The last sentence of the previous paragraph details my interest in the TRGpro. I was already impressed by the 3rd party developer support for Palm-based devices, having a few friends in the Palm software industry. I had long carried interest in the Palm due to its wild popularity and functionality as compared to Windows CE-based handhelds, but when I found this device, I knew that it represented everything I had ever wanted in a Palm. I could have the excellent information management tools provided by the standard Palm apps, as well as Internet and device connectivity. The possibilities for this little guy were staggering.
For testing purposes, I only had two CompactFlash cards at my disposal: a couple of 8 MB Sandisk CF memory cards, and a Socket CF-E Ethernet Adapter. The TRGpro worked perfectly with the Sandisk memory cards, but my results with the Ethernet adapter were a different story. More on that later.
When I mention the ability to store data on the TRGpro using a CF memory card, someone invariably will ask "So what's the big deal about that?" In fact, it's quite a big deal. I found it to be useful within two days of receiving my unit from HandEra. Due to a defective carbon unit, I had problems over the first two days with the batteries falling out of the TRGpro. Eventually, I discovered that the battery panel cover wasn't being closed all the way, and so the panel would just casually pop open periodically. However, as the batteries would fall out, all my data would be lost from the unit, and I'd have to HotSync again to recollect my contact data, as well as write in any new information.
Using one of the provided applications, CFBackup, the TRGpro is capable of easily backing up all of your contacts, memo notes, e-mail, and applications to a CompactFlash memory card. Once I replace the batteries, I can simply restore the information from the memory card. In fact, I got myself into the habit of backing up the unit every time I went to turn it off. After installing AvantGo, Frotz, Acrobat Reader, and a few other applications, I had accumulated 4.1 MB of data. Backing up of all that data to the CF card took a mere 14 seconds, far less time than a HotSync using the serial cradle. Restoring data from the card takes the same amount of time, making restoration time a snap. Even better, if you just need to restore a certain portion of your data, such as your memo notes, you can selectively restore items in CFBackup.
Another useful application included is CFPro. CFPro allows you to migrate Palm applications and databases back and forth from the RAM to a CompactFlash card. CFPro allows you to install more applications than the normal amount of memory allows by allocating some of the CompactFlash card's space as useable system RAM. CFPro also allows you to install Palm applications from a CompactFlash card, in case you're nowhere near your cradle. Say, for instance, that you've found this nifty new expense manager. Simply download it onto the CompactFlash card, and then use CFPro to install the application from the CompactFlash card directly into RAM. Or, you can use CFPro to install it into the CompactFlash card and run the program directly from the CompactFlash card.
The TRGpro also includes FlashPro, an application that allows OS upgrades to be performed via the CompactFlash slot. The idea is simple - Just copy the OS upgrade file to the CompactFlash slot, and then execute FlashPro to copy the upgrade into the OS RAM. The Palm reboots, and its instantly upgraded. Previously, the OS could only be upgraded on a Palm by HotSyncing with the cradle. FlashPro allows the user more versatility, in case the cradle is inaccessible in the user's current location. Granted, the odds of having to use this application are rather low, but it's still a very helpful maintenance program for developers and hardware hackers.
>> Using CF+ Devices