On Tue, 24 Jul 2001 Jerome Fine wrote:
> I have acquired a Sony SMO S501 and some cartridges. I understand
> that the company I bought them from used them for backup for at least
> 5 years. While each side of the cartridge holds only 300 MBytes, at least
> the total capacity (both sides) is almost equal to a CD. And although
> they are a bit slow on the WRITE operation, the READ operations are
> almost as fast as a hard disk drive.
If you get a chance, check out a later-generation MO drive. Seek times and
transfer rates are much quicker.
> I don't know about retention, but I expect I will be making a backup of the
> long term files about every one or two years. Does anyone know how I
> might test a magneto optical cartridge for long term degradation?
I assume a similar accelerated-aging regime to testing CD-R discs would work;
high temperature and humidity.
What you can do (and this applies to CD-R discs as well) is check the
block/bit error rate. After writing to a new disk, use the SCSI READ LONG
command to read the raw data from each sector (this consists of the sector
data and error correction info). For each sector, see whether there is a
correctable error. End up with a figure for the percentage of sectors with
correctable errors. Do the same thing in a few years time, and see whether
there is any difference. A more accurate variation would be to record how many
"bad" bits are in each correctable sector.
Depending on the drive, you may be able to get it to automatically log the
number of times it has to use error correction.
You could establish a proportion of the maximum possible correctable bit
errors, and reject a disk if its maximum goes over that. (E.g., if up to 80
bit errors in a sector are correctable, you might reject a disk which has a
maximum of 50.)
Before evaluating error rates, make sure the disk's surface is clean; if you
have been using a particular disk heavily for years in a polluted/dusty
environment, dirt on its surface will probably affect the error rate. You're
interested in the "real" error rate, not errors which go away after cleaning.
Also make sure your drive's lens is clean.
> Also, if I can read the cartridge, does that indicate it is as good as when
> it was written or should it always be written again after 5 years just to be
You can probably leave data alone for much longer than 5 years. Various MO
media manufacturers quote media lifetimes of 30, 50 or 100 years. Of course
they probably all use different criteria to come up with a lifetime figure...
> If anyone ever sees a Sony SMO S501 for $ US 20 or less, please send it
> to me and I will always appreciate and accept it and pay you for the drive
> and shipping in the US and Canada. Shipping from Europe is still too
Pretty much any ISO standard 5.25" MO drive will work with the 600/650MB disks
that the SMO-S501 uses; you are not restricted to that particular drive.
In a message dated 7/31/2001 2:53:01 PM Central Daylight Time,
> I don't normally endorse this rag in any way, but in Newsweek's Aug 6 issue
> pg 8 (Periscope dept.) "Trading Pickup Lines in COBOL" VCFs and Sellam get
> a nice little token mention and are charactertured to boot!
> Congrats Sellam!
cool! is there an online link?
At 04:38 PM 7/31/01 -0400, Sridhar wrote:
>How much do these [HVD to SE converter] usually run on the open market?
If someone gets one and would like a couple of full height 2.1GB SCSI
drives to go with it let me know. I've got a pair I rescued from the drive
sled of a decommissioned Sun 4/390 and have no use for them.
Ok so I just picked up two very cool things for the House of VAX. They are
both DSSI to SCSI controllers.
One was a rack mount box containing two CDI-4000 DSSI->SCSI controllers
made by CMD with front panels. The panel looks a lot like the HSC-50 front
One was made by DEC and plugs into a Storage works storage shelf! That one
is so cool. Turn a storage shelf into a DSSI shelf. Its very weird to see
the RZ29's in the shelf with labels DIA240, DIA250, etc.
I also picked up three storage works shelves, two with redundant supplies
and one with only one supply. Generally they have 4, 5, and 3, RZ29's in
them. The one with 4 has the DSSI converter in the other end. I've got to
get pictures of these up on the web site soon, they are really neat.
I also picked up a bag of third party MMJ to DB25 hoods, they appear to all
be males (so not too useful for my DECServer or folks connecting to a PC
without a null modem gender changer.
Just picked up a DECserver 90M; if anybody has the power supply
for this beast (or the shelf-with-power-supply that it will fit
into), please let me know.
I am a novice to this class of computer. I have been given a near mint
condition business CCS system with dual eight inch floppies. I am looking
for some vintage references to help me learn the basics and schematics of
these vintage bus types...
