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CompactFlash IDE interface launched

By Chris Williams. Published: 21st Jun 2004, 10:08:57 | Permalink | Printable

If at first you don't succeed..

Photo of the CF IDE interfaceAcornEvolution is back, and this time, it's offering hardware. The site is now currently selling RISC OS compatible IDE interfaces for CompactFlash cards as well as RAM upgrades and refurbished RiscPCs.

CompactFlash memory cards are normally found in gadgets like digital cameras and are silent due to having no moving parts. AcornEvolution can also provide advice on which CompactFlash cards to buy.

AcornEvolution first opened at the start of 2004, although we'll just help sweep that under the carpet.

Links

AcornEvolution website - details, pricings

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Discussion

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Does it support the CF+ (CF 2.0) that wikipedia talks about? At 16MB transfer rate, does anyone think it would be noticably slower than a normal HD on an Iyonix, for things like booting up and loading apps? What are access times like compared to a HD? Also, what's the largest card size you can get right now?

 is a RISC OS Usersenduran on 21/6/04 10:49AM
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Wow, that looks good! I think it would prove most useful as a backup drive, or for swapping large files between machines.

 is a RISC OS Userharmsy on 21/6/04 10:58AM
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senduran: It doesn't support CF+, mainly because the connector is a different size but also because CF+ cards do not always support the True IDE mode required. The largest CF card I have found is 1 gig. In tests I have seen no slowdown although it is of course all subjective. Hope that helps.

harmsy: It's not ideal for swapping files between computers as it's an internal add-on, unless you want to open up your kit on a regular basis. It would be useful to quickly test the boot drive between several machines for testing purposes however.

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 21/6/04 11:03AM
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Depends on your machine really. I have my RiscPC with nothing on top of it, so it takes two seconds to twizzel the pegs, and access anything. However A7000 is another story. (took be a good 15mins to get into it fully)

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 21/6/04 12:25PM
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Also depends if you have a spare floppy cover (or CD ROM) as you could easily modify the covers to fit, id imagin

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 21/6/04 12:51PM
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So what will the other RISC OS websites relaunch themselves as? I notice that www.myriscos.co.uk has relaunched itself as an upto date news site ;-)

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 21/6/04 5:40PM
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SparkY: How fast do normal CF cards go then? At 20 I suppose I should just buy one and try things out for myself. But cheques and snail-mail... <sigh> How about getting someone like CJE to distribute them?

 is a RISC OS Usersenduran on 21/6/04 6:54PM
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SparkY: Actually, I've just realised I only have CF+ cards. Do you have any plans to do a CF+ version of your adaptor? And is there any way to tell if a particular card has the 'true' IDE mode (is there a list somewhere?)?

 is a RISC OS Usersenduran on 21/6/04 8:49PM
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Nice to see Gavin is alive and well (I hope he's well). Any idea if the games development is still going ahead???

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 21/6/04 9:53PM
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"silent due to having no moving parts"

Also, for similar reasons, less prone to damage when dropped on the floor, and generate less heat, and use less power.

harmsy: For swapping files between computers, a USB card reader (external or internal, about ten to fifteen pounds) is ideal.

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 21/6/04 10:08PM
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In reply to senduran: There are three ways of accessing Compact Flash - as Memory, as I/O, or in 'True IDE' mode where the CF card acts as an IDE device.

CF+ is a rather funny beast... the fact that they are same size as Type II cards (5mm thick) isn't too much of a problem (by comparison Type I are 3.3mm thick)... but with CF+ they don't need to support the 'True IDE' mode, whereas all normal CF devices have to. There's no definite list of what CF+ cards do support it, and IBM (now Hitachi) Microdrives claim to but in reality they don't.

Best stick to Type I CF cards - up to 256meg, 512meg etc... Sandisk is one of the pioneers of compact flash, and their cards are very reliable.

 is a RISC OS UserQuazar on 21/6/04 10:11PM
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senduran: I will be offering at least one online payment method within the week if that makes it any easier for you!

knutson: Well enough, thanks! As I mentioned in a brief note on the AcornEvolution.com site, the development of the games is still ongoing, don't worry.

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 21/6/04 10:21PM
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What are the biggest Compact Flash that will work with these cards?

Am very interested.

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 21/6/04 11:31PM
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Revin Kevin: The largest CF card is 1GB which is around 140-150. We stock some of the smaller (and much more affordable) cards but I guess the card you choose depends on your budget and the intended use. Give me a shout at sales@acornevolution.com if you've any further questions etc as I'm sure Chris will be getting fed up with me giving sales pitches soon ;)

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 21/6/04 11:43PM
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Looks like a great product, though it would have been nice to give the board some green solder resist to nudge the board towards a more professional look.

Could also have great applications for mini-computers and if it can work with windows/linux should be marketed to hobbiests building mini-pc's for playing MP3's over network shares, easy 'diskless' workstations without the hastle of making boot-roms for systems, and much more, all it takes is good product placement, and it might be worth bumping up the price, I know someone who lost sales because people thought his product was to cheep to be up to the job, also might be worth contacting a mechanical shop that can make up a box so this can be secured inside a 3.5" drive bay... optional future design ideas could include fitting the deivice inside the 2.5" laptop specification, though would be a more nieche market.

 is a RISC OS UserNoMercy on 22/6/04 12:18AM
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Thanks SparkY.

When I upgrade will give you a call.

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 22/6/04 7:39PM
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