PB 5300 flash drive

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Joined: Apr 30 2004
Posts: 22

I've got a PB5300c, and I know there was, at one time, lots of talk about running a small system off a pc card flash ata drive. Of course, this was back when 32 mb compact flash cards were a big deal. Has anyone tried getting a pc card reader and a 512 mb flash card and using that exclusively as the harddrive?
I'm kind of unclear on whether there's a difference between the PCMCIA readers that accept a compact flash card and the older ones in which the card was built in (and were called ata drives) Will both of these mount as drives and be bootable and everything? Any ideas? And geez... what could I put where the hardrive was? Thanks!

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eeun's picture
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Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 1891
Low End Mac

I recall some discussion here as well, but I did come across this article at Low End Mac recently, during my own 5300 research.

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 1900
ATA to flash adapter? Or not . . .

Flash-to-PC card adapter + FlashCard = flash PC card. Same thing. Mountable =Y. Bootable =Y. Everything =? What to put into HD area? How about a flash-based solid-state HD? Smile

I know flash-based drives are available that just plug directly into an ATA bus and appear and act like a HD to the host 'puter. I don't have any links handy, but a quick search ought to turn 'em up.

Question I have - aren't there adapters that are essentially the flash-based drive but without the flash card itself? That is, just an adapter with a PCCard or FlashCard slot into which one could insert thier flash-based card of choice. Seems like I've seen these, just can't recall if they're real or if it was just a dream. Smile

Hmmmmm . . . if one stuffed an ATA-bus-to-FlashCard (or PCCard) drive adapter into the HD area, one could provide an external opening where one could swap out the FlashCard (or PCCard) without having to open up the dang 'Book to get access. Hmm, a slot in side or front edge? Or a liftup hatch in palmrest or ??

However, I assume Trick wants to have the slick, silent no-HD PB-thing, but really, a modern HD is nearly silent, uses less 'lectricity than old drives, is cheap and very large. With the $50-$100 to be spent on a large Flash module, one can have a 20-30GB ATA drive that is much larger and much faster, nearly silent and very frugal with juice.

I just don't see much practical use for a solid-state drive replacing a HD, 'cept for those to whom extremely long battery life is paramount and can do with only a modest amount of storage capacity.

Heck, for super runtimes using a 5300, buy a cheap PB3400 desktop battery charger (LiIon batts can't be charged inside a 5300) plus a couple of inexpensive LiIon 3400/Kanga batts and have greater than 4 hour runtimes. Well, I suppose, using the same logic, one could have even greater runtime with a solid-state HD and LiIon batts . . . hmmmmm, whatever. Laughing out loud

Dan K (who seems to vaguely recall testing a 5300C with a LiIon batt and actually getting like 6 or 8 hours . . . dammit, getting old sucks!) Laughing out loud

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Barry's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 177
I installed OS 9 on a 256mb c

I installed OS 9 on a 256mb cf card and it boots my digital picture frame. Unfortunetly using hot glue to build one of these things isn't a good idea. After hanging on the wall in my dineing room for a week, it took a dive to the floor. Broke the frame, glass survived and so did everything else. It was still running when I picked it up. I figured the glass would have broken and taken out the lcd as well. Going to rebuild it corectly with plywood and wood glue.

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alk's picture
alk
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 373
CF and ATA Flash

I too have used a 256 MB CF card to boot my 5300c digital picture frame. It works great and runs completely silently (I pulled the internal HD, of course). Coupled with a Sony Vaio wireless card, it's a pretty sweet little setup.

I've also got a largish 333MB ATA flash memory PC Card that works wonders in my Macs (though now it's being used strictly as a storage volume for my eMates and MP130).

If you're looking for a bootable flash RAM card for your Mac, don't bother with CF cards. They're too expensive when you count the adapter. You can get fat ATA flash cards on eBay for cheap - my 333MB cost me $20. My 256MB CF card cost me $46 at CostCo, and the PC Card adapter cost me an addition $12.

Peace,
Drew

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alk's picture
alk
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 373
Hey Dan. There are lots of

Hey Dan.

There are lots of flash memory adapters. CF and ATA flash both implement standard IDE signals and are electrically compatible with IDE controllers (all they need are passive adapters to adapt the CF or ATA flash pinout to an IDE cable or PC Card slot).

A CF card can be inserted into a special adapter to allow you to use it internally with either a laptop's 44 pin IDE connector or a standard 40 pin IDE cable. I've seen a hack somewhere online where a fella adapted a CF card to the internal hard drive connector of a PB 150 (or was it a 140?). It involved some trickery because the early IDE implementation of that 68k PowerBook expected certain signals on the IDE bus, but the CF card was not complying... But it worked.

I run a CF card in my digital picture frame for a handful of reasons. One is that it's smaller (and easier to fit in the frame). Another is that it's much cooler than a real HD. Finally, even a nearly silent hard drive isn't actually silent. A CF card is completely silent. And that makes a HUGE difference in a quiet living room.

Peace,
Drew

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