[Mark]: What do
you see as the benefit to this type of module, especially with
the other various storage formats available?
CompactFlash technology itself really doesn't hold any huge
benefits over the other storage formats available (SmartMedia,
MMC, SecureDigital, MemoryStick, etc.). However, CF has been
around the longest, so there are a lot of Visor owners who
already own CF cards. SmartMedia has a nicer form-factor, but if
someone has a CF digital camera, being able to use the same CF
card in the Visor is pretty cool!
The biggest benefit is
that because the design of a CF adapter is so simple, people can
actually build one themselves for less than $20! And commercial
adapters will be available at prices less then their SmartMedia
or MemoryStick counterparts.
[Mark]: Was this
your first attempt at PalmOS programming? If not, what else have
[Dave]: FAFileMover was my
first attempt to develop a commercially viable PalmOS
application. I had written some
other tools before this for my own personal use. One that comes
to mind was a little program to restore custom low battery
threshold levels after a soft reset. Those types of tools really
don't utilize very much OS functionality, but they're a great way
to get your feet wet.
When working on the
FlashAdapter driver libraries, the lack of experience writing for
the PalmOS really wasn't much of an issue. Aside from the
intricacies of writing a PalmOS shared library, the drivers
really don't make much use of the PalmOS. FAFileMover was a very
different story, but for our "first" PalmOS user
application, I think we did ok.
[Mark]: Once the
FlashAdapter project started, did you ever have the feeling that
you wouldn't be able to see it through to completion?
finishing was never really in question ... just how long that
might actually take. Since all of the development has been done
in addition to a regular full-time work load, it was very
difficult to work to any kind of a schedule or get a very good
feeling for when things might actually get stable enough for a
[Mark]: Was the
software development difficult?
[Dave]: When I
started this project I thought "the hardware is so simple,
why hasn't someone done this yet?" Now I know :) The
development of the drivers was quite a bit more difficult than I
expected, but the real surprise was the amount of work that went
into FAFileMover itself.