smart springboard developer couldn't find a way of bringing the two together.

    As for your concern, you definitely hit close to the target. There is a possibility the springboard will just add to the confusion and tug of war over standards. That's not to say it will lead to that. There's a lot of good features in both formats, and it's possible for them to coexist.

    [This message has been edited by Zippy (edited 10-20-1999).]
  3. #3  
    I'm not sure dividing the industry standard is an issue. Before Springboard, there was no standard for the Palm OS. The standard set by Wince use of the CF format is illusory at best. After being available for 2 years + it still only offers memory, modem, and ethernet, with no indication of other developments.

    In only a matter of months, you have all of these, plus GPS, MP3, pager, cell phone, scientific probes, scanners, and other units under development for Springboard. No reason that a CF module won't be forthcoming as well. The upshot is that at best CF is a subset of what is or will soon be available for the Springboard.
  4.    #4  
    I agree with you on the lack of significant innovation, but that seems to me to be a lack of inventiveness, rather than a limitation of the CF spec. In addition to the list you gave, I know there are pagers and barcode wands/scanners available for CF slots, at the very least. It could be that the CF architecture doesn't lend itself to these new uses as easily and hence there has been a longer wait for developers to get products to the market, or it could be, as you say, that the notion of CF as an industry standard is illusory at best and thus the demand for these products has not be significant enough to prompt their development.

    What I want to know is whether Springboard's attraction is its ease of use and open design, its technical features, or all of the above? Or is CF the superior technology?

    I understand that the CF spec is a subset of the PCMCIA specification, and I also understand that it might be easier to implement a CF-->Springboard module that it would be to develop a Springboard-->CF Slot module, ie they are not co-extensive, but if you can eventually get both technologies to fulfil the same role, does this matter? Or does it then come down to a question of economics.

    I guess until we start seeing some significant Springboard products it will be difficult to gauge comparitive costs.

    The other thing to note is that CF is useable in other products, such as digital cameras and the like and can be plugged into a laptop PCMCIA slot (with adaptor). Unless Springboard is successful beyond wildest imagination, it's unlikely that the design will become common across different products like CF (precisely because the springboard spec is so open outside the interface with the PDA whereas the PCMCIA and CF specs have restrictions on form as far as I can gather).


    [This message has been edited by Merry (edited 10-20-1999).]
  5. #5  
    As I said in another post on this very topic, I think its too soon to say at this point.

    At the TRGPro website, they have pictures of a CF barcode reader and a couple of others also, including a CF modem and CF ethernet card. I can imagine that TRG is having talks with potential CF card makers just the same as Handspring did with the springboard makers.

    I wouldn't mind having a use for the 4 and 8 meg CF cards I have laying around. The ability to store files on the card and then access those files from my notebook or my PDA is very compelling. The ability to buy one modem and use it in either would also be a cost savings as well as a great convenience.

    There are some people who are choosing to buy CE machines for this very reason despite the Palm OS' obvious superiority in many other areas. So at least it gives them another option, and we gain because there is one more Palm OS user in the world.

  6.    #6  
    I noticed the similar thread and your comments! I've been keeping an eye on both discussions.

    I have to agree that it's too soon to really tell. Even more so because the Springboard slot's potential is really open to the designer's whim so long as it still fits in that slot.

  7. #7  

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