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Re: Getting around the firewire problem was Re: filmscanners: Best film scanner, period!!!

> > And firewire, unlike SCSI, doesn't require your
> > devices to be powered on at boot time.
> Not a big issue for me, as I always turn everything on on those very rare
> occasions when I boot, anyway.

Other people have different work habits. I rarely reboot either, but I turn
my scanner off when I'm not using it. I don't feel like rebooting when I
need to use the scanner. If I want to unplug the scanner and bring it over
to another PC, I can do that too, all without shutting down or rebooting the
systems. So while the hot-plug ability of firewire offers you no advantage,
it certainly does to others.

> > SCSI devices also require proper termination,
> > which is one of the larger problem and support
> > issues with SCSI devices.
> I've never had a problem with it.

It's still the biggest problem with SCSI. Eliminating the need for
termination is a big plus to millions of computer users.

> > Firewire devices do not have the cable length
> > and bandwidth limitations that SCSI devices do.
> SCSI has always provided all the bandwidth I need (scanners are not
> burning the wire with data), and cable lengths have not been a problem
thus far.

Cable length is an issue for me. I need a 3 metre cable for my current
setup, which I can't do with SCSI. I'm sure I'm not the only one who
appreciates that flexibility.

> > Microsoft will officially drop NT support soon.
> No, they won't.

Yes they will. It has been officially announced by Microsoft.

> Far too much of their corporate customer base is still running
> NT, and will be for some time to come.

NT will disappear as older PC's are replaced. Some of my customers have
already moved to W2K, others will when they replace their PC (every two or
three years seems to be the average for corporate desktop users). I haven't
heard of any new NT installations for some time now.

> > Speed and cheap sound good to me.
> Not when you examine the microprocessor architecture, and find out that
the PPro
> actually used its clock cycles more efficiently than subsequent processors
> on the simpler PII.  The PPro was much more of a native 32-bit machine,
and had
> a more efficient pipelining architecture, if I recall correctly.

One of the problems with the Pentium Pro was that it was really expensive to
manufacture, and that the design was being pushed to the limit. IIRC, it
could not handle any higher clock speeds. And unless a user was running NT,
the CPU didn't perform as well as the less expensive Pentiums of equivalent
clock speeds. The Pentium Pro cost two to three times an equivalent Pentium
CPU, but certainly didn't deliver an equivalent increase in performance.

> > CPU's are very complex items to design and
> > manufacture, and fabrication plants to manufacture
> > the CPU's cost billions of dollars, and must
> > be re-tooled every twelve to 18 months.
> That is a problem for the manufacturer, not me.  And nothing requires
> every 18 months, except a desire on the manufacturer's part to constantly
> newer processors to market, whether they are needed or not (the 45%
margins have
> to be justified somehow, I guess).

Retooling not only enables a manufacture to introduce newer, faster
processors based on new technologies, they can also be built for a lower

> > I think a couple of hundred for a fast Intel
> > or AMD CPU is a bargain.
> As compared to what?

A thousand for what the much slower Pentium Pros used to cost.

> Imagine what an incredible deal the OS is, then, since it only costs $30,
> required a lot more design work than the microprocessor.

Yes, but an OS can easily be duplicated for pennies, where on the other hand
a CPU needs a five billion dollar fabrication plant. Mind you, at $30 for an
OS, that's far cheaper than what it would cost me to write my own. I'll
gladly pay the $30.

> > Even a fast CPU is rarely more than 20-25% of
> > the system price, not more than half as you allege.
> In my case, it was half the cost of the system.  The monitor was about 25%
> the cost.

We were discussing current, not obsolete technology.

> > Does it really take you two months to reconfigure
> > a system?
> A production system?  Yes!  Try it sometime.

I do it fairly often. About two days for a complex setup is about the

> > "Professional" computer users upgrade far more
> > often than "less casual users".
> No, they do not.  The largest and most critical production systems also
tend to
> be running the oldest hardware and software.

Not in the context of this discussion.

> > I know this for a fact, as I earn a fair chunk of
> > my income from "professional" computer users.
> I suspect you earn your income from desktop business users, which are not
> same thing.  Production systems are different.

I suspect I know who my customers are much better than you do.

> > In the context of this conversation, photography and
> > scanning, I find this market segment to be the most likely
> > to upgrade to new technology as soon as it's available.
> > If they don't upgrade often, they're not likely to
> > stay in business.
> Not true.  The more critical a production system is to business, the less
> it is to be even touched, much less upgraded.  I know of major
> companies that are still running software from 1968, because it works and
> because they cannot afford to do anything that might stop it from working
> briefly (as in minutes or hours).

Let's keep focused on the topics at hand. We are discussing systems as they
relate to photography and scanning. How many photographers or press-press
houses do you know that are running software from 1968 and are still in

> > Nikon did support NT at one time. Now that NT is
> > no longer being sold, they've moved on to offer
> > products for current operating systems &
> > technology.
> The mistake here is to assume that because an OS is not sold, it isn't
> This naively assumes that everyone buying a scanner is also buying a
> computer to go with it, but that isn't the case, particularly for
> users.

I have to disagree again. Most professional computer users that I deal with
are likely to be running current technology and are the most frequent


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