Surftec-STD launch DigiFlash2By Chris Williams. Published: 8th May 2003, 12:19:29 | Permalink | Printable
Where's me digital camera? [Updated 18:43 8/5/2003] USB-Parallel portAfter a brief period of subtle whisperings in the direction of mass storage USB, Surftec and Stuart Tyrrell Developments have jointly announced today the immediate availability of their DigiFlash2 product.
DigiFlash2 is designed to read and write to CompactFlash (type 1) and SmartMedia cards, allowing RISC OS users to transfer files and data between their computers and various gadgets that use CompactFlash or SmartMedia cards to store information. Such gagdets include digital cameras and MP3 players - devices rapidly growing in consumer popularity.
DigiFlash2 is USB based and requires the Simtec USB interface to plug into a RISC OS machine. RISC OS drivers for the card reading device are, of course, included. We had originally claimed that STD had whipped Surftec in the race to first market a USB based mass storage device for RISC OS although this couldn't have been further from the truth, which is a nasty habit for a news website.
In actual fact, Surftec and STD were originally working on a larger project to develop DigiFlash2 for both the Castle Technology USB standard and the Simtec USB standard, however support for the Castle USB hardware was recently dropped. As a result, we're told the two developers concentrated on completing their DigiFlash2 product for the Simtec USB interface.
Riding the Simtec USB rollercoaster some more and this time inviting along Explan, the two developers have produced a USB-to-Parallel port converter, or "USB Parallel port thingy" as STD describes using clearly baffling yet highly technical terminology.
"The interface plugs into the USB podule on the computer and offers a second parallel port", writes Stuart Tyrrell in a later email to drobe.co.uk. "This allows the use of printers with Centronics parallel interfaces to be driven from a USB card, whilst using their standard RISC OS driver (a special USB driver is not required)."
The USB provided parallel port is faster than the internal parallel port, we're informed. Having a second port is useful for running two parallel port based devices at the same time from a single machine, such as a printer and Zip drive.
DigiFlash website - should have product details and ordering info on it real soon.
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