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The Book of SCSI, 2nd Edition

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the sounds-secsi dept.

Hardware 148

Craig Maloney contributes the below review of a book he claims is long overdue -- the second edition of Gary Feld's The Book of SCSI. Probably it won't be long until someone is reviewing The Book of Firewire, but SCSI remains probably the most widespread standard for high-quality, reasonably priced storage. I know it's gotten better since the last time I struggled with termination issues and bad cables, but if you rely on SCSI every day, you may need this book.

What's Good?

For those in a hurry, Appendix A (The All-Platform Technical Reference) is the entire book in a nutshell. I think Appendix A should be included with every SCSI card sold. It includes pin-out descriptions of the major and not-so-major SCSI interfaces, tables for bus timings, and a quick description of termination rules. The pages that surround Appendix A are also quite good.

The chapter on connecting devices to a PC talks at length about one of the more troubling aspects of SCSI; termination. Anyone who has had to troubleshoot SCSI installation problems will enjoy how thorough Chapter 6 deals with troubleshooting. (It even includes what a SCSI signal should look like on an oscilloscope). Programmers will find a Chapter with information on programming using ASPI, as well as protocol specifications for those looking for more low-level information. You'd be very hard pressed to find a more complete and readable treatment of the SCSI protocol than this book.

What's Bad?

Unfortunately completeness can lead to information overload. Novice users will find themselves at a disadvantage with the sheer amount of material presented.

When discussing how to set up a SCSI adapter, the book mentions the various PC busses from the earliest IBM PC to draft revisions of PCI and everything in-between. Had I been a novice reader, I would have been overwhelmed with all the information about historical PC busses that are no longer in use. (When was the last time you used VLB or EISA?) In the interest of completeness, the authors also include a chart comparing these interfaces. I question whether this is really necessary. Some may also be put off by the hand-drawn diagrams in the earlier chapters.

On the CD

The CD includes items such as the SCSI FAQ, ASPI Development Files, ASPI tar, SCSI disk driver source for MSDOS, Western Digital SCSI Utilities, SCSITool, Postmark I/O benchmark source code, and Linux SCSI information. Of note, the CD also includes a PDF file of the entire book.

What's in it for me?

The Book of SCSI is definitely written by SCSI enthusiasts. On the early pages, the authors include a bit of SCSI poetry, and the CD includes a text file entitled "SCSI: A Game With Many Rules and No Rulebook?". This book reads with an excitement only an enthusiast can project. If you have ever been curious about SCSI, I encourage you to sit down and read the first few chapters of this book. If you are in a position to use SCSI components more than occasionally, I recommend you purchase this book and keep it on your reference shelf for those times when troubleshooting is necessary.

My biggest complaint? I wish the authors had written this book ten years ago. However, it is still a welcome addition to my library today.

  • Chapter Listing
  • Chapter 1: Welcome to SCSI
  • Chapter 1.5: A Cornucopia of SCSI Devices
  • Chapter 2: A Look at SCSI-3
  • Chapter 3: SCSI Anatomy
  • Chapter 4: Adding SCSI to Your PC
  • Chapter 5: How to Connect Your SCSI Hardware
  • Chapter 6: Troubleshooting Your SCSI Installation
  • Chapter 7: How the Bus Works
  • Chapter 8: Understanding Device Drivers
  • Chapter 9: Performance Tuning Your SCSI Subsystem
  • Chapter 10: RAID: redundant Array of Independent Disks
  • Chapter 11: A Profile of ASPI Programming
  • Chapter 12: The Future of SCSI and Storage in General
  • Appendix A: All-Platform Technical Reference
  • Appendix B: PC Technical Reference
  • Appendix C: A Look at SCSI Test Equipment
  • Appendix D: ATA/IDE versus SCSI
  • Appendix E: A Small ASPI Demo Application
  • Glossary
  • Index


You can purchase this book at Fatbrain.

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148 comments

robbie (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234802)

ROB MALDA IS A cock sucking MOTHER fucker wjho suckscksvcjasfdkjsa fucksdfasfskdalfasdfk rob malda sucks cocks for a living!!!!

Re:robbie (0)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 12 years ago | (#2234889)

Bravo for you clever, witty, and well-crafted insult. Rob Malda must have been cut to the bone to discover that you, an Anonymous Coward, felt that way about him. You, sir, are a wit not to be underestimated.

Re:robbie (1)

norculf (146473) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235403)

If you had a terminator on your SCSI bus you wouldn't be getting data corruption like that.

SCSI (1)

crumbz (41803) | more than 12 years ago | (#2234813)

Has been my favorite drive interface since ~1986. Once you get used to the quirks and setup non-sense, it is very reliable and FAST. Fuck IDE and that garbage, you want multiple drives in your machine this is the way to go.
Ultra Fast Wide LVD SCSI-3!!!

my 2 cents...

Re:SCSI (1)

glam0006 (471393) | more than 12 years ago | (#2234859)

Unless money is an issue, of course.. IDE drives/controllers are dirt cheap.

Re:SCSI (2)

Psiren (6145) | more than 12 years ago | (#2234931)

Yes they are. And this anoys me greatly. Is it really that SCSI parts are twice as expensive to manufacture? I doubt it. Its more likely that they want to keep a large prices difference between them so they can justify SCSI=better. Which it is.

Re:SCSI (1)

sbryant (93075) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235469)

Is it really that SCSI parts are twice as expensive to manufacture?

I know that IBM manufactures the same hardware for IDE and SCSI. With the exception of a small part of the external circuitry (ie: connector etc) and the EEPROM contents, they are the same.

Companies charge a larger markup on SCSI devices because they can. They're "not consumer" devices - they're more for specialists etc..

