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Surftec wind ups DigiFlash

By Chris Williams. Published: 23rd Feb 2003, 15:30:06 | Permalink | Printable

"We'll be back"

It's not every day we receive emails as solemn as Surftec's, bringing us news that their flagship DigiFlash CompactFlash product has reach the end of the line and there will not be an encore. The fat lady has sung her heart out, Surftec insist in their press release. DigiFlash, as we understand it, is an interface for RISC OS machines that reads CompactFlash memory cards (used with things like digital cameras), so you copy files from CompactFlash cards to your RISC OS computer. The product was launched way back in 2000 and has apparently received due recognition from Casio and IBM.

"Our reasons for ending the product coincided with Shuttle Technology ending the production of the key component that converts Parallel to ATA, as a result the many variants of reader built around this chip have now been made end of line", explains Neil Farnham-Smith of Surftec. The same goes for their SmartMedia reader product (there's all of nine left in stock), which use the same Shuttle chipset and are thus discontinued. The DigiFlash software drivers, developed by Surftec, have also been discontinued.

Every cloud
Ok, so you've dropped your main product. That means you've got something new and exciting up your sleeves, right? We'd love to speculate about funky USB solutions, seeing as Surftec have got themselves the reputation of being worthy hardware interfacing developers, but let's hear the facts. Surftec wish to focus on their popular educational products, claiming their solutions are being used by a "growing number of schools". We're talking thin-clients here, something RISC OS excels in as its motto has always been "doing more with less".

"We have a number of new exciting projects in the pipeline, these are expected to be launched at some point this year however as yet we won‘t be setting a launch date", Neil continues to 'reveal'. "Until these projects are ready Surftec will seemingly vanish, please don't assume we have left the market, as we have not. We simply won't be advertising or attending the various events around the UK until our next generation of RISC OS products are ready."

We're looking forward to it already and we wish Surftec all the best.

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Discussion

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How disapointing! You can get several converters for SM and CF to read other formats too (like Sony Memory Stick - very useful if you use a Clié). There are many of these types of readers (I've seen similar models for the PC/Mac) so surely they could adapt their software for one of these? ----------- Smiler - :D Alex Melhuish

 is a RISC OS UserSmiler on 23/2/03 6:06PM
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You can get a USB doobry that reads 6 kinds of media (I have one here) for around 30 quid if you shop around. (MMC, SDC, Compact Flash, Memory Stick, Smart Media etc). It appears on the USB as two SCSI devices. Very simple, and work a treat. Obviously, this doesn't help people with machines without USB.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 23/2/03 6:16PM
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The key issue at the moment is that parallel based devices are now being replaced by USB devices, hence Shuttle's decision to stop producing the chip which these card readers are based around.

This is beyond our control, we are unable to purchase more readers, I realise there are still small stocks of readers out there, however it would not be cost effective for us to buy these as the existing products price would have to go up.

We are now working on new products, and at the moment we have chosen a 6 in 1 reader, however until we have it working I cannot confirm we will be sticking with that choice. -- Neil Farnham-Smith - Surftec Ltd

 is a RISC OS Userneilfs on 23/2/03 9:45PM
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nunfetishist: The 6 in 1 reader works on RISC OS?! What model/brand?

Cheers

Garry

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 25/2/03 4:51PM
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