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Mount a Tape (Do you want it?)
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Posted 1/10/2006 1:23 PM
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Once upon a time, I operated an IBM 360/91 (which I just learned was part of the early Arpanet, circa 1971), and tended a PDP-10. Yesterday, I came across an old tape for the PDP-10 which I kept for no explicable reason. I know it has old files of mine (I'd be interested to know what); and probably a certain multi-player space war game which, legend has it, was created at Cal Tech. (Name? something like 'Space War.')

Today I saw this site advertised. Kismet! But, how do I reach this site's operators, get the tape to them, etc? I didn't see a way to do so; thus, this message. Anyone who can help, T'anks!
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Posted 1/10/2006 1:53 PM
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We would certainly be happy to load your tape into an account for you, if you like, as well as create an image file which can be used with the SimH and KLH10 emulators if you are interested. You can then determine which files you wish to make public.

Please note that we can only read 9-track tapes and DECtapes at present, as we do not have a 7-track tape drive in the collection.

The address is


Vulcan, Inc.

505 Fifth Ave S

Suite 900

Seattle, WA 98104

ATTN: Rich Alderson
Please attach a note indicating whether or not you want the media returned.
Rich Alderson (RichA@Vulcan.com)
Not speaking as the forum moderator
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Posted 1/13/2006 5:39 PM
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I found my old college tape I used on the Dec System 20.
It's labelled Memorex MRX IV 6250 BPI SuperReel. Can you read that? If so, I'll send it to you so I can look at it.

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Posted 2/6/2006 10:22 AM
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Unlike modern cartridge tapes that (often) have a pre-recorded format on them, the old magtapes were literally completely blank; the tape drive wrote both data and track format information at the same time.

I suspect that, since you said you were on a DECSYSTEM-20, it's likely to be a 9-track drive.

Assuming it hasn't suffered too much bit rot, they should be able to read it...

John Francini
Former DECsystem-10 developer
36 bits forever!
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Posted 5/24/2006 1:07 PM
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Interesting. I've got a few mag tapes and DEC tapes dating from the mid-1970's to maybe the early 1980's. Some stuff I didn't have the heart to chuck out, although my brain told me as ought to. Probably mostly trash, although you never know where something interesting could pop up.
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