Which PC UNIX for old SCSI tape drive? (was: Generating 2.11BSD boot tape)

Greg Lehey grog at lemis.com
Tue Jul 7 10:13:04 AEST 1998

On Monday,  6 July 1998 at 12:30:18 -0700, David C. Jenner wrote:
> 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.

Sure, that's the obvious way to go.

> 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.

I think you'll find that they all support SCSI.  I'd recommend FreeBSD
because I'm involved with it and because it's the closest to 2.11BSD.
Next, I'd recommend Linux, because you have the sources.  You could
have trouble with UnixWare, in which case there wouldn't be much you
could do about it.  If you do have any problems with FreeBSD, let me
know and I'll see what I can do.

See complete headers for address and phone numbers
finger grog at lemis.com for PGP public key

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