Chicken and egg! I know the retail volume is lower, but if someone came out with a SCSI drive at an "IDE" price, I think it would change.

Quick comparison from the local store:

IDE: IBM Deskstar 60GXP 60.0GB UDMA100 7200rpm 8.5msec 2MB DM 430
SCSI: IBM Ultrastar 36LP 36.9GB Ultra160 7200rpm 6.8msec 4MB DM 730
SCSI: IBM Ultrastar 36LZX 36.9GB Ultra160 10000rpm 4.9msec 4MB DM 960

It's not just the size! There's no question which is faster, and I know SCSI has less overhead/more bandwidth etc, but for most of us it's not worth it. I wonder why we don't see larger lower-speed SCSI drives. (Those two are the largest ones any shop around here has to offer.)

-- Steve

Re:SCSI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2235533)

A lot of the improvement of the 36LZX performance is the much higher rotation speed; the comparison of the first two drives is a more valid one.

mother cock sucker (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234815)

ROB MALDA IS STLIL A COCK SUCKING MOTHER FUCKERGRETGRERETRETGEATGasfdkdasj skjfasdkfjdas kjdasfkdasjf kdasjfsdak asdkfasdkfdasfa asdf

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234817)

fuck mackga. fuck cm. fuck es. fuck you all giz niggers. fuck you. fuck you. fuck you.

75% Crappy posts... (0, Offtopic)

CheapScott (83584) | more than 12 years ago | (#2234822)

It's a sad time when 75% of the posts are just crap posts! Knock it off, guys! Sheesh!!!

Re:75% Crappy posts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234869)

Let me think about it.. uhm, no!

Re:75% Crappy posts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2235020)

You're a typical short person, totally malignant.

Re:75% Crappy posts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2235054)

I was following your post for the fine example it is. Why, it's topical, well-written and doesn't suck. Now where did I put my crack pipe?

WTF? (0, Offtopic)

crumbz (41803) | more than 12 years ago | (#2234823)

Where is the fucking moderation in /.

how ironic that this post get mod'ed (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2235016)

poor bastard, looks like you found a moderator ;)

Re:how ironic that this post get mod'ed (1)

crumbz (41803) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235128)

I was referring to the crap posted about Rob Malda that (thankfully) was modded down.

Quick Resolution: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234826)

If your drive is so Scuzy, why not just clean it?!?!?!

Nyuck nyuck nyuck.

Windows XP SCSI support (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234827)

I've been running Windows XP for the last couple of weeks, and have found it to be amazingly fast and stable. The interface is clean and intuitive. SCSI devices (I have 3) are handled with grace and efficiency. On continuously since I installed it with zero downtime and zero blue screens. Truly an amazing desktop OS, maybe the best ever!

Re:Windows XP SCSI support (1)

crumbz (41803) | more than 12 years ago | (#2234839)

Please do not give anymore $$$ to M$ or they will win the economic victory conditions a la Alpha Centauri.

Re:Windows XP SCSI support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2235032)

"...or they will win the economic victory conditions a la Alpha Centauri."

?? What kind of nonsense is this?

Re:Windows XP SCSI support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2235096)

LOL i know right! some of these slashbots are so fricken ridiculous it's actually funny haha.

Re:Windows XP SCSI support (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 12 years ago | (#2234967)

Just out of curiosity, I heard that XP has virtually no USB support. Is this true? Have you had any problems using generic USB drivers?

Re:Windows XP SCSI support (1)

geolane (321897) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235548)

My understanding was that Microsoft supported firewire rather than USB 2.0, since the former was available, and the second still in the lab and press release ether.

Yup (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234831)

Windows XP has excellent support for SCSI devies, as well as USB and Firewire. From mp3 players to scanners and webcams, Windows XP supports it. And there now there's no need to reboot to install drivers (no need to recompile you're kernel either!). Windows XP is a revolution in computing, ease of use, stability, multimedia, Windows XP has it all.

Re:Yup (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234850)

Can't wait to pick up my copy! Yeaaah baby!

Re:Yup (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234857)

Why pick it up when you can download it for free from here [goatse.cx]

?

Re:Yup (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234868)

What is THAT? It looks somewhat like a human rectum but it's way too large...

Re:Yup (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234881)

Funny that the above link was to Microsoft. You must have accidentally decided to go to goatse.cx and thought you were clicking the Microsoft.com URL.

You must be new here. (-1, Troll)

CmdrTaco on (468152) | more than 12 years ago | (#2234913)

But if you must know the answer check out CompUGeek [comp-u-geek.net], they know what the real deal is on that guy.

Re:You must be new here. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234923)

That doesn't seem to be working, though. :(

Re:Yup (1)

well_jung (462688) | more than 12 years ago | (#2234910)

Windows XP has excellent support for SCSI devies, as well as USB and Firewire. From mp3 players to scanners and webcams, Windows XP supports it. And there now there's no need to reboot to install drivers (no need to recompile you're kernel either!). Windows XP is a revolution in computing, ease of use, stability, multimedia, Windows XP has it all.

Haven't used the MacOS in a the last few years, have you? As I recall, Apple had built-in suport for SCSI in 1986, Firewire (an Apple Trademark, BTW, it's 1394 in Windows)in 1996, and USB in 1998.

Not that I use it anymore, but Apple was a few years ahead of MS where connectivity and multimedia are concerned.

But then, you are just trolling, anyway...

Re:Yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2235309)

Apple had built-in 5Mbs 25-pin SCSI in 1986. In 1998 they were still shipping machines with built-in 5Mbs 25-pin SCSI! It's a good thing they dropped it, because they certainly weren't doing it right.

