ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Thu Jul 26 18:36:43 CDT 2007
> Does anyone make an interface card that will permit a "thumb drive" to be
> addressed by the classic machines?
> Some time ago, I had a sound card on my Packard-Bell 486SX20 machine. It
> plugged into the motherboard. There was no specific provision for it in the
> BIOS, but the CD-ROM connected to it acted like a "D" drive from Windows
> 3.1. I don't remember ever trying to access it from DOS, though.
Well, it would have needed a device driver, and the Microsoft CD-ROM
extensions, but I can't see why it wouldn't ahve worked. I have a Philips
CD-ROM drive (in an external unit that looks like an audio CD player, and
in fact _is_ a modified audio CD player) which has its own custom
interface card and device driver, and that works this way.
> Perhaps, instead of being plugged into the motherboard, this interface could
> have the hard drive's ribbon cable plugged into it.
I doubt it wa sa snadard IDE interface, there were some custom CD-ROM
interfaces thast went over 40 pin ribbon cables too.
> Does anyone make such a beast?
I am not sure what you are asking for. If you are asking for a card that
lets you connect an IDE hard drive to an ISA slot, then they exist. I am
using one in this machine right now.
I you are asking for some device to use more modern solid state flash
memory with older mahcines, then there are a couple of solutions that
spring to mind. The first is that IIRC, CF cards have an interface which
is very similar to an IDE drive, so if you've got a way of linking the
latter to your classic, it should be possible to use the former.
The other is that I remmeber seeing adverts in Elektor magazine for a
device so use USB flash memory sticks with microcontrollers. IIRC it was
called something like 'Vinculum', and looked to be a panel mounting
module with an IDE socket on it that you pluged the flash memory stick
into. The interface to the microcontroller was SPI or something equally
simple, and it should be possible to bit-bang that on most classic
machines. I am not sure of the higher level bits of the protocol, but
presumanly it's documenented, otherwise you'd not be able to use this
thing with microcontrollers either.
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