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Re: filmscanners: Fast, decent, low res scans

> This is just plain silly.  I always thought a PCI card was a PCI card, 
> and a Mac with PCI bus should follow the protocol, one would think. 
> WHich Mac are you using?

The PCI bus only specifies the bus pinout, and signalling protocol and
other lower-level functions.  How the card is recognized by and
communicates with the host computer is not really part of the PCI

>From my understanding, Mac PCI cards require certain things in the card
firmware to facilitate recognition of the card, and integrate into the Mac
hardware and OS.  For example, some PC SCSI cards work on the Mac, but
cannot be booted from.  Flashing the firmware to Mac firmware enables
booting.  Many PC SCSI cards do not need firmware at all, but don't work
in the Mac.  For example, I've seen instructions for soldering on a flash
device onto a PC SCSI card and flashing with Mac firmware to make a
generic card Mac compatible. 

> OK, the first question is:  Is anyone on this list using an Acer 2720 or 
> 2740 with a Mac?  And if so, what are they doing about interfacing.

I already posted that I've used a Acer 2720 with my PowerMac G3 with
Initio BlueNote SCSI card.  This card is PC and Mac compatible.  On the
Mac, it requires no software installation-- just plug the card in and it
it just works in the system without any drivers, plug and play
recognition, or anything.  I currently use this card in a PowerMac G4 with
a Canon FS2710.

> I'm actually surprised to here this.  I thought the Acer was Mac 
> compatible as it comes out of the box, and that would make me assume the 
> SCSI card would also work.

My belief is that the Acer scanners will probably work with any Mac with a
working SCSI card.  Whether Acer's included card will work is another
matter.  To draw from recent postings on this list, I wouldn't ascribe
this situation to malice on Acer's part.  

For a long period of time, starting with the 1986 Mac Plus to the 1998
iMac, all Macs included a built-in SCSI port.  Most PC's didn't.  Thus the
standard situation for SCSI scanners was that they were bundled with
cheapo SCSI cards that Mac users promptly threw into the closet before
they hooked the scanners directly into their Macs.  Now, originally the
Acer 2720 was PC-compatible only, because it provided no Mac scanner
drivers.  It also included a SCSI card that probably didn't work on Macs,
but it didn't need to, cause there were no Mac drivers. However, given a
Mac with a working SCSI port (via card or built-in), and VueScan software,
you could use the 2720 just fine.  Then, around the time of the 2740's
release, Acer upgraded their Miraphoto software (which I've never heard of
anybody actually using in favor of VueScan) to include a Mac version.  At
that point, somebody at Acer probably thought, "Hey, we're Mac compatible"
because up until the iMac introduced Apple's new architecture that
eliminated legacy ports like SCSI, Macs could always be assumed to have
built-in SCSI ports and it wasn't necessary to include a Mac-compatible
SCSI card.  So it probably wasn't malice, just a oversight based on
changing market and technical assumptions.

> Do you know just what the problem is?  Do other PCI cards usually work 
> in Multi-platform situations?  Why are Mac SCSI cards so expensive (at 
> least ones which work with the Acer)

Mac SCSI cards aren't that expensive.  I don't know why the original
poster citied $300.  The only SCSI cards that expensive now for either
platform are exotic Ultra160 cards intended for RAID arrays and the like.
For film scanners, generally a $50-80 SCSI I or II card is adequate.

To the original poster: I understand you are upset, but the situation is
very easily rectified.  Go to:


Buy one of the inexpensive SCSI cards for $50-80.  I have used this vendor
several times and they are cheap, quick, reliable, and will help you.
Throw the Acer SCSI card away or give it to a PC user.  Likely, you would
have bought the Acer scanner anyway if it didn't claim to include a Mac
SCSI card, since it is the lowest-cost scanner with ICE.  Get VueScan and
forget about the Acer Miraphoto, too.  Scan.  Be happy.

-Collin Ong


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