Anybody live in Chile?
chenmel at earthlink.net
Tue Sep 6 20:05:09 CDT 2005
On Tue, 6 Sep 2005 09:19:41 -0400
Paul Koning <pkoning at equallogic.com> wrote:
> >>>>> "Scott" == Scott Stevens <chenmel at earthlink.net> writes:
> Scott> On Fri, 02 Sep 2005 00:41:10 -0700 Brent Hilpert
> Scott> <hilpert at cs.ubc.ca> wrote:
> >> Vintage Computer Festival wrote:
> >> >
> >> > On Tue, 30 Aug 2005, Brent Hilpert wrote:
> >> >
> >> > > The sad part is that at least two of the control panels look
> >> like > > they may have just been stripped from complete units.
> >> >
> >> > There's nothing terribly special about the 3420 drives. I mean,
> >> who > (beside my insane self) is going to want one? And if so,
> >> for what, > other than gawking at it?
> >> Yeah, well, they're just neat, that's all. Side-by-side-reel
> >> vacuum-column tape drives: #2 on the list of iconic aspects of
> >> early computers, although I take #it from it's appearance and what
> >> you and William are saying that these (3420s) are late models(last
> >> of the breed?).
> Scott> Where I worked, in the late 70's, it was the NEWER drives that
> Scott> had vacuum columns. The old drives were the ones I had to
> Scott> deal with the most. It was a COM facility so the only thing
> Scott> we ever did was read tapes, but they came from all over the
> Scott> place (different customers). Also, it was only the NEWEST
> Scott> drive that had 6250 bpi. Mostly we dealt with 800 and 1600
> Scott> tapes, and with drives that had switchable 7/9 track heads. I
> Scott> wouldn't call vacuum column drives an icon of EARLY
> Scott> computers...
> Curious. The old IBM 360/44 I used, and the Cyber 73 with old slow 7
> track tape drives, both had vacuum columns. The first couple of
> magtape drives for PDP11s from DEC all had vacuum columns. It wasn't
> until the TS03 and TS11 ("tape stretch 11") that DEC tried to do it on
> the cheap without vacuum columns.
Well, I only worked as a 'tape mounting monkey' in a peripheral industry
(Computer Micrographics- a COM shop) and only for a few years, from
'79-83, so I just assumed that the few precious 'vacuum column' drives
we had (operators did things like jam in big wads of Texwipes to force
the tape harder onto the head to get reads from difficult tapes on some
of the terrible drives we had) were the newer ones. Most of the drives
were mechanical tension drives which I assumed at the time were the 'old
So I'm probably wrong. It's been years since I mounted a tape.
Incidentally, when I started it was my first 'big' $4 an hour job.
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