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Billy T
21-05-2010, 04:11 PM
A PCMCIA Type 1 card to USB adapter?

I want to be able to hang a USB device off my Toshiba Libretto, which only has a Type 1 card slot. It runs W95 and I still need it for field use with some legacy (DOS) instrumentation that won't run on anything more modern than W98. I don't think the Libretto has native support for USB but I imagine that an adapter would add that anyway.

I've done an extensive search, and I did find a Type 2 adapter, but no joy on Type 1 unfortunately, not even with Farnell or RS Components who have a lot of legacy interface hardware.

I've got other DOS programs running on XP now by adding the appropriate system files, but they gave indications of what they needed, whereas the current program just blinks onto the screen then vanishes again.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

wainuitech
21-05-2010, 04:26 PM
You can get The Cards (http://www.imagef1.net.nz/files/USB.jpg) - if it works from Win95 is another matter.

Edited: no good for 95 - drivers only go back to 98

Billy T
21-05-2010, 04:36 PM
Thanks, but that appears to be a Type II card, which I have no problem finding, I can see the little bumps along the insertion edge. I need Type I

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

wainuitech
21-05-2010, 05:46 PM
You may find its simply to old.( new ones anyway) someone may have a second hand one.

Many hardware / Software manufactures dont keep making drivers or hardware for older equipment. Thats going back 15 years now.

jwil1
21-05-2010, 06:28 PM
What about running it in a VM?

Billy T
21-05-2010, 06:32 PM
You may find its simply to old.( new ones anyway) someone may have a second hand one. Many hardware / Software manufactures dont keep making drivers or hardware for older equipment. Thats going back 15 years now.

I agree, but in the industrial instrument market, equipment is often used way beyond normal consumer time scales. The range of equipment in the Farnell and RS catalogues catering for obsolete computer technology suggests that this is not an uncommon problem.

My instruments are about 17 years old but were current production until just a few years back, and I don't think the software has changed at all. It is definitely not Y2K compatible either, so I have to keep the date set back to 1999 and do some cutting and pasting to get the right date on files printed for reports. I don't have $50,000 or more to invest in replacements.

The software packages all came on 5.25 and 3.5 inch floppy disks, are relatively simple, 16 bit only, and have worked ok until the introduction of NT based operating systems via W2K. Even so, I have successfully got two programs up and running on XP and there is only one left giving me grief.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

ryanjames.powell
21-05-2010, 10:26 PM
So why can't you use a computer that already has USB built in? Surely you can find one for next to nothing? Also, the original Windows 95 won't do USB, you need Windows 95 with USB Support, or just use 98.

Billy T
21-05-2010, 11:43 PM
I use the Libretto to download instrument data on site because the designers didn't included adequate storage in any of the instruments. One of them can capture just 10 values at a time and the others are not much better. If I'm buried somewhere in the bowels of a building or at the top of a gantry I can't just pop back to my vehicle to download, which is why I carry the Libretto. It is very convenient, being barely the size of a VHS cassette. I can upgrade the Libretto to W98 or 98ME, but first of all I need to know if I can get USB running, it will make life a lot easier.

I have a PC Card network adapter that I use to download back in my office but I can't interface that to the instruments.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

gary67
22-05-2010, 06:32 PM
Don't know if its any help, but I have USB drivers for Win95-98 on a floppy somewhere. I also have them on my file server just stored. If they would be of any help let me know

Agent_24
24-05-2010, 03:12 AM
I had this same issue with my IBM 380ED. It only supports PCMCIA 16-bit and the only USB cards available are for PCMCIA 32-bit aka Cardbus.

It's a bit like trying to get a USB ISA card, they don't seem popular either

I can't think of any reasons for it not to be possible though, except maybe the CPU could be overloaded by processing the data in some way.

Bandwidth wise, USB 1.1 is only 12Mbit and there are 10Mbit ISA Ethernet cards around...

Power could be a problem, but easily solved with an external power source (HDD molex plug in terms of an ISA card, or external power pack in case of a laptop card)

I think really there was not enough of a market for it. USB came out in 1996 but even so wasn't widespread until USB v1.1 which appeared in 1998 - and by then the PCI bus was widespread too so I think it made little sense to try and build something for the slower buses like ISA when devices operating on PCI would no doubt be faster, more reliable and easier to design.

Or perhaps it was a way to get people to upgrade their computers ;)

Google brings up some tales of USB ISA cards but there are no photos to verify these claims. It seems a very niche market.

I stand corrected: http://www.simtec.co.uk/products/EB1161ISA/

Billy T
24-05-2010, 12:32 PM
I agree, but in the industrial instrument market, equipment is often used way beyond normal consumer time scales. The range of equipment in the Farnell and RS catalogues catering for obsolete computer technology suggests that this is not an uncommon problem.

As I said previously (above) the industrial market runs from (not too) close to the bleeding edge all the way back to DOS and pretty much the full range of hardware is still available for that market.

I've tried USB to serial and USB to parallel converters in the past to connect other instruments to more modern PCs with mixed results, but it gets very problematic when you have to use essential DOS programs that have limited ability to run on later systems. DOS>USB>DOS doesn't seem to work too well but I'm hopeful that I will extend the flexibility of the Libretto if I can find a PCMCIA to USB card.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

Chilling_Silence
24-05-2010, 12:39 PM
I'm with jwil1, why not a VM?

Gobe1
24-05-2010, 12:54 PM
I feel for ya Billy
Some of our users use serial to USB adapters for electrical installations but find them a bit buggy
Cant beat an old laptop with a serial 232 plug :) 100%