SmartMedia Cards (SMC) are also called Solid-State Floppy Disk Cards (SSFDC).
They have a physical to logical block mapping to be able to erase a complete
block. Caching should be done to extend the life of the cards since they have a
limited number of writes.
Because of the fast increase of densities, the original specifications have
been extended to maintain compatibility.
An SMC consists of zones, where each zone have 1000 logical blocks out of 1024
available. This means that at low-level specification, there can be 24 bad
blocks per zone. On 128MB cards, this costs 3MB.
The cards have card identification fields, and by default have a partition
table. When you format with Windows using an SMC to PC card adapter, it could
end up partitionless and a strange formatting so devices like GP32 will not be
able to read any of it. The SSFDC-forum recommends the use of FAT12/16 as
filesystem for compatibility, but could easily be combined with EXT2 or other
filesystem. Because Windows won't allow you to create multiple
partitions, you could copy a raw disk image to "\\.\PhysicalDriveX",
where X is some number (be careful chosing the right disk!). You can also use
WinImage, WinHex and such similar program to copy raw data from/to a disk, edit
a disk directly or edit a disk image. Hehe... you don't even need obscure Linux
You can also write-protect SMC's by placing a conductor shaped as a circle
at the right place. Windows should report it's read-only when trying to
write to it:
The GamePark (well... more Samsung) SMC library unfortunately does not
check if the SMC is read-only though. This could be hardwired (there's a
write-protect pin on an SMC) or the library can be modified (since GP32 can
read out this contact).