Re: writing to FlashRAM Card with Laptop

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Posted by Steve347 on September 25, 2001 at 23:04:09:

In Reply to: writing to FlashRAM Card with Laptop posted by Shreenivas on September 20, 2001 at 17:49:35:

I posted this before, but I'm always glad to help out some more.

Here is what I have found about burning flash memory cards. This is especially helpful if you have purchased Intel-based Flash cards, such as Eiger labs (popular on eBay):

You CAN use the PCMCIA slot on a laptop computer to burn a flash memory card, but it is a very tricky process. The software I use is an old DOS program called "Flash/File to Flash/File" (aka F2F). It lets you read AND write data to and from flash cards. The program is available at this URL:

(This is a self-extracting .exe file, so put it in a separate folder somewhere before you run it)

Once you have the image file created out of SoundBridge, you have to go to a DOS prompt and type a "dir" command to get the exact file size in bytes of the image file. Then, load the Windows calculator program. Click on View, and then Scientific. Type the exact file size MINUS 1 into the calculator, and then click the "Hex" option (this is because the card writing software begins at 0, not 1). That converts the file size into HEX form, which you have to use in F2F.exe.
From the DOS prompt, run F2F.exe, and you'll get a menu. Before you burn the image to the card, you have to choose "e" to erase the card. When it asks for the beginning address, just type "w" to erase the entire card. Next, choose "w" for Write. The beginning address is always 0, and the end address is the HEX value of the file size (minus 1). Then you type in the file name (including path) and it writes the image to the card.
Now.... if the card doesn't work in your QS the first time, you have to do what I think is called a "byte swap"... the only program I've found to do this is Sound Forge. You load the .img file as a .raw format, choosing "Low Endian" on the menu (the rest of the options don't matter). Then simply save the file again, only this time select "High Endian". I have searched everywhere for another program besides Sound Forge to do this, but no luck. (it was dumb luck that I stumbled across this option in Sound Forge in the first place!)

It's very complicated to do, but the idea was born out of necessity. I purchased some Intel-based flash memory cards (namely Eiger Labs), not realizing I needed AMD brand, such as Pretec. Since I couldn't write the samples to the Alesis through MIDI, I set off on this quest. Thankfully, it worked.
Two good things about this process: 1.) You can use just about ANY kind of flash memory! and 2.) It is actually much faster than sending all the data through MIDI.
The only drawback is, when you use Intel flash memory, the Alesis reads it as ROM, and you can't save your programs and mixes directly to the card (even if the write protect is off).
Well, I hope this helps some. Feel free to email me anymore questions you may have.

Stephan Carroll

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