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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
cut a tape
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To write a software or document distribution on magnetic tape
for shipment. Has nothing to do with physically cutting the
medium! "Cutting a disk" has also been reported as live
usage. Related slang usages are mainstream business's "cut a
check", the recording industry's "cut a record", and the
military's "cut an order".
All of these usages reflect physical processes in obsolete
recording and duplication technologies. The first stage in
manufacturing an old-style vinyl record involved cutting
grooves in a stamping die with a precision lathe. More
mundanely, the dominant technology for mass duplication of
paper documents in pre-photocopying days involved "cutting a
stencil", punching away portions of the wax overlay on a silk
screen. More directly, paper tape with holes punched in it
was an important early storage medium.