Freedom Scientific 440057-001 Computer Drive User Manual

Disk Drive II
User’s Guide
Accessory Hardware for
Freedom Scientific Notetakers
Freedom Scientific BLV Group, LLC
August 2002
Part # 440057-001 Rev. A
Freedom Scientific BLV Group, LLC
11800 S. 31st Court North
St. Petersburg, Florida 33716-1805
Information in this document is subject to change without notice. No part of this
publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or any means, electronic
or mechanical, for any purpose, without the express written permission of Freedom
Copyright © 2002 Freedom Scientific BLV Group, LLC, All Rights Reserved.
Table of Contents
Introduction............................................................. 1
Getting Started........................................................ 1
Braille ‘n Speak 640 and Braille Lite 18 ................ 1
Type ‘n Speak 2000 ................................................ 2
Braille ‘n Speak 2000 and Braille Lite 2000 .......... 2
Braille Lite 40 and Braille Lite M20 ....................... 2
TypeLite and Braille Lite M40 ................................ 2
Using the Disk Drive............................................... 4
Disk Drive Commands ........................................... 4
Loading a File ......................................................... 5
Saving Files............................................................. 6
Reading the Directory of a Disk ............................ 7
Deleting Files .......................................................... 8
Formatting a Disk ................................................... 9
Creating Subdirectories......................................... 9
Reading Files ........................................................ 10
Examples............................................................... 10
Loading the Spell.Dic File.................................... 11
Other Information ................................................. 11
Using the Serial Interface .................................... 12
Table 3.1 ................................................................ 13
Block Transfer Commands.................................. 13
Problems, Questions and Suggestions.............. 15
The disk drive is a hardware accessory that lets you transfer
files to and from your notetaker using a standard 3.5-inch
diskette. Holding up to 1.44 kilobytes of information and PC
compatible, diskettes remain a versatile and inexpensive
medium for storing and transferring notetaker files. Measuring
only 8 inches x 4 inches x 1 inch, the disk drive is as portable
as your notetaker.
The disk drive uses rechargeable nickel cadmium batteries
that last approximately 5 hours before they need recharging.
To recharge the batteries use the 9-volt DC, positive tip 200
mA charger.
With an optional serial cable, the disk drive is compatible with
other RS-232 devices.
In order to use the disk drive you must have a July
1, 1990 or later revision of firmware on your
Getting Started
Braille ‘n Speak 640 and Braille Lite 18
For your Braille ‘n Speak 640 and Braille Lite 18, the disk drive
is packaged with the DDA2-BNS-1 cable.
Connect the cable’s smaller square end to the 6-pin port on
the left side of the notetaker. This should be the first port on
the left side. The connector is keyed so that it will plug in only
one way and it should slide in easily.
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Type ‘n Speak 2000
For your Type ‘n Speak 2000, the disk drive is packaged with
the DDA2-TNS-1 cable.
Connect the cable’s small round end to the 6-pin port on the
backside of the notetaker. This should be the second port from
the right side. The connector is keyed so that it will plug in only
one way and it should slide in easily.
Braille ‘n Speak 2000 and Braille Lite 2000
For your Braille ‘n Speak and Braille Lite 2000, the disk drive
is packaged with the DDA2-BNS-2 cable.
Connect the cable’s small round end to the 8-pin port on the
left side of the notetaker. On these notetakers it does not
matter which port you use. The connector is keyed so that it
will plug in only one way and it should slide in easily.
Braille Lite 40 and Braille Lite M20
For your Braille Lite 40 and Braille Lite M20, the disk drive is
packaged with the DDA2-BNS-2 cable.
Connect the cable’s small round end to the 8-pin port on either
side of the notetaker. On these notetakers it does not matter
which port you use. The connector is keyed so that it will plug
in only one way and it should slide in easily.
Type Lite and Braille Lite M40
For your Type Lite and Braille Lite M40, the disk drive is
packaged with the DDA2-BNS-2 cable.
