Line printer art: (was Re: tape baking)

Al Kossow aek at
Fri Jul 7 14:17:00 CDT 2017

On 7/7/17 12:08 PM, Paul Koning wrote:

>> And I'm moving towards flux-level archiving and away from using
>> stock tape transports.
>> But then, I've been saying that for 15+ years now and haven't done it.
> It would be great to have that capability, after the company that had it before seemingly vanished.  Better yet if you can handle not just plain 7 and 9 track 1/2 inch tape but also other formats.  3/4 inch tape would come to mind (DECtape and friends).  There's one inch tape (CDC 626) though I'm not sure if any has been preserved.  There's 1/2 inch 10 track tape (Electrologica X1 and others).
> Stuff like error correction data makes sense for such low level capture.  It's not so obvious if you're working with a conventional tape transport, which simply tells you "read error, you're SOL" if the checksums are no good.  

I guess you've tried contacting John then about the Xelctrologica tapes?

He sent me a prototype drive with 18-track (IBM 3480) head that I still haven't
gotten to work. Most of the code lives on a Virtex FPGA board with the A/D converters
attached and he never gave me the source or adequate instructions on how to talk to it

This only works because the 3480 and 90 still used 1/2" width tape.

DECtape recovery hasn't been a problem. It's pretty rugged stuff.

I'm much less hopeful on any other parallel tape formats, since there are so few and the desire
to recover any of that has been low.

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