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By Eric Landrieu ©April 2001
Through experimentation, and thanks to something I noticed when hooking up the
camera to a computer running an operating system made by a certain Redmond-based
company, I've found that I can transfer the images from my Toshiba PDR-M4 digital
camera directly to my OS/2 computer using the USB cable that comes with the system.
Based on information on Toshiba's website, I suspect this may also hold true for
the PDR-M5 and the PDR-M70 (although don't hold me to it on these models). This
article will tell you what you need to get this working, how to set it up, and what
you need to know to do the transfers.
The PDR-M4 has both USB and serial cables included with it. You can't (at least,
at the moment) get the camera to transfer using the serial cable.
An OS/2 computer with USB ports that work with IBM's USB support drivers
The digital camera and its USB cable
IBM's USB Basic Device Support Package (software choice at http://service.software.ibm.com/os2dd/swc/usbbasic.exe
IBM's USB Mass Storage Device Driver (software choice at http://service.software.ibm.com/os2dd/swc/usbstor.exe
Editor note: These drivers should also be available as the part of eComStation
since it includes the Merlin Convenience Pak as it's base and all driver updates
Once you've got these installed, you install the USB Mass Storage Device Driver.
When that's done, reboot, and you'll be ready to start using the camera.
You can make some customizations of the way the drivers set up your system. You
can tell it how many devices the drivers should accommodate (reserve drive letters),
and how many of these are devices that be can treated as floppies versus hard drives.
The PDR-M4 does not act like a floppy, so you should make sure that you allow for
at least one non-floppy device in the driver parameters.
Once you reboot, when you connect your camera, you will find that you have a
new drive letter assigned (on my system, it took my CDROM's drive letter and that
one moved up one letter). This puts you right at the root of the SmartMedia that
is in the camera. The Toshiba camera creates a directory off the root called DCIM.
In this directory, there are directories named xxxTOSHI (where xxx is a three digit
number, the first being 100). Inside these directories you'll find the *.jpg files
where your camera stored the pictures.
You can simply copy these files (using any normal OS/2 file copy procedures)
to copy the files to your computer's hard drive. It's really that simple.
OS/2 will cache the directory structures of the hard drive, and doesn't recognize
if you change SmartMedia. You should issue the command:
EJECT x: (where x is the drive letter of the camera)to tell OS/2 that you are ejecting the media. You will see the camera's status light go from green to off. You can then change the Smartmedia card, and OS/2 will have no problem reading the new one.
I've also noticed that the transfers (at least on my end) are slower with OS/2
than with Windows 2000. The transfers are still much faster than I could get with
a serial connection before, I wish it could be a little faster. It took 3 ½
minutes to transfer the contents of a full 32MB SmartMedia card to my OS/2 computer
(which translates to about 1200Kbits/second for the data itself, not including any
control, error checking, etc. data).
IBM's USB Basic Device Support Package (software choice subscription required): http://service.software.ibm.com/os2dd/swc/usbbasic.exe