SCSI Questions (Was: "Re: Purchased a Microvax 3800")

devin davison lyokoboy0 at
Tue Dec 8 14:37:58 CST 2015

"So a 9-track open-reel SCSI drive should work just as well as a DDS, DLT,
SLT drive."

Oh wow. i had not even considered that. I have a pdp 11 with a beast of a 9
track tape drive in is's own rack, that would be interesting if i could get
a scsi tape drive for the vax and use some big tapes to move data between
the two.

On Tue, Dec 8, 2015 at 11:38 AM, Johnny Billquist <bqt at> wrote:

> On 2015-12-08 17:02, Paul Koning wrote:
>> On 2015-12-07 20:36, Christian Gauger-Cosgrove wrote:
>>> On 7 December 2015 at 14:29, Johnny Billquist <bqt at> wrote:
>>>> I think all (modern PDP-11) OSes can install from TMSCP tapes. RSTS/E is
>>>> more picky than some others, though, if I remember right...
>>>> Yes, RSTS/E installs from TMSCP just fine (as can RSX-11/M+); I know
>>> that in simh you can bring up Ultrix-11 3.1 only on TMSCP
>>> (specifically a TK50), at least if you want all of the packages to
>>> install. I've installed RSTS/E 10.1-L from MASSBUS, TS11, TM11, and
>>> TMSCP in my various experimentation with emulation, it really doesn't
>>> care what the tape is as long as your SYSGEN device is consistent.
>> One detail on "it doesn't care what the tape is": RSTS kits on 1/2 inch
>> tape come in 800 and 1600 bpi versions.  They have different boot blocks,
>> each of them designed to work with all tape drives/controllers supported on
>> RSTS that support the density in question.  For example, the 1600 bpi kit
>> doesn't boot on a TM11 controller, and the 800 bpi kit won't boot on a
>> TMSCP controller.  This matters if you try to boot one in an emulator where
>> physical tape density doens't have any meaning.
> Unsubscribed from cctalk now, so I'm not sure if this will get through or
> not.
> The RSX installation tape should boot from all tape devices, no matter
> what density. The disk boot blocks are somewhat more specific. MSCP sits
> together with massbus and RK06/RK07. RK05, RL01/02, RP02/03 as well as P/OS
> drivers are separate boot blocks. Of those, only the RL02 is actually
> supported by M+. So in practice, you only see one of two disk boot blocks
> around for M+. 11M use pretty much anything, I'd think.
>         Johnny

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