Re: [NTLK] ATA & Linear Flash Cards FAQ?

From: Paul Guyot (
Date: Mon Jun 02 2003 - 00:13:12 PDT

Date: Sun, 01 Jun 2003 10:50:25 -0500
From: Doctor Clu <>

> I see mention ABOUT linear cards there, but not specific cards. And I
>have yet to see a place where it mentions where you can get a linear flash
>card that is over 32 meg in size.

These cards are hard to find.
The biggest linear card that was reported to work in a Newton was a
50 or 40 MB something, although I think the limit is 64 MB.

The reason of this limit is the linearity of linear cards. Linearity
here means that the card is accessed for reading just like RAM. And
the "width" of the space of this memory is 64 MB (the width of PCMCIA
cards is divided in four spaces of 64 MB and one can find 128 MB
linear cards, but they won't work with a Newton).

Please note that linear cards just means that the memory is accessed
for reading like RAM. But there are other details such as:
- the protocol to figure out the size of the card
- the protocol to write
- the voltage to use to write the card

So in fact, only some linear cards will work with the Newton without
a driver. And there is no third party drivers for linear cards.

Those based on an Intel chip (the chip actually inside the Newton)
and those based on an AMD chip (I think only NewtonOS 2.1 has the
required driver). And with the voltage, the thing begins to be
awfully complex.
The best page on this, (timasci's good but they *sell* cards) is
Carsten Lemmen's (

> What is the "But..." specifics would be good.

I think it is the writing speed as mentioned by Ed.


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