Connect the cable’s small round end to the 8-pin port on the
backside of the notetaker. On the bottom side of the Type Lite,
the correct port is indicated in Braille as dd. On the Braille Lite
M40, the correct pair of ports to use are located just right of
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the power port. The power port is the first port on the left side.
The connector is keyed so that it will plug in only one way and
it should slide in easily.
Next, connect the other end of the cable to the port on the
backside of the disk drive. It also fits in one direction and
should easily snap into place.
On the front of the disk drive is the 3.5-inch slot opening for
the diskette. Insert the diskette gently into the disk drive and
push it in until you hear a slight click. The small rectangular
button on the right side of the drive is the diskette eject button.
Diskettes can be inserted only one way. If you do
not feel or hear a slight click, then turn the floppy
disk 180 degrees and reinsert it into the drive.
With the front of the disk drive facing you, you should be able
to feel the On/Off switch on the left of the backside, just right
of the cable port. Press on the right edge of the switch to turn
the disk drive on.
As a battery-saving feature, the disk drive will not
operate unless the DDA cable is plugged into the
disk drive.
On the right of the backside is the battery-charger jack. The
disk drive fully recharges in about 8 hours. Built into the disk
drive is a battery low detection circuit that monitors when the
voltage goes below a certain threshold. When the battery
charge is low the disk drive sounds a long series of beeps.
At this time, it is recommended that you plug the battery
charger into the unit. You can use the disk drive safely while it
is charging.
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Using the Disk Drive
With the disk drive connected to your notetaker, turn on your
disk drive. It should respond with a doorbell sound or "bing
bong bing." This indicates that the unit is operational. If you
don't hear the three tones, turn off the power, check all the
connections and try again. If the batteries are dead, you will
have to charge them first. The disk drive has a built in
reminder that the power is on. If the disk drive is not used for
about 5 minutes, a chime will sound letting you know it is on.
Disk Drive Commands
On 6 and 8 dot keyboard notetakers, all disk commands begin
with S-CHORD. If you own a qwerty keyboard notetaker, you
can use all of the commands described, but Instead of
entering S-CHORD, you may use ALT+S or F8 for the storage
Similarly, if you see instructions about using DOT 1 CHORD
or DOT 4 CHORD, please substitute these commands on your
qwerty keyboard with the UP ARROW key and DOWN
ARROW key.
Loads a file from the
diskette drive into the notetaker
Saves the current file
onto the diskette
Saves the current file on
diskette as if printed
Prints a formatted Braille copy
of your file to diskette
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Lists a directory of files on
the diskette and lists the files
in alphabetical order
Lists time and date stamp
along with directory
Logs onto a subdirectory
Puts a volume label on a diskette
Resumes reading a large file
Deletes a file from diskette
Formats a diskette, 720 or 1.4M
Makes a subdirectory
on the diskette
Deletes a subdirectory
on the diskette
Block transfer command
Before describing the commands it is important to know a bit
of the philosophy on operating the disk drive. The diskette is
simply a storage device for notetaker files. You can transfer
files from the diskette to a file within notetaker or you can send
a file in notetaker to the diskette and give it a name. You
cannot look at files or change them while they are on the
diskette. You must first read them into the notetaker and then
operate on them.
Loading a File
It is not necessary to make room on your notetaker as current
firmware revisions automatically expand the file size. You
may, however, want to create a new file on the notetaker to
put the information or you may want to read the information
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from the disk in an existing file at the end of its data. When
you enter the S-CHORD, L command the data will go into
whatever file is presently open. When you enter S-CHORD the
notetaker will say, “storage.” You can then enter any storage
command you want. Entering L for load will cause the
notetaker to say, "enter file name." Now enter the name of the
file you want to load into the notetaker and press E-CHORD
(ENTER). The disk drive will now read the directory on the
diskette and try to locate the file name you entered. If it finds
the file on diskette, it will append the data to whatever file is
currently open on the notetaker. This allows you to combine
files together. It also keeps you from writing over the top of a
file already in the notetaker. If the file doesn't exist on the
diskette, the notetaker speaks the message "file doesn’t exist."