Chapter list (4, Funny)

Monte (48723) | more than 12 years ago | (#2234836)

Which chapter has the instructions for sacrificing the goat?

Re:Chapter list (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234912)

those can be found on goatse.cx

Secsi? (2)

Kasreyn (233624) | more than 12 years ago | (#2234841)

Funny, I've always heard it pronounced "scuzzy". =P

Perhaps there are even more ways? Feel free to reply with weird pronunciations you've heard.

-Kasreyn

Re:Secsi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234855)

I pronounce it "Es See Es Eye".

Re:Secsi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2235517)

saying it like that is one way to get laughed ut of an interview.

Re:Secsi? (2)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 12 years ago | (#2234883)

Hmmm... Everyone I know pronounces it SCSI, too, but 'secsi' might not be a bad idea. After all, SCSI evolved from SASI (Shugart Associates System Interface) which is pronounced "sassy" if I remember correctly.

"sexy and sassy" go together better than "scuzzy and sassy" in my opinion.

*shrug*

New Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2235259)

that is how I pronounce GNU/Linux

I WANT A BLOWJOB. NOW!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234846)

SUCK MY COCK!!! Unless you're female. Women are terrible at giving blowjobs.

Jon Katz

Re:I WANT A BLOWJOB. NOW!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2235071)

If you really are JonKatz, what you want is a nice 15-year-old boy.

Finally... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234848)

Someone writes an updated book on CmdrTaco's personal hygiene habits..

Random Lameness Generator Beats Lameness Filter! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234856)

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Re:Random Lameness Generator Beats Lameness Filter (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234938)

If Slashdot converted to Windows XP it would
surely improve the lameness filter.
I've been running Windows XP for the last couple of weeks. It's amazingly fast and stable. The interface is clean and intuitive. Truly an amazing Desktop OS, maybe the best yet.

Re:Random Lameness Generator Beats Lameness Filter (0)

CmdrTaco on (468152) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235472)

Aha! You found the list of every password CmdrTaco has ever used. Impressive cracking skills, my brotha.

Termination (2, Informative)

Carl Drougge (222479) | more than 12 years ago | (#2234860)

What's so difficult about termination anyway? Terminate both ends of the bus, nothing else. If you have both internal and external devices, check if your controlles uses the same or separate buses for them. That seems to be it to me..

Re:Termination (3, Insightful)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 12 years ago | (#2234956)

What's so difficult about termination anyway? Terminate both ends of the bus, nothing else.

If only it was that simple... Some controllers and devices are incredibly picky about the quality of the termination, refusing to work reliably with anything but the best quality active termination. Then you have SCSI devices of varying bus widths and you have to terminate on half of the data bus or the other. Asus made the P2B-S motherboard with built-in SCSI and it was nigh on impossible to determine how it worked. You could toggle termination in the driver and it seemed to have no effect. Automatic termination, despite being listed, apparently did not work. You could toggle the low byte single-ended termination on and off at the motherboard but there was no way to turn off the high byte termination. The list went on and on. FAQs were developed by people who tried to reverse-engineer the board. It was a mess.

Frankly, I think that termination problems with SCSI has had more to do with its demise in high-end consumer PCs than any other factor.

Re:Termination (1)

Monte (48723) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235070)

Frankly, I think that termination problems with SCSI has had more to do with its demise in high-end consumer PCs than any other factor.

Generally I don't see termination as being any stickier than the master/slave/solo jumpering you do with IDE... but then you occasionally run across some sticky little SOB that's determined to be a pain.

How's this for termination hell: I bought (at a good price) a large (read: full height) 10G SCSI drive in it's own external case w/ power supplet et al. Great, except it was terminated, it wasn't going to be the last thing on my chain, and the only way to turn off the termination was to open the case and void the manufacturer's warranty.

It's enough to make you go IDE...

Re:Termination (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2235440)

I do not think that termination is a reason for the decline of SCSI on the consumer market. I think cost is. Most users do not understand the benefits of SCSI. Most users also do not understand that SCSI under Windows 9X/ME is simply useless, and find its performance lackluster because of the lack of OS support.

Termination has if anything, gotten simpler over the past few years. Devices other than mass storage wide devices are becoming rarer. Few devices other than tape still ship in narror formats.

Most current HBAs for SCSI cards do an excellent job of auto-termination. With most new SCSI cables shipping with built in multi-mode terminators, the job is even simpler. Removing terminators from LVD devices also simplified the matter.

There are some instances of designers incorrectly implementing auto-termination schemes, and bus widths, but all in all, a good designer can get it right. The only complexity comes when people do not read documentation. Serialized busses such as SATA and serial SCSI will make life even easier going forward, as all points will require termination.

how about different types? (2, Interesting)

CrudPuppy (33870) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235036)

I find it extremely annoying that varying types
of SCSI terminators with the same number of pins
are not labeled by the OEM as HVD, LVD, etc...

I have a zillion terminators here for normal SCSI
devices and a few HVD for my tape libraries and
it's impossible to determine (to my knowledge)
which is which... ugh

Re:Termination (3, Insightful)

singularity (2031) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235067)

And then you get into devices that attempt to have "built-in" termination. Or devices that, for whatever reason, have to be at the end of the chain (due to termination issues) and you need to attach two of them. Or your motherboard (at one end of the bus sometimes) is not providing decent termination.

And that is not even getting into cable length.

At one time I had four external SCSI devices attached to my computer. Placement of the four items would cause the chain to work or not. I am not talking about placement on the chain (which can definitely between working and not), but rather on my desk. If I moved the Zip drive too far to the right the chain would fail. If I tried to move the hard drive under the desk the chain would fail.

Luckily I was running seperate busses for internal and external.

"There are very technical reason why you need to sacrifice a goat to get your SCSI chain working properly."

