Old tape drive proves its worth

Chuck Guzis cclist at sydex.com
Mon Nov 10 12:28:48 CST 2008

On 10 Nov 2008 at 9:54, Al Kossow wrote:

> A 729 would be my least favorite choice for data recovery.

Back in the early 70's, part of a QSS we did was warranting the 
readability of 7080 729-generated tapes of which the customer had 
many thousands.  One of the engineers opined that the approach to 
tape by CDC and IBM were diametrically opposite and led to some 
consternation and a bit of drive "tweaking".

IBM apparently was a bit sloppy with their writing technology but had 
very good reading capabilities.  CDC did good writing, but their 
reading wasn't up to IBM's.  Or maybe it was the other way around.

But for tape motion, IBM used a pinch-roller system, where CDC used a 
voice-coil valve to swich vacuum between two counter-rotating 
capstans--one on each side of the head. At least for 7-track, the 
best drives were the 60x models; the 65x drives used a "cost reduced" 
valve design and weren't nearly as good.  


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