Subject: some observations on the peripheral market
To: None <email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com>
From: Erik E. Fair <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 01/10/1999 00:49:51
I went to MacWorld this week. I note the following:
SCSI is dying; none of Apple's desktop systems have SCSI built-in any more.
As the last really mass-market vendor selling systems SCSI built-in removes
support for it, SCSI disks will likely retreat to the high end - Ultra-Wide
80 MB/s RAID applications, and will probably remain more expensive on a
cost per megabyte basis, justified by better performance than
IDE/EIDE/UltraDMA solutions. Somehow, the RAID box vendors have
conveniently forgotten that the "I" in "RAID" stands for "inexpensive."
LocalTalk, Apple's 237 Kb/s RS-422 network wire, is dying - neither the
iMac or the G3 box have conventional serial ports that support it any more.
Ethernet supplants this (in fact, both boxes have 10/100 Ethernet
built-in). Bloody well about time, I say.
Apple Desktop Bus (ADB), Apple's keyboard/mouse/input device bus, is dying;
the iMac doesn't have it, and the new G3 "pro" system has one such port,
but it's clear that will probably disappear in the next model. USB
supplants this. This is actually a good thing for everyone since USB seems
to be a better/faster standard for this kind of use, but it also means that
if you need spare parts, now is the time to buy.
With Apple's endorsement and Windows 98 supporting it, looks like USB is
really taking off. I saw scanners, disks, cameras, SCSI interfaces (!),
memory-disk modules, keyboards, mice, sketch-pads, lots of hubs, and so on,
all for USB. NetBSD is in the right place at the right time with support
for this interface, but I bet we're going to have fat quirk tables, and
lots of drivers to write for specific devices.
FireWire (IEEE 1394, 400Mb/s) is built-in to the new G3 box; expect the
peripheral market for this to heat up as these systems start shipping in