VOGONS


First post, by lolo799

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Does the subject really need a thread?
Are there more than Compact Flash to PCMCIA adapters out there?
Do they work in DOS?
The answers to all those questions are Yes it does, there are and most do, so it's totally relevant to our retro file transferring needs!

Let's start at the beginning, here is a picture of the PCMCIA storage devices I own:

pcmcia-storage.jpg
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pcmcia-storage.jpg
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Compact Flash, Microdrive, Iomega Zip, Sony Memory Stick, Flash media, Iomega Clik!, HDD, and an ATA interface card for 2.5" HDD.
I don't own a SD to PCMCIA adapter, so if anyone of you does, please test it, thanks.

The Zip drive has its own DOS driver, all the other cards work under DOS (except for the Clik! drive) using the enablers found at http://www.tssc.de/site/products/enablers/ata … ab/default.aspx

Some benchmarks, using HddSpeed v2.1 under DOS and Roadkil's Disk Speed Version 2.0 under Windows XP,

CBATA/386 Version 3.10 - Release 11-Apr-2003
(C) Copyright 1993-2003 by APSoft
All rights reserved. Disassembly or decompilation prohibited.

Please, specify serial number or press ENTER without any input for run
evaluation version

Detected PC Card '256MB ' in Socket 0:9:0

ATA Drive Information
==================================

Serial number : CF00000000
Firmware revision : 041FA
Model number : Flash Card
Number of cylinders : 03E7h
Number of heads : 0010h
Number of sectors per track : 0020h
Number of cur. cylinders : 03E7h
Number of cur. heads : 0010h
Number of cur. sec./track : 0020h
Current capacity in sectors : 0007CE00h
Total number of user addres. sectors : 0007CE00h ( 250 MB - LBA mode only)
Buffer size : 00000200h ( 0 KB)
Current number of sectors per block : 0001h (for multiple commands)
The maximum number of sectors per block: 0001h (for multiple commands)
LBA mode is supported.
Device is magnetic media.

PC Card uses Drive E:


ÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÝHddSpeed v2.1 ResultsÞÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ
þ Hard Disk 1: Unknown Type (Compact Flash adapter)
þ Size:
BIOS: 243 MBytes
þ Geometry:
BIOS: 31 Cylinders, 255 Heads, 63 Sectors
þ Disk Rotation Speed: Not Determined

þ Average Seek Time: Not Determined
þ Average Seek Time: Not Determined
þ Track-To-Track Seek Time: Not Determined
þ Average Access Time: Not Determined

Read (MBytes/sec.) Write (MBytes/sec.)
þ Linear Speed At Track 1: 1.3 1.6
þ Linear Speed At Track 29: 1.3 1.6

þ Average Linear Speed: 1.3 1.6
þ Min. Linear Speed: 1.3 1.6
þ Max. Linear Speed: 1.3 1.6

þ Max. Cache Read Speed: 1.4 MBytes/sec. (64K block)
Detected PC Card 'HITACHI FLASH' in Socket 0:9:0

ATA Drive Information
==================================

Serial number : X0208 20040616042825
Firmware revision : Rev 3.00
Model number : Hitachi XXM2.3.0
Number of cylinders : 07C3h
Number of heads : 0010h
Number of sectors per track : 003Fh
Number of cur. cylinders : 07C3h
Number of cur. heads : 0010h
Number of cur. sec./track : 003Fh
Current capacity in sectors : 001E8FD0h
Total number of user addres. sectors : 001E8FD0h ( 978 MB - LBA mode only)
Buffer size : 00000400h ( 1 KB)
Current number of sectors per block : 0001h (for multiple commands)
The maximum number of sectors per block: 0001h (for multiple commands)
LBA mode is supported.
Device is magnetic media.

PC Card uses Drive E:


ÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÝHddSpeed v2.1 ResultsÞÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ
þ Hard Disk 1: Unknown Type (Flash)
þ Size:
BIOS: 977 MBytes
þ Geometry:
BIOS: 993 Cylinders, 32 Heads, 63 Sectors
þ Disk Rotation Speed: Not Determined

þ Average Seek Time: Not Determined
þ Average Seek Time: Not Determined
þ Track-To-Track Seek Time: Not Determined
þ Average Access Time: Not Determined

Read (MBytes/sec.) Write (MBytes/sec.)
þ Linear Speed At Track 1: 1.3 1.2
þ Linear Speed At Track 991: 1.3 1.0