Simply try another filename or check the directory of the
diskette with the S-CHORD, D.
If the file is on the diskette, it is sent to the notetaker.
However, if there isn't enough room in the open notetaker file,
the notetaker instructs the disk drive to stop reading and says
"file is full." At this point, the disk drive will wait for further
instructions (see S-CHORD, R). The notetaker will have part
of the file in memory. You can read the rest of the file by first
making enough room in the notetaker and then telling the disk
drive to resume (S-CHORD, R).
Saving Files
To save a file on a diskette, open the file and press SCHORD, S. The notetaker asks, "enter file name." At this
prompt, type the name of the file. File names should be limited
to 12 characters, i.e., 8 characters, period, and 3 characters.
After typing the file name, press E-CHORD. The file will be
stored just as it exists in the notetaker. For example, if it is a
Grade 2 Braille file on the notetaker, it will be transferred to
the diskette as a Grade 2 Braille file. If you intend to read a
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Grade 2 Braille file on a PC, use the command S-CHORD, T
as this saves the file on the diskette formatted for print. When
you transfer the file back over to your notetaker, it will be in
text format, not Grade 2 Braille format. The S-CHORD, B
command is similar to the S-CHORD, T command. The
difference is that when you use the S-CHORD, B command,
the file that you save will not be translated. However, it will be
formatted as if you were printing the file. The S-CHORD, B
command is available in the Braille ‘n Speak 640, and 2000
Series notetakers.
Reading the Directory of a Disk
You can read the directory of the diskette by pressing SCHORD, D. With this command you are prompted, "filename."
Enter the file mask or directory mask. For example, if you
enter a file name of *.brl you would get a directory of all files
on the diskette with ".brl" as the file extension. Simply pressing
E-CHORD with no file name will give all files on the diskette.
Where does the directory go? When you ask for a directory,
the notetaker automatically closes the file you are in and puts
you into the clipboard file. It then clears the clipboard and
stores the disk directory on the clipboard, putting the cursor on
the first file name. You can now read through the directory in
clipboard and find the files you want. You can use all the
power of the notetaker to read the directory. When you are
finished reading the directory, press Z-CHORD to close the
clipboard. You will then be placed back into your original file.
The directory will remain on the clipboard until you perform
some operation to clear it. For example, while in the clipboard,
you can put your cursor on the first letter of a filename and
press S-CHORD, G to “get” the file you are pointing at and
load it onto your notetaker.
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If your disk drive does not respond to this command,
you need to update it to the current firmware
When you read the directory, you may hear the message
"volume has no label." You can assign an electronic volume
label to each diskette as a way of identifying it. For example,
you might have a volume label called "notes" if the diskette
contains class notes. To put a volume label on the diskette,
write S-CHORD, V followed by the volume label you want.
Now enter E-CHORD. Your diskette now has the volume label
you selected. To erase a volume label, write S-CHORD, V, ECHORD with no label name. This command is available only
on notetakers with a revision of 1991 or later. Notice that at
the end of the file directory the ROM revision date of the disk
drive is given. This may be helpful if you experience problems
with the disk drive and have to contact Freedom Scientific.
Deleting Files
The command S-CHORD, K will delete a file from the disk.
Your notetaker will ask for the file name and wait for you to
enter an E-CHORD. If the file doesn't exist or if the disk is
protected, your notetaker will issue an error message and you
will have to start over.
If you place the cursor on the file you want to delet and press
an S-CHORD, Z. The unit will say, ”kill delete (filename), are
you sure? Enter y or n.”
If your disk drive does not respond to this command,
you will need to upgrade the firmware to the current
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Formatting a Disk
When you purchase 3.5-inch diskettes, they are usually
formatted. If you need to format a diskette, simply insert the
diskette in the drive and enter the command S-CHORD, F.
Your notetaker will say "format disk, are you sure? enter Y or
N." Enter Y if you want to continue or N if you want to abort
formatting. Formatting a diskette takes several minutes and
the disk drive gives a beep every time it formats a track. There
are 80 tracks on a diskette. After formatting a diskette you can
use it immediately.
