There are no disadvantages to implementing >4GB images. This is something 040 and PPC owners have been interested in, in addition to the CD audio and changer functions. For example, you could use fdisk to divide a 32GB card into a 20GB FAT32 partition and a 12GB hard drive image. A drive entry in the config file could point to an image file on the FAT32 partition or to the entire 12GB partition.
That is the general idea, but not a direct quote.
While my primary focus is Macs, there's no reason MacSD cannot work on other SCSI platforms. It is being tested on Amiga, SGI, Sun, RS/6000, etc by others. I will describe it as unsuitable for applications supporting human life (as are its individual components and the SD card). Nobody should be using this in a traffic light. Everything else is fair game.
I'm not concerned whether features I add to MacSD already exist in other products. Everyone benefits from the new options and capabilities.
The ini file configuration in no way limits the MacSD's capabilities. Config files run entire operating systems. In addition to convenience, it solves the problems of:
Keeping firmware and configuration utilities updated in tandem
Migrating configuration on firmware updates
On-chip configurations valid only for a particular card
If you don't want to bother with >4GB images and fdisk; if all you need is a single HDD, your config file is two lines long. Easy is not the opposite of powerful.
If I'm interpreting what this device does that explicitly makes it Mac-friendly correctly, that depends on the Apple IIgs working well with the same SCSI devices Macs use. However, for IIgs there are also lots of other extant options including the focus IDE card (what I've got in mine), floppyemu, which will run smartport HDs on the II, and CFFA, which operates on a somewhat similar concept to this, except that it has an inline control panel for image swapping.
@ymk - welcome in!
With regard to >4GB images, I'm curious what the demand for that is like. Only '040 Macs will officially run volumes over 4GB, and your'e kind of getting closer at that point to the brief window where the SCSI2SD v6 makes more sense, for performance reasons, and then after that, where SATA cards make more sense. I can imagine a couple use cases for it, myself, but I'm also among the relatively few people I'm aware of running 2TB volumes Classic Mac OS at all. (Although, like,
With regard to partitioning, what would that look like in terms of setup and configuration? It would seem like the biggest advantage you've really got here is that this device was "designed with the needs of the vintage Mac community in mind", I feel like it would be fair to describe it as explicitly to the exclusion of other platforms and applications where scsi2sd is also used (i.e. it's unlikely one of these will work in a synthesizer or a traffic light or a UNIX machine) and a big part of that is the simplicity afforded by the way this thing is configured.
The people among us creating SCSI2SD preloads would be able to change to just zipping up the contents of the FAT32 filesystem as a download and people can avoid, say, DD or managing partitioning entirely.
If this is in the docs, you can be like "hey, uh, RTFM" and I will at some point. I don't have the budget for one of these so this is purely speculation on my part.
All eight of the indicator LEDs on the edge can be mirrored to external LEDs. Nine pins on the expansion header can be used for LEDs (eight anodes and a common cathode).
I've done no testing with Apple II.