[mythtv-users] Cheap SCSI scanners - was:The Bigger... Disk contest, Fall 2007 edition

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Sat Oct 20 20:14:50 UTC 2007

Calvin Dodge wrote:
> On 10/20/07, Brian Wood <beww at beww.org> wrote:
>> It seems the manufacturers, at least of consumer gear, will always
>> choose the worst solution: VHS over Beta, USB over Firewire, IDE over
>> SCSI, NTSC over PAL (at least in the USA), 802.11B/G over 802.11A etc.
> Define "worst".  For at least 3 of those examples, there were
> financial and/or consumer preference interests at work which
> outweighed the qualities of the "better" standard.
> VHS won out over Beta because it was available in a higher capacity
> (longer play length) and the difference in display quality wasn't
> important enough to the average consumer.
> USB won because Apple wanted excessive (in the view of other
> manufacturers) royalties for Firewire.
> IDE was (and still is) far less expensive, as well as requiring less
> power for the interface.  Tell someone that for $250 they can have a
> 73 gig SCSI drive or a 750 gig SATA drive, and see which one they
> choose. Note that even Apple - which generally chose profit margin and
> "coolness" over market share - eventually dumped SCSI in favor of IDE.
> Firewire and SCSI devices are still available right now - but they're
> more expensive, and that's the deciding factor for most people. So
> even though they're better, for most applications they're not
> _competitive_. That's not due to a conspiracy of PHB-headed
> manufacturers - it's because the average person considers price when
> buying an item, and the manufacturers are responding to that attitude.
> But you are free to buy the "better" - and more expensive - item
> (which is why my most recent car purchase was a used Honda, even
> though other makes were available at a much lower initial cost).

That's pretty much my point, consumers will usually base decisions on
cost and not on quality, while commercial users look at quality as well
as total cost of ownership over the life of the product, not just
initial cost.

Beta is still in use by commercial broadcasters, while the "pro" variant
of VHS (DVC Pro) is used only by very low-budget outfits.

(Good Rule in Life: If the word "pro" appears in a product name, it isn't)

SCSI is still used in most commercial servers, and Even Apple is
starting ot use a lot of USB devices.

The problems happen when manufacturers try and convince buyers that the
"cheaper" answer is also "better", solely to increase their profits.
Especially with computers, where most buyers are technically non-expert,
there is a lot of room to bamboozle the buyer.

An example is printers. Inkjet units cost a lot less initially, so
buyers tend to go that route, even though the cost per page is MUCH
higher than laser printers, and the quality is inferior, but you'll
seldom hear that fact from a salesperson, or see it mentioned in ads,
because of the very high profit in selling ink.

There's nothing wrong with trading quality and perhaps long-term overall
cost of ownership for a lower initial cost, as long as you understand
that that is what you are doing.

As always, Caveat Emptor I guess.

(BTW - I just bought a pair of Seagate 73GB 10K RPM Ultra-3 SCSI drives
for $42 each)


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