ScuzzBlog: Diaries January 2024

Entry 13th January 2024: Post 1: Amiga SCSI - Scuzzy by any other chain.

Amiga SCSI - Scuzzy by any other chain.

Rarely these days when folk discuss connectivity of their Amiga
with other kit do they even give a second thought to SCSI. Sad
really when you consider just how prolific SCSI was when using
Amigas in the day. Reading up on the use of SCSI on the web lists
the Amiga along with Atari, Apple and Sun Microsystems as major
users of the SCSi interface and peripherals. So why is it sadly
ignored today?

The Shugart Associates System Interface or SASI was developed
between 1979 and 1981. It was renamed as SCSI 1n 1986 when it was
officially recognised. Those responsible for standards had the
name changed to avoid a company being included in the name.

Most prolifically used for high end workstations and servers it
soon became more popular with some of the main computer brands.

The interface meant that irrespective of the type of peripheral
or device connected if SCSI it would always be compatible with
the computer. Devices connected via the SCSI could be hard discs,
CD drives, tape drives, scanners, printers and even Ethernet.

Though their were various revisions to the SCSI standard the one
that the Amiga is most use to I guess is the Single Ended SE.

In terms of lack of usage today I sense the modern user struggles
with any concept that directly does not permit instant access to
a PC and the internet. SCSI normally is used on an old 'skool' set
up involving kit that is more stand alone supporting the Amiga in
isolation of PCs and the internet. It is difficult sometimes to
appreciate that there was a time when Amiga users only used their
Amiga as a main machine, and so peripherals were there just to
support the Amiga.

When I use my Amigas I tend to use them exclusively with my Amigas.
I rarely cross that barrier to the PC world and internet unless I
need to feature something on the emulator. It follows therefore
that the CD-ROM, SCSI hard drives, ZIP drives etc are there to
feed my Amigas, and I have plenty of data/media/discs etc for that
very purpose. But, SCSI is an acquired taste. It takes a little
more effort to understand the kit, it takes a little more effort to
configure and set up your kit, and it takes up a lot more space
with what sometimes is a spiders web of cables. It really requires
a permanent set up and an appreciation that maybe a few untidy
cables may be visible.

Personally I always blame Steve Jobs for the modern mentality
of tidy desk spaces and clinical environments. For me I am never
more happy than when surrounded with masses of cables, wires,
blinking lights and flashing devices. Chuck in few boxes of floppy
disks and a fist full of magazines strewn all over the place and
I'm in my own kind of heaven.

The benefit of SCSI is the daisy chain and the ability to add more
to your expanded world. It means easy swap out of devices and SCSI
drives. For me it is a far easier system to set up and one with a
pretty much universal standard. I guess I understood SCSI from
the very beginning and had kinda been readied for such an idea
from the early days of the Microdrive. I wouldn't say I was ever
that keen on the TI99/4a style of daisy chain but the Amiga 500
style of expansion sidecar and SCSI portability certainly was a
way of computing I could easily relate to.

I do think that SCSI has its place with the Amiga today and I also
think that it makes for a more enjoyable experience, but only if
you use the Amiga for more than just gaming. It is that experience
as a way of thinking from the days of the Amiga that can only be
enjoyed if you embrace the ways of the old. Sure there are much
quicker and easier ways of doing things today, but is that really
a retro experience?

Anyhoo next time you see a Squirrel interface come up on the Bay
or some other SCSI kit for the Amiga maybe give it a go and dabble
in what truly was one of the corner stones of the original work.
'Go SCSI' and enjoy 'old skool' as it is meant to be.

Amiga SCSI - Scuzzy by any other chain.

The familiar sight of SCSI SE, DB25
SCSI ID number and termination.

Octagon 2008 for big box Amigas.

Cards designed with SCSI in mind.

The GVP cards not only gave hard discs
but also RAM and that much needed SCSI.

SCSI on the Amiga 2000....

via the DB25 on the back. Giving
almost limitless possibilities. [ technically 8 ]

The Amiga 3000 came with its very own SCSI.

First thing I did with my Amiga 4000
was add the SCSI for the ZIP drive.

The Amiga 500 had such a variety of
SCSI expansion side car units.

The A590 boasted its SCSI capability.

The A590 added SCSI connectivity as standard.

Understanding all those different types
and size of connector can be interesting.

Also working out the unit number setting.

SCSI drives are still generally available.

The skill in SCSI is mastering your
address/unit number and termination.

Particularly termination.

Each peripheral device must be given
a unique ID number to identify on the chain.

Commercial PCMCIA interfaces working
as a SCSI interface. The Squirrel.

And the Surf Squirrel. Each gives you
connectivity to SCSI devices.

The SCSI ZIP drive being one such device.

May not sound very much but even today
100MB goes a long way on an Amiga. And
it's removable.

Accelerator manufacturers were ingenious
in the way they added SCSI to their cards.

The Blizzard 1230IV Turbo with SCSI KIT.

Complete with 25 pin port on the A1200.

The SCSI port unlocks a variety of devices.

The SCSI cable web that for many is
an acquired taste. I love it.

Especially when it gives me ZIP, CD and hard drives.

The GVP Turbo also has the SCSI interface.

In 1996 first thing I did with my Win95
PC was add an SCSI card.

The Atari Falcon has the SCSI as standard.

Whilst not SCSI in the true sense the
Archos Overdrive is still one of the
only true side expansions for the 1200.

Had Commodore survived longer I am sure
we would have seen more side expansions
for the Amiga 1200 and 600. Especially CD.

The A500 is still king when it comes to sidecars.

For me it still is the only way to fly.

That Texas Instruments TI99/4a daisy
chain is truly bonkers. So funny.

Anyhoo 'Go SCSI' and learn to fly ...'scuzzy' style.

scuzz site

If you can only see this CONTENT window
then click the image above for the full site

Last updated 13th January 2024

Chandraise Kingdom

Keep the Faith
scuzzscink 2024