Toshiba FlashPath SmartMedia Reader

Model number PDR-FLP2

This is the Flashpath.  It makes SmartMedia flash memory cards look like a floppy disk to your computer.  The SmartMedia cards are used by digital camera's.  They come in 2M, 4M, 8M, 16M, 32M, and 64M sizes.  I just bought a 32M for $80.00 USD at CompUSA today (5/29/00).

So far, the Flashpath only works in M$ windows and Mac machines.  It needs a special driver for the computer to recognize it.  I tried it on a Sun/Solaris 7 and a RH6.1 Linux box and they both failed to read it :(  The Sun box says:
ufs read: I/O error
fd0: read failed (44 4 0)
fd0: bad format

And the Linux box won't even mount it.

In this picture you can see how the Flashpath works.  It uses two 3V Lithium (CR2016) batteries.  The SmartMedia Flash memory card slides into the side of the Flashpath.  On a windows computer, the Flashpath looks just like a floppy disk.

This thing is really wierd.  I can't tell how the floppy disk reader reads this thing.  The slot where the heads go is just an empty hole!  (There's no pseudo disk) But it does work!

I've sent an e-mail to Toshiba America asking for the source code for the Flashpath driver.  I hope that they send the code to me!

Update: 8/02/00

As many Slashdot readers pointed out to me, has released a beta smartdisk driver for Linux. It has been released as source and it is a loadable kernel module for 2.2.x Linux kernels. I'll try it out this weekend, but from what some people said, it works pretty well!

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