were some of the biggest challenges? Pitfalls?
drivers were a challenge simply because the required implementing
an entire MS Windows compatible filesystem within the memory and
CPU constraints of the Visor.
But the FAFileMover
application presented the biggest challenge because unlike a
filesystem which has to behave in a very well defined way, a user
application can and will be exercised in ways that the developers
never thought of. Once we put a beta version into the hands of
real users, the big challenge became trying to understand and
reproduce the various (and sometimes intermittent) bugs that they
encountered. Luckily we had an awesome team of very enthusiastic
yet patient beta testers!
Thanks to them, Kopsis has been able to release what I believe is
a very high quality application.
[Mark]: Can you
tell us approximately how many hours went into the development of
[Dave]: All I
can say is that it was a large number and about four times bigger
than I had originally expected.
[Mark]: Now that
the FA software has been officially released, what's next?
Naturally the first priority is supporting FAFileMover and the
users who have purchased it. Beyond that, I polled FlashAdapter
users and found that what they most wanted is some kind of
"auto mover" functionality. So as time permits, that is
the application Kopsis is working on now (as time permits).
However, that one poses some very serious technical challenges.
We have some very clever ideas for meeting them, but it's much
too soon to tell if the will actually work, and how long
development might take.
Kopsis is also starting
to work with some third-party developers to get FlashAdapter
support added to existing applications. Again, it's too soon to
give any specifics, but hopefully there will be an announcement
within the next couple weeks.
Kopsis planning any other PalmOS apps?
FlashAdapter presents enough development opportunities to keep
Kopsis busy for a very long time. The company plans to stay
focused on the low-level core software for the foreseeable
future, but we do have quite a list of FlashAdapter enabled
applications that we'd like to see. We'll be working with
third-party developers whenever possible to bring those apps to
[Mark]: As a
member of VisorCentral, you’ve posted about some hardware
hacks like a Prism Battery Extender and a
Prism power interface for the
GoType! Keyboard. Are there any more you’d like to share?
[Dave]: No, but
I can't resist sharing that kind of stuff, so if I come up with
anything good in the future, VisorCentral members can expect to
hear about it :)
[Mark]: If you
had to do it all over again, would you? Why (or why not)?
[Dave]: Though I
might do it differently, a project like this one is nearly
impossible for an engineer to resist. The technical challenges
presented by this project have been a lot of fun, and a great
excuse to learn the ins and outs of Visor software development.
And the support and enthusiasm of the Visor community towards
this project has been very rewarding. My only regret is the
amount of free time it has taken and the number of nights and
weekends spent giving my attention to a big pile of source code
instead of my wonderful wife. It's only fair to point out that if
it were not for her patience and understanding, none of this
would have been possible.