Tuesday, October 25, 2005

VFSi review

VFSi - the VFS information viewer is a free and very special file manager for Palm OS: It can't access RAM or ROM (FileZ, GentleMan, FileProg, FileCaddy etc. can) but it can open several file types (FileZ etc. can't): plain text (TXT), bitmaps (BMP), jpeg images (JPG) and gzip archives (GZ). So it can be used as a text editor or image viewer. It supports 320x480 px screens (HiRes+).

Getting started

The main program + text, jpeg and bitmap plugins take 168 KB RAM. After installing you can start and use it directly. By default it starts in "/Palm/Programs/VFSi" (You can change this in the menu "Options" -> "Preferences).

The interface

The interface is very simple. There is a list with two icons (one shows whether the file is selected, another shows the file type), the file name and (if you wish) the file size. You can navigate through the folders and open files with both the stylus and the 5-way-navigator, also on old devices without one-hand navigation (Tungsten|T, T|C, ...).

One icon shows a house. You can switch to your start folder. The "B" button means switching to bookmarks (more about that later), the "F" button means switching to the file system.

The "Info" dialogue shows file name, size, type and "last modified" date.

Image viewing

When the plugins for bitmaps and JPEGs are installed, you can view such images with VFSi.

With the first button you can open a menu (you can also open it with the center button) and switch to the next or previous picture, zoom and rotate. The second icon returns to the file browser and the third button sets the zoom to fit the screen.

The text editor

With the editor you can view and edit plain text files. To create new text files you have to open the "Plugins" menu. VFSi has also a plugin to use "KaniEdit" as text editor. If you have problems with the character set and you see "strange icons", you can remove CRs (carriage returns).

In this screenshot, you see four selected files. This feature lets you copy, delete, ... multiple pictures.


VFSi is the only file manager I know which lets you define bookmarks. Bookmarks can help you to find important files fast. Every bookmark can have a memo.

Plugins, Extension Manager, ...

For example, the text plugin links TXT files to itself. With the extension manager, you can set up other file types to a plugin (for example the text plugin can open CSV and HTM files as they are plain text, too). Unfortuanely you can't open external applications (like DocumentsToGo).

My results

Yes, VFSi is a special file manager. It has special features, like image viewing or bookmarks but I miss some features - like opening external applications: Bookmarks and the file browser can be useful to access important documents - but VFSi can't open documents (PDF, HTM, DOC) although they are apps that can. The image viewer is useful, too: it can rotate and zoom pictures (but not save) and switch to the next. It seems that development is discontinued because the latest version is old.

You can download it at: http://www.geocities.co.jp/SiliconValley-PaloAlto/7022/oldcontents/vfsi.htm


Blogger Tam Hanna said...

I can only say that viewing JPEG files works well on my T3 in HiRes+!
Best regards
Tam Hanna

11:32 AM  
Blogger Alexander Gratz said...


How fast does it open large JPEGs? On my T|C it takes about 15 seconds although I'm using the ARM plugin.


12:22 PM  
Anonymous Telyx said...

It opens a 960x480 image on my Zodiac 1 in about 2 seconds. It won't open ".jpeg" files, though-- only ".jpg"

2:35 PM  
Blogger Alexander Gratz said...

I think there are .jpeg files not so often. To open them, go to the menu, open extension manager and create the new extension, to be opened as .jpg


7:07 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

my VGA images coming from SX1 display in less than a second!
Best regards
Tam Hanna

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