source for cheap TK50s?

From: R. D. Davis <>
Date: Mon Jun 12 22:42:50 2000

On Mon, 12 Jun 2000, Craig Smith wrote:
> Sounds like the oxide is crapped out and starting to come off [on your
> heads!]. I ran across the same thing with a big box of HP
> cassettes--only about 6 out of 50 or so were even remotely usable [and
> they had been stored in the original storage boxes in reasonable
> environmental conditions for the last 20 years]. Doesn't bode well for
> the future of tape media.

Not at all... for long-term storage of those important files, perhaps
periodic backups to good-quality magtape (1/2" reel to reel) is the
safest solution. ...but storage of data onto multiple hard drives and
backed up regularly onto two different types of modern media (e.g. 4mm
and 8mm cartridges), and changing to a new type of media before what
was being used becomes obsolete, is the safest bet.

Of course, that doesn't solve the problem of deteriorating media that
we need to use with our older computer systems. At this point,
fortunately, many forms of media, although becoming expensive, such as
8" floppies, are still available. Has compaq stopped the manufacture of
many forms of DEC media that were available in the recent past?

Interestingly, I've been able to read DC300 cartridges from around
1982, yet, I've had a copy of one tape, copied onto a relatively new
DC300XL cartriodge, go bad: the tape stuck together and then was torn
apart. :-(

R. D. Davis             
Received on Mon Jun 12 2000 - 22:42:50 BST

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