Advice for tape drive repair / maintenance

Alexandre Souza alexandre-listas at
Thu Dec 21 08:37:38 CST 2006

>We are never going to agree on what constitutes a good product - you want a
>maintenance manual and lots of spares; I want no failures and no hassles
>during a useful life cycle.

    Billy, I think this is the point: Useful life cycle.

    A VAX isn't useful today. This is a toy. I'll not even think about using 
a 11/750 to run a payroll or calculating some numbers. There are better, 
faster, cheaper options today. But we can talk about my loved HP4Plus. This 
printer serves me perfectly. There is no feature I need that this printer 
doesn't have! It even has a network port, so I can use that from any of my 
networked computers without a printer server. It has a 600DPI (true) output, 
and prints nice graphics. Has lots of memory and runs without a hassle. Why 
should I buy another laser printer?

    The useful life cycle of my HP4 is something short of forever, I have no 
need to upgrade my printer. Maybe to a colour laser printer, but the cost of 
ownership is too high for my needs. So this HP4+ will be with me for a long 
time (and I have it for some 5 or 6 years already). I have the service 
manual and parts are cheap. I even have a personal stock of probable 
failures: Lamp, fuser roller, pressure roller, fuser roller gear, complete 
gear module, main motor and power supply. So it WILL last forever :)

    Lets jump to the other point of the rope: My XBOX. I have a 1.1 XBOX 
that I use as a videogame, youtube browser, PVP (personal video player), ftp 
server, etc. It serves me and has a good and warm place in my heart. I'll 
not have money for buying a ps3 or X360 soon, so I love to play Outrun 2006 
on that. But what if it failures?

    There is no service manual, not so many parts avaiable (new) and 
microsoft will drop support to it soon. What will I do if my xbox broke? 
There is NO new product to replace it, so I'll not have my toy anymore (of 
course, I'll buy another used, but this is another subject). So it is a GOOD 
appliance, the lifecycle is short (less than 5-6 years) but I WANT to make 
this lifecycle longer. It is made to last 5, maybe 10 years. But I'm sure 20 
years from now I'll still use and keep it, as I do with my Atari 2600.

    Catch the point? The "useful life cycle" of a product depends of how 
much you need or you love it, so it is better to have a way to repair it 
yourself :o)

    Greetings from Brazil
    Alexandre Souza

    PS: Philips? So let me tell you a history: Since my childhood I wanted 
to have the Trendset 20" tv set with RGB input. This is the most beautiful 
TV Philips made, and I still wanted to have one! So I got TWO (20CT6555 and 
20CT6558, one is silver and another black. The former without stereo 
decoding, the last with it. Chassis is CTO) and **restored both**. Now I 
have a GREAT tv set where I can connect my Neo Geo, my Amiga and other toys 
directly in the SCART socket. Very few TVs in Brazil came with the SCART 
socket, so this TV has a high collectable market value, and it is, as I 
said, one of the most beautiful TV sets I've ever seen. The complete service 
manual and common parts avaiability made it easy to repair. And we are 
talking about a 20+ years set.

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