Testing the ISA USB Adapter: Enhanced File Transfer Capabilities for Interconnecting Old and Modern Computers

Testing the ISA USB adapter: File transfer between old and modern computers

An 8-bit ISA card with the CH375 USB interface chip integrates a memory stick as a DOS drive for computers from the pre-USB era. It is especially useful for those who still use old MS-DOS/Windows PCs from the 16/32-bit days. Many people use these old PCs because there are no current drivers for outdated measurement or control technology or because the software only runs with a parallel port dongle. However, one major problem faced by users of these old PCs is the memory issue. The old hard drives fail and replacements are often hard to find, as they are on the verge of extinction.

File transfer to and from modern computers is also difficult due to the dying out of old media. Some adapters simulate a floppy drive on the PC side and write to a USB stick, which is interesting for old machine tools and musical instruments because they do not require drivers. However, these adapters have limited memory capacity, similar to floppies, with only 1.4 megabytes per stick.

For IBM-compatible PCs with an ISA bus, there is a better solution: an ISA USB adapter. This card can fit into any half-length 8-bit ISA slot and is equipped with a USB-A socket. However, it does not come with a slot bracket. The CH375 interface chip is responsible for transferring data between the parallel 8-bit bus and the serial USB port. It can handle transmission types up to 12 Mbit/s (full speed), which is just over 1 Mbyte/s. The chip even supports USB host protocols, although they are not used in old operating systems that do not recognize USB.

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