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Author Topic: Sun Remarketing SCSI Card Reverse-Engineering  (Read 849 times)

AlexTheCat123

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Re: Sun Remarketing SCSI Card Reverse-Engineering
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2022, 08:03:05 pm »

Quote
You think you can probably replicate that same logic with a couple of GALs and some buffers

That's what I'm thinking about trying next, assuming it's allowed on the forum! You can find NCR 5380 chips on eBay for around $9.00, so sourcing those shouldn't be an issue.

I'm considering using a GAL from Atmel/Microchip because they seem to be the only company that's still making them, but I'm having some real trouble with their WinCUPL software suite for writing the GAL equations and simulating the results. It hasn't been updated since 2003 and fails to compile my code no matter what I try and doesn't give me any sort of explanation as to what the problem is. Does anyone know of a different piece of software that I could use to write and simulate the GAL equations? The only other free option that I can find is some ancient DOS program from the early 1990s, which is less than optimal.
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rayarachelian

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Re: Sun Remarketing SCSI Card Reverse-Engineering
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2022, 09:11:32 pm »

I hope I won't cause offence with the following --- it's not intended!

None implied, nor any detected.


I can understand misgivings about copying the PCB net (regardless of legality, which I think permits it for the reasons Patrick said, although I'm no lawyer!). I don't think this is plagiarism: Alex is not trying to say that the card is their own invention.

But if reverse-engineering and copying the net isn't fair play for other reasons, then we can abide by that, especially on this forum. Suppose instead you identified the "theory of operation" of the card and built some kind of replacement that MacWorks could use in the same way --- would this be all right?

There is already precedent: the Sapient Lisa motherboard, I/O board, CPU board, and Quad Port serial Card (Tecmar) all have been duplicated from the Apple (and Tecmar) originals, and as far as I know, this was done without the express permission of Apple (or Tecmar).

Further, the LisaDAC (sound) board has also been replicated, but this one had permission from the original designer.

On top of the original designs, many changes were made, so these new boards aren't just direct duplicates of the originals, but have been improved in several ways. This is the way of progress.
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blusnowkitty

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Re: Sun Remarketing SCSI Card Reverse-Engineering
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2022, 11:03:18 am »

I'm considering using a GAL from Atmel/Microchip because they seem to be the only company that's still making them, but I'm having some real trouble with their WinCUPL software suite for writing the GAL equations and simulating the results. It hasn't been updated since 2003 and fails to compile my code no matter what I try and doesn't give me any sort of explanation as to what the problem is.

Well the WinCUPL product brief ( https://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/DeviceDoc/DOC0434.PDF ) says its minimum requirements are a 486 running Windows 95. Spin up a VM with 95 and see if it does what you need.
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AlexTheCat123

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Re: Sun Remarketing SCSI Card Reverse-Engineering
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2022, 04:49:42 pm »

Quote
Well the WinCUPL product brief ( https://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/DeviceDoc/DOC0434.PDF ) says its minimum requirements are a 486 running Windows 95. Spin up a VM with 95 and see if it does what you need.

I tried running it in a 95 VM and on actual hardware under 95, 98SE, and 2000, and still got the same problem.
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rayarachelian

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Re: Sun Remarketing SCSI Card Reverse-Engineering
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2022, 06:50:16 pm »

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AlexTheCat123

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Re: Sun Remarketing SCSI Card Reverse-Engineering
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2022, 08:01:57 pm »

Thanks Ray! That's just what I needed!
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sigma7

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Re: Sun Remarketing SCSI Card Reverse-Engineering
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2022, 06:43:55 pm »

the Sapient Lisa motherboard, I/O board, CPU board, and Quad Port serial Card (Tecmar) all have been duplicated from the Apple (and Tecmar) originals, and as far as I know, this was done without the express permission of Apple (or Tecmar).

Further, the LisaDAC (sound) board has also been replicated, but this one had permission from the original designer.

On top of the original designs, many changes were made, so these new boards aren't just direct duplicates of the originals, but have been improved in several ways. This is the way of progress.

As far as I understand, rights to Apple's Lisa Hardware design were transferred in part or licensed to Sun Remarketing when they took over the liquidation of remaining Lisas, and when SR went out of business, Vintage Micros purchased those rights along with original Apple documents, unpopulated boards, parts and a substantial truckload of related material. I say "in part" as I expect Apple retains ownership, but licensed the Intellectual Property for use in sales, maintenance, repair, upgrades, etc. of Apple Lisas.

As Sapient's variants of Apple's Lisa boards were made in cooperation with Vintage Micros, I believe they are not in violation of IP rights to whatever extent they apply. Similarly, I believe Vintage Micro's has rights to duplicate items such as Lisa CPU board and I/O board ROMs.

The rights to products developed by Sun Remarketing (eg. the SCSI board, SIMM memory board, and Sun20 hard drive controller) were transferred to Vintage Micros as part of that purchase, hence the IP of Sapient's variants of those is held by Vintage Micros and Sapient Technologies.

MacWorks Plus development was funded by Sun Remarketing and so rights are currently held by Vintage Micros.

MacWorks Plus II and the PFG were developed by Sigma Seven Systems Ltd. which currently retains rights.

