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Poqet PC Mailing List Digest
Volume 003, Number 092, 4 Jul 1999

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  1. Re: What's the skinny on card readers? by T.C.Martindale <tcmartindale@xxxxxxxx>

Digest Articles

Re: What's the skinny on card readers? by T.C.Martindale <tcmartindale@xxxxxxxx>

From: "T.C.Martindale" <tcmartindale@xxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: What's the skinny on card readers?
Date: Sat, 03 Jul 1999 20:45:04 PDT
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-----Original Message-----
From: T.C. Martindale <tcmartindale@xxxxxxxx>
To: poqetpc@xxxxxxxx <poqetpc@lists.best.com>
Date: Friday, April 16, 1999 8:58 AM
Subject: What's the skinny on card readers?

>I'm getting tired of hooking that transfer cable to my Poqet Classic
>and have considered buying a parallel-type card reader.  Does anyone
>know what the cheapest model available is that reads the Poqet SRAM
>cards?  If they're significantly over $100, I'd be tempted to just
>buy a Poqet Plus from CalDigital and leave it hooked up to my desktop
>PC all the time to use as a card drive.  At least that way I could
>swap cards AND have a backup Poqet to boot...

Well, it's been a couple of months, so let me answer my own question.  Turns 
out I did find a parallel-type card reader that would work with Poqet SRAM 
cards, and for significantly less than $100.  In fact, I got two for about 
$40.  In my book, you can't beat that with a stick.

I started out with Bryan's FAQ, which mentioned his preference for the 
Databook Thincard drives.  Karby (the people who make it) currently have a 
model TMD-650 for sale for around $189 or something equally beyond my price 
range, but I came across one on EBay that was bidding out for around $75 or 
so.  I was sorely tempted, but a search on the words "Databook" or 
"Thincard" came up with a few other items for sale -- one a Databook TMD-500 
and the other a TMD-550.  I bid on the 500 and got it for around $10 (with 
shipping, almost $20).  Then I got a response from Bryan that said he didn't 
know about the 500, he'd been referring to the 550.  I didn't want to take 
any chances, so I bid on that one too and got one of them for $15 (with 
shipping, $21 total).

The two drives are virtually identical -- I couldn't tell you which was 
which.  In fact, the driver software that comes with them says "Databook 
500/550", so that tells you something.  The drivers are for DOS/Windows; 
Win95 and Win98 are supposed to have a PCMCIA Wizard that will install the 
correct drivers from CAB files on the CD, but I couldn't locate the wizard 
on my machine to save my life.  So I installed the DOS/Windows drivers from 
disk, they made changes to the config.sys and autoexec.bat, and viola, I've 
now got a D: that accesses my 2meg Poqet cards.  Sweet!

The guy I got the TMD-550 from still has a few of these drives (I just 
noticed two more up for auction as I'm writing this), so if you're 
interested, drop by Ebay (www.ebay.com, of course) and take a gander.


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