þ Average Linear Speed: 1.3 1.2
þ Min. Linear Speed: 1.3 1.0
þ Max. Linear Speed: 1.3 1.2

þ Max. Cache Read Speed: 1.3 MBytes/sec. (64K block)
Detected PC Card 'HITACHI microdrive' in Socket 0:9:0

ATA Drive Information
==================================

Serial number : N2JPE19A
Firmware revision : DN4OCA2A
Model number : HMS360404D5CF00
Number of cylinders : 1F00h
Number of heads : 0010h
Number of sectors per track : 003Fh
Number of cur. cylinders : 1F00h
Number of cur. heads : 0010h
Number of cur. sec./track : 003Fh
Current capacity in sectors : 007A1000h
Total number of user addres. sectors : 007A1000h (3906 MB - LBA mode only)
Buffer size : 00020000h ( 128 KB)
Current number of sectors per block : 0000h (for multiple commands)
The maximum number of sectors per block: 0020h (for multiple commands)
LBA mode is supported.
Device is magnetic media.

PC Card uses Drive E:
PC Card uses Drive F:



ÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÝHddSpeed v2.1 ResultsÞÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ
þ Hard Disk 1: Unknown Type (Microdrive)
þ Size:
BIOS: 3906 MBytes
þ Geometry:
BIOS: 992 Cylinders, 128 Heads, 63 Sectors
þ Disk Rotation Speed: Not Tested

þ Average Seek Time: Not Determined
þ Average Seek Time: Not Determined
þ Track-To-Track Seek Time: Not Determined
þ Average Access Time: 20.5 ms

Read (MBytes/sec.) Write (MBytes/sec.)
þ Linear Speed At Track 1: 1.6 1.4
þ Linear Speed At Track 990: 1.5 1.2

þ Average Linear Speed: 1.5 1.3
þ Min. Linear Speed: 1.5 1.2
þ Max. Linear Speed: 1.6 1.5

þ Max. Cache Read Speed: 1.6 MBytes/sec. (64K block)
þ Disk Speed Index: 77

FAT HPFS386
þ Weighted Speed Index: 14 5
Detected PC Card 'TOSHIBA MK5002MPL' in Socket 0:9:0

ATA Drive Information
==================================

Serial number : 93F21416 T
Firmware revision : V2.10 A
Model number : TOSHIBA MK5002MPL
Number of cylinders : 2896h
Number of heads : 000Fh
Number of sectors per track : 003Fh
Number of cur. cylinders : 2896h
Number of cur. heads : 000Fh
Number of cur. sec./track : 003Fh
Current capacity in sectors : 0095D1B6h
Total number of user addres. sectors : 0095D1B6h (4795 MB - LBA mode only)
Buffer size : 00035000h ( 212 KB)
Current number of sectors per block : 0010h (for multiple commands)
The maximum number of sectors per block: 0010h (for multiple commands)
LBA mode is supported.
Device is non-magnetic media.

PC Card uses Drive E:


ÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÝHddSpeed v2.1 ResultsÞÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ
þ Hard Disk 1: Unknown Type (PCMCIA HDD)
þ Size:
BIOS: 4792 MBytes
þ Geometry:
BIOS: 611 Cylinders, 255 Heads, 63 Sectors
þ Disk Rotation Speed: 4000 RPM

þ Average Seek Time: Not Determined
þ Average Seek Time: Not Determined
þ Track-To-Track Seek Time: Not Determined
þ Average Access Time: 21.5 ms

Read (MBytes/sec.) Write (MBytes/sec.)
þ Linear Speed At Track 1: 1.6 1.0
þ Linear Speed At Track 609: 1.6 1.0

þ Average Linear Speed: 1.6 1.0
þ Min. Linear Speed: 1.5 0.9
þ Max. Linear Speed: 1.6 1.0

þ Max. Cache Read Speed: Not Determined
þ Disk Speed Index: 74

FAT HPFS386
þ Weighted Speed Index: 12 5
CF&Flash.jpg
Filename
CF&Flash.jpg
File size
119.7 KiB
Views
1512 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
MS&ATA.jpg
Filename
MS&ATA.jpg
File size
121.37 KiB
Views
1512 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
Microdrive&HDD.jpg
Filename
Microdrive&HDD.jpg
File size
120.11 KiB
Views
1512 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
Zip&Clik.jpg
Filename
Zip&Clik.jpg
File size
121.7 KiB
Views
1512 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

As you can see, the Flash devices are the fastest and the Iomega drives the slowest, nothing surprising at all here!

