QIC tape and drive (from ABUG North booking info topic)

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davidb
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QIC tape and drive (from ABUG North booking info topic)

Post by davidb » Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:33 am

One of the things it would be good to look at is the Sony data cartridge containing a dump of RISC iX 1.13 that terjeio handed to me over two years ago. :oops:

Does anyone have hardware that could possibly read this?

I also promised to send the manuals onward to a museum and this is likely to be the only chance in the near future that I'll be in contact with anyone related to the museums down south, so does anyone attending want to help them on their journey?
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Sony QD6150 data cartridge with RISC iX 1.13 dump.

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Re: ABug NORTH User Group meeting | 19-21 JAN 2018 | MANCHESTER *BOOKING INFO*

Post by crj » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:36 am

I don't.

But the good news is that there will be nothing at all Acorn-specific about that cartridge. Just stick it in any drive on any Unix box that understands QIC-150 then untar the contents (or dd, if you want to preserve the archival structure).

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Re: ABug NORTH User Group meeting | 19-21 JAN 2018 | MANCHESTER *BOOKING INFO*

Post by daveejhitchins » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:53 am

davidb wrote:so does anyone attending want to help them on their journey?
I'm sure that there'll be few of us destined for Cambridge, including myself - so the answer is yes :D

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Re: ABug NORTH User Group meeting | 19-21 JAN 2018 | MANCHESTER *BOOKING INFO*

Post by davidb » Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:48 pm

crj wrote:But the good news is that there will be nothing at all Acorn-specific about that cartridge. Just stick it in any drive on any Unix box that understands QIC-150 then untar the contents (or dd, if you want to preserve the archival structure).
What kind of drive are we talking about?
daveejhitchins wrote:I'm sure that there'll be few of us destined for Cambridge, including myself - so the answer is yes :D
That'll be quite a long drive home for you, then. ;) I was hoping that one of the ABUG South regulars might be looking to drop it all off somewhere. :)

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Re: ABug NORTH User Group meeting | 19-21 JAN 2018 | MANCHESTER *BOOKING INFO*

Post by sweh » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:04 pm

davidb wrote:
crj wrote:But the good news is that there will be nothing at all Acorn-specific about that cartridge. Just stick it in any drive on any Unix box that understands QIC-150 then untar the contents (or dd, if you want to preserve the archival structure).
What kind of drive are we talking about?
QIC-150 is the drive type; "QIC" == Quarter Inch Cassette,and 150 is the capacity (150Mb). These were heavily used BITD.

(I threw away my QIC drive in 2001 when I moved to the US; by then I'd migrated my personal backups to DLT and DAT).
Rgds
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Re: ABug NORTH User Group meeting | 19-21 JAN 2018 | MANCHESTER *BOOKING INFO*

Post by crj » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:08 pm

Indeed. But the reason I said "that understands QIC-150" is that QIC drives support a great deal of backwards compatability. You might even find that a modern drive works!

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Re: ABug NORTH User Group meeting | 19-21 JAN 2018 | MANCHESTER *BOOKING INFO*

Post by davidb » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:33 pm

crj wrote:Indeed. But the reason I said "that understands QIC-150" is that QIC drives support a great deal of backwards compatability. You might even find that a modern drive works!
Having lazily asked for quick answers I did a bit of background reading, finding the QIC trade association page and a couple of interesting articles about recovering tapes: Recovering QIC-150 tapes: a case study and Data recovery war stories: more fun with QIC-150 backup tapes. I also found this page about custom hardware to read them: Universal QIC Tape Reader.

Searching for "QIC tape drive" didn't yield very much for me. What kind of modern drives might take this kind of cartridge?

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Re: ABug NORTH User Group meeting | 19-21 JAN 2018 | MANCHESTER *BOOKING INFO*

Post by crj » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:50 am

Drat. Sorry. On further investigation, I realise a modern drive working is out of the question: the Travan form factor has different dimensions from the old DEC DC form factor, and the DC form factor is now obsolete. )-8

Any drive which can read that tape is going to be at least a decade old. But at least it needn't be two decades old. /-8

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Re: ABug NORTH User Group meeting | 19-21 JAN 2018 | MANCHESTER *BOOKING INFO*

Post by Prime » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:01 am

I *may* have a qic-150 drive, I certainly have one of the 60mb ones of the same physical cartridge size. If I can find it and it is SCSI I could bring it to the meetup. Now does anyone know where I could get a cheapish pcie scsi card, as all the ones I have are pci or isa :)

Update: I do have an Archive Viper 2150S QIC-150 drive, also my shuttle PCs have a PCI slot so I should be able to get the drive and the card setup (at least in Linux). I of course have no idea if the drive works, I also suspect I only have DC-600A 60MB media for it so don't know if I'll be able to test the drive. But I'll try and remember to bring it all with me :)

Cheers.

