About ADFs ...

Introduction to ADFs

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One of the most important things to know in Micro Channel Architecture (MCA) is about the use and purpose of the Adapter Description Files - or ADFs as they are named in short.
These ADFs are directly related with almost any kind of expansion card, which fits into one of the MCA expansion slots.

Unlike to the "Industrial Standard Archictecture" (ISA) MCA is an intelligent bus and it is able to query, which cards are installed. The ADFs contain all the information about the card, its name, the resources it requires and the selectable options. The basic ADF is an ASCII-textfile, so it can be viewed (and edited) with any usual text-editor to see, what's inside.
The IBM Configuration utility coming with the machine - usually on the Reference Disk - reads this ADF line by line and sets the Programmable Options for the card. True MCA-cards have no jumpers or switches: every setting is done with the Configuration Utility and the information contained in the corresponding ADF for this adapter.

This is the reason why it is so important to have the Option Disk for any new MCA-card at hand before attempting to install a new card in a MCA-machine. If you don't have the ADF you cannot install the adaptercard, because the system does not know which settings and resources the card requires. Therefore it stays disabled and you end up with a configuration error any time you start up your machine. If you don't have the ADF for a proper setup of the machine - you can only remove the card and reconfigure the machine without it.

Over the years I have collected a lot ADFs for quite a lot cards.

If you know exactly what you are looking for:
Enter the ADF-Download Pages and look if I have what you need.

If you do not exactly know what you need - read on at the next chapter !

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