I am well aware of the historical significance of these systems, but never
have seen or used one before...
I am a certified PC technician, and have had much experience with PC's and
I am excited to get this machine and would like to preserve it. This system
includes manuals and schematics -- but I need an "S-100 for Dummies" type of
reference to help me get started.
I'd be glad to forward specifics if anyone has interest and patience....
Any replies would be appreciated...
In a message dated 6/13/01 1:30:09 PM Central Daylight Time,
<< I have a micro channel 3com etherlink II and sound card for trade. They
came out of an IBM ps/2 model 77.
have you any details on the sound card? FRU number, or name of it.
Found a card in the local thrift store's '99-cent grab-box-o-cards',
labelled 'En-link Apple II Interface'. On the back is a rubber-stamped
'Protoype' label. A Google search turned up nothing - the only thing I
could find was an obscure reference to the board in my Softalk article
July 84, P 68
"An Ethernet-compatible interface that can make the Apple an intelligent
terminal in a local-area network has been manufactured by En-Link (4706
Bond Street, Shawnee, KS 66203; 913-268-6606). Utilizing current
standard LSI integrated circuits designed for Ethernet, the board
performs the necessary framing, retries, and error checking required of
the system. Other applications for the board include communication with
remote printers and terminals, $1,250. $750 each in quantities of 100
Anyone have more information about this thing? Specifically, I'd like
to get my hands on a manual and software (does software even exist?)
Tarnover - The Apple II Repository
> >I'm pretty sure the Cosworth's used the older iron 4cyl block,
> >not the first-stab-at-the-Alcoa process, which Porsche used quite
> >successfully in the 928...
> Maybe the street Vega's had it in iron, but the race engine
> that was used for other things, but based on the Vega engine, was
> definately aluminum. The article I mentioned talked about their
> sleeving process. I didn't care for the car much, but I wanted the
The original process was supposed to put a layer of something
other than aluminum on the inside of the cylinder walls... I
want to say silicon, but that can't be right...
But the process was producing blocks that cracked a lot. So
that's when they came up with the sleeving process. Too late
though for my '71, to which I'd taken an axe (Careful with that
Hello. I'm actually working with one Microvax 2000, one Microvax 3100
and one RZ55 SCSI external enclosure with one 359 (more or less) SCSI
disk inside. I have installed VMS 6.2 in the Microvax 3100. I've backed
up the VM6 6.2 in the SCSI external disk, and I'd like to try boot this
disk from the Microvax 2000. Until I know, is necessary to modify the
EPROM with a patch that I have. The problem to do it is, of course, the
WAY to do it. And this is the matter:
* How can I update/patch the EPROM of one Microvax 2000 from version
1.2 A to version 2.3 (I think this is the version of the patch) to
support SCSI bootable devices, like one installed in one RZ55
external enclosure ?
One additional matter about this question is:
* Exists another patch that allow to boot the system from one RDD40
external CD unit ?
And, like a possibility to obtain some money:
* I need one CADDY for my DEC RDD40 external CDROM unit.
Is there anything out there ?
Just by the way... Anybody knows where I could obtain this stuff for
the 2000 ? That is:
* One diskette unit (I think it goes inside CPU, but I'm not sure, and
additionally I'd like to know, what happens then with the RD54 disk
that comes inside it actually)
* One external expansion box with one additional RD5x disk. I think
it uses something like one SASI connector to plug into the 2000.
* One additional RS-232 ports expansion unit. I've read that it provides
the Microvax (or Vaxstation) 2000 with up to... Four / Eight ?
additional comm ports.
And finally, there is for Europe collector/sellers: I'm searching
* one DSD400 or DSD880 double 8" disquette unit
* one RL02 disk unit (I have six RL02 cartridges ready to use)
* one VT102 with interface cable BCC08 or similar
* one TU58 tabletop tape unit with interface cable BCC08 or similar
* TWO interface connector with one Female AMD 10-pin connector in
one extreme, and one standard RS-232 9-pin in the other.
Anybody knows/has/sells any of this items at reasonable prices,
or simply legate them ( :-))) what innocence
mine ... ) ? You can send the responses to my e-mail address
if you consider it better.
That's all for know. I'll agree a lot a response. Thanks.
Greetings and best Regards from Spain