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Poqet PC Mailing List Digest
Volume 002, Number 003, 21 Aug 1997

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  1. PCMCIA Card Reader by Michael Blake <blake@xxxxxxxx>
  2. Re: PCMCIA Card Reader by Virtual Bob <h93young@xxxxxxxx>
  3. Re: PCMCIA Card Reader by Aaron Wallace <aaron@xxxxxxxx>

Digest Articles

PCMCIA Card Reader by Michael Blake <blake@xxxxxxxx>

From: Michael Blake <blake@xxxxxxxx>
Subject: PCMCIA Card Reader
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 1997 14:26:37 -0700 (PDT)
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

A while back someone posted a message saying that a vendor (was it Tiger
Software?) was offering a combination PCMCIA card reader plus 3.5" floppy
drive for desktop computers, at an attractive price. I couldn't find this
message by searching the website.

Did anyone try it out? Does it work? I'd love to learn from the pioneers!


Re: PCMCIA Card Reader by Virtual Bob <h93young@xxxxxxxx>

From: Virtual Bob <h93young@xxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: PCMCIA Card Reader
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 1997 20:04:59 -0500 (CDT)
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII
In-Reply-To: <199708202126.OAA28834@xxxxxxxx>

Yup, I think I posted that. I've eventually bought one and installed it. I
was gonna post what I've found, but my laziness won over and I never got
to it.

Well, anyway, here it is. I've ordered it from Tiger Software for $59.95.
It arrived in a very OEM-like package, brown and all. It definitely was
not packaged for retail sales as it doesn't even contain installation
manaul. The manual for the software was in there, though.

My package seems to have been opened before. Or have it? It's hard to
tell. Well, anyway, the package contained the software, the main unit, two
34-pin cables wrapped into one with cellephane wrapper, the manual for
the software, and the 16-bit ISA controller card.

A close look at the main unit reveals the PCMCIA slot unit and the 3.5"
floppy drive are electronically separate units. THe only thing that joins
these two together is the 5.25" bay bracket and the plastic face place.
The drive is a standard Epson, made in China. I wonder how long that will
last. It's quiet in operation and I didn't have any problem making the
drive to work.

The PCMCIA bay is made in Singapore. But unlike what recent Tiger Software
ad says (and what I've stressed in the past), there is only one connector
for one PCMCIA card. So instead of "two PCMCIA type-2 cards or one type-1
card," it should be "one type-2 card or one type-1 card." The 16-bit card
has Vadem VLSI chip set on it. The card probably is also made to accept a
PCMCIA card. But some chips and the PCMCIA cradle is missing in this
setup. Anyway, the connections are simple enough. Standard floppy
connection calls for the power cable and the 34-pin cable. As far as the
PCMCIA part goes, it gets everything via 2 34-pin cables included.

The software is from SystemSoft, called Carsoft16/CardWizard. It works
under MS-DOS and W3.x. The manual says it also works under W95.

Okay, so how is it? Well, it does work with Verbatim 2MB I use with Poqet.
But I guess with any modern PCMCIA setup, you must format the SRAM card in
the Poqet before you transfer the files. If you format the SRAM card using
the provided software, it will not be recognized by the Poqet. I have same
problem with getting the SRAM working with Prolinear palmtops. As long as
the SRAM card is first formatted by Poqet, there doesn't seem to have any

As for other cards, I tried a geniune SunDisk (before they changed to
SanDisk) 5MB card. I haven't used it for years. And I was suprised it
didn't work. But then I plugged it into the Prolinear. Oops, it didn't
work either. I guess it's dead.

Sooo, on to something else. I then took out the WD Caviar PCMCIA 40MB
drive. Plugged it in. I hear it whine and start up. Cool, I formatted it
(again). The software provided (and installed by default) seems to work
with SRAM and the PCMCIA HD without any fuss. And it seems to be faster
than the EIDE drive hooked through ISA IDE host. Cool.

Well, the bottom line is that it works. I wonder about the missing
hardware installation manual. But for $60, it seems to be the cheapest
PCMCIA desktop thingamajig available. Not bad.

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Re: PCMCIA Card Reader by Aaron Wallace <aaron@xxxxxxxx>

From: Aaron Wallace <aaron@xxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: PCMCIA Card Reader
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 1997 09:15:46 -0700
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
References: <199708202126.OAA28834@xxxxxxxx>
In-Reply-To: <199708210105.SAA03789@xxxxxxxx>

At 08:04 PM 8/20/97 -0500, you wrote:
> [...]
>Well, the bottom line is that it works. I wonder about the missing
>hardware installation manual. But for $60, it seems to be the cheapest
>PCMCIA desktop thingamajig available. Not bad.

I recently bought a Greystone Peripherals ISA PCMCIA adapter for
my desktop.  This card is "unique" in that the PCMCIA cards are
inserted directly into the ISA card, through a hole in the
card's bracket.  I needed this setup because the desktop doesn't
have any additional external drive bays.  The Greystone is
a standard 2 type II, 1 type III setup.  It works out of the box
with Windows 95.  The cost was about $70.  It's a bit inconvenient
to have to insert PCMCIA cards in the back of the computer,
but aside from an external PCMCIA "drive", there weren't many
other options.  For those without free drive bays, I'd consider
this card.

|  Aaron Wallace                        The Internet Factory, Inc.   |
|  aaron@xxxxxxxx                            http://www.ifact.com   |

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