[conspire] Re: return to a state of grace

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Oct 18 10:12:01 PDT 2004

Eric De Mund <ead-cabal at ixian.com> wrote:

> Thanks for your useful notes re my (cheap, inflexible) Domex
> DTC-3181LE SCSI card. This was a card that was thrown in for free with
> this $30 scanner, way back. And thanks for noting that Action Computer
> and a PCI SCSI card with a Symbios chipset are the way to go. Very
> useful; I didn't recall that Action sold this kind of thing. Is this a
> counter item, or an in-a-bin-on-the-north-wall item?
Er...  I actually don't know that they stock such things at all.  It
just seemed like a reasonable sort of place to go, to buy such a thing.

As frequent cabalists know, I recently gave away all my remaining spare 
ISA cards, by shlepping them to user group meetings until I found
someone with a bigger case of magpie syndrome than I have.  That
included several decades-old Adaptec 1542B and 1542CF ISA SCSI cards --
which are completely and utterly obsolete, but at least had option ROMs.

I find that you have to do that every few years:  Most computer hardware
just doesn't age well.  On the other hand, my "installfest server" AMD
K6 box still has a nice old pair of 3Com 3C509B ISA ethernet cards in
it.  On the gripping hand, I sure wouldn't replace 'em with anything but
PCI when/if they die.

Anyhow, if you're in the market for a cheap SCSI card in 2004 for non-HD 
devices, the things to look for are (a) PCI, and (b) boot-device
support, which implies an option ROM, which in turn means Linux will
easily be able to autoprobe it at boot time (and you won't have to
supply boot options in the ROM's absence).

I suggested one with a Symbios chip because they're cheap and
cost-effective.  They're available on both Symbios-branded and other
cards:  Tecram makes good ones, for example.

I honestly don't know for sure who has them in stock, and cheap, but
Action Computer struck me as a plausible source.

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