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Connecting a CD-ROM drive

Connecting a CD-ROM drive

I enjoyed Tom Boyles' article in the July/August Palmtop Paper (page 15) on connecting a Zip drive and an IDE hard drive to the HP. I am a real fan of the Transdigital parallel port PCMCIA card, and have been running a Zip drive from my HP since the TransPC card came out last year.

I have recently been successful with another device which should be added to the list of new toys Tom hinted at in his article. The Addonics Pocket Parallel Port CD-ROM drive, which weighs 15 oz. and is the size of two stacked CD jewel cases, works with the TransPC card on the HP.

I now can carry my Oxford English Dictionary (version 1.0 for DOS), the complete Gutenberg library CD-ROM, and many other databases of history and literature that run with DiscPassage (the old Bureau of Electronic Publishing DOS CDs) and Folio for DOS.

Setup only requires enabling the TransPC port, then manually loading the Addonics drivers by running pcd.bat, which calls drivload.com to load pcd.sys (all on the software floppy that comes with the drive).

It also loads mscdex.exe, which I got from a DOS-5 laptop with a CD-ROM drive (it should be supplied, Addonics, if you're listening).

The only glitch is that I find that I have to load and then drop out of System Manager after loading the TransPC drivers (and before running pcd.bat) to keep the machine from hanging.

The Addonics Pocket Parallel Port CD-ROM is a 10X drive (searches are indeed fast, but the HP can't keep up with this!) that runs about $300. (It doubles as a music CD player on AC, or with four AA batteries.)

Unfortunately, the computer-interfaced CD-ROM drive only works with AC (the adapter is a couple of ounces; very small). It would be nice to find a power pack to make this totally portable.

Jeffrey F. Friedman


[The Parallel PocketCD is available from Addonics Technologies, 48434 Milmont Drive, Fremont, CA 94538 USA; Phone: 510-438-6530; Fax: 510-353-2020; E-mail: atc@addonics.com; Internet: http://www.addonics.com. The Editors.].

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