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A chat with the CF Adapter Guru

Tue Feb 20, 2001 - 10:15 AM EST - By Mark Pierson


[Mark]: What were some of the biggest challenges? Pitfalls?

[Dave]: The 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 the software?

[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?

[Dave]: 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.

 [Mark]: Is Kopsis planning any other PalmOS apps?

[Dave]: The 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 life.

 [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.


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