Flashpath for Linux
Hans Schou <email@example.com>
Smartdisk has released a driver
for Linux http://www.smartdisk.com/Downloads/Software/FlashPath%20for%20Linux.htm.
A letter from smartdisk.com
From: Tina Brown
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2000 9:30 PM
Subject: FlashPath - Linux
The FlashPath driver for Linux should be available on our website towards
the end of Q2.
From my part this project has stopped. I do not have the FlashPath
adapter anymore and now I am using a PCMCIA adapter together with a
SmartMedia chip. This solution is also much better for me as it is
faster and I do have an old laptop.
I am awfully sorry that I/we have stopped. It stopped for several reasons:
1) I was not good enough for reverse-engineering the assembler code. 2)
None of the vendors would give any technical information.
I suggest that you go look for the PCMCIA solution. For me it is very
important to be able to work fast with the pictures as I sometimes
take up to 150 pictures 'while in combat'. If you are a Linux user
you might have seen some of my pictures already otherwise take
a look at
Last change to be come Y2K compliant.
The Flashpath adapter is a diskette like device which is used to transfer
data from a digital camera to a computer.
The Flashpath adapter is manufactored by
www.fujifilm.co.jp and some drivers
can be downloaded from
A Smartmedia® chip from www.toshiba.com for
more information look at http://www.toshiba.com/taisisd/dsc/access.htm.
is inserted into the Flashpath adapter can be accessed.
The driver which is included with the adapter is written by
www.fisc.com. You can read a little about here
and I sure like to have the specifications for FDOS.
- 1999-04-24 James Radley send a link to his flashpath homepage
- 1999-04-20 Flashpath for Linux announced on comp.os.linux.announce
- 1999-04-18 By working with Norman Richards I found out that it
was a good idea to write down what I had in my head.
I have added a list of descriptions.
Currently the descriptions is a mess.
- 1999-04-16 Norman Richards has made a mailing list on
where we this very day are two subscribers.
Norman will first try to get flashpath working with dosemu which should be possible.
- 1999-04-15 With a long time with no activity Norman Richards
joined in and wanted something to happend. Norman wants to start up
a mailing list already but we still don't know how to access the
device. Fisher will not give any information at all. Currently
I'm stuck in reverse engineering the assembler file.
Anyway, I think I know how the device how you should read some data
from a file.
- Get Change line status. If we got "no disk in drive"
and "Change line active" then it is a flashpath.
- Write some control data to Track 0, Head 0, Sector 2
where you specify that you want to read data from
the boot record of the 'disk'.
- Read the boot record from Track 0, Head 0, Sector 1.
You get 512 bytes here. Check that this is a flashpath??
and find out how much memory the chip has.
- Read 8K bytes from Track 0, Head 0, Sector 3.
This is the FAT.
Go through the FAT and find the file you want.
Calculate where that will be on the chip.
- Write a control block to Sector 2 where you specify
which memory part you want.
- Read the file data from Sector 3. Again it is 8K data.
- Repeat from 5 to 6 until you got the hole file.
- 1999-01-06 Henning Skourup suggested that I took some parts from the
disassembled driver and make it work without understanding how it works.
Then move the assembler over to Linux and try it out. Sounds like a good idea for a start.
- 1998-12-14 Wrote and got a letter from Cindy.Lord@fisc.com. No, Ficher International
will not develop a driver for Linux. She did not comment on my request for technical information.
Maybe I should contact 'maddog' to get some help with getting the tech-info.
- 1998-12-06 I think it work like this.
I have made a few log-files which can be found here.
In all the test i copy a small file from the adapter to the harddisk.
Description of sectors (my guess). Only track 0 and head 0 is used.
- Access the floppy with Int13 function 16.
If the return code (AH) is 00 a normal floppy is in the drive.
If the return code is 06 it is FlashPath adapter or no disk in drive.
- If the return code was 06 when trying to write to track 0 head 0 sector 2 it is Flashpath adapter.
This write operation program the Flashpath to set data sector 3 to point at root directory.
If the return code was 80 there is no disk in the drive.
- Read sector 3, the root directory.
Calculate the entry to the specified filename if found in the root directory.
(I guess I have to debug the DOS-driver to find out how to calculate the entry point.)
- Write sector 2 to address the data of the file.
- Read the file data from sector 3.
- Sector 1 Read only. 1 sector. Get status of the Flashpath controller.
- Sector 2 Write only. 1 sector. Control sector. Used to tell the Flashpath
controller where to access the smartmedia memory.
- Sector 3 Read/Write data sectors. Always read or write 16 sectors.
- 1998-12-05 Had to call in Eugeni Bobrov (aka FAT-boy).
Made an Int13 logger. When accessing the FlashPath,
Int13 function 16h always gives status: "No disk in drive", "Change Line active".
In general, all R/W operations are performed to Track(cyl) 0 and Head 0.
Flashpath DOS driver only read from sectors 1 and 3 when reading from the device.
All write operations are performed to sector 2 when reading the device.
When writing a file to FlashPath write operations are performed to
sectors 2 and 3 only.
- 1998-12-01 Bought a Flashpath adapter. Boot sector 0 has a lot of
information like the text "FAT12". Looks like it got two FAT tables
at sector 1 and 2.
- 1998-11-27 DOS driver disassembled. Looks like heavy use of Int13h
calls and no lower calls than that. With 4MB of RAM this adapter
must use something like bank switching.
- logint13.zip Interrupt 13h logger. DOS only.
Need DEVICE=FLASHPTH.SYS in CONFIG.SYS.