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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
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storage A formatted, block-oriented, high-reliability,
random access tape system used on the Laboratory InstrumentComputer. The tape was 3/4" wide.
The funny DECtape is actually a variant of the original
LINCtape. According to Wesley Clark, DEC tried to "improve"
the LINCtape system, which mechanically, was wonderfully
simple and elegant. The DEC version had pressure fingers and
tape guides to force alignment as well as huge DC servo
motors and complex control circuitry. These literally
shredded the tape to bits if not carefully adjusted, and
required frequent cleaning to remove all the shedded tape
oxide. That was amazing, because the tape had a micro-thin
plastic layer OVER the oxide to protect it. What happened was
that all the forced alignment stuff caused shredding at the
An independent company, Computer Operations[?], built LINCtape
drives for use in nuclear submarines. This was based on the
tape system's high reliability. Correspondent Brian Converse
has a picture of himself holding a LINCtape punched full of
1/4" holes. It still worked!