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Insane SCSI to FW prices

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15 hours ago, Unknown_K said:

Sooo many different SCSI removable media and recordables out there along with scanners and other odd things.

Yeah, I would like to get some kind of SCSI MO/removable hard disk thing like a SyQuest drive someday but for now the only SCSI thing I really NEED is a CD drive.

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SCSI is needed for OS installs on machines that don't have a drive built in.  I keep SCSI, PCMCIA, USB, and Firewire external Optical drives around for that reason. Also accumulated a bunch of SCSI external burners for back when I burned disks on vintage systems.

 

Kind of funny how these cheap easy to find tools are getting hard to find and expensive lately.

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External SCSI CDRW drives used to be common and bootable with old macs but the supply dried up years ago I think. If you really need one bad PM me.

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25 minutes ago, itsvince725 said:

as long as I can trick my SGI Indy

SGI Indys are the long pole here. Macs will usually accept just about anything in the way of a SCSI CD-ROM drive but older SGI machines (and older SUN boxes as well) require CD-ROM drives that identify themselves as supporting 512 byte block size at power-on instead of the normal 2048. I tried once booting my Indy from a CD-ROM drive taken from a Power Mac 7200 and got nowhere; eventually I worked around the problem by borrowing the drive from my Sparcstation 5. (Which is a weird animal, being 1/3rd standard 5 1/4" bay height instead of half.)

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Doesn't seem like that long ago my recommendation if you needed a CD-ROM drive for one of those things would be to just buy a Sparcstation (not an Ultra, other than possibly an Ultra 1/2) and borrow the internal drive, but, gee, it looks like the prices of those have gone up like everything else.

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The Sparcstation 4 and 5 used to be dirt common and cheap on the used market (because neither has an upgradable CPU complex like the more desirable 10/20) and had internal CD-ROM drives. So far as it goes Sun-labeled external SCSI CD-ROM drives styled to match the "lunchbox" systems like the IPC/IPX used to be dirt common. I kind of wish I'd saved one, actually...

 

(EDIT: OMG, you would not even believe what people want for them on eBay now. Not posting a link because it's positively pornographic.)

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I got my IPC very cheaply (it was literally like 20 bucks) so I'm going to assume the CD drive styled to match it sells for about 10 times that.

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Wanting things to match gets expensive.

 

I kick myself for not stocking up on Plextor SCSI drives when they were getting blown out. Luckily I had stashed a bunch of Mac SCSI CDROM drives and a few auto inject superdrives around for my last few machines but you can never hoard enough.

 

A few years back I snagged a NEC Multispin 3Xp external drive, they were so cool when new. Also have an oddball Toshiba XM-4101BME with is a 1" tall 50 pin SCSI drive where the whole face slides out (think my MicroVax has one like it installed and ). The oddball drives just stick out so I snag them when I see them cheap.

 

I don't know where you are going to find those internal 1" SUN scsi cdrom drives these days except in another SUN.

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Yes, same problem expected on NeXT hardware, only very few CD-Rom drives will work for the very same reason.

 

Quote

SGI Indys are the long pole here. Macs will usually accept just about anything in the way of a SCSI CD-ROM drive but older SGI machines (and older SUN boxes as well) require CD-ROM drives that identify themselves as supporting 512 byte block size at power-on instead of the normal 2048

 

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FWIW, Plextor SCSI drives can be jumpered to 512 or 2048 byte blocks.

 

Regarding high prices of FW to SCSI bridges. They were a transition adapter that outlived its usefulness. Its not surprising that they didn't hang around long.... just enough until folks replaced their SCSI stuff with Firewire or USB and even than it was only really targeted at Mac users.

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14 hours ago, itsvince725 said:

Oh, I have a Toshiba drive like that in my Indigo2! I had no idea they were rare.

I think that's the same drive Sun used in the Sparcstation 4/5s.

 

In any case, if you have one of these in your Indigo you're probably set if you ever need to boot the Indy. Just yank it out of the Indigo and connect it up to the internal SCSI port on the Indy with a long cable as a temporary expedient. (You can make a power extender fairly easily if necessary.)

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Just be very careful with those Toshiba XM series tray loaders. The motorized eject mechanism is very fragile and can induce rage when it breaks.

 

http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?40455-Toshiba-SCSI-CD-ROM-Drives

 

The computer store I used to work at sold a bunch of machines with the IDE version of these drives, and within a year the vast majority were replaced since they refused to eject the tray.

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1 hour ago, Unknown_K said:

Much more solidly built and using a standard interface.

I was referring to their basic design, IE, when you hit eject essentially the whole mechanism (which is tethered to the frame/back panel with a ribbon cable) comes forward on slides, there's no "tray" per se. Obviously they are not literally "fat laptop drives".

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On the 512 byte block size optical drive topic, VAXStations also required it to boot.  I wonder if this was a de facto standard among UNIX workstations of the era?

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On 10/13/2018 at 10:15 PM, rsolberg said:

I wonder if this was a de facto standard among UNIX workstations of the era?

I think it's mostly just an artifact of the early UNIX machines essentially not having any (or very little, anyway) explicit understanding of CD-ROM drives in their firmware; you need that to boot from a more modern "standard" drive, while a CD-ROM drive that supports 512 byte blocks can at boot time be treated as if it were a hard disk. (At the very most basic level I believe even a SCSI *tape* drive that used 512 byte blocks can use the same generic commands to do an IPL; obviously once you have a kernel in memory you need to start treating them differently.)

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