Sector Interleave

Paul Koning paulkoning at
Mon Nov 30 19:19:52 CST 2015

> On Nov 30, 2015, at 8:12 PM, Johnny Billquist <bqt at Update.UU.SE> wrote:
> ...
> DECtape never did interleaving that I know of. 

Sure it does.  The DOS format, which was adopted by RSTS, has 4 way interleaving.  If you write a 500 block file, it writes every 4th block forward, then fills in one set of gaps reverse, then forward and backward again, resulting in finally all blocks used.

This is a software function, of course, and actually implemented in the file system, but it's certainly interleaving.  It doesn't apply to contiguous files (supported in DOS but not RSTS), which is why RSTS V4A sysgen with output to DECtape took so long -- writing a contiguous CIL file, in block order, madly seeking back & forth.

The reason for the interleaving on DECtape is the start/stop time.  To run non-interleaved at high speed you have to leave the tape running (no "stop" commands) and you have to issue the next command quickly.  RT-11 could do that; DOS could not.


More information about the cctalk mailing list