Re: [NTLK] New user question about CF cards

From: James Wages <>
Date: Wed Dec 13 2006 - 17:42:33 EST

On 12/13/06 11:49 PM, Sam Speake <> wrote:
> I emailed Paul Guyot last year to ask if he would consider reducing
> the price as I love the software but can't afford (or justify) the cost. He
> advised that he was working on an update due for summer 2006 and
> there is no price reduction scheme.

Before I dive into this, please note that: (a) this is my personal software
"evaluation" and by no means a personal attack on Paul, and (b) my review
should not reflect badly on Paul's other software endeavors, concerning
which I have no hands-on experience...

I paid full price for ATA Support nearly 3 years ago. And at that time, I
was told by Paul that he was "working on an update." There has not been an
update during those 3 years in spite of the full price that I paid. I admit
that my fee alone should not warrant an update, but I did mention some
performance issues that prompted Paul to write me back claiming that an
update was forthcoming. I did not pressure Paul for any update though. I
was simply told by him that one was in the works. But since it never came
during these 3 years, I assume it never will. In light of this, the price
is too high and should most definitely be reduced. I would accept the
current price as "fair" if the software was updated at least once a year.
But that is NOT the case.

Another reason the price is very high in my opinion is that, in my tests,
the larger the ATA/CF card you put in, the SLOWER the performance will be.
I tried many sizes of flash and Microdrives. The bigger, the slower. And
no, I certainly do not believe this was due to my using "incompatible" ATA
cards either. (In comparison, linear card speed is by far much faster than
all the ATA's I tested.) Microdrives on ATA Support are painfully slow
because the driver allows them to spin up and down and up and down all the
time -- a real mess. The only "half-way usable" CF card I found speedwise
was a 32MB flash card. But it's still too slow for normal use, so I only
use it to backup from off my 32MB linear once every few months. Paying that
much for a driver that I use only once in a blue moon was certainly NOT what
I had in mind when I bought it nearly 3 years ago.

If the software was updated once a year, and if the performance issues had
been addressed, I would be the software's strongest advocate even at the
current price point. But I am unfortunately not in the position right now.
I can only hope that some external pressure will work to change the status
quo. Until performance is fixed in the form of an update for all owners of
ATA Support, "buyer beware."


James Wages

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Received on Wed Dec 13 17:43:09 2006

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