The Memory Stick adapter is directly supported on the HP 200LX Palmtop computer (atleast with my 8MB card), whereas some Compact Flash cards need a driver to be loaded first which can be problematic to transfer on the unit in the first place...

My obvious advice is to go with the simplest and cheapest, so a no-name Compact Flash adapter and a bunch of CF cards.
Thanks for reading!

PCMCIA Sound, Storage & Graphics

Reply 1 of 6, by Bondi

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Guess it belongs to this topic. Got this EZ-GIG card today.
IMG-2014.jpg
It's a very handy way to connect HDDs to old laptops. It has a standard 44 pin IDE connector and can be used to connect any 2.5 IDE drive via PCMCIA port. Tested it in Windows 95 and pure DOS (with standard IBM SC,SS+PCMCIA ATA drivers). Works fine in both.
Originally it came with a DOS bootable diskette, that had HDD cloning/backup software. It basically cloned sector by sector the internal HDD to the one connected to PC Card. Bit it was limited to 10 drives. The diskette was copy protected, and is not available online. Which is sad as it would be a great way to clone/backup HDDs without removing the HDD from the laptop.

Reply 3 of 6, by AshleyPomeroy

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Not technically PC related, but Kodak's old digital SLRs used to use PCMCIA storage cards. Here's my DCS 520 with a Callunacard and a 1gb industrial PCMCIA card:
o4d6RKk.jpg

And a pair of PCMCIA/Compact Flash adapters:
oTT3TqQ.jpg

The bus was hot-swappable and used FAT32, which was impressive for 1998 or 1999 or so. I believe the cameras ran on PowerPC hardware. I remember trying a PCMCIA-CompactFlash-SD-MicroSD adapter chain, but it didn't work (either the SD-MicroSD adapter or the MicroSD card itself was the culprit). Sadly the Callunacard stopped working after a short while; I have the impression that the shock of using it after however many years in storage killed it.

From what I remember the Amiga 600 had a PCMCIA slot. Didn't take off as removable storage but the form factor found a niche for wifi and USB 2.0 adapters.

Reply 4 of 6, by Pierre32

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Here's my parallel port PCMCIA flash reader. I use a CompactFlash adapter in it. It's one of my favourite things ever. There's no easier tool for slinging data between my DOS and 9x machines.

I discovered this family of devices, and the associated DOS drivers thanks to Ozzuneoj's thread. Then I happened to find mine on ebay right afterwards. Parallel Port Compact Flash card reader for very old PCs

ftTCdIul.jpg

Reply 5 of 6, by Bondi

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A weird device that I'm not sure whether should be in this thread or in pcmcia sound cards thread. A battery powered PCMCIA voice recorder. I assume that it's combined with some kind of storage, and you get your recordings right on it. NOS for sale on ebay right now.

pcmcia.jpg
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pcmcia.jpg
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Reply 6 of 6, by lolo799

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Bondi wrote on 2020-02-19, 16:12:

Originally it came with a DOS bootable diskette, that had HDD cloning/backup software. It basically cloned sector by sector the internal HDD to the one connected to PC Card. Bit it was limited to 10 drives. The diskette was copy protected, and is not available online. Which is sad as it would be a great way to clone/backup HDDs without removing the HDD from the laptop.

You could use any other hdd backup/cloning software with this though, you're not limited to the one that came with the card.

AshleyPomeroy wrote on 2020-05-26, 14:27:

Sadly the Callunacard stopped working after a short while; I have the impression that the shock of using it after however many years in storage killed it.

The Callunacard is Pcmcia type iii hard drive, no wonder the shock killed it!

Pierre32 wrote on 2020-05-26, 14:37:

Here's my parallel port PCMCIA flash reader. I use a CompactFlash adapter in it.

You can read regular pcmcia flashcard too, probably sram as well.
And SmartMedia, which was the next big thing in the storage world...

Bondi wrote on 2020-07-06, 14:49:

A weird device that I'm not sure whether should be in this thread or in pcmcia sound cards thread. A battery powered PCMCIA voice recorder. I assume that it's combined with some kind of storage, and you get your recordings right on it. NOS for sale on ebay right now.

pcmcia.jpg

Probably recognized as standard pcmcia ATA device under Windows.

There was atleast one digital camera that worked like that, with internal flashram storage and an integrated pcmcia interface to plug it in a computer to transfer the pics.

PCMCIA Sound, Storage & Graphics