Re: NTLK Re: PCMCIA Type II Adapter card and Compact Flash

From: Paul Guyot (
Date: Sat May 27 2000 - 00:43:35 CDT

>Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 03:19:50 -0400
>From: Peter Apockotos <>
>Subject: Re: NTLK Re: PCMCIA Type II Adapter card and Compact Flash
>Message-ID: <p04310111b553d5e4b68a@>
>This is the web site that sets the standards for Compact Flash

You can add
Compact are just small ATA-PCMCIA compatible (for the software)
cards. Look at their FAQ.
Subscription is $5000.

>Yep, that's the reason. There's nothing in the Newton OS that can
>help the Newton talks to this device. That's what drivers are all
>about. They're the intermediate between the hardware
>and the OS. So, they can answer OS requests by talking directly to
>the device. In the case of an ATA card, when you insert it, the
>hardware triggers the OS to tell him a card has been
>physically inserted. The OS then try to find a driver associated
>with it, or it might also try to request more info about the card
>from an existing driver. Since the existing drivers
>can't talk to this card, they report that the card isn't recognized.
>Or if the OS is only looking for a specific driver associated with
>this type of card, then it reports very quickly
>that the card isn't recognized, since no driver could be found.

Non, non, non. Le problème n'est pas là.
No, no, no. That's not the problem.

There seems to be a driver. Even on 2.0 hardware.
But the driver is not all. The missing part is a bit of software to
use the card as a Newton store.
(hence ATA docs is useless).

>Is it really only a missing driver and not a completely different
>hardware concept? I think of completely different lines with different
>functions and only physically equal sockets.

ATA is a disk interface. Linear is linear:
ATA: each block has a track/sector or block number.
Linear: each byte has an address.

Linear cards are mapped into Newton memory. (at 90000000 virtual,
30000000 physical for the first one I think).

>If it is only missing software the next question is: Is it possible at
>all to patch the NOS and include an ATA driver in the system.

The ATA driver is already in the rom.
In case it wasn't, there is no need to patch the system to access the
card. (the only required thing would be to convince the Newton not to
say that the card is not valid).

>I hope
>that Apple was so clever to have something like an address table outside
>of the ROM or whatever method for patches is used.

In fact, it is in ROM, but with the MMU, we can technically do what we want.
I do now know how to enter into supervisor mode. It is not the
standard way, but it would work if required. (it needs to have a
specific system update).
There is technically a table - Walter Smith calls it the Jump Table
-, and part of it can be patched with the standard patching mechanism.

(if anyone is interested in technical data, I may take some time to
document some stuffs).

>PG> I should add that there was a project several years ago which has
>PG> been abandonned.
>Just for historical interest, could you tell us more about this project?

In fact, it was Newton, Inc & Sharp.

I have been asked by my partner to investigate the potential market.
(I am totally aware that this is a huge task, but considering my last
discoveries, it is rather likely I would be able to do some stuffs)
(in all cases, development will be really effective in a couple of months)

Here are the questions:
Who may be interested in an ATA interface to backup your data (plus
some specific applications such as MP3) and have ponctual
archive-like accesses?
Who may be interested in a full ATA support? (i.e. like a Newton Store)
considering that it won't be a good idea to have a very huge store.
(anyway, there is very likely a limit) and that if the driver
requires too low-level accesses, it would only be useful on MP2000,
and if it requires too much memory, on MP2100.

After this question, consider how much you are ready to pay.
Initial fees (just to buy a card) is around 500 FF. ($80).
Development time (approx.): 3 months of full-time work.

I came to think that it probably doesn't interest enough people,
especially considering that using the card as a store may never

BTW, I still would like to get the Lantern DDK CD catalog, in order
to check what I currently miss.



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