I'm trying to update a setup of a shipping and packaging unit, that makes use of two Digi ST-1032 'Terminal Server' units. I find it a strange name for the devices, but pre-the-nineties it apparently was the name for a device that offers a number of serial ports over a suitable bundled back-end, in this case SCSI.
The friendly people over at http://digi.com informed me they no longer support the device for about a decade, and no Windows XP drivers were written. So for now it looks like I'm stuck with the two (aging) NT4 servers that run the software controlling all the serial barcode-scanners and thermal printers that are connected.
What are my options, and what would you do? This is what I can come up with so far:
- Keep the NT4 servers, just keep developing the software using the same Delphi 6 in use since the start.
- Try to find out how to connect to the device directly and talk its speak. (I've been peeping around http://ftp1.digi.com but haven't found anything, I did saw some linux support when googling around, though.)
- Upgrade the server hardware, but install Windows 2000 Server, which should be able to run the NT-drivers.
- Install a virtual platform (e.g. VMWare) that is capable of patching through the SCSI device to a virtual image running NT4 or AIX or anything that can run the drivers, and use a homebrewn client-server or something like http://com0com.sf.net to patch the serial ports through to a decent server running the software.
- Demand the budget get expanded to include new port-switches and retire the old SCSI ones (together with the NT4 servers)
- Try to fit into current budget about 60 single USB-to-serial or TCP/IP-to-serial adapters (and learn to pray it works in seven languages)