The rights to the QuickBoot ROM remain with the author Sigma Seven Systems Ltd. This was developed independently and not funded by Sun Remarketing, Vintage Micros, or Dafax. This product is not part of the Sun SCSI board, but an 'aftermarket upgrade'. It is actually a variant of the software written for the Lisa SCSI Accessories Card.

The original rights to the LisaDac sound card were transferred to Dafax Processing Corp., then to Sigma Seven Systems Ltd., and currently are licensed as-is to Vintage Micros for production.

The Tecmar Quad Serial board, AST RamStak, Priam DataTower interface, Lisa Xenix, and the like appear to be abandoned, and it seems that no-one is interested in asserting ownership of the IP of those products.

The X/Cops was developed by Sigma Seven Systems in conjunction with Vintage Micros who share rights.

Along with QuickBoot, IP rights to the XLerator, XLerator 12.5, XLerator 18, X/ProFile, X/ProFile Regulator, LSAC, and BLU currently remain with Sigma Seven Systems Ltd.

Numerous Lisa hardware and software projects have been developed by Dr. Patrick Schaefer, as well as a few by other active members of this board such as Tom Stepleton et al. Rights to these should be easily determined from their web pages or by contacting the creators directly.

And, of course, one of the most valuable of all... LisaEm belongs to Ray A. Arachelian!
« Last Edit: February 09, 2022, 06:45:50 pm by sigma7 »
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sigma7

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Re: Sun Remarketing SCSI Card Reverse-Engineering
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2022, 06:56:37 pm »

(ETA: The ROM situation described in the post is an interesting one. I wonder how easy it is for the IP owner to make working ROM/PAL hybrid assemblies these days.)

Currently I still make new QuickBoots occasionally when Vintage Micros orders some for resale.

However, I am running low on genuinely new 2732 EPROMs (that I purchased from an official distributor when 2732s were still in production), so at some point they will need to be made from recycled or "NOS" parts of undetermined heritage.
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AlexTheCat123

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Re: Sun Remarketing SCSI Card Reverse-Engineering
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2022, 07:42:12 pm »

Quote
As far as I understand, rights to Apple's Lisa Hardware design were transferred in part or licensed to Sun Remarketing when they took over the liquidation of remaining Lisas, and when SR went out of business, Vintage Micros purchased those rights along with original Apple documents, unpopulated boards, parts and a substantial truckload of related material.

Does this mean that I need to stop my reverse-engineering efforts on the parallel port card and 2/5 motherboard too?
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sigma7

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Re: Sun Remarketing SCSI Card Reverse-Engineering
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2022, 09:00:11 pm »

Quote
As far as I understand, rights to Apple's Lisa Hardware design were transferred in part or licensed to Sun Remarketing when they took over the liquidation of remaining Lisas, and when SR went out of business, Vintage Micros purchased those rights along with original Apple documents, unpopulated boards, parts and a substantial truckload of related material.
Does this mean that I need to stop my reverse-engineering efforts on the parallel port card and 2/5 motherboard too?
My opinion is that you don't need to stop reverse-engineering (not that anyone could stop you if they wanted  :P) if it is for your own use.

The problem arises if that is used or shared in a way that interferes with a benefit that should go to someone else; which could be financial or something intangible like reputation or appreciation for a community contribution. (In the case of most Lisa products, a "financial benefit" is more likely to be reducing an out-of-pocket loss or a pittance for time spent rather than a net gain.)

I don't want your efforts to be unappreciated or of limited use... I suggest we discuss offline to see if there is a win-win-win option that is rewarding to you, the Lisa community in general, and any IP holders.
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rayarachelian

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Re: Sun Remarketing SCSI Card Reverse-Engineering
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2022, 10:22:58 pm »

And, of course, one of the most valuable of all... LisaEm belongs to Ray A. Arachelian!

and like the best things in life, LisaEm is free for all to enjoy and even contribute to. :)
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dmark

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Re: Sun Remarketing SCSI Card Reverse-Engineering
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2022, 11:05:53 am »

(ETA: The ROM situation described in the post is an interesting one. I wonder how easy it is for the IP owner to make working ROM/PAL hybrid assemblies these days.)

Currently I still make new QuickBoots occasionally when Vintage Micros orders some for resale.

However, I am running low on genuinely new 2732 EPROMs (that I purchased from an official distributor when 2732s were still in production), so at some point they will need to be made from recycled or "NOS" parts of undetermined heritage.

Have you made any new QuickBoot kits recently, by any chance? I've been trying to source one for a while, but haven't had any luck. Contacted John @ Vintage Micros about a week ago but he is not being responsive.
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andrew

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Re: Sun Remarketing SCSI Card Reverse-Engineering
« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2022, 10:15:45 am »

I hope John is ok. Has anyone heard from him recently?
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blusnowkitty

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Re: Sun Remarketing SCSI Card Reverse-Engineering
« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2022, 11:19:55 am »

I hope John is ok. Has anyone heard from him recently?

I did see that a new listing of spare Lisa case panels popped up on eBay in the last couple of days, but he may just have that set to keep relisting until all the stock is sold.
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jamesdenton

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Re: Sun Remarketing SCSI Card Reverse-Engineering
« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2022, 01:56:08 pm »

I hope John is ok. Has anyone heard from him recently?

I have talked to John very recently, and while he is still doing sales of existing inventory, it doesn't look like he's building any new devices at this time.
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