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



Pat writes:

> I guess I'm a little confused on the source
> of the dilemma. You are frustrated at the rapid
> obsolescence in computer equipment and software,
> which is certainly your right.

Yes.  What is confusing about that?  If you had to rebuild your home in order to
replace a washing machine, wouldn't you find that a bit extreme, too?

> Things *do* change quickly. And as they
> change, things previously not possible become
> so only because they make something previously
> possible no longer.

Not true in this case.  Nikon simply decided to drop SCSI and Windows NT support
for their newer scanners.  This was a marketing decision, not a technical
decision, and no technical advantage accrues from it.

> You seem like a very knowledgeable computer user,
> not a novice. I do think your expectations of effort
> in order to accommodate new technologies is
> unrealistic.

It is precisely because I have several decades of experience in this domain that
I know the _real_ cost of upgrading anything.  Virtually all upgrades today
create a snowball effect that very often requires completely replacing a machine
and most of the software running upon it, particularly the operating system.
This problem has become so serious nowadays that it provides strong incentive
for never upgrading anything at all (and that is my current policy).

> The Pentium Pro processor you use was introduced
> in 1995, and was the first in the P6 architecture
> (and a damn fine chip for running NT, but Intel
> has introduced two follow ons to it's core in
> the interim).

Yes.  Unfortunately, Intel went for cheap speed after the Pentium Pro, and never
pursued the PPro design lines further.

> When it was introduced, Firewire didn't exist.

Most of what exists today didn't exist a month ago.  That doesn't mean that
everything more than a month old should become unsupported.

> Heck, the CPU itself was selling for close
> to $2000 when it first came out.

They still are.  The latest Intel CPUs enjoy huge margins.  It always puzzles me
that people complain so loudly about paying Microsoft $30 for a copy of Windows
on a new machine when often over half the total price of the system goes to
Intel to pay for a processor with a 70% gross profit margin or better.

> I don't like re-configuring my personal computer,
> and I install software very rarely, but I accept
> it as the necessity of getting new functionality.

When you run a production system, you may change your mind.

> But if it was only the need for an ability to scan
> with the scanner that You seem to really want, then
> many low cost options have been suggested ...

All of these options add thousands of dollars to the bill, so they are hardly
low-cost.

However, the real cost is not in dollars and hardware, it's in downtime.  I
cannot afford to lose the use of 90% of my applications for two months while I
try to configure a completely new OS and/or new hardware.  If I could buy new
hardware and just copy all the stuff on the old machine to the new machine,
boot, and run, then no problem.  But 99% of the cost of the upgrade is in the
downtime, not the cost of the hardware, and that cost is too high to make an
upgrade cost-effective if it cannot be easily plugged into an existing
configuration.

> ... your energy seems devoted to vitriol toward
> Nikon ...

Nikon is making poor decisions on this product.  That's their fault, not mine.

> ... and discounting in principle any effort to
> accommodate your outdated hardware and it's
> constraints.

Strange ... my car, my washing machine, my TV, my microwave ... all of these are
older than my "outdated" PC, and yet I have no trouble finding accommodations
for them.  I don't need to use completely new fuel for my car every two years.
My washing machine still accepts the same fittings and electrical power that its
predecessors did.  My TV still can receive programs based on broadcast standards
established 40 years ago.

This accommodation is possible even though all of these devices are relatively
new.

There is no point in trying to persuade me with technical arguments, because I
know better than to consider this a technical problem.

> Please don't continue lambasting Nikon on the list
> for assessing the current market for their wares
> and ruling out a market segment that is only shrinking.

I'm not convinced that they did that.  If they had, they would know that
professional computer users upgrade _far_ less often than casual users, because
established production systems and workflows cannot be rebuilt every six months
if a company wants to stay in business.  Clearly, they are aiming the product at
amateurs, which is probably a mistake, given its price, which puts it at the
extreme high end of the "prosumer" range.

> The LS 4000 produces huge files ...

It produces files about twice the size of those produced by an LS-2000.  Any
system that can handle files from an LS-2000 can handle them from an LS-4000.

> ... and Nikon apparently decided that anyone using
> it isn't using commercially outdated hardware.

Nikon was too cheap to support more than one environment, and assumed that its
entire user base would simply rebuild new systems from scratch just to
accommodate a slightly better scanner.  Or it assumed that all its business
would be new business.  In either case, the company is not thinking clearly.

I'm just thankful that they aren't this shortsighted when it comes to their film
cameras, or I'd have to buy completely new lenses every two years.

> The decision for Firewire makes sense, and it
> isn't their fault Firewire isn't supported in NT.

SCSI would work just as well, and it is easier to find.  There is no technical
requirement for Firewire.






 




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