HP Tape drive for Christmas

Jason T silent700 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 31 16:51:37 CST 2007

So on the 24th I trucked up to Milwaukee (from Chicago) for a $100 SGI
haul, the star of which was a working Crimson with three hard drives.
Brought back the Crimson and some Indigo 2s (which will be for
sale/trade/free as soon as I inventory them.)  There was supposed to
be an O2 as well, but it went missing.  So for the pre-arranged price
I asked to hunt around the shop for a replacement item, which turned
out to be the back-breaking HP 88780B 9-Track Tape Drive!  A fair
trade-up, I'd say.

So I've got it home and onto a table.   This may be old-hat to some,
but having never used a 9-track before I have to say the air-powered
self-threading mechanism is the coolest thing I've seen all month.  I
loaded a blank tape for the self-test, which passes.  Now to get it to
write some real data, and eventually use it to rescue some old tapes
I've had for years as well as the one I bought at VCF.

I'm guessing that any modern *nix machine should recognize it and be
able to read it.  I planned on using a Sparc IPX or something
similarly portable when I get one formatted and loaded.  In the
meantime, I have my laptop.  Is there any chance of getting WinXP to
use this beast?  I have a SCSI PCMCIA card on the laptop which I've
used to read old hard drives, but drivers will be the issue here.  I
know in most cases the backup software needs to be able to handle the
drive as well as the OS - anyone tried to use Backup Exec or any of
the other big commercial s/w with one of these?

Thanks in advance...

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