Creating Subdirectories
You can create subdirectories using your disk drive. On your
notetaker press S-CHORD, M to create a subdirectory on your
diskette. When you enter this command your notetaker will
ask for the "filename."
Type the name of the subdirectory you want to create and
press E-CHORD.
To change or log onto a subdirectory you have made, use the
S-CHORD, C command. This command is available only in
the Braille ‘n Speak 640. After entering this command, enter
the name of the subdirectory you want to change to followed
by an E-CHORD. To go back to the main directory, enter SCHORD, C followed by a backslash. A backslash is a UCHORD followed by DOTS 1-2-5-6 which is a Braille ou-sign.
To go back to the main directory, press an E-CHORD.
Deleting a Subdirectory
Deleting a subdirectory is just like deleting a file except you
use the S-CHORD, X command. Your notetaker prompts for
the "filename" to delete. Enter the name of the empty
subdirectory and it will be deleted. If the directory has files in it
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you will be given an error message that it cannot be deleted.
Remove the files and try again.
Reading Files
Sometimes you may have a file that you want to read with
your notetaker, but the file is too large for the available
memory. In this case, load as much of the file as possible by
pressing S-CHORD, L. When your notetaker says "file is full,"
the disk drive will stop. Then press S-CHORD, R to read the
file piece by piece. Make more room in the file by deleting
information or adding pages. Resume reading by entering SCHORD, R. You can read very long files this way even into a
one-page notetaker file. Just keep deleting text after reading
and then enter the S-CHORD, R command to get another
Storing the HELP file on diskette. First open the HELP file in
the notetaker. Now, with a formatted diskette in the disk drive,
There are no spaces in the actual command, just in this text to
make it more readable. Your notetaker will send the file to the
diskette and say OK. Now read the directory of the diskette
and verify that the HELP file got saved.
Your notetaker will load the directory into clipboard and say
OK. Now you can read the clipboard and you should find the
help file you stored.
Loading the help file back into another notetaker file. First
create a file called HELP2 or any name, and open that file.
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The disk should run and your notetaker should say OK. Now
read this file and you will find it to be identical to the HELP file.
You can practice on the diskette that comes with the disk
drive. This diskette contains various manuals on the notetaker
and the disk drive.
You can print these files in print or Braille at your convenience.
Loading the Spell.Dic File
The file "SPELL.DIC" is on the diskette that came with disk
drive. It is available at no cost from Freedom Scientific. Type
S- CHORD, Y then R for receive. Then type the filename
"SPELL.DIC" followed by E-CHORD. This file takes up about
86 pages.
Other Information
You may notice that if you store the HELP file, one page long
onto the diskette it will store just fine. However, if you open a
one-page file and try to load the HELP file back into memory
your notetaker will load all except about 16 characters and it
will say "file is full." This is because of the way handshaking is
done on the notetaker. Whenever a file is within16 characters
of being full, your notetaker will tell the sending device to stop
sending. It does this at 16 characters because some
computers cannot stop immediately, so we left some room.
This causes a minor irritation when dealing with files that are
nearly full. To get around it, just make the file one extra page
long and then after reading the file in, delete the extra page.
Newer firmware revision after 1998 automatically
expand files.
You may also work with some diskettes that have such a long
directory that it will not all fit into the clipboard. Your notetaker
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will say file is full. You can use the S-CHORD, R command to
read the rest of the directory after you have made room.
Using the Serial Interface
You can control the disk drive accessory from any serial
device by using the optional serial cable available from
Freedom Scientific.
The disk drive accessory is set to operate at 9600 baud, 8
data bits, no parity and 1 stop bit. When you power on the disk
drive you will get a command prompt character `at `. To use
the diskette from a serial device simply replace the S-CHORD
in the commands above with a control-E character (ASCII
decimal 5 ENQ character), and end the command with a
carriage return instead of an E-CHORD. For example, to get a
directory of all files on the diskette send "control-EDRETURN." These are only 3 characters: one for control E, one
for the letter D and a carriage return. Getting a directory of all
files ending in .BRL would require the command "controlED*.BRL-RETURN." Whenever a command is completed
successfully a control Z character is sent from the disk drive. If
an error occurs, an error character is sent. This single
character can be interpreted using TABLE 3.1 to determine
the error.
