CompactFlash+ And You
The most versatile aspect of the TRGpro is the CompactFlash slot located at the top of the unit. If you're already familiar with digital cameras, then you may recognize that CompactFlash is the most widely adopted flash memory standard for digital cameras. CompactFlash is rugged, but features current memory capacities of up to 400MB of data. The advanced revision of the CompactFlash specification, called CompactFlash+ or CF+ for short, provides an even more advanced interface, allowing for the use of card-powered peripherals such as serial cards, modems, Ethernet adapters, and more. Furthermore, using the power supply in the CF+ slot, more advanced data storage devices can be manufactured, such as miniature-profile hard disks. Most prominent among these offerings is IBM, with its Microdrive offerings between 340 MB and 1 GB using a half-platter and a single drive arm.
The TRGpro is able to take advantage of these devices using its built-in firmware drivers and the AutoCF program. AutoCF acts as a CompactFlash cataloguer, identifying devices and configuring them for use with the TRGpro. Once configured, the devices are ready for use. Installing applications to support the devices is left up to the user, however. The TRGpro is designed around the user who knows what he or she is doing - If you're using a CF serial card or a barcode reader, for instance, it is assumed that you have an application ready to interpret the data from the device. HandEra doesn't supply this software, but instead the hooks to use the functionality. This is no fault of HandEra's, of course, since they simply supply the middleware.
With the capabilities of the CF+ slot in the TRGpro, the simple handheld organizer turns into a veritable Swiss Army Knife of PDAs, with the capability of handing all sorts of customized industrial and informational applications. For instance, add a barcode reader and the TRGpro turns into a portable inventory tracker to be used in retail or warehouse environments. Put in a Digital Cellphone translator card, and use a digital cellphone to connect to an ISP and perform a remote HotSync or send some e-mail. Put in the Ethernet adapter, and you have a portable network terminal or a miniature web-browsing platform.