9 track tapes and block sizes

Tom Hunter ccth6600 at gmail.com
Thu Oct 1 22:59:46 CDT 2020

I have never figured out why Bob Supnik defined the magnetic tape
containers (TAP files) with the one byte padding for odd length records.
This seems very odd (pun intended).   :-)
Even on a machine which couldn't write 32 bit numbers (the record lenght)
on odd boundaries you could write the 32 bit number as 4 individual bytes.
Does anyone know the reason?
Tom Hunter

On Fri, Sep 18, 2020 at 9:17 AM Jeff Woolsey via cctech <
cctech at classiccmp.org> wrote:

> > Acoustically, the best tapes were the short-record "stranger" tapes.
> > All sorts of interesting noise.  I could tell from across the room when
> > someone was running the tape section of the Navy audit tests for COBOL
> > just by the sounds.
> >
> MALET was also pretty good, reading and writing a bunch of blocks that
> were one frame longer or shorter than the last.  Loud rising or falling
> tone in the noisy computer room.
> --
> Jeff Woolsey {{woolsey,jlw}@jlw,first.last@{gmail,jlw}}.com
> Nature abhors straight antennas, clean lenses, and empty storage.
> "Delete! Delete! OK!" -Dr. Bronner on disk space management
> Card-sorting, Joel.  -Crow on solitaire

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