Generating 2.11BSD boot tape

David C. Jenner djenner at
Tue Jul 7 05:30:18 AEST 1998

There hasn't been much traffic here for a while, so maybe I can stir
things up a bit.

I recently acquired a fabulous 9-track tape drive, an M4 9914, which
has both a SCSI and a Pertec interface.  This drive is so smart I
spent a couple of hours playing with it without it being hooked up to
any computer.

What's nice is that I can presumably get around the "high-cost"
bottleneck of using a tape drive on both a PDP-11 and Intel
machines: use the SCSI interface on the PC where the interface is
cheap (already exists) and use the Pertec interface on the -11 where
the interface is cheap (already exists).  Using the opposite interface
on each machine could run up to a total of $2000 US.

So, what I want to do is read my PUPS archive CD-ROM on an Intel
machine and write appropriate 9-track tapes for the -11.  The stumbling
block seems to be software on the Intel side.  SCSI software packages
for MS-DOS or Windows 3.1/95/98/NT run $600, $800, even $1500US.
There must be a way of doing a CD-to-Tape generation with a simple
C-language program using one of the "free" OSes: Linux, FreeBSD,
SCO UnixWare, etc.

If anyone has any experience or ideas with this, I would appreciate
your input.  It would be very easy for me to install and use one of
these OSs on a spare 486 I have.  The question is, which is the most
likely to support SCSI on 9-track tape.


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