RE: NTLK HOW/What: compact flash

From: Jon Shurtleff (
Date: Tue Dec 21 1999 - 17:35:43 EST

Not any difference in PCMCIA card slots I am aware of other than
sometimes you'll see two Type II PCMCIA card slots "stacked" to make a
Type III card slot in laptops (used by PCMCIA hard disks and some
multifunciton cards such as Xircom's). But without drivers for the type
of card for your machine, the card is useless. Newton supports Linear
flash, SRAM memory, some modems, some Ethernet cards (extra driver
needed) and that's basically it. ATA need not apply until someone writes
a driver (a VERY unlikely but not impossible event).

I think there was a Typer I PCMCIA card too, but I haven't ever seen
anything but Type II's and III's. Probably thinner or something.
Perhaps has info if you're interested.

 - Bill



The Newton is the only device I've seen that has side-by-side slots.
Everything else I've seen has stacked slots.

Newer laptops have slots for Cardbus, the 32 bit version of PCMCIA. The
slots are physically identical. 16 bit cards fit in them and can work in
them. 32 bit cards have thin gold plated strips across the top of the card
near the connector that has little bumps on it that prevent it from being
inserted in a 16 bit slot. The CardBus slots can typically be set in the
BIOS and/or OS to work as 16 bit or 32 bit slots, or autoselect. Getting 32
bit and 16 bit cards to work together can be . . . problematic.

As for the Type I cards, they are the original 'PCMCIA' card. All 16 bit
and CardBus cards are now known collectively as 'PC Cards'. PCMCIA is the
Personal Computer Memory Card International Association. This is the
standards body which defined the PCMCIA standard. Since they've moved on to
other standards like PC Card, SmartMedia, CompactFlash, and, and, and . . .
they like to differentiate between the name of their organization, PCMCIA
and the standards they define, such as PC Card, SmartMedia, CompactFlash,
etc. PCMCIA is also sometimes referred to as 'People Can't Memorize
Complicated Industry Acronyms'.

Type I cards are thinner, 3.3mm. They are only slightly thicker than the
connector and have flat sides. According to the Spec they only supported
memory, although I have a couple of old NEC (early Xircom) ethernet cards
that are Type I. A lot of Newt memory cards are Type I, including the Apple
2Mb card and my Pretec cards. Type II is a tad thicker and usually has thin
sheet metal sides that bulge out. It supports memory and I/O devices,
including modems, ethernet, joystick controllers, sound cards and various
other crazy gadgets. Examples include the Apple 4Mb card and the Megahertz
Cruisecard (and every other modem I've seen)


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