Re: [PARPORT] partitions on Zip disk, ATAPI Zip drive via pf, on26, paride

From: Stephen Mollett (
Date: Wed Apr 30 2003 - 14:14:58 EDT

  • Next message: Bob Tanner: "Re: [PARPORT] libieee1284-0.2.7 documentation?"

    On Tuesday 29 Apr 2003 23:51, Robert Heller wrote:
    > ... *I'm* not convinced that there really is a
    > reason for 'IDE Floppy Drives', unless there is something totally brain
    > dead about the IDE interface spec.

    It's the old ATA ("IDE") vs. ATAPI thing. A so-called IDE floppy drive is
    actually an ATAPI Disk device - i.e. what is essentially a SCSI disk that
    communicates in a totally bizarre way, encapsulating SCSI commands and
    responses in packets that can be sent over an ATA interface. (Far out, man!
    Can I have whatever you're smoking too? ;-)

    <div class="rant">
    Anything SCSI could probably be converted to ATAPI with relatively little
    effort, simply by adding circuitry to perform the encapsulation and a bus
    interface ("IDE SCA backplane", anyone? :-P ). I can see the point of ATAPI
    CD-ROM drives or tape drives, but is it _really_ necessary to have an ATAPI
    _disk_ when there's already a perfectly good ATA disk specification? (My
    SyQuest removable drive is an ATA device - a removable IDE hard disk, not an
    "IDE floppy".)

    The best thing about ATAPI, IMHO, is the fact that you can use ready-made SCSI
    drivers instead of having to maintain another set. I can't figure out why the
    kernel people all seem so keen to get rid of ide-scsi in 2.5. Surely it would
    be more logical to get rid of the ATAPI drivers - they just reimplement the
    SCSI ones, after all - and use ide-scsi together with the SCSI drivers for
    all ATAPI devices. Then there would be only _one_ CD-ROM driver (if you
    disregard the old proprietary ones) to maintain or patch for packet-writing
    support or whatever, and likewise for the other device classes. NetBSD does
    this and it seems to work well enough. But they know more than me about
    things like that, so perhaps they've got a good reason. I sincerely hope it's
    not just because "it would confuse the users if we told them to use a SCSI
    driver for their \"IDE\" CD-ROM drive".

    OK, time to stop ranting and rambling before I start saying anything

    Just my E0.02 worth.


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