Several weeks ago I posted a request for information about SCSI
Floppy disk drives available for Sun Sparcstations, specifically for
the new SLC. I received the following information from various
2440 Impala Drive
Carlsbad, California 92008-0993
1602 Newton Drive
Champaign IL 61821
1615 Alvarado St.
San Leandro, CA 94577
1638 Centre Point Dr.
Milpitas, CA 95035
P.O. Box 7528
Princeton, NJ 08543
Clearpont Research Corp.
35 Parkwood Dr.
Hopkinton, MA 01748-1659
All of these companies apparently sell Floppy Disk Drives that will
operate on the SCSI bus of Sun Workstations and are selling it for
about $995. Why so much? After talking with several of the
salepeople at these companies, I have found that they are selling
the physical device AND a set of programs to access the disk and use
it with MS-DOS files. This bothers me. What it comes down to is
that they do not sell the device and a driver but instead expect you
to shell out $$$ for software that DUPLICATES standard unix software
like tar, bar, etc. Furthermore, the MS-DOS stuff that they provide
duplicates DOS-Windows as distributed by Sun but does not do the
IBM-PC emulation to run programs.
So I would end up buying a unix license for standard software, the
disk drive and the accompanying software which I will never use and
DOS-Windows. This is ridiculous when all I want is the physical
device and a kernel - total price should be about $300-$400 or less.
A couple of people suggested that I consult an attorney based on the
fact that the Sun sales literature claims that the device would be
supported like other devices are supported. I did consult with an
attorney about this but am left with the opinion that if I sued, I
would likely lose since the case would essentially be my word
against Sun's and the documentation that states otherwise is not
sufficient because it is worded ambiguously. You or I might know
what it meant but, a judge or jury would likely not.
So the end result is that I am left with a Sun workstation that I
can use for some things but not everything I wanted it for, I will
likely not be able to purchase any new software because most vendors
are now distributing software on either CD-Roms (far too expensive
for me to consider) or floppies, neither of which I can use, and I
will not be able to share software or files with other people unless
they can read a 1/4" data cartridge tape (not likely for my
I am also left with a very bad taste in my mouth. If it sounds as
if I'm bitter, I am. I just spent about $8,000 on a Sun Workstation
and hard disk drive only to find out that I may have to spend
another $2,000 - $4,000. At this point, I'm seriously considering
selling the Sun and buying something else (like an IBM-PC).
-- --- Saul Jaffe Rutgers University ARPA: Jaffe@elbereth.rutgers.edu UUCP: ...!rutgers!elbereth.rutgers.edu!jaffe
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