[There are QUESTIONS at the bottom of this article]
I have been thinking of getting an Always Technology AL-7048 (AL-7000
series) VESA Local Bus (VLB) multi-function card. For those that
don't know, the AL-7048 is a SCSI-2 / bus-mastered IDE (2 drives) /
four floppy controller (2.88MB support) with 2 high speed serial ports
with 16550 UARTs, and an Enhanced Parallel Port.
It seems to be a useful card since it allows for fewer slots to be
I believe that there a review on the card by PC Graphics & Video in
August 1994. At least I have a photocopy of a page that indicates such.
(It was given a fairly good review.)
Some more info from info-sheets:
Full length card
32-bit, VL bus master, fast and wide SCSI-2 host adapter.
The card uses a NCR 53C720 RISC SCSI I/O processor.
20MB/second [manual says 10MB/second] SCSI data transfer rate.
9MB/second sustained (?)
66MB/second burst data transfer rate across the local bus.
Supports SCSI-2 advanced command set.
Switchable SCSI active termination (?)
External 50-pin SCSI-2 connector.
Supports all SCSI hard drives up to 8GB (all?)
Supports four* [manual says 7] SCSI devices in PC systems and
servers running DOS, Microsoft Windows(TM) NT, Netware(R) 3.xx,
4.xx, OS/2 and SCO(R) UNIX.
Complete [DOS] driver software for CD-ROM, Magneto Optical, WORM
hard disk, tape, floptical, SyQuest(R) and Bernoulli(R) drives.
ASPI manager for DOS and Novell.
Includes NovaBack(R) tape backup software.
They are apparently not on the InterNet but their BBS number is
818-597-0275 (14,400bps, 8n1) which I have had trouble accessing.
I believe their old address used to be
31336 Via Colinas, Suite 101
Westlake Village, CA 91362
I think that their new address is
5142 Clareton Rd, Ste 270
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
Their phone number is 818-597-1400 and their fax number is
I am actually interested in getting an AL-7048 because I have bought a
SCSI 270MB SyQuest removable hard disk drive and need a SCSI host
adapter to use it!
I have managed to get the SyQuest drive to work with the AL-7048 in DOS
at work, but I want to be able to use both under Linux.
So, can anyone answer these questions:
(I have looked at the SCSI FAQ, and the Linux Hardware Compatibility
1. Does anyone else who uses Linux have one?
2. Is there a Linux device driver that will work with it?
3. If not how hard would it be to write one and roughly how long would
it take? I know that ALPHA device drivers exist for the AL-500 and
IN-2000. (A friend and I are thinking of writing a device driver
for it if none exist already)
4. How much hardware specific information would be needed to write
a Linux device driver?
In response to
"7. Would you be willing to provide AL-7048 specific hardware
information needed for writing a freely distributable Linux
was the answer by an employee of the company (Larry Tomon) in a
fax (dated February 8, 1995) that
"7. Yes we would assist you with the proper information."
5. I have heard some mention of problems with Always AL-7048 SCSI cards.
What sort of problems if any have people encountered?
6. Are there any other cards that have the same or similar features?
If so what are they and how much do they cost? (Please state
currency). I have been quoted US$239 for the AL-7048 and US$289 for the
AL-7048 Pro. The Pro kit includes CorelSCSI drivers.
7. Are the CorelSCSI drivers useful to get (for DOS)?
Please reply by email, as apparently news sometimes gets dropped on
the US to Australia link. I will post a summary in a few days.
<insert disclaimer about not working for Always Technology, etc.>