[rescue] next up, how to read old tape of unknown format

Len Shustek len at shustek.com
Sat May 4 09:46:10 CDT 2019

 At Fri, 03 May 2019 20:14:23, Dennis Boone <drb at msu.edu> wrote:

  ...4. Assume you only get one or two read passes.

Here's one way around that problem: read it only once, but record the
analog signals from the tape head. Then you can "virtually" read it many
times in software while experimenting with both low-level and high-level
decoding techniques.

It's not easy, but I've used that scheme to successfully recover data
from many old 7- and 9-track open reel mag tapes. See this GitHub
repository, which is somewhat stale and due for a refresh with the latest

I've not tried it with cartridge tapes, but it seems like it would work
for them too.

-- Len

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