[rescue] Cable Balls

Peter Corlett abuse at cabal.org.uk
Sat Sep 20 06:35:10 CDT 2014

On Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 09:28:41AM -0700, r.stricklin wrote:
> On Sep 18, 2014, at 9:07 AM, Barry Callahan wrote:
>> Centronics-50 was, in fact, a standard connector for SCSI cables.
>> http://www.belkin.com/pyramid/AdvancedInfo/general/SCSI_Connectors.htm
> Your evidence is not compelling. The Blue Ribbon connector was used on
> Centronics printers, but that does not make every cable with a Blue Ribbon
> connector a Centronics one.

So I went and dug out the official SCSI-2 standards. What non-pedants call a
"Centronics-50" or similar is described as "[t]he shielded low-density device
connector" and references a couple of technical drawings that describe this
quite familiar interface. So at least that much is definitive.

I'm less able to find an official name for the connector, with Wikipedia being
sadly the best I can find with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro_ribbon. It
notes (with a "[citation needed]") that it was invented by Amphenol and that it
is "also known as Telco, 25-pair, Miniature Delta Ribbon, Mini D Ribbon, Delta
ribbon, MDR, Amphenol, or CHAMP miniature ribbon connector."

Centronics is the inventor of a different standard (eventually IEEE 1284) for
driving printers, which uses a 36 pin connector. This connector is far more
familiar to casual computer users since many more had printers than external
SCSI devices.

FWIW, I've *never* heard it called "micro ribbon", but "Centronics" and
"Amphenol" were quite common in the day and everybody knew what was meant. When
I think "ribbon", I think of internal ribbon cables.

However, this is utterly pedantic point-scoring, and given it's a 20 year old
obsolete standard, call it whatever the hell you like provided people know what
you mean. Ideally, call it what we used to call it two decades ago when there
wasn't a vast Web and search infrastructure in which one could easily locate a
pirate copy of the standard to figure out the official name :)

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