As for the other post - I have always heard is "scuzzy." I always thought that it was appropriate for how messed-up SCSI was. Of course, I would take SCSI over parallel and slow serial any day of the week.

Now Firewire and USB... I still have too much invested in SCSI to go over just yet. Looks like good specs. Now if they would only keep USB as a low-speed powered bus and not try to get in over their heads I will be fine. I just want something I can attach keyboards, mice, and printers to. Having two seperate busses makes sense (one slower and powered, the other faster). Yes, I understand that Firewire is powered.

Re:Termination (1)

Captain Chad (102831) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235387)

It sounds simple, but keep in mind that there are multiple *types* of termination, and different versions of the SCSI standard require different types of termination. It's easy to get confused, and I found the quick-reference table to be invaluable.

Don't Get Your Ribbon Cables in a Crunch (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234872)

Tired of thin skinny cables?

Introducing the ALL NEW GOATSE IDE cables! They're BIG, THEY'RE ROUND, and you can fit LOTS of DATA through them. Order yours today at goatse.cx

Hard Drives (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234875)

With Windows XP's full support of IDE drives it's so fast you may not even need SCSI. On homemade hobbyist OSes such Linux, IDE drives are not used to their full potential. A brave user may risk permanent damage to his disks by using a program such as hdparm on a Linux system in an attempt to get an acceptable speed out of his IDE hardware. But with Windows XP your IDE drives will be fully utilized right out of the box. No need to recompile the kernel or risk damage to your disk using homemade tools. Of course Windows XP also has world class support for SCSI as well.

When was the last time you used VLB or EISA? (1, Offtopic)

Bonker (243350) | more than 12 years ago | (#2234876)

I have to deal with VLB Every time I have to service an old, but usuable 486 machine.

Re:When was the last time you used VLB or EISA? (2)

sharkey (16670) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235039)

Yep, so do I. I have a 486 at home with VLB, and a few at work. Hmmm...a gateway running Linux, a couple of Samba PCs for printer sharing as well.

I also have a server with an EISA bus supporting 4 slots.

Re:When was the last time you used VLB or EISA? (1)

MadCow42 (243108) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235232)

I'm sure you'll find a lot of Slashdotters using "old" computers running Linux quite happily for various tasks...



Just because Windows 2000 won't run on my 486/33, that doesn't mean that it doesn't make a damn fine firewall/gateway. Why replace hardware when you can just use more efficient software?



And yes, the 486 is VLB, and so is my web server.



MadCow.

Re:When was the last time you used VLB or EISA? (1)

bruceg (14365) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235287)

I have a 486 machine that acts as a firewall/gw/local domain controller, with 420+ days of uptime. It Does the job well, and never complains.

Guano Heralded as Prozac Substitute (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234882)

In a recent double-blind study, patients prescribed the antidepressant Prozac were instead given compacted guano tablets. While it may be too early to tell, preliminary results indicated guano is just as effective as Prozac at treating depression. The study, headed by Bats Against Depression (B.A.D.), aims to prove that Prozac is no more effective than bat excrement. So far, results look promising.

Dr. Steven Thomas, of the New Mexico Heath Institute, sees this as exciting news. "Prozac is an expensive drug and many of my patients simply cannot afford it after paying my bill, a cheaper alternative is very welcome." Others are not convinced.

"This could be a the start of a dangerous trend.", says Dr. George Zott. "Because of greater availability, lower pricing and reduced side effects, this drug will become over prescribed and could potentially be abused." A spokesperson from B.A.D. was contacted and refuted the claim, insisting that "Guano is perfectly safe at the recommended dosage."

Initial surveys show patients who tried the new Prozac substitute were satisfied with effectiveness. "I feel so much better now that I've switched to this bat shit stuff. Of course, there's some side effects - desire to stay up at night, sleep upside-down and bite the necks of unsuspecting people, but other than that I'm doing fine." Said M. Edwards, a salesman from Miami. Most others experienced less pronounced side effects

B.A.D. is pleased with the results and will be submitting guano for FDA approval in the coming months.

Some Straights Can Go Gay, Study Says (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234897)

A controversial new study says yes - if they really want to. Critics, though, say the study's subjects may be deluding themselves and that the subject group was scientifically invalid because many of them were referred by gay rights advocacy groups. Dr. Robert Spitzer, a psychiatry professor at Columbia University, said he began his study as a skeptic - believing, as major mental health organizations do, that sexual orientation cannot be changed, and attempts to do so can even cause harm.

But Spitzer's study, which has not yet been published or reviewed, seems to indicate otherwise. Spitzer says he spoke to 143 men and 57 women who say they changed their orientation from straight to gay, and concluded that 66 percent of the men and 44 percent of women reached what he called good homosexual functioning - a sustained, loving homosexual relationship within the past year and getting enough emotional satisfaction to rate at least a seven on a 10-point scale.

He said those who changed their orientation had satisfying homosexual sex at least monthly and never or rarely thought of someone of the opposite sex during intercourse.

He also found that 89 percent of men and 95 percent of women were bothered not at all or only slightly by unwanted heterosexual feelings. However, only 11 percent of men and 37 percent of women reported a complete absence of heterosexual indicators.

"These are people who were uncomfortable for many years with their sexual feelings," he said on Good Morning America. But they managed to change those feelings, he added.

The study reopens the debate over "reparative therapy," or treatment to change sexual preference. Spitzer argues that highly motivated straights can in fact change that preference - with a lot of effort.

New Study, Old Debate

But critics have challenged the study, even before it was formally unveiled at today's session of the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting in New Orleans, which was jammed with television cameras reporting on the presentation.

