Keyspan updates serial port driver to improve performance
Richmond, California—March 3, 1997—Keyspan, the #1 provider of serial
communications cards for PCI-based Macintosh computers, has released a
driver update for the company’s SX line of low-cost, multi-port serial
cards. The SX family delivers affordable and trouble-free serial-port
expansion by providing two or four additional high-speed serial ports on
one easy-to-install PCI card.
Driver version 1.0.1 provides increased performance and fixes some
conflicts users have reported since Keyspan began shipping the cards at
MacWorld Expo, in January of this year. Most notably, Keyspan has improved
single-port performance when configured for port speeds of 230 Kbps. The
update also provides a work-around for a bug found in Apple’s Serial- and
Open Transport Serial Port Arbitrators that would not let ports load at
startup. Additionally, the driver update solves conflicts that occur with a
few SCSI devices.
Features, pricing and availability
Keyspan’s SX product family supports asynchronous communications at port
speeds of up to 230 Kbps and are compatible with all Communications Toolbox
aware applications. UART-based, the SX cards provide standard RS-232/RS-422
connectivity through mini din-8 connectors. Shipping since January 7, the
suggested retail pricing is $229 for the SX-2 serial card and under $329
for the SX-4 serial card.
Mac users need more serial ports!
MacOS-compatible computers provide only two built-in serial ports. Yet,
many users need to connect a growing variety of serial devices for
communications, mobile computing and desktop publishing applications beyond
the two-port limit. Keyspan’s multiport cards offer the serial expansion
users need for: ISDN terminal adapters, modems for e-mail, data transfer
and fax; drawing tablets, certain monitors, serial scanners, label and
other printers; and U.S.Robotics’ Pilot and other hand held PDAs.
Unlike port sharing or application juggling products, Keyspan’s SX cards
provide real serial ports that deliver a reliable, affordable and
easy-to-use expansion solution. With an SX serial card, multiple ports can
be dedicated to specific tasks simultaneously — without ever having to
reconnect devices or interrupt existing applications.
Are your cool toys Mac savvy?
Unfortunately, some vendors, perhaps unfamiliar with Macintosh
communications, do not support the Communications Toolbox or even simple
serial-port look-up tables. These applications must be connected to one of
the Mac’s two built-in ports. However, there are many instances where users
can still use their built-in ports for those “non-Mac-standard”
peripherals, using the SX card for Mac savvy applications. One fairly
typical prepress configuration is to connect a Wacom tablet, PressView
monitor, faxmodem and Costar label printer to an SX-4 (four-port card);
then hang a digital camera and color inkjet printer or other non-Mac-savvy
device off the built-in serial ports, using the Ethernet port for a
networkable color LaserWriter.
How is the SX family different from Keyspan’s Smart Serial 6?
Introduced in January 1996, the SMART SERIAL 6 has become the #1 PCI
serial expansion solution for MacOS-based remote access servers, bulletin
boards, internet servers, file transfer applications, and other
communications servers. Unlike the SX cards, the Smart Serial 6 has a
coprocessor supporting both asynchronous and synchronous communications.
Port speeds on the SMART SERIAL 6 range )from 57.6 Kbps to more than 2
Mbps. In addition to RS-232 and RS-422, the SMART SERIAL 6 supports V.35,
X.21 and other serial interfaces. These added capabilities make the SMART
SERIAL 6 more ideal for high-end applications which require six or more
high-speed ports, or for solutions which involve synchronous communication
such as X.25 and Frame Relay. However, most users do not require the power
which the SMART SERIAL 6 delivers — they simply use 3-6 serial devices
and need more ports! To meet this need Keyspan has turned its proven
technology design and product support team toward providing a low-cost and
reliable solution in the SX two-and four-port cards.
Keyspan, a division of InnoSys Incorporated, provides communications
products for Macintosh and Windows NT personal computers. InnoSys Inc.,
founded in 1973, is a leading provider of communications hardware and
software to the airline and travel industry. Editors can reach Keyspan at
510-222-0131 ext. 102 (voice); or firstname.lastname@example.org (e-mail). The Keyspan
website is located at http://www.keyspan.com.