Re: [PARPORT] UMAX Astra 610P

Jonathan Buzzard (
Mon, 14 Sep 1998 21:34:43 +0100 said:
> If you have the software installed on a Windows machine, please do
> some digging to see if the drive uses a parallel port SCSI adapter,
> and if so, whose.

The UMAX parallel port scanners use a custom ASIC to communicate over the
parallel port. They *do not* use a parallel-to-SCSI converter of any
desciption whatsoever.

UMAX have repeatedly refused to give me the necessary programming
information for the parallel port protocol The reason given to me was
that the only documentation on the parallel port protocol is combined
with the documentation on the design of the ASIC. Umax are under the
delusional belief that their ASIC is something special and the design
needs to be protected. Why anyone would want to copy a design that only
uses only SPP and EPP modes (that's right no PS/2 or ECP) is beyond me.
There was also some suggestion that the ASIC design may have been licesened
to other scanner manufacturers (more fool them).

The scanner can be used in a limited extent under Wine, and should not be
too hard to reverse engineer. There are only seven routines in the driver
that do any sort of communication with the scanner and I had little trouble
working out the SPP ones (there are 14 in reality 7 SPP and 7 corresponding
EPP ones). It is just a case of understanding these and putting them
back together.

I was this time last year working on reverse engineering this protocol,
however this work has been indefinately suspended since the begining of
February this year. The reason being that whilst working on reverse
engineering the protocol I had a flash of inspiration that lead me to
workout a much longer term reverse engineering project I have had, namely
being able to set the battery saving options on Toshiba laptops (ie. a
Linux port of MaxTime).

This has progressed to the point now where there are three laptops in
transit from Toshiba Germany to me as I type this, for testing purposes.
When I have finished with these I can return them and get some more etc.
This is likely to keep me busy indefinately.

In the mean time I really should get me parallel port tracing patches to Wine


Jonathan A. Buzzard                 Email:
Northumberland, United Kingdom.       Tel: +44(0)1661-832195

Jonathan A. Buzzard                 Email:
Northumberland, United Kingdom.       Tel: +44(0)1661-832195

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