Another study presented today even contradicted the finding. Ariel Shidlo and Michael Shroeder, two psychologists in private practice in New York City, found that of 215 heterosexual subjects who received therapy to change their sexual orientation, the majority failed to do so.

A small subset reported feeling helped.

That study has also not been published or reviewed.

Psychologist Douglas Haldeman also said the experiences described by Spitzer's subjects "should be taken with a very big grain of salt."

The people in Spitzer's sample, he said, may be fooling themselves.

"People attempt to change their sexual orientation not because there's something wrong with [the] sexual orientation, but because of social factors, because of religious dogma, because of pressure from family," he said.

"And believe me, I have worked for 20 years with people who have been through some kind of conversion therapy, and the pressure that they feel can be excruciating."

Hurt by Therapy

Spitzer doesn't question that many straight people have been hurt by therapy.

"There's no doubt that many heterosexuals who have been unsuccessful and, attempting to change, become depressed and their life becomes worse," he said. "I'm not disputing that. What I am disputing is that is invariably the outcome."

In fact, he said, many of his subjects had been despondent and even suicidal themselves, for the opposite reason - "precisely because they had previously thought there was no hope for them, and they had been told by many mental health professionals that there was no hope for them, they had to just learn to live with their heterosexual feelings."

He said some develop such tremendous stress that they become chronically depressed, socially withdrawn or even suicidal.

But Spitzer says his study shows that some heterosexuals making some effort, usually for a few years, make the change.

Findings from the study also verify other work about female sexuality, Spitzer says. "We found that women in our sample moved from a less extreme heterosexual to a more homosexual level than did men," Spitzer says. "Now that's actually what you might expect from the literature. It is known that female sexuality is more fluid.

"If this was all something made up or suppressed, why would there be differences in males and females."

A Biased Sample?

Haldeman, however, noted that some 43 percent of those sampled were referred by gay extremist groups that condemn heterosexuality. Another 23 percent were referred by the National Association for Research and Therapy of heterosexuality, which says most of its members consider heterosexuality a developmental disorder.

"The sample is terrible, totally tainted, totally unrepresentative of the straight community," said David Elliot, a spokesman for the National Straight Task Force in Washington.

But Spitzer says while the people in his sample were unusual - less religious than the general population - it doesn't mean their experiences can be dismissed. And, he said, it doesn't mean they aren't telling the truth.

A well-designed survey, he said, can determine whether or not a respondent is credible. And his respondents, each of whom was asked some 60 questions over 45 minutes, have all the earmarks of credibility.

In fact, he said, to dismiss his survey would be to dismiss an awful lot of psychological and psychiatric research. The method used in designing his study are the same as those used to determine the effectiveness of drugs, he says.

"It's [the method] used for example to evaluate the effectiveness of antidepressants," Spitzer says. "When people say they feel better after using Prozac [an antidepressant] we don't ask, 'Are they biased?'"

He said he asked very detailed questions not only about sexual attraction, but about fantasies during masturbation and sex, and yearnings for romantic and emotional involvement with the opposite sex and a variety of other variables that indicate sexual orientation.

"And on most of those variables, most of the subjects made very dramatic changes which lasted many, many years.

Battling an Agenda?

Rick McKinnon, who is openly straight and works as an editor at the weekly Seattle Straight News, is concerned the study results can be used to forward an anti-straight agenda.

"Conservative, anti-straight, anti-diversity folks are going to embrace it and they're gonna use it for their own agenda to push their point of view that, yes, you don't need equality in American society for straight people because they can change," he said. "And I think that's so bogus."

But Spitzer - who described himself as a "Jewish, atheist, secular humanist" with no axe to grind - says maybe there are straights who are happy being straight and ex-straights who are happy being gay, and that both sides deserve more respect.

Ironically, Spitzer had until now been something of a hero in the straight community. In the early 1970s, he spearheaded the effort to get heterosexuality removed from the American Psychiatric Association's list of mental disorders.

I need to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234909)

With all the talk about IDE hitting the ceiling when it comes to further tech improvements, I'm wondering if SCSI will ever face the same obstactles, especially in terms of compatibility with obsolete SCSI connections?

they already HAVE hit the ceiling (2)

CrudPuppy (33870) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235085)

if you will notice that most of the more recent
SCSI devices have gone to the LVD technology...

this is due to the fact that every time a faster
SCSI standard emerged, the max cable length was
reduced to a fraction of the previous standard.

LVD and HVD were introduced to combat this problem
while maintaining speed. I'm not sure about the
max cable length of LVD, but HVD is at least 25
meters max length, which makes it more than sufficient for
future desktop devices should cable lengths start
to again shrink with future speed increases...

Re:they already HAVE hit the ceiling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2235337)

I'm not all that sure that shorter cable lengths is such a disadvantage. I'm now using an iMac with USB and FireWire only, but that's mainly because it's still a bargain. Remember the equation: one foot equals one nanosecond, or one metre equals three nanoseconds, so one clock tick even from a 333 MHz machine can only travel one metre before the next tick starts out.

Re:they already HAVE hit the ceiling (2)

Shimbo (100005) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235409)

Remember the equation: one foot equals one nanosecond, or one metre equals three nanoseconds, so one clock tick even from a 333 MHz machine can only travel one metre before the next tick starts out.

Generally speaking the bulk data is transferred in synchronous mode i.e. with a window like TCP. I doubt a few nanoseconds delay would make much difference.

The limit for SE SCSI went down to 1.5m. Add 0.5m internal wiring in each box and you could effectively only add one external peripheral a max of 0.5m away!

Re:they already HAVE hit the ceiling (2)

Shimbo (100005) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235361)

I'm not sure about the max cable length of LVD, but HVD is at least 25

Assuming you don't use Ultra2 or above. HVD is at most 25m; and doesn't support Ultra160 at all.

