IBM introduced the PCMCIA Adapter/A (AdapterID EFDA) in an effort to bring the flexibility of PC Card technology to the PS/2 computers. Technical information about the adapter may be found at Louis' site. This adapter, along with its dual slot drive bay tray, provides PC Card (not CardBus) capabilities if you are running DOS, DOS/Windows, or OS/2. Based on the Stinger chip set (the same chip was used in the ThinkPad 720) and being an IBM specific chip, it is not directly supported in Windows95 nor Windows NT 4.0.
Until now, that is....
This was my second project - bringing Windows NT support to the PCMCIA Adapter/A. While I did not write the driver, I initiated and managed the project. With the help of Guenter Harp and the folks at APSoft, CardWare for NT now directly supports the Stinger chip set. Note: CardWare for NT is not free, it must be purchased, although a 30 day trial is available for download.
What most readers are missing are the logistics that were involved in this project. APSoft is based outside of Munich, Germany. I live in Ohio. In testing CardWare for NT, APSoft was kind enough to inform me that they were not even checking for a controller on an MCA bus. They did offer to perform an investigation into supporting the PCMCIA Adapter/A - if I could get a system to them. Sending a 9595 or a 8595 computer to Germany was not something I looked forward to.
So, I sent a plea to the comp.sys.ibm.ps2.hardware newsgroup for assistance. Guenter Harp, who lives in Duesseldorf, Germany, offered up a system if I would send him my PCMCIA Adapter/A. He would then combine the two and send the system on to APSoft. I sent APSoft some code to show them how to find an adapter on the MCA bus and also how to determine the base address of the adapter. Then, it was time to wait.
It worked. In three weeks, from project announcement in the newsgroup to completion, APSoft announced support for the MCA bus.
The sad part for me was I offered Guenter to keep my PCMCIA Adapter/A as payment for his time, effort, and money in this project. This left me without a PCMCIA Adapter/A for myself - until a kind member of comp.sys.ibm.ps2.hardware sent me his. I am leaving his name out intentially unless he informs me otherwise, as I do not want him bombarded with requests. Thank you my friend.
Finally, it is my intention to create a list of all PC Card adapters that work with the PCMCIA Adapter/A and CardWare for NT - not already covered by APSoft's compatibility list -, along with a list of PC Card adapters that do not work. So please, if you have any adapters to contribute to the list, put a post to the comp.sys.ibm.ps2.hardware newsgroup.
Supported PC Cards
Unsupported PC Cards
Last updated on 07/20/2003