General TC11 DECtape diagnostic/formatter questions

jim stephens jwsmail at
Wed Nov 9 15:50:47 CST 2016

On 11/9/2016 1:43 PM, Josh Dersch wrote:
> t's clear from running the diagnostics (ZTCC, not
> ZTCD, sorry for the important typo) that a Read in a reverse direction
> fails (but writes seem to be OK in either direction -- the tests that do
> forward reads, regardless of the write direction of the data universally
> pass).
When you do writes, you have to physically have a read station 
positioned after the write station on the head.  Are there two such 
stations on the drive for reading?  Otherwise the writes may just be 
blind writes, which would of course work as there isn't much to check 
other than to backspace and do a re-read.

Just curious, as though I've got access to TU-56's have not looked for 
that detail.


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