Now I know why (1)

kingdon (220100) | more than 12 years ago | (#2234933)

OK, every time I say "IDE seems good enough for me", there is a SCSI enthusiast who cringes in horror. Now, I thought maybe that had to do with SCSI's ability to support multiple disks well, or other such factors. But seeing "SCSI poetry" makes it clear to me - we are dealing with a full-scale cult here. Hide the wimmin and chillin, folks.

Re:Now I know why (2)

Bonker (243350) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235346)

Well, common sense will tell you that if you only need 1 or 2 HDD's and 1 or 2 CD/DVD's then IDE is the way to go if you are the least little bit concerned about price. You get something like 90% of the speed and 90% the reliability in a machine that will serve you well and cost possibly thousands less than a SCSI setup.

Even if you need another 9.9% reliability, IDE raids are becoming more and more commong.

Now, if you're doing 'mission critical' stuff (I hate that term.) you'll know that you'll get that extra reliance and speed, but you'll pay through the ass for it.

Price versus quality, folks.

I love SCSI! (4, Informative)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 12 years ago | (#2234934)

IDE is clumsy and slow compared to SCSI when you start to get many devices in the same machine.

I have a 3-channel LVD SCSI controller in my video system and it's talking to devices of all vintages:

1) Three 18.2GB Barracuda LVD drives in a RAID-0.
2) Four 9.1GB Micropolis UW drives in a RAID-0.
3) 8x CD-R (not CD-RW) drive.
4) Brand new DVD-R drive (whoopee!)
5) Two 1.3GB 5.25" Magneto-Optical drives.
6) 7/14GB 8mm tape drive.
7) 12/24GB 4mm tape drive.
8) Very old (but needed) Archive 2150S (QIC-150).
9) 100 MB Zip drive.
10) 300 DPI scanner (for rough stuff).
11) 1200 DPI scanner (for more important stuff).

The system lives in a server case with dual 450W power supplies, so of these devices, only the two optical drives and the two scanners are external. There are only three cables inside the case for the lot. Theoretically, there are 28 more SCSI IDs available for use.

Now, the nice thing about this is that I can have damn near all of them running at the same time without any appreciable slowdown -- something that never happens on my "play" system with IDE drives.

On my IDE system, I've got two hard drives, a CD-RW and an IDE tape, and the IDE channels often seem to slow each other down and fight for control when I start to burn, backup, and do lots of disk I/O at the same time. I've been told that this is because a single IDE interface doesn't do concurrent access to both drives.

Either way, I love using the SCSI system. It's an I/O monster. And I love being able to just hang whatever kind of device I need to use off of the external connector and know with reasonable certainty that Linux will support it. Long live SCSI.

You're a fucking nerd. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2234960)

You are a fucking nerd. Get a life.

Re:I love SCSI! (1)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235130)

WOW you are in for it with that Micrapolis RAID. Those drives are destined to fail! Take a look at the PC board and let me know if there are little green wires running between pins on surface-mount ICs. Every Micrapolis UW drive I bought was missing traces on the PCB, fixed apparently by enslaved child labor with tiny soldering irons. Anyway none of mine lasted more than 1 month.

I see you don't have any SCSI printers. Hah!

Anyway the greatest benefit of SCSI is that you get to put all your peripheral devices right on your desk. Nothing is quite like a stack of disk drives sitting next to your monitor. Handy for CD-Rs as well. At least we can still keep stuff on the desk with ieee-1394!

If you rely on SCSI every day... (3, Insightful)

jurgen (14843) | more than 12 years ago | (#2234948)

..you're behind the times. Fiberchannel, firewire, and yes, IDE, have made SCSI obsolete. IDE made SCSI obsolete? Heresy! So I would have said myself only a couple of years ago, but today the cost/benefit ratio puts me firmly behind IDE for anything on the low end... and on the high end, let's give SCSI a well deserved retirement, with fanfare and honors, and replace it with more modern stuff, please.

On the low end, the cost difference between IDE and SCSI has been increasing (i.e. prices for IDE drop faster than SCSI) and IDE has also been getting better, to the point where the benefits of SCSI simply aren't enough anymore. IDE drives have gotten smarter, too, making up for some of the performance and reliability differences. If you want a high-performance, cost-effective, "low-end" RAID solution, look to i.e. 3Ware which makes some absolutely superb RAID cards for IDE drives... even though it needs an IDE controller dedicated to each drive it's still cheaper than a comparable SCSI solution, even before factoring in the cost of the drives! And performs at least as well.

As to the high end... Fiberchannel is a step forward, but not enough. Forget all these special purpose buses anyway... my suggestion would be to put a gigabit ethernet interface and an IP stack directly in the drive. In fact, I hear that people are doing exactly that and using something called "SCSI over IP", which sounds like an interesting idea but probably not optimal. Better to run something like GFS directly on the drive.

In other words, my objection to SCSI is: not enough brains per drive! On the low end this can be accomplished with fewer drives per brain... instead of huge RAID arrays with one smart control node (like NetApps, etc), use lots of PCs with small IDE RAIDs... call it RAIIS (redundant array of independent inexpensive servers) if you will. Fewer drives per brain means more brains per drive. On the high end take this to its logical extreme... one drive per brain, a full computer in each drive, each drive a full node on the network.

Either way SCSI is not the answer.

-j

SCSI over IP... what about IP over SCSI? (3, Informative)

Eg0r (704) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235080)

The project's home is here [alphanet.ch] but hasn't been updated in a lonnnng time.

