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Report from Internet World

Thursday October 7, 1999 - 6:54 PM EST - By Marcus Adolfsson& Mike Cane


Mike: Itís so simple! Pop it in, on screen appears a single button. Tap the button and all of the data is backed up! Handspring reps said it would take about ten minutes to back up a fully-loaded Visor Deluxe.

Marcus: According to a Handspring representative the backup card contains 8MB of memory. It sells for $39.95.

Mike: Hold onto your hats for a revelation (unless youíve been smarter than me all along!). It was my (mis)understanding that once files had been placed on the Flash Module, one had to move them back into the Visorís internal memory in order for HotSync to see them. THIS IS NOT SO! Despite the fact that the PalmOS is limited to seeing a max of 12 megs, HotSync is not! It will see ALL sixteen megs of Visor memory! And it WILL HotSync the files (that is, backup) on the Flash Module! Those of us who have been waiting for a Compact Flash solution should consider this alternative, especially since the price is so low! The software to move or copy files to/from the Flash Module is called File Mover. It offers three choices in a pull-down menu: ALL, APPS, DATA. ALL will display all files in Visor RAM. APPS will display all applications, DATA all databases. Each file has a checkbox next to it to select files to be copied/moved. (Although this can be cumbersome when hundreds of files are involved, the trade off is the money saved by using a Visor versus the time saved by using a direct Compact Flash-reader on any CF-enabled PalmOS unit.)

David Levine [guest contributor]: Another cool feature is that the Visor knows which apps are on the module and which are in the internal memory and only displays internal memory apps in the App Launcher screen when the Flash module is removed. It also marks each app with a small dot in the App Launcher if itís been moved to the Flash module. I imagine most/all of the 3rd party launcher programs will need to be modified to handle this type of functionality.

Mike: Rioís prototype Rx64 MP3 module was a large black rectangle that jutted from the top of the Visor, easily adding about an inch to its height. All controls are via software, on-screen. The only thing on the hardware itself is a jack that is of dual use: to plug in headphones and to plug in a "bug" remote (one of those circle-shaped things seen with MiniDisc players). This unit will contain 64 megs of memory and draw power from the Visor. I was not impressed.

Marcus: The Diamond representative stated that Visorís application buttons could be used as play, stop, volume etc. The mockup units on display were rather bulky. No price information available.

Mike: Forget the picture of the MiniJam on their website! This unit has been redesigned. It is sleeker and no longer uses SmartMedia cards. It is a self-contained unit that draws power from the Visor. Control buttons are on the top of the unit along with a headphone and DC-power-in jack. It adds perhaps a little more than a quarter of an inch to the height of a Visor and just about that in depth. This thing *will* fit in your shirt pocket without creating a feminine bulge, men. Replacing SmartMedia will be MultiMedia Cards (MMC), which look to be even *smaller* than SmartMedia! I was shown a 32-meg card. GET THIS: You can use this MP3 player while doing OTHER THINGS ON THE VISOR! You can even be typing away on the GoType keyboard while listening to music!

Marcus: MiniJam will be available with 0, 8, 16, 32, and 64 MB of internal memory when it is released early next year. RealJukebox is the application used to download and manage songs on the PC side. There are plans for a battery back for MiniJam - so that it can be used stand alone to play songs.

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