Phill.

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Re: ABug NORTH User Group meeting | 19-21 JAN 2018 | MANCHESTER *BOOKING INFO*

Post by sweh » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:36 pm

QIC-150 drives should be able to _read_ DC600A tapes; I'm pretty sure I did that in the early 90s.
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Re: ABug NORTH User Group meeting | 19-21 JAN 2018 | MANCHESTER *BOOKING INFO*

Post by davidb » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:55 pm

Prime wrote:Update: I do have an Archive Viper 2150S QIC-150 drive, also my shuttle PCs have a PCI slot so I should be able to get the drive and the card setup (at least in Linux). I of course have no idea if the drive works, I also suspect I only have DC-600A 60MB media for it so don't know if I'll be able to test the drive. But I'll try and remember to bring it all with me :)
It's very generous of you to consider doing this. If it turns out to be a bit much to organise then it seems we might be able to fall back on the Centre for Computing History, assuming that this drive still works... :)

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Re: ABug NORTH User Group meeting | 19-21 JAN 2018 | MANCHESTER *BOOKING INFO*

Post by Prime » Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:08 pm

sweh wrote:QIC-150 drives should be able to _read_ DC600A tapes; I'm pretty sure I did that in the early 90s.
Indeed, turns out the only ones I can find are DC300XLP but the 60mb drive I have can write them, according to the manual for the Archive 150mb drive it can read them too so shouldbe able to test. Especially as a couple of the DC300XLP media are LOLRARE and still shrinkwraped :)

Cheers.

Phill.

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Re: ABug NORTH User Group meeting | 19-21 JAN 2018 | MANCHESTER *BOOKING INFO*

Post by daveejhitchins » Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:29 pm

I might still have a tape, or two, that could be used for testing. I used them to backup up my hard drive as an image. Worked well as I also used it for keeping the 5 x 'usages' on my CUPL disc e.g. I'd install CUPL, take a hard drive image, uninstall CUPL, getting the install back on the floppy, then re-install the hard drive image. I still have those discs - Phill (prime) managed an install from them :D I seem to remember the 'install' information was on an extra track!!

I'll see if I can find the tapes.

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Re: ABug NORTH User Group meeting | 19-21 JAN 2018 | MANCHESTER *BOOKING INFO*

Post by crj » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:59 pm

Personally, I only have one QIC, and it contains all the data I took away from university with me: a colossal 70Mbytes!

I also have the same data on an open-reel tape. And lurking in a minuscule corner of several modern hard drives, of course.

I do understand Moore's Law, but I do sometimes trip up when I remember things like most kids only having a 10Kbyte quota on the school file server. And the other day someone tweeted that their new laptop contained 11 times as much RAM as the Apple IIe... by which they meant the total RAM in every Apple IIe ever built.

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Re: QIC tape and drive (from ABUG North booking info topic)

Post by roland » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:31 pm

Moderator message: I have moved this topic because it was too off-topic for the original ABUG North booking thread.
256K + 6502 Inside
MAN WOMAN :shock:

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Re: QIC tape and drive (from ABUG North booking info topic)

Post by davidb » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:33 pm

Thanks for moving it and sorry to add noise to that thread. I had thought about asking for it to be moved.

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Re: QIC tape and drive (from ABUG North booking info topic)

Post by Prime » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:56 pm

Right update,

After digging out drives and tapes I eventually found a combination of SCSI card and shuttle that works with the 60MB drive, and was able to read some tapes I had.

So then I swapped 150MB drive into system inserted tape and tried to read it, and it ground to a halt rather rapidly, rubber drive roller had turned to mush :(

As the 60MB and 150MB drives use similar mechanisims, I have swapped the OK drive roller and can now (partly) read some of the tapes in the 150MB drive.

I have found though that the tapes seem to be susceptable to the drive belt (internal to the cartridge) breaking, so I'll bring a couple of the new carts with me, so that if needed we can swap drive belts at least log enough to potentially get the data off the tape.

Cheers.

Phill.

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Re: QIC tape and drive (from ABUG North booking info topic)

Post by davidb » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:36 pm

Thanks for taking the time and effort to look into drives and cartridges, Phill.

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