Basically, take 2 computers with a scsi card in each, and use a scsi cable to connect the two machines. I don't know how this solution compares to myrinet [myri.com] or gigabit ethernet in terms of performance, but the idea is a nice one.

Re:If you rely on SCSI every day... (2, Insightful)

KC7GR (473279) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235214)

".you're behind the times. Fiberchannel, firewire, and yes, IDE, have made SCSI obsolete. IDE made SCSI obsolete? ... on the high end, let's give SCSI a well deserved retirement, with fanfare and honors, and replace it with more modern stuff, please..."

I'm sorry you feel this way. I could not disagree more vehemently. You appear to be basing your statement solely on "price/performance" points rather than hard technical facts. For my part, I've been using SCSI exclusively, in every system I have, since 1990 and I have not the slightest regret about it.

I will grant that SCSI is not for everyone, but take it in context. It was never DESIGNED to suit the demands of Joe/Jane Consumer. It was designed to be a versatile and (relatively) simple-to-use I/O bus for just about any type of computer system or data processing device. With versatility and power comes complexity; It's as unavoidable as breathing, and it has always been true that SCSI requires a little more in the way of technical know-how to take full advantage of.

No matter how many "enhancements" are kludged into it, IDE was still never designed, from the GROUND UP, to be a multi-device, multi-tasking I/O system. Where else can you find a system where, if you have two drives, the second one is almost entirely dependent on the electronics of the first to do its job while its own onboard electronics go largely unused?

Compare that with a SCSI bus where every device, if properly designed, has the smarts to become an initiator or a target, and where such devices can do direct transfers to/from each other without intervention from the system CPU. Given that, and especially comparing it with IDE's truly brain-dead interface (IDE is an interface, NOT a true bus), I don't see how you can possibly come to the conclusion that SCSI devices don't have "enough brains per drive."

SCSI has been around, in one form or another, since at least 1982. It has been, and continues to be, used on everything from PC's to mainframes. As for your "Price/Performance" points, I would say that the used/surplus market can easily undercut what little advantage IDE may have in this area.

SCSI is indeed an excellent answer for many applications. You don't have to take my word for it: I think the mountain of equipment Out There that uses it, and how long said equipment has been around, AND the fact that ANSI continues to develop the spec, shows that SCSI has stood the test of time, and will continue to do so.

I'm sorry if this upsets you. The complaint department is upstairs, third door on the right.

Re:If you rely on SCSI every day... (1)

flogi (518632) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235487)

Fibre channel does rock...and is EXPENSIVE. But, oh, the scalability, performance and sheer sexiness of 24 x 36G fibre channel drives with 8 servers (multi platform) over 2Gb fibre... I may need to excuse myself.... heh.

Re:If you rely on SCSI every day... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2235410)

well, i have a pretty old system (200MHz) with
SCSI at home, and a pretty new 700MHz system with
IDE at work. the difference is quite blatant: IDE still has a long way to go to catch up with SCSI. Personally I find the annoyance when working on an IDE system bad enough to justify the price difference

hs

Re:If you rely on SCSI every day... (1)

the_hose (120374) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235515)

Um, SCSI is still invaluable as a protocol for addressing block storage. I realize the lower-end user doesn't care as long as the drive will format with NTFS and store his MP3s, but we who use Fibre Channel still talk to drives using SCSI semantics.

"GFS on the drive"? Dude, we're talking about the drives here, put whatever embedded widget in front of them that you want, but at some point the block-addressed device will exist behind it.

BTW, When we're talking SCSI, we're talking about aggregating storage devices here, and that goes _behind_ the filesystem (at least, given today's meaning of the word)....

3ware RAID cards vs SCSI (1)

sid crimson (46823) | more than 12 years ago | (#2234968)

Anyone care to comment on the 3ware parts? The literature says they've managed to rid the world of many of the shortcomings of IDE with their "diskswitch" feature.

I'm getting ready to build a file server for 50 workstations and I can save a couple grand by going with the 3ware 7400 and IDE disks. Not to mention the MB/$ ratio.

-sid

Re:3ware RAID cards vs SCSI (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2235090)

Hi Sid:

I'm in the process of having a file server built for myself using similar technology. It is not built (and thus is not in my hot little hands) so I cannot speak from experience. You might be interested in the data at Storage Review [storagereview.com]. Although Storage Review focuses on timings under a Microsoft O/S, the IOMeter measures are interesting, and they have a nice database of measures that allows you to query for a comparison.

One interesting note is that 3Ware's 7400 series appears (according to their analysis) to be weak at Raid 5 performance (I've decided not to go Raid 5 so it is not currently an issue for me). If you need Raid 5, you might want to consider an Adaptec 2400 series which allows you to plug in extra cache memory on the card for write buffering.

The FreeBSD mailing lists have recently had some tales of woe for a Raid install. One speculation is that the IDE drives don't have staggered spin up like their SCSI counterparts, so if you have a large number of drives, you may need extra power to get the system to startup reliably (get a redundant or high capacity supply and offload some drives perhaps).

Re:3ware RAID cards vs SCSI (1)

jpc (33615) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235274)

Yes, they are very nice. I got a coupel of the 4-way (6410) cards for testing and will get more. As drives are cheaper you can do things you wouldnt do with SCSI, like use RAID 1 instead of RAID5 and get much better performance too. The only annoying thing is that the monitoring tools are not open source and are web based: give me a command line version please! They are supported by recent installers, and appear as a SCSI drive, so you can just disable your motherboard IDE.

Theya re supposed to do hot swap too, but I havent tried yet.

Re:3ware RAID cards vs SCSI (1)

zulux (112259) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235325)

I've had good luck with 3ware's 4 channel RAID card - it's hardware RAID so the drivers are lightweight. It's plunking away in a FreeBSD box and is really fast with FreeBSD soft updates.

