Are old SCSI tape drives not all created equal?

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Sun Aug 21 12:46:29 CDT 2016

On 08/21/2016 10:12 AM, js at wrote:

> The final matter is that I'd still like to get the Teac to function 
> with some software, just to watch it operate (you have to really
> like mechanical things to understand this strange fascination).
> Having put some time and $ into the Teac, it'd be nice to get some
> reward, even if only then it gets placed on the shelf afterwards.

Back in the day, I wondered if the DDS drives being as complex as they
were, with the skinny less-than-4mm wide tape could even have the
possibility of any longevity.

But the old DDS-1 tapes I recorded more than 20 years ago are still
quite readable as are the DDS-4 tapes I wrote over a decade ago.  One
advantage that DDS (and DLT...) has over most of the "QIC" tapes is that
they use a read-after-write system like the big 1/2" tape drives, making
a separate verification pass unnecessary.  They also tend to follow the
ANSI sequantial-access SCSI standard more carefully.

You may want to consider DDS or DLT for your DEC gear.


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