My Aurora-based Minis-QL computer has been giving me a few problems in the last few months. It wouldn’t work with a Qubide plugged in, making me think the Qubide interface might have been faulty. So I spent today taking the Minis-QL apart and cleaning contacts, reseating some chips and so on, and after a while it sprang to life. I disconnected the 2.5 inch hard disk and plugged in an IDE-compact flash card adaptor and tried to format a 4GB compact flash card.
I’d forgotten that under FAT16 the maximum partition size possible is around 2GB, so when I tried to use the PARTITION_EXE utility to create further partitions it duly fell over and of course it wasn’t possible. I guess that with a QL I’ll have a hard time filling up 2GB anyway 🙂
As a 2GB partition uses a cluster size of 32K per block (Qubide 2 allows block sizes of 16, 32 and 64 compared to 4 or 8 on an original Qubide) this is going to be rather wasteful – consider saving a 1K file in a 32K block, for example. It might be more efficient to make a number of smaller partitions totalling 2GB. Even then, it looks like I might end up losing 2GB of the 4GB card I bought, not realising I could only use 2GB.
The picture shows the adaptor plugged direct (at right angle) into the Qubide. The Minis-QL box isn’t tall enough to accommodate this, so I’ll have to add a short 40-way cable between the Qubide and the IDE-CF so it can lay where the hard disk used to be.
Having got this working this far, the next step is to buy a dual compact flash adaptor to see if I can get a master/slave pair of cards working, one of which will act as a backup (mirror) for the other card.