RANT about ADAPTEC (was A sad day for DPT...)

From: Richard Erlacher <edick_at_idcomm.com>
Date: Mon Nov 1 15:50:25 1999

I've got to disagree with the remark that "Adaptec stuff works." I
participated in a year-long beta test of some of their CD authoring software
four or five years back, and found, (1) they didn't care whether their doc's
were synchronized with their software, often leaving out key words like
"not" and equally key words and phrases, and (2) the happily made claims,
both oral and written, which not only they, but anyone who understood the
technology, knew were totally false and would not and could not be made true
by technological innovation anytime soon. They happily ship software which
can't possibly achieve what they claim to be routine.

I remember that, shortly before the release of their PCI SCSI adapters, they
claimed to be able to effect sustained transfers of 80MB/sec via their 2940.
While I completely agreed that that was a theoretical figure, obtainable in
bursts, perhaps, I challenged them to prepare a demo in which one of their
2940's effected data transfers both in and out of a PC at that rate, or even
half that rate for a relatively short test, say 100 hours without losing
data in vast quantity. The problem, of course, is that a claim of this sort
is simply useless, since it assumes that the SCSI channel gets all the
bandwidth and the rest of the system gets none. Keep in mind, BTW, that at
that time, (1994-95) the PC was not looking at 133 MHz PCI rates.

Adaptec, for years, shipped a series of ISA-Bus controllers, the 15xx
series, which worked VERY well. Their BIOS was a mite weak, perhaps, but
the things did work, day in and day out, and I still use them in my
home-office Network Server. I've had one running for nearly eight years
without a hitch in that box. The only problem I ever had with it was that
the power supply failed. That was probably because their BIOS wasn't smart
enough to spin the drives up one at a time as they presently do. The
450-watt PSU probably wasn't comfortable with all the load on +12 while they
spun up.

Once they went to PCI, their advertisement, always a mite "over the line" as
far as I'm concerned, their claims being a little too good to be realistic,
even in the days of the 1542.

Once they determined that Trantor had a few good products, particularly in
their firmware, and in their Parallel<=>SCSI port adapters, they bought them
up. A couple of years back, I tested a number of these products, finding
that, not only did their AHA358 fail in every test to equal their previous
AHA348 (a Trantor design) but it failed in every way to match the
performance they claimed.

I look for them to buy up the BELKIN Parallel<=>SCSI before long, since it
works so much better than their own. It gets better performance on my
Toshiba notebook than their PC-card (AHA1460) does and holds its own in the

When ADAPTEC found that NCR/Symbios was producing cheaper PCI adapters, not
to mention lots of ISA versions, they quickly bought them up. Now all that
remained was the RAID market and you see what they've done there. I guess
the only thing to do is buy shares in MYLEX.

When NT4 was released, ADAPTEC didn't have NT drivers for their multi-port
PCI boards. They claimed to have RAID support, but had no NT Drivers for
their 3940 (dial-port) or 398x (triple-port) boards. After a while, a
driver popped up for the 3940, but I still haven't managed to get mine to
work properly in a fully loaded box. It does work (mostly) in a meagerly
equipped system like a server, though, so that's fine. I don't worry about
the 398x series any more.

Observation has taught me that their tech support is intended to "get rid
of" customer complaints, not to rectify them and it's also taught me to
monitor on-line refunds from them VERY closely. They still owe me for a
defectively designed device I returned to them back in '95 and the freight,
which was charged to me.

<end of RANT>



-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Ford <mikeford_at_socal.rr.com>
To: Discussion re-collecting of classic computers
Date: Monday, November 01, 1999 12:51 PM
Subject: Re: A sad day for DPT...

>> While not directly related to classic computing, I know a lot of us use
>>more modern systems for numerous duties, and I know I can't be the only
>>using DPT's 'legacy' products from the early 90's. Anyone care to wager
>>what Adaptec will do to DPT's well-stocked FTP site, or their support of
>>said legacy gear?
>Go to the front of the ftp and select download site. Wait to find out what
>will happen at your own peril.
>BTW Adaptec is certainly interested in profit, but they otherwise seem a
>far cry from MS, Adaptec stuff works.
Received on Mon Nov 01 1999 - 15:50:25 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:32:28 BST