SUMMARY : Sun format 1/4" tape reader

Date: Fri Sep 17 1993 - 07:18:49 CDT

Original Post :

>Hi -
> This may not be totally appropriate for this list, but here
>goes :
> As a result of my continuing ethernet problems (see ie0: Ethernet
>jammed summaries at a sun-managers archive near you...) I have several
>users with ASCII text files on 60MB 1/4" tapes they would like to get
>to a DOS machine which is on our (very) unreliable net. Does anyone
>know of hardware to connect to a DOS machine that will read these
>things? Or of any way to directly connect a DOS compatible 3.5" floppy
>to a SUN? Thanks in advance.
> Mike

As many pointed out, I really didn't supply enough info. in the question.
Thanks for not flaming. I'll do better in the future....

For completeness, the system I'm referring to is a 4/260, SunOS 4.1.1, with
three means of contact with the outside world: keyboard, 60MB tape, and
ethernet. Thanks to everyone who (gently) pointed out that Suns now ship
with 3.5" drives - I know. Wish I had one. Complete answers follow...

My solution - If needed, I'll probably just use a serial cable between
the PC and the SUN - not optimal, but basically free. I cant wait to
push 1MB files through Kermit (It ain't easy being green)

P.S. - Just for total completeness - I've solved (temporarily? I hope not)
the ethernet problem - a terminator, which I checked on a network analyzer
and with an ohmmeter didn't have the proper impedance at high frequency,
and was crapping out. Discovered it with a device we use here to tune and
match NMR coils. I'm really suprised the network analyzer didn't catch this..

Return-path: <>

Simplest way would probably be to get a copy of mtools, available at
fine archive sites everywhere. Check with Archie for locations...

Running on the IPC I'm using now:

chip:43> ./mdir
 Volume in drive A is BACKUP 001
 Directory for A:/

BACKUP 001 729077 9-07-93 2:46p
CONTROL 001 243 9-07-93 2:46p
       2 File(s) 0 bytes free

(I didn't realize that disk was in there.)
Nice thing about it is that it doesn't require root access.
There are other packages, (Sun has one, for instance) but without
knowing what you're running and for the quickest turn-around time,
I'd suggest mtools.

John C. Hasley
University Computer Services INTERNET:
Bowling Green State University UUCP:!hasley
Bowling Green, Ohio Ma Bell: (419) 372-9989
Return-path: <>

The floppy on a sparcstation type machine can read and write
dos compatible floppies. See man fdformat and pcfs.

Gregg Siegfried
Return-path: <>

Dear Mike,

Sun's floppy drive can read/write DOS formatted disks. I assume your W.S. has
one. If you do, then read the rest of email.

 Add the following line to your /etc/fstab:

        /dev/fd0 /pcfs pcfs rw,noauto 0 0

Make /pcfs directory and then mount the floppy using:
        mount /pcfs

Make sure that your disk is not write protected otherwise you can't mount it.

Houman Safai
Systems Administrator
Return-path: <>

Just in case this info applies:

The SPARC 10's come with a 3.5 inch drive on the right side of the CPU
pizza box. You can use it as a PC/DOS file system using the "pcfs"
type driver. Add the following line to /etc/fstab:

/dev/fd0 /pcfs pcfs rw,noauto 0 0

and make sure there's a /pcfs to mount on.

Hope you have a SS10 to try this on. Good luck.

| Sumner K Hushing III | GENERAL DYNAMICS | This space |
| | Space Systems Division | intentionally |
| 619-547-5791 | PO Box 85990, MZ 43-8660 | left blank |
| 619-547-4542 (lab) | San Diego, CA 92186-5990 | |
Return-path: <>

I've heard of no such tape drives for PC's, but I'd guess they exist

The sun floppy drive uses the same physical format dos floppies do,
but different filesystems. SunOS has support for the DOS filesystem,
though. "man mount" would probably get you going.

There's also connecting a serial cable between a pc and a sun, or
getting the net going...

Dan Stromberg - OAC/DCS
Return-path: <>

you will get flooded on this one.....!

you don't specify what hardware/OS-level you have, but if you are on a
Sparc system with a "decent/recent" OS (like 4.1.2 or 4.1.3), do a

man pcfs

and that will point you at info to use your floppy to write DOS-compatible

If you don't have the hw/sw to pull this off, I hope somebody has 1/4"
tape information to help you out on those lines.

good luck!