IMPORTANT: When storing data to the diskette from the serial
interface use the command "control-ESFNAME-RETURN".
This command tells the diskette to create the file "FNAME" on
the disk and to wait for data to come in the serial port. As data
is received it is put onto the diskette sector by sector. The
diskette will continue waiting for data until it receives a
"control-Z" character. This is the end of file character and tells
the disk drive to write the last block onto the diskette and to
update the directory information. The disk drive uses
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XONSTXOFF handshake protocol to control the flow of
information to and from the disk drive.
Table 3.1
Command not recognized
File not found
Disk write protected
Format, CRC or sector failure
Insufficient disk space
Delete all (*.*) is illegal
No disk in drive
SubDirectory already exists
SubDirectory does not exist
Directory not empty
Block Transfer Commands
The S-CHORD, Y command is the block transfer command.
With this command you can send a group or batch of files
from your notetaker to your disk drive. You may also send
more than one file from your disk drive into your notetaker if
you want. Before we explain this command, here are some
things you need to know about it. You must have a disk drive
with a revision of June 1992 or later. You also must have a
Braille ‘n Speak 640 with a revision of June 26, 1992 or later.
This command will not work with the other notetakers.
This command will not work with the other
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If you have problems determining the revision of your
notetaker, enter P-CHORD followed by the letter R from any
file. With the disk drive, the revision date can be found at the
end of a directory listing.
To use this command, enter S-CHORD followed by the letter
Y. You will hear the message "disk drive, enter S to send or R
to receive." Enter S to send. Now you will be in a file list. This
is a list of all files in your Braille 'n Speak. You must "mark" the
file or files you want to send. Use DOT 1 CHORD and DOT 4
CHORD to move up and down the list of files. You may, for
example, hear "calendar is not marked." This means that your
file called “calendar" is not marked which means that it will not
be sent. To mark the file you are pointing to, enter Y for yes.
You will then hear "calendar is marked." Mark each file you
want to send. Now enter E-CHORD and the files, which you
marked, will be sent to the disk drive.
Here are some other ways to mark or unmark files. The letter
N will unmark the file you are pointing to. The SPACEBAR will
toggle the file you are pointing to from being either marked or
unmarked. The letter M will mark all files in your notetaker.
The letter U will unmark all of the files. M-CHORD will allow
you to mark a group of files. For example, to mark all files with
a .txt extension to be sent, enter M-CHORD followed by star
(DOTS 1-6) followed by .txt. Now enter E-CHORD. U-CHORD
can unmark a file or group of files in the same way that MCHORD marks them. Entering Y-CHORD will mark the file you
are pointing to and will then move you to the next file in the file
list. After entering S-CHORD, Y you can enter S-CHORD
instead of S, which will allow you to hear the names of the files
as they are being sent to the disk drive. When sending files
with the block transfer command, whether you use S or SCHORD, the files do not get sent formatted or translated.
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To receive a file or files from the diskette, enter S-CHORD, Y
followed by R or R-CHORD to hear the file titles as they are
being received. Now enter the name of the file you want to
receive. You can use wildcards if you want. For example, to
receive all files on the diskette with a .brl extension enter star
(DOTS 1-6) followed by a period and then the letters .brl
followed by E-CHORD. Do not create the file; your notetaker
will do this automatically.
Problems, Questions and Suggestions
If you have any problems, questions or suggestions on any of
our products, please call or write to us. We are very interested
in hearing from you. A full service maintenance contract is
available from Freedom Scientific.
Freedom Scientific BLV Group
11800 31st Court North
St. Petersburg, Florida 33716
Technical Support: (727) 803-8600
Sales: (800) 444-4443
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