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Old 22 September 2015, 19:44   #1
Mind Walker
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posts: 152
Using tape with Amix

Cartridge tape drive: Amiga UNIX is distributed on a QIC-150 format tape cartridge. Device drivers are included which access the A3070 tape drive. There is no standard software interface to SCSI tape drives, so only certain types can be used with Amiga UNIX. The Caliper, Sankyo, and Wangtek brands of SCSI QIC-150 tape drives are known to work. The tape drive must be set to SCSI address 4. - Amix Version 2.0 Addendum.

"Using Amiga Unix" mentions tape only shortly on "Backing up your files" (p. 232-235), here are the examples:

Backing up files to tape: find /home/joe -depth -print | cpio -ocv -O > /dev/rmt/4

List the contents of your backup: cpio -ictv < /dev/rmt/4

Restore files: cpio -imdcuv -B < /dev/rmt/4

Other Amix tape commands: mt retension (re-tensions the tape by fast forwarding and rewinding it) and mt rewind (rewinds the tape).

Zeroing out the tape (for 2.1 installation): dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/rmt/4hn bs=32k
Zeroing out the tape (for other versions): dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/rmt/4n bs=32k
(Source, see also:

My short story on the topic: I bought a Wangtek 5150 ES from eBay to try it out on my 3000T. Beware: Wangtek pinch rollers are known to go goo, don't ask how I know I had looked inside the drive and the roller looked just fine, but when I tested the drive with a tape, the roller went liquid and made a mess. "Fortunately" only the tape was messed beyond repair, there was surprisingly little mess in the drive itself and it was cleanable.

A friend of mine who restores pinch rollers for audio gear restored the roller and now the drive is working again. I have yet tested the drive only shortly on my 3000T (mainly in Workbench using Diavolo Backup) and it worked like a charm. Soon I was copying "several megabytes of data in just minutes" (not to mention how noisy it is ) In my even shorter test in Amix the drive works; retension and rewind worked and I was able to write data into the tape using the commands above. However I accidentally started backing up a directory of tens of megabytes and had to interrupt it (would have taken too long). Now it says it detects an EOF-mark and refuses to write over it (I guess I should now zero it first?).

For reference; another QIC- drive I tried (a Tandberg TDC4120, only "a bit" newer QIC-1000 drive) did not work in Amix at all (device not ready or present etc) so it is indeed picky. And yes, it was properly terminated and set to ID 4.

What I am hoping to achieve is of course being able to make physical copies of the installation tape and run the whole install from it for total authenticity

In the photo attached, the drive is mounted into an external SCSI-case. Probably the way I am going to keep it for easy usage between machines.

Please share your Amix-tape insights here.
<- spinning like a tape
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