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SmartMedia versus CompactFlash versus Springboard Flash Memory

Tue Jun 12, 2001 - 9:50 AM EDT - By Scott Hanselman

My Opinion

For simplicity and compatibility, if you don't want to sweat the details, get a 16 Meg Hagiwara Flash Module, it just works. As far as Removable solutions, now that MemPlug has a CF and a SmartMedia version, I'd say:

  • Buy the MemPlug that corresponds to the Memory Format you either have the most of, or that most of your devices use. If you have a CF Digital Camera already, go with a MemPlug for CF. If you have a MP3 player that uses SmartMedia, go for a MemPlug for SmartMedia.
  • If you don't have ANY removable memory, and don't have huge memory needs, go with SmartMedia. If you may need huge amounts of memory, a 512 Meg CF Card (non-Microdrive) was just announce (and I will be using it in my Kodak Digital Camera).

As far as speed, I don't sweat it in a Visor. As far as battery life, SmartMedia is superior, but I don't have metrics on AAA-using Visors. I do recommend that all Visor users use 2 sets of Nickel-Metal-Hydride rechargeable AAA batteries and alternate between them, so that can make power less of an issue. As far as compatibility, there will always be issues with launching programs off of non-flash memory until the PalmOS supports it directly. For your reference, a list of PiDirect compatible applications (ones that can be launched directly from a MemPlug is in the database section of

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