Tom Slezak
Human Genome Center, L-452
Lawrence Livermore National Lab
7000 East Ave. Livermore, CA 94550
email: (
phone: (510) 422-5746 fax: (510) 423-3608
Return-path: <>

To the contrary, it is one of the more appropriate notes recently.

By far the easiest thing is if your users have a 3.5" floppy drive on
a sparcstation. Just mount a floppy as filesystem type "pcfs" and copy
the ascii files to the floppy. The DOS machine will read 'em fine.

Jay Lessert
Lattice Semiconductor Corp. (voice)1.503.681.0118 (fax)1.503.693.0540
Return-path: <dlogics!elcky!>


Depending on the way the files are stored on tape, and on the type of
software used on the DOS machines to talk to the Unix machines, it should
be possible to remotely access the tape drive. If, for example, you use
FTP Software, and on the unix machine the tape is called /dev/rst0, then a
possible command that should be executable from the DOS prompt is:

     c:\> tar xvf unix:/dev/rst0 .

A better possibility is your second question. Any SPARC machine with a
floppy drive will read DOS formatted floppies. So all you have to do here
is unarchive the text files to 60 or so DOS formatted floppies and then
transferred those floppies to the DOS machine.

Good Luck

Lewis Muhlenkamp (
Return-path: <>

Depends what sort of sun you have, if you have one that has a 3.5"
floppy in it then you already have the capability of writing DOS
floppies, to mount a DOS floppy you can type:

mount -t pcfs /dev/fd0 /pcfs

which will mount the DOS floppy and you can copy files to/from it
using normal unix commands, you need root access to do this. There is
also a set of free tools available called mtools that will allow you
to read and write DOS floppies without being root.

If your sun is not graced with a floppy then you can buy external SCSI
floppy drives but be aware that they are expensive.

Brett Lymn, Computer Systems Administrator, AWA Defence Industries
Return-path: <zodiac!!>

The Sun floppy drive in any of the newer workstations will read and write DOS floppies. Look for the pcfs support in Sun, or get hold of the 'mtools' sources - they are outstanding - from in /pub/gnu in the file that begins with the words 'mtools'.


------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Syed Zaeem Hosain P. O. Box 610097 (408) 441-7021 | | Z Consulting Group San Jose, CA 95161 | ------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return-path: <> There are at least two different ways of getting GNU tar to work with an MS-DOS machine using an Adaptec SCSI controller (154x), and the 3 1/2" disk on the later SPARCs will read/write DOS files.

One version is called "aspibin"; I use it with an Archive 2150S tape drive.


Mike Squires ( 812 855 3974 (w) 812 333 6564 (h) 546 N Park Ridge Rd., Bloomington, IN 47408 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return-path: <> Hi Mike,

1st: there is a tar for DOS. If you are able to connect the SCSI drive to a PC SCSI adaptor, you should be able to read from the tape (of course, you will need a tape device driver under DOS, so look for Corel's kits).

2nd: If you have a newer model (Sparc 1+ and up) you should have a floppy drive in your Sun housing. You then can either mount pcfs (which is fairly slooooooow) or use the free mtools package (quite fast) by Emmet P. Grey [sp?]. We use mtools to read from DOS SCSI harddisks (special patch to be recognized by the Sun is needed, though). I don't know of external floppy drives (they should have a SCSI interface, right ?) to be connected to a Sun, but your mileage may vary, in any case.

Hope this helps a bit, best regards Steffen -- Steffen Grunewald | email | phone (+49)-331-310526 GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Telegrafenberg A3, D-14773 Potsdam, Germany -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return-path: <pluto!>

> I have several users with ASCII text files on 60MB 1/4" tapes they > would like to get to a DOS machine which is on our (very) unreliable > net. Does anyone know of hardware to connect to a DOS machine that > will read these things?

You can put a SCSI card in the DOS machine and hook up a Sun tape drive.

> Or of any way to directly connect a DOS compatible 3.5" floppy > to a SUN?

