[conspire] question re Oxford 911 chip

Daniel Gimpelevich daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us
Sat Dec 30 16:34:46 PST 2006

On Sat, 30 Dec 2006 15:50:37 -0800, Darlene Wallach wrote:

> I found the following at
> http://www.fwdepot.com/firewiredepot-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2&sid=1388f5395ef2445725e7ad5750cedd30
> "using the Oxford 911 chip, a hardware and firmware modification
> was required to allow it to use drives over 160G in size"

First of all, that should read "160G or over" instead of "over 160G"
there. Second, all firmwares shipping since mid- to late 2003 already
include that particular modification. Third, if the chip revision is older
than some part of the year 2002, no amount of firmware modification will
allow it to see 160G.

> If at some point in the future I wanted to get a larger
> than 160GB external drive to use for backup and connect
> it thru the firewire port (which I still need to purchase),
> it appears I should purchase a firewire enclosure with an
> updated chip from the Oxford 911. Would that be an
> Oxford 922?

I haven't looked at the 922, but I would presume it to be an updated
version of the 912, not the 911. There is a "911+" that Oxford currently
makes as an updated 911.

>  From using google it appears the Oxford is Macintosh-based.
> Is that because Firewire originated with Apple?

I am not sure what you mean by "Macintosh-based" here. Firewire was
created through a joint venture of Texas Instruments, Apple, and Sony,
which called it "i-Link" on their equipment.

> I don't seem to pose the appropriate queries in google.
> Can someone suggest a query for how can I determine which
> chips tend to be of good quality vs chips that tend to pose
> problems on Linux for firewire enclosures (firewire to ide)?

Well, one could try to Google that, or one can listen when multiple people
on this list alone say that only Oxford chips are worth using for that

> Should I just call Micro Center and ask if someone there
> knows about Linux?

You can try, but these are hardware questions you have, so it may be
possible for them to have someone knowledgeable about the issues without
being knowledgeable about Linux. However, Windows people generally promote
USB 2.0 as superior to Firewire for your purposes, because Windows
Firewire drivers are of inferior quality, and that's all they really know.

> I am very ignorant of hardware and obviously don't have a
> clue as to where to get information and to get my many
> questions answered.
> Thank you for your patience, attention, and consideration,


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