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Retrieving files via cartridge tapes on other machines


This is a summary of my attempt to find out if data can be transferred via
cartridge tape. Apparently very few have tried this (who needs it if you can
network). Even a symbolics rep replied saying that he'd be interested to know
if someone had any success. It turns out that there aren't standard formats for
cartridge tapes (unlike magtapes), so Symbolics support their own and Suns and
Appolo's another. Juergen Christoffel has been kind to inform me that he was
successful using the TAPEX command on Symbolics to dump files and retrieve
them using DD commmand in UNIX. I was told by Symbolics customer support that
TAPEX might work, but he gave no indication on in what format it is written.
I tried using Appolo's Unix (not a terrific implementation). They had DD, but
would not support some of the parameters. My suspicion is that if you use DD,
you have to set the option CONV = BLOCK to convert variable length format,
which I think is the format Symbolics write their cartridge tapes, into fixed
format and then read it in. Juergen may be able to confirm this.

My thanks go to those who reply. As for the gentleman from my alma mater MIT,
who complained I didn't have a name, I apologize for forgetting to supply it in
the mail (I was too excited since that was my first posting on a bulletin
board), but there's nothing I can do about ID since I have to live with this
user-unfriendly VM system in order to get my mail


Chien Huang