more on that external hard disk conflict with COM1

Brian Smithson (
Mon, 6 Jan 1992 14:58:56 -0800

I've been chasing a problem with my new external hard disk, and have not yet
found a solution. The hard disk connects to the UltraLite through the parallel
printer port (I'm using the parallel port on the floppy drive). A driver was
provided with the hard disk which handles the interface. The problem is that
when I access data on the hard disk, I get some kind of data corruption on
the COM1: port. I don't believe that the problem occurs on COM2: (the modem),
but I'm not positive of that.

I spoke with the author of the hard disk driver software. He indicated that
there had been a problem with UltraLite parallel interfaces and that NEC
issued a firmware upgrade. He gave me the name of someone in NEC technical
support to call. I called the NEC person, and although he was now working
in Monitors instead of Laptops, he recalled that he had had some kind of
problem. However, he said that there has never been a firmware upgrade
for the UltraLite.

I called the driver guy back. He said that it may have been an upgrade to the
firmware on the interface -- maybe it was the floppy/parallel device, or maybe
it was the standalone parallel device. I called NEC back and spoke with someone
who is currently in the Laptop tech support center. He is looking into it and
promises to call me back tomorrow.

The reason I'm bothering you all with this (lacking answers, obviously) is
that I'd love to hear from anyone who has tried an external hard disk on the
UltraLite or who has heard of any kind of firmware upgrades. If you have
any information on these subjects, please let me know as soon as possible.
I need to get this resolved within a reasonable amount of time so that I can
return the hard disk if that becomes necessary.

In any case, stay tuned and I'll let you all know how it comes out! I must say,
it's *really* nice to have a hard disk for the UltraLite. I don't carry it
around, but I can keep all of that stuff on the hard disk that I have been
accessing by swapping floppies. It's really a joy to hook up the disk and
suddenly have 36MB (with Stacker) to fill up.

-Brian Smithson
 Motorola Inc., Computer Group, Commercial Systems Division
 2001 Logic Drive, M/S 1-E10, San Jose, CA 95124 USA, (408)369-4104, {apple | pyramid}!motcsd!brian