Monday, 16 November 2009

Quanta Magazine for October and November

Quanta are properly in colour now. A great dollop of colour has markedly enhance Quanta magazine. And its 60 pages long with excellent content. Programming the use of Ver$ by Dilwyn Jones. How to start chess games from Launchpad, Chaos Theory and Duck Shooting. An excellent issue. Well done John Gilpin and Dilwyn Jones. I am looking forward to the updates Quanta web site with content management, hopefully soon.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Hot Swappable IDE CF card devices for the Qx0

It is said that hot swapping compact flash cards using IDE to CF adapters is not possible on the Q60. Most IDE CF adapters are not hot swappable anyway. Some are and tend to be more expensive and may not be suitable for the PATA type IDE drivers in smsq/e.

None the less, I believe there is a simple way to adapt these cheap non hot swappable CF adapters to hot swap by mounting the CF IDE device in a removable 3.5 inch hard disk caddy!

Ok the caddy needs to be opened to access the CF card unless you have a caddy with an easily removable face plate.

Obviously do not remove the caddy and CF card while accessing files on the disk inside. When the device is reinserted either with a new CF card or the same you must remount the IDE device with a Win_Drive command to tell the system that there is a fresh IDE device to be used, otherwise it will not be recognised. And thats all there is to it. I have been trying this on my Q60 for some weeks now and not noticed any corruption of the CF cards data.

Sunday, 1 November 2009


This has appeared as a topic of discussion on the ql-users list again. The last time was in 2007. The device looks as if it is useful. All that is really needed intially is an application to communicate with the device using its inbuilt protocols. Future development might include SMSQ/E drivers for the device to integrate access to the file systems. There are 2 aspects to this project that I wonder about. Firstly since 2007 I have had some time to think about what I might do with a USB device and it seems there is little use for it at the moment given the limitation of writing drivers for all possible bits of hardware that may be connected. Secondly - memory sticks. There the problem is that they will be of little use unless a FAT32 device driver is written for SMSQ/E. Having spent some time looking at applications to read and write from FAT formatted disks I am not at all hopeful that this can be done due to the complexity of the data structures on PC disks and that the data is reversed compared with data organisation under QDOS.