[rescue] qic tapes

john jferg977 at aol.com
Wed Aug 30 15:15:24 CDT 2017


If someone discovers a place where we can buy new old stock qic tapes 
which might have usable belts, he will certainly have done a wondrous 
good deed.  I have a number of these things dating back to 1993 whose 
belts have stretched beyond use.  In 2015 I prioritized which ones 
needed transfer to better media and using the two good belts i 
discovered in my collection moved the belts from cartridge to cartridge 
until they finally gave out.  I also had some other 3m cartridges which 
i tested and found in 2015 that they would retension - possibly a brutal 
way to exercise the cartridge. Not one of these survived the same test 
yesterday which means that a cartridge originally recorded in 1993/94 
was still good in 2015 but not 2 years later.

they were stored in A/C conditions all of this time.

So the magic question is, "How fresh a "new" DC 6150 tape can be 
purchased today"  It looks very much like the folks who are selling 
these things on Ebay and Amazon are people who resell stuff they get at 
garage sales and have no idea whatsoever about this sort of product.

Obviously the best thing would be to find some "New" ones made in 2010.  
Is that even possible?  When did they quit making them?

And this is without even getting into the various sizes software was 
shipped on. I've got a bunch of Sun tapes - not including the ones you 
were asking about, but including NewSprint, the SPARCprinter software, 
and some other odds and ends.  These tapes don't indicate the amount of 
tape on them which is vital information if you plan to use a belt from 
another cartridge - has to be from same size tape.

I would be delighted to learn that anything I've written above is 
nonsense, because it would suggest that there is still some hope of 
getting the contents of some old dump tapes back.

We had a Sun Exabyte drive which I still have and it has no problem 
reading tapes made in 1992 which have been sitting unlamented in boxes 
all these years.  I sure do wish that we'd realized that the QIC tapes 
wouldn't last.  Amazingly they had lifetime waranties.

so basically I think we're screwed as far as extracting useful 
information from these &(%#@ things.


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