Products & Reviews
Mon Mar 11, 2002 - 10:53 AM EST - By
Table of Contents
MemPlug MS - MemoryS... The Hardware » The Software Conclusion
The MemPlug MS (Memory Stick) is a true SpringBoard module; it has the software you need to use it built-in. These apps reside in the 1 megabyte of Flash memory that is inside the module, they don't use any memory on your MemoryStick. What's cool is that the software that comes with the MemPlug MS is the SAME software that comes with the entire suite of MemPlug products! The MemPlug is also completely software upgradable via Flash Updater software you can download from Portable Innovation Technology.
The MemPlug MS includes a full suite of software, but there are two software extensions that are particularly interesting.
PiVFSMgr is an extension to the existing PalmOS that adds the Palm OS 4.0 VFS (Virtual File System) extensions to any version of the Palm OS that's available on the Visor. This allows Visor Users (including Visor Deluxe!) to run VFS Compatible Software like Launcher III that would ordinarily only work on Palm 4.0 systems. Now I can store my SplashPhoto images on external media instead of cluttering up my minimal internal memory. VFS provides a standard set of APIs for Palm Developers to write to that allows unified access to External Media. VFS is only available with Palm OS 4.0, unless it's added by a third party like Portable Innovation or Kopsis Engineering. Today, nearly all developers creating PalmOS applications that support expansion cards are using VFS as the means by which they access the card.
PiDirect is sold separately for $19.95 and makes an external expansion card like a Memory Stick look like additional Read-Only memory. Existing applications don't need to write to an API like VFS, PiDirect effectively "lies" to the system making it look like it has more memory than it does. Until all applications support VFS, PiDirect fills a gap by providing transparent compatibility with existing applications - but only in a Read-Only fashion.
The MemPlug MS includes these software applications:
Backup your entire Visor with a click of a button and store the Memory
Stick separately from your Visor.
Store your Palm OS applications and databases on the Memory
Stick and free up space for other applications.
Quick formatting of memory cards, and manages other preferences
Direct decoding and viewing of JPEG images from Memory Sticks in 16
bit color or 16 grey scale display. This is where the MemPlug really shines. If
you have a Visor and a Sony Digital Camera that uses Memory Stick, this app
allows you to preview all your JPEGs - even LARGE ones! I'm so used to looking
at 30K images on my Visor, but when I saw a 400K JPEG being decoded and viewed
on my Visor, I was impressed. Offers support for 2560x1920 maximum pixel JPEG
images. I used this to look at still photos I'd taken with my Sony
Digital 8 Camera.
CSpotRun for MemPlug
SpotRun for MemPlug is a free reader for documents
in the popular Palm DOC format. It enables the Memplug to directly access any
Palm DOC files stored on the memory card.
To read your ebooks from the memory card directly, place your
documents on your memory card under the path \Palm\Programs\CSpotRun\.
Tap the CSpotRun icon in the lanucher to enter the application. CSpotRun should
be able to detect those .pdb Palm DOC files that are stored in the above
Easily playback rich media, including video and animation directly from
Memory Stick cards. When you see a Movie running on a Visor, you realize how
we've subconsciously bought into the "superiority" of the PocketPCs with their
150+ Mhz Processors. I was amazed. The quality of the image and frame rate
isn't as good as TealMovie, but gMovie allows you to play movies directly from
the memory card! I was able to play a number of 12meg+ Movie Trailers
that lasted several minutes in full color. The gMovie Player also runs on my
black and white Visor Deluxe! That's impressive. There is no sound yet, but
it's a start.
This really gives one an idea of what you can still accomplish on a Visor.
Now with VFS Support in software like TealMovie, Video on the Visor is more
than a possiblity.
(sold separately for $19.95)
Seamlessly access read-only Palm
applications and databases stored on the memory card. PiDirect is special
proprietary software that makes your Memory Stick look like a standard Flash
Memory. It sllows
read-only Palm applications and databases stored
on the memory card to be accessed by your Visor as if they were stored on
internal memory. ( See
the compatibility list for details)
This is a really exicting development. It brings Palm OS 4.0 VFS
capability to your Visor. Allow most Palm OS 4.0 VFS-supported applications to
run on Visor handheld device. Applications run just like they would on Palm
m50x series, Sony CLIE, Handera etc., which have an external memory card
slot. It basically upgraded my aging Visor Prism to a device that's
better than a Palm 505! Conclusion >>