The built-in floppy drive of a 3/80 or Sparc is capable of writing DOS-format floppies. See the manpage for "pcfs", or ask Archie about "mtools". ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Return-path: <100016.2320@CompuServe.COM> Mike,

As far as writing to a DOS compatable 3.5" floppy, any SPARC station with a Sun floppy drive can do that right now via PCFS.

You mount the floppy as a PCFS disk and then you can access it just like any UNIX filesystem.

Just be aware of one thing -- PC's handle ASCII files differently than UNIX boxes do. Specifically, a PC ASCII file ends each line with a CR/LF. UNIX ASCII files only have a LF at the end of each line. You must strip off or add this extra character to make the files format correctly on either system. (If you put a UNIX ASCII file on a DOS system, all the lines will run together; if you put a DOS ASCII file on a UNIX system, you will see a ^M at the end of each line.)

Fortunately, SunOS provides easy file translation with two utilities - dos2unix and unix2dos.

The man pages are pretty clear on them.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Bill DeStefano ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Return-path: <>

I would try PC-NFS from the DOS side or mount /pcfs from the Sun side.

-- Joel ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return-path: <>

Hello, I don't remenber the kind of Sun you have, but the one with 3"1/2 floppy can read and write DOS disquettes. Eg : SS1, SS2, IPC, IPX, SS10, etc ... you just have to do something like that : /etc/mount -t pcfs /dev/fd0 /Dos

An other solution is to connect a Sun to a Pc thru a serial connection, and to transfer with kermit (or another communication software). This is simple.

Hope this helps.

============================================================================== | Frederic Piard | Generale de Service Informatique | | GSI - Erli | E-mail: | | 1, Place des Marseillais | Voice : (33)-1-48 93 81 21 | | 94227 Charenton-Le-Pont, France | Fax : (33)-1-43 75 79 79 | ============================================================================== --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return-path: <>

You have probably received lots of replys by now, but ...

The floppy drive on Sun IPC's IPX's, Classic's, and SS1/2/10's are all capable of reading/writing dos floppies.

Quick and dirty fix ...

su mkdir /pcfs /* stick floppy in drive */ mount /dev/fd0a /pcfs /* read/write /pcfs at will (floppy) */ umount /pcfs eject

Long-term solutions ...

get and install mtools, or

get/install fdmount and fdeject to mount and umount/eject the floppy for normal users. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return-path: <>

There are two things you can do..

1.) Using a Adaptec (or similar) SCSI controller in a PC, and a SCSI 1/4" tape drive, you can transfer files between the PC and Sun. On the PC, you can get a package called ASPIBIN that is a GNU tar port to PC's using a SCSI controller (you need an ASPI driver too, available from Adaptec when you buy the card, other SCSI cards may also have ASPI drivers available).

2.) On a Sun desktop sparc, you may indeed write PC compatible floppies. I suggest you check out the mtools package, available from an ftp site near you.

Russ Poffenberger DOMAIN: Schlumberger Technologies ATE UUCP: {uunet,decwrl,amdahl}!sjsca4!poffen 1601 Technology Drive CIS: 72401,276 San Jose, Ca. 95110 Voice: (408)437-5254 FAX: (408)437-5246 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return-path: <> What kind of Sun? ALmost all the recent Sun machines HAVE floppies. -- Steve Hanson - FERMILAB, Batavia, Il. or ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Return-path: <ups!!>

Don't know about pc hardware, but dos formatted floppies are easy:

use fdformat -d to format in dos 1.44M format, then as root "mount -t pcfs /dev/fd0 /pcfs". Use cp, filemgr, etc, to copy files into the /pcfs directory, then umount /pcfs and eject and away you go.

I use this all the time and it is very reliable, even if somewhat slow. Also have a look at unix2dos(1) to change the files from unix format (newline is delimited by line feed) to dos format (newline is cr/lf).

There is also the public domain mtools and usermount programs that are worth looking at, but in the short term what I've said above will get you out of trouble.

regards, -- Glenn Satchell | "This is a unix system. Uniq Professional Services Pty Ltd ACN 056 279 335 | I can do this easy." PO Box 70, Paddington, NSW 2021, (Sydney) Australia | Phone 02 360 7434 Pager 016 287 000 Fax 02 331 2572 | - Lex, Jurassic Park "Sun Accredited System Consultants" | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

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