General TC11 DECtape diagnostic/formatter questions

Noel Chiappa jnc at
Wed Nov 9 14:52:58 CST 2016

    > From: Josh Dersch

    >> The UNIX V6 distro includes a standalone program, tcf.s, to format
    >> DECtapes.

    > I could probably get a V6 distribution running if I need to, but if you
    > have the means to do so easily, that would be handy so I can at least
    > have another tool to try out.

I had a look at tcf.s, and it depends on having been loaded by the V6 disk
bootstrap - it uses the console driver in the bootstrap (the bootstrap leaves
a pointer to it in R5).

So it might be easier to use that DTF.MAC, which seems like it's mostly the
same program, and which you apparently already have working?

If you'd still like to use the V6 tcf, due to the teletype driver issue,
probably the easist thing is that I could make up a miniature disk image
(RK05, if you have that available), with both the V6 bootstap, and tcf on it.
Otherwise, I might be able to cobble something together; a hacked version of
tcf including the console driver, or something like that.

    > Something that XXDP can load would be useful.

I know nothing of almost any DEC software, alas - I'm assuming it can handle
.LDA files, but I don't know which format it prefers.

    > From: Christian Corti

    > I enhanced DTF with some useful messages and error/status output. IIRC
    > the "original" version produced no messages at all.

Having just looked at the original :-), it did have two messages:

  "ready drive 0 and type y"


  "tcf: error"

(Shades of 'ed'.... :-)


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