Subject: Re: 2940 & netbsd-current
To: Greg Earle <earle@isolar.Tujunga.CA.US>
From: Michael L. VanLoon -- <>
List: current-users
Date: 03/30/1996 20:11:29
>> I already _have_ an Adaptec, I'm quite happy with it, and the bugs can
>> be fixed.

I never said you should throw away a controller if you already have
one.  But, I have seen on here, and on Usenet, many people who have
problems with these cards, and many people who just buy Adaptec
because they don't know of any alternative.  I have corresponded with
two people recently who didn't even know there was an option aside
from Adaptec for NetBSD.

Additionally, if there is a company who needs a controller for a
mission-critical task, already purchased an Adaptec because of
whatever reason, can't get it to work reliably, and can afford to buy
another controller, for these people I propose that they get a
BusLogic card to get back in operation reliably and immediately.  I
have corresponded with people in this exact position, more than once,
in the past.

If you don't fit these criteria, and you have an Adaptec working just
fine, then I wasn't talking to you.  I certainly wasn't telling
everyone who owns an Adaptec to throw it away and buy something else.
Get real.  Speaking of real...

>Indeed.  Someday Mr. Van Loon will have spent enough time in the Real World
>to find out about things like "supported configurations" and "government
>procurements", etc.

Funny.  My world is Very Real.  I have dealt with these things twice
on the acquiring end (for two different "companies"), and several
times from the supplier end.  Both times acquiring, and many times
supplying, I was able to get the order converted to the exact
components necessary for the original specification.

So your situation is overly bureaucratic.  I don't see how that makes
it any more real than mine.  Or, in a broader sense, how it even
applies to whether there are viable alternatives to Adaptec.  You
could have very well been given a Future Domain dumb controller, or an
all-IDE system, so your general case doesn't support a pro-Adaptec
stance.  Where would you have have been if you'd been given no
functional SCSI controller at all?

Whether you should still buy Adaptec in light of an educated stand on
the alternatives is another matter entirely, and I don't care what you
finally buy.  I just care to make the options known so others can make
an informed decision.

OK, to end this tiresome thread, I'll concede the more advanced
aic7xxx based Adaptec controllers are potentially a higher-performance
solution than the older-design BusLogic controllers (the BT742-based
non-FlashPoint models).  If you want all-out performance, you will get
it first with the Adaptec.  It is potentially a less stable solution
in the near term, however, because of an out-dated driver.  As I've
also said, the NCR is a very good choice for inexpensive controller,
with decent performance, although its driver also suffers from some
potentially destabilizing bugs.  I can't think of any other brand
worth recommending, aside from anything that is 100% compatible with
those just listed.

I really have had very little love for Adaptec because of their
closed-door policies with regard to the low-level design of their new
controllers.  I also held Diamond in very low esteem for the same
policies on their video cards.  They slowly changed their tune, now
work with the XFree86 team, and I now own one of their high-end video
cards.  From what I've heard here, Adaptec is possibly loosening up
their stance, and that also is good, if true.  Finally, from what
several have told me, BusLogic may be heading, with the new advanced
FlashPoint controllers, right into the very same direction as Adaptec
held a year or so ago.  The cards are so new that this is still to be
determined, but very unfortunate, if true.

So I'm idealistic and believe in actively not supporting companies who
don't support my favorite "causes" (like NetBSD).  I don't appologize
for that.

  Michael L. VanLoon                       
       --<  Free your mind and your machine -- NetBSD free un*x  >--
     NetBSD working ports: 386+PC, Mac 68k, Amiga, HP300, Sun3, Sun4,
                           DEC PMAX (MIPS), DEC Alpha, PC532
     NetBSD ports in progress: VAX, Atari 68k, others...