Xerox Alto on eBay

Josh Dersch JoshD at
Thu Apr 14 12:05:58 CDT 2016

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at] On Behalf Of Al Kossow
> Sent: Thursday, April 14, 2016 9:58 AM
> To: cctalk at
> Subject: Re: Xerox Alto on eBay
> On 4/14/16 9:55 AM, Josh Dersch wrote:
> > If anyone out there ends up with a working Alto and needs working media,
> we can help out in that regard (assuming you provide usable packs).
> Have you ever gotten a pack from an RK05 to write?
> I've tried a couple of times without luck and have wondered if they needed
> to be bulk-erased first.

Yes, I've re-used a handful of 12-sector packs formerly used on a PDP-11 in an RK05 without any issues.  I suppose it might be possible that if the alignments of the Diablo in the Alto and the RK05 used to write the pack originally are off by enough that there could be some odd issues (old data left halfway between the new tracks?) but that's purely speculation on my part.  Bulk erasing certainly couldn't hurt.

- Josh

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