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Filmscanners mailing list archive (filmscanners@halftone.co.uk)

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



> 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.

That's not true. How about plug and play? That's something that SCSI is not.
And firewire, unlike SCSI, doesn't require your devices to be powered on at
boot time.

SCSI devices also require proper termination, which is one of the larger
problem and support issues with SCSI devices.

Firewire devices do not have the cable length and bandwidth limitations that
SCSI devices do.

Windows 2000 has been out for more then a year and a half now. Microsoft
will officially drop NT support soon. Why would Nikon want to introduce new
products that support obsolete operating systems and hardware?

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

Speed and cheap sound good to me. Why pay more when you can get it for less.

> 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.

Back in the Pentium Pro days, Intel's profit margin was around 45%, not 70%.
It's significantly less these days. 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. I
think a couple of hundred for a fast Intel or AMD CPU is a bargain.

The single most expensive item in a system is the monitor, not the CPU. Even
a fast CPU is rarely more than 20-25% of the system price, not more than
half as you allege.

> 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.

Does it really take you two months to reconfigure a system?

> 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.

So? Computer technology is evolving at a much faster pace than your washing
machine. Your Pentium Pro NT box is probably still as fast as the day you
bought it. And it will probably run all the software and hardware of it's
day, and do it well. It will admirably run any filmscanners of that era too.
As long as it's doing everything you need it to do, there's probably not a
lot of incentive for you to upgrade.

> > 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.

"Professional" computer users upgrade far more often than "less casual
users". I know this for a fact, as I earn a fair chunk of my income from
"professional" computer users. 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.

The Nikon scanners may very well be "prosumer" devices. Very few
photographers can justify $20,000 to $50,000 for a high-end drum scanner,
when $3,000 for a Nikon or Polaroid gets you 95% of the quality.

> 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.

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. They don't seem to be having a problem selling their scanners.
In fact, the demand for Nikon scanners is far greater than their
manufacturing capacity.

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

It's really easy to find a firewire adapter. All you have to do in look in
your Nikon scanner box. While it would have been just as feasible for Nikon
to use a SCSI interface, I'm glad they went the firewire route. For me it's
simpler and more flexible than SCSI.






 




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