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  • Getting PCMCIA info

    Does anyone know if it is possible to find out (from PB/DOS) which PCMCIA cards are inserted ? I do not have drivers installed yet, I just need to find out which cards are inserted. Thanx in advance,

    Rob de Jong

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  • #2
    In theory, yes... but you would have to duplicate, via INP / OUT / PEEK / POKE or inline assembly, everything that the PCMCIA drivers normally do in order to query the cards. To do this, you'd have to know what particular PCMCIA chipset your system is using, and how it works, in sufficient detail that you could re-invent the drivers on your own (which is basically what you'd be doing!)...

    Is there some reason you don't want your "standard" PCMCIA drivers to handle this?

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    • #3
      I need to find out what PCMCIA network card the laptop has in order to install the correct network driver and then go to the network to load an operating system. So I boot DOS from a floppy disk. I want to have a floppy disk that is as universal as possible - this means: the floppy contains drivers of approx. 8 network cards and can select the correct card itself. This works fine using PCI or IDE cards but i'm unable to determine the PCMCIA cards. Any clues ?

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      • #4
        Well...

        The problem is (to put it simply), PCMCIA cards and sockets don't really "exist", as far as the I/O bus is concerned. Originally, the PCMCIA specification was just for memory cards (hence the awkward acronym which, IIRC, originally meant Portable Computing Memory Card Interface Archetecture), and functioned in a manner similar to EMS - meaning that all of that extra memory in the card could only be accessed through a "window", and it was up to the PCMCIA chipset and drivers to make the cards look like system RAM, a disk drive, or whatever else was desired.

        With the expansion of the PCMCIA spec to include devices as well as memory cards, it is still up to the chipset and drivers to make PCMCIA modems, network cards, sound cards, etc. look like "real" I/O devices. Your network card doesn't have an I/O address or interrupt line until the chipset and drivers grant it one.

        Unfortunately, PCMCIA chipsets are like everything else in the PC world - only the OS-level interface to their drivers can be relied on to be consistent; the actual hardware can and does vary widely, depending on whether your particular laptop(s)' chips were made by Phoenix, S3, IBM, or ??? So, before you can determine what cards may exist on the other side of the chipset, you first have to determine what chipset you're dealing with...

        Considering how avidly the Linux guys have been trying to integrate PCMCIA support into the kernel, and considering their current state of progress, I think you're looking at a decidedly non-trivial task here.

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        • #5
          decidedly non-trivial indeed. I have seen tools on the market (like CardWorks) that can actually do the trick though. But as I read from your reply this would involve quite some work. Thanx for the reply anyway.
          Rob de Jong

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