If there is one company that users have been clamoring for products since the inception of the Visor, it is InnoGear.
In poll after poll and in the emails we receive, InnoGear is the company
to beat. At the PC Expo in June, 2000, Marcus and I had a chance
to catch up with Bob Fullerton, president of InnoGear, and ask him about
InnoGear's future products. Below is our interview.
(James): A few months ago InnoGear announced that Global Access would
be taking over development of the InfoMitt. Is there a partnership
or did you sell that product to them?
Fullerton: It was a business
decision we made to help us get our flagship products (MiniJam & SixPak)
out sooner. Also the paging market is a different niche than we had
anticipated. Global Access , as far as a company from the paging
industry, is a very good company to transfer that product to.
VC (James): In VisorCentral's
discussion area there were questions about InnoGear releasing a stand-alone
multimedia card (MMC) reader. Is that a product that InnoGear is
Fullerton: We're definately
considering that, and its a project on the roadmap. It's already
there -- it's a small offshoot of the MiniJam, so we don't have to redesign
anything. It's a very simple tooling effort, so expect to see that
this year for sure.
VC (James): Have you
considered some of the other various flash technologies like Compact Flash?
What made you decide to use MMC instead of CF?
Fullerton: The size/ form
factor. When you look at CF it's not just the size fo the flash card
itself; it's the connector that wraps around it. That system takes up one
side of the PC board, so it wipes out the surface area. Our poducts
would have been two times as large if we would have went with compact flash.
Also there's a lot more power draw. The third issue is that you basically
create software to let the Palm OS look at DOS-formatted file formats.
What we've created in the process of developing MiniJam is a Palm-friendly
file system that we call IGFS (InnoGear File System). That enables
us to drag-and-drop Palm applications and Palm database files and write
them to the MMC. So we've now created a mass-storage device for the
With the MiniJam
I know that you are working with MiniJukebox software. Is that on
the Palm OS side or Windows?
our Palm OS software for the Visor; Music Match is a popular jukebox that
runs on Windows and soon on the Mac, where it is currently in beta on the
MusicMatch site. I'm not sure if it will make the CD when we start
shipping, but we'll have links on our newly restructured InnoGear site
and a new site called MiniJam.com.
Users will be pointed to the mac version and any updates on the Windows
version as they come out.
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