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1.1 General

This manual and the products described are copyright APDL/Baildon Electronics. Neither the whole or any part may be reproduced without previous written consent.

The software is under continuous development. Information and descriptions could therefore differ slightly from the product supplied. Additional information may be included as a text file on the Utilities Disc supplied with the interface.

All information is given in good faith but APDL cannot accept liability for errors or omissions or loss of data or damage arising from information in this manual or the use of products described, no matter how caused. Unauthorised interference with or modification to any hardware or software or connection of unsuitable or faulty devices or use in an unsupported computer or OS may invalidate the Guarantee.

In the event of difficulties first read the 'Problems' section and any additional files on the Utilities disc. Here you will find instructions on what to do if you need further help. Experience shows that the answer to 99% of problems is either here or in the computer's User Guide.

ideA is a trademark of APDL All other trademarks are acknowledged.

1.2 About ideA

IDE stands for Integrated Drive Electronics. This means that most of the electronics is fitted to the drive itself, so the interface can be simpler and cheaper and more reliable. Data transfer is faster because the electronics on the drive are designed to work at optimum speed with that drive.

ideA is the name given to all IDE interfaces manufactured by APDL. As well as the Blitz we also supply other models to fit most Acorn machines.

Most features of ideA interfaces and filing systems are common to all models, but some things, like fitting and connecting drives, depend upon the type of computer and interface and the drive or drives. If you had a drive and interface fitted by a dealer this will have been done for you.

Unlike earlier ideA interface you cannot fit the Blitz to older machines like the A5000, A400, A540, etc. It can only be fitted to a 'new architecture' machine like a Risc PC. Even if we made it possible to use the Blitz on older machines it would have no performance advantage over the standard ARCIN interface which is less than half the price, so there would be no point in compromising Risc PC performance to obtain compatibility with older machines.

The Blitz interface and ideA filing system, like most recent ideA interfaces, are completely RISC OS 4 compatible and support the new E+ disc format with long filenames.

1.3 Fitting drives

Drives are connected to the interface by ribbon cables. Two drives can be attached to each lead, and the Blitz interfaces can support two data leads and so two pairs of drives, four devices in all. IDE drives can be configured as Master or Slave. Where a single drive is connected to a lead it should be set to Master, but where two are connected to the same lead one should be set to Master and the other to Slave. If two drives are connected to different leads (eg. an internal IDE drive and an external ATAPI CD) then both should be set to Master. This normally involves fitting or removing certain 'jumper' links on the drive, and a 'jumper table' is often printed on the drive itself or described in literature supplied with it.

Some IDE drives require a jumper to be placed in a different position depending upon whether a drive is a single drive (Master) or Master with Slave present.

This manual describes the ideA interface and the software , ie, setting up and use of the interface and how devices are attached. It does not describe in detail fitting of a hard drive or CD ROM. If you purchased an interface without a drive it is assumed you are knowledgeable enough to deal with this aspect of the work yourself. There are so many combinations that it would be impossible to cover them all, but some of the most common are described briefly. Neither does it describe dismantling and reassembling the computer, this is explained in the machine's User Guide. You should read the instructions before you try to fit a drive or interface and if you do not feel confident to carry out the work get your dealer to do it for you.

1.4 Handling precautions

There are a few very important precautions you must take before trying to fit an interface and/or drive to any model. First you should take care of your own safety. Always unplug the computer from the mains before you remove the cover. Next you should adopt anti-static precautions before handling the interface or drive. It is best to leave the components in the anti-static bags in which they are supplied until you are ready to fit them. If you subsequently remove them for any reason always replace them in these bags until you are ready to refit them. Handle a hard drive with care and make sure you don't subject it to any shocks or drop it. Never move the computer while the drive is running and even after switching off wait at least ten second so the drive has time to stop spinning. The heads are suspended just a few thousandths of an inch above the disc itself and any shock which brings a head into contact with the rapidly spinning disc can cause irreparable damage to the drive and will probably result in damage to some part of the disc. Even if the drive is still usable it will almost certainly be impossible to recover data stored on these damaged sectors.

1.5 Use with removable media drives

The Blitz interfaces supports removable media IDE drives, including Syquest and Castlewood Orb. However, these drives are no longer manufactured so we are not able to provide any support if you do have problems.

With most drives when you insert a disc in a drive and click on the drive icon the disc is Mounted and locked in the drive. Pressing the Eject button on the drive will now have no effect. To change discs first click on 'Dismount' on the drive menu to Unlock the drive and the Eject button will then work.

If you attempt to access an empty drive or click on the drive icon before the drive is ready then you may get an indeterminate error message or just a blank error window. This is because some models of drive may not return a sensible error if you try to access them when they are empty.

If the interface does not seem to recognise a removable media drive then see the later section on Configuring.

You should always Dismount a disc before removing it, even if it is not locked into the drive. Failure to do this may not only confuse the IDEFS filer, but because it won't 'know' that the disc has been changed it could write data to the new disc in an inappropriate way and corrupt it. With removable media drives you should make sure that your discs are all given unique names. This helps to avoid this type of error.

Note that some removable drives, like Zip and LS120, often referred to as 'IDE' are not actually IDE but ATAPI and so will not work without special driver software.

If there is no disc in the drive when you shut down the computer you may get an error message 'Bad drive'. This is of no consequense, it just means that the filer has tried to Dismount the drive, and it can't do that because there isn't a disc in it.

1.6 PC 'partition' files

These work exactly the same way on an IDEFS drive as they do from an Acorn ADFS drive. However, some people have trouble creating them and this is usually because the default file name in the !PCConfig Disc Setup window assumes that the file is going to be created on an ADFS drive. With a Blitz drive the filing system is IDEFS and so instead of ADFS::$.<name> you must enter IDEFS::$.<name>


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