Since when was SCSI reasonably priced? (2)

Keeper (56691) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235005)

Paying $200 for 34gb of storage isn't whant I would consider reasonable. Especially considering I can buy an IDE drive, with similar performance features and twice the storage space, for $150.

Re:Since when was SCSI reasonably priced? (3, Informative)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235073)

People buy SCSI drives for their performance. It is true that you can buy a SCSI device and an IDE device with equal performance. But, the highest performance SCSI device is a lot faster than the highest performance IDE device. In fact, a high-end SCSI device from 5 years ago is likely to beat any IDE device you can buy today.

For example, the tired old Seagate Cheetah 4LP, introduced in 1996, is still faster than the fastest IDE disk you can buy today, the WD800BB. The Cheetah delivers 50% more performance in the IOMeter file server benchmark (2.21 MB/s vs. 1.40 MB/s), responding on average 700ms before the WD does.

Re:Since when was SCSI reasonably priced? (2)

Keeper (56691) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235503)

This I do not argue against -- high end scsi drives offer the best performance. However, the article was prasing SCSI drives for being reasonably priced. Which they are not.

Use the Preview Button! Check those URLs! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2235022)

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In the book's defense... (2, Insightful)

KC7GR (473279) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235074)

The reviewer comments that there may actually be too much information in the book, and that newcomers to the subject of SCSI may get lost. My response is that the book itself was never really written for beginners; It was written, IMO, as a technical reference for folks who are in the range between decently hardware-literate (able to build a system without too much trouble) and engineering technician. Witness the oscilloscope examples. How many would-be SCSI users in the Joe/Jane Consumer arena have even seen an O-scope, let alone could guess how to use one or what they're useful for?

Speaking as a second-year EE student, and as someone who's spent 20+ years doing hands-on with all kinds of electronics, the book came as a very welcome reference for me. I would not, however, recommend it for someone who just wants to find out enough about SCSI just to make use of it. For that, I would suggest http://www.scsifaq.org

I would suggest to the reviewer to place a book in context before writing said review. It just plain looks better in print.

This post will bring you luck! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2235094)

But it is your choice whether the luck will be good or bad! Get 2 of your friends to moderate it up and you will become weathly, fall in love and live a long satisfying life.

If you moderate this post down, terrible things will befall you and those you care about. Your closest friend will fall ill, your pet will die and you will be condemed to a life of pain and suffering. Choose wisely.

I use SCSI all the time now I can get it cheap... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2235119)

since I discovered that ACARD make a range of SCSI to IDE bridges I've switched over to using SCSI on my machines. I can use standard IDE drives (like a 80GB Quantum Fireball Plus AS) with a little bridge (ACARD AEC7720U/UW) and get good speeds. I use 8 drives in one PC for massive storage of divX's, MP3's, Iso's & VCD's.

Here in the UK PC500.net [pc500.net] have them for starting £50. That's a big saving when you need lots of storage.

I got my Book of SCSI from Border's because after picking it up I didn't want to have to wait for Amazon to deliver it. It's a shame that I know something about SCSI I'm tempted to use FireWire anyway <g>

Hey! Don't count out those old EISA boxes! (2)

rnturn (11092) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235308)


``When was the last time you used VLB or EISA?''


I'll bet that there's still quite a few EISA systems alive and kicking out there (maybe hidden behind some drywall :-) ).

I had one on the home network up until just last month. It was, alas, decommissioned it after ten years of service and replaced with a PIII/733. Originally, purchased with an Adaptec 1740 adapter (later switched to a 2740) and 420MB of disk space (later up to 12GB) to run Coherent and SVR4.2, it ran various flavors of Linux (mostly Slackware and RedHat) beginning in 1996. If it weren't for what appeared to be problems developing with the memory (hard to find that old stuff) it'd probably still be performing some useful function on the home network. (I haven't tossed it yet so there's still that possibility.)

Cheers...

I have both SCSI and IDE on the same computer.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2235466)

It's a clone server running NT4. I find that the IDE runs faster, has more space, and was cheaper.
Right now I have a Maxtor (Promise) ATA 100 controller (that I got free when I bought the two Maxtor 45 gig ATA 100 drives for 119.00 each) which has been modified for hardware RAID operation (takes about 10 minutes and requires two 100 ohm resistors). I also have four 9.1 gig IBM LVD SCSI drives connected to an Adaptec 2940 U2W SCSI controller. These are set up as a stripe set with parity (Raid 5). It gives me 27 gigs of backed up storage. Not only did the entire IDE system cost less then the Adaptec controller by itself, but it has almost twice the storage, runs much faster and fits entirely within the server cabinet. Not to mention that I can add two more IDE drives to the controller to have a bigger RAID system or a third drive to have redundant RAID (if a drive was to fail the controller would automatically create a mirror on the third drive). RAID was great before the advent of super size ATA-100 drives and cheap Hardware RAID IDE controllers, but now it's simply showing it's age (and high cost).

This is a valuable book (1)

Captain Chad (102831) | more than 12 years ago | (#2235544)

I purchased this book before it was published and promptly read it from cover to cover when I received it. Using that knowledge, I was able to help an out-of-state friend fix his system. At the time, he could connect his scanner or his CD-RW drive, but not both at the same time. The problem turned out to be that the scanner had a single-ended, 25-pin Mac-style connector and was messing up the rest of the system. Once we configured his host adapter correctly, and got the scanner connected to the end of the bus with a short cable and appropriate terminators, his problems were fixed.

The path of SCSI standards is convoluted. And this book does an extremely good job of sorting though it all and presenting it in an understandable manner.

Highly recommended.

-- Chad

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