SCSI firmware: needed? and Mac SCSI compatibility?

SCSI firmware: needed? and Mac SCSI compatibility?

Post by Richard Bro » Thu, 21 Apr 1994 15:48:10



I'm a newcomer to the world of SCSI, and i have a couple of quick
questions.

        - I'm about to buy an Adaptec 1542C SCSI card; for an extra
          A$120, i get "firmware" (1542CF). What is this and do i need it?
          I want to run a SCSI HDD, a Syquest 105MB drive and a
          Conner (Archive) 250MB QIC tape drive.

          Unfortunately, this machine must run DOS occasionally. Do i
          need the firmware to run the tape and/or Syquest SCSI devices
          under DOS? (I presume i don't need it for Linux).

        - I would also like to be able to use the QIC tape drive on a
          Macintosh. Can i just plug and play? or will i need some kind
          of driver on the Mac?

As you can see, i'm a little confused by SCSI. I thought that the SCSI
command set and hardware interface was a standard, and that 'drivers'
for individual devices were not needed. It seems this may not be the
case.

Thanks in advance,

rab
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SCSI firmware: needed? and Mac SCSI compatibility?

Post by Grant Edwar » Fri, 22 Apr 1994 01:00:36


:       - I'm about to buy an Adaptec 1542C SCSI card; for an extra
:         A$120, i get "firmware" (1542CF). What is this and do i need it?
:         I want to run a SCSI HDD, a Syquest 105MB drive and a
:         Conner (Archive) 250MB QIC tape drive.

The "F" in 1542CF stands for "Fast" and means that the board is
compatible with "Fast SCSI" drives.  As far as I can tell, all of the
1542C boards that are now shipping are "F" versions.  I think you are
talking about the "kit" option which includes various device drivers
and utilities.

:         Unfortunately, this machine must run DOS occasionally. Do i
:         need the firmware to run the tape and/or Syquest SCSI devices
:         under DOS? (I presume i don't need it for Linux).

Correct, you don't need the "kit" stuff for Linux.  For DOS, it
depends on how many other (MFM/IDE/ESDI) disks you have.  If the SCSI
hard drive is the first or second disk, then you don't need the "kit"
to use the hard drive.  You probably need it to use the tape drive
under DOS.  You also need the "kit" to use ISO-9660 CD-ROMs under DOS.

:       - I would also like to be able to use the QIC tape drive on a
:         Macintosh. Can i just plug and play? or will i need some kind
:         of driver on the Mac?

If the Mac knows how to deal with SCSI tape drives, then it's just
plug-n-play.  I don't think it does.

: As you can see, i'm a little confused by SCSI. I thought that the SCSI
: command set and hardware interface was a standard, and that 'drivers'
: for individual devices were not needed. It seems this may not be the
: case.

You don't need drivers for individual devices (i.e. you don't need a
driver for each model of disk drive).  You need drivers for "classes"
of devices: i.e. you need a high level SCSI disk driver, a high level
SCSI tape driver (both of which run on "top" of the low level driver
that knows how to twiddle the particular brand of SCSI controller
board).

For DOS and hard drives, both levels are provided by the BIOS ROM on
the 1542.  For Linux, it's provided as part of the set of drivers that
you can configure into the kernel.

--
Grant Edwards                                 |Yow!  FUN is never having to
Rosemount Inc.                                |say you're SUSHI!!
                                              |


 
 
 

SCSI firmware: needed? and Mac SCSI compatibility?

Post by Carl Haus » Fri, 22 Apr 1994 03:17:14



>I'm a newcomer to the world of SCSI, and i have a couple of quick
>questions.
>    - I'm about to buy an Adaptec 1542C SCSI card; for an extra
>      A$120, i get "firmware" (1542CF). What is this and do i need it?
>      I want to run a SCSI HDD, a Syquest 105MB drive and a
>      Conner (Archive) 250MB QIC tape drive.
>      Unfortunately, this machine must run DOS occasionally. Do i
>      need the firmware to run the tape and/or Syquest SCSI devices
>      under DOS? (I presume i don't need it for Linux).
>    - I would also like to be able to use the QIC tape drive on a
>      Macintosh. Can i just plug and play? or will i need some kind
>      of driver on the Mac?
>As you can see, i'm a little confused by SCSI. I thought that the SCSI
>command set and hardware interface was a standard, and that 'drivers'
>for individual devices were not needed. It seems this may not be the
>case.
>Thanks in advance,
>rab

I just installed a 1542CF in my home machine. The literature with
the card doesn't explain the difference between the 1542C and 1542CF, but
I can tell you what the CF can do that I'd never seen before:

With the firmware enabled your machine can use the BIOS disk functions to
access more than 2 hard drives, which means you don't need to load
drivers in DOS for this purpose (saving precious low memory and UMBs).  
If I recall correctly there's also support for QIC tapes in the firmware.
Without it, you need to load drivers in DOS.

From a linux perspective, it means that LILO can boot the system off of
any of your SCSI drives (instead of off just one of the first two drives).
Once linux itself boots, it's not an issue.

-- Carl

 
 
 

SCSI firmware: needed? and Mac SCSI compatibility?

Post by CALLA DOMENICO » Tue, 26 Apr 1994 01:48:36




>I'm a newcomer to the world of SCSI, and i have a couple of quick
>questions.

>    - I'm about to buy an Adaptec 1542C SCSI card; for an extra
>      A$120, i get "firmware" (1542CF). What is this and do i need it?
>      I want to run a SCSI HDD, a Syquest 105MB drive and a
>      Conner (Archive) 250MB QIC tape drive.

The 'F' means that the controller supports Fast-SCSI drives, so it
can potentially double the performance if you have a "Fast" scsi drive.

Dom
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