SUMMARY: Reading ANSI Exabyte tape

From: Rick Wightman (
Date: Tue Feb 15 1994 - 17:16:12 CST

Gentle Folk:

Two weeks ago I asked for help in reading, on a SS10/30 running Sun OS 4.1.3, an
ANSI Exabyte tape written on a VAX. Special thanks go out to HQDA Army
Artificial Intelligence Centre and R. Bruce Meikle of Southern Methodist
University. Thanks to all!

There were several answers:

1. ansitape from several sites - This is what I chose. Others are listed but
2. dd and then some stuff
3. magtool by Dick Grune


1. ansitape
This is available from several sites. I used the UUNET archives.*

This is what I used. Only one problem: ld complained that it couldn't find
_alloca. Man page for system says that alloc is a system thing. Turns out that
ansitape.c needs to have the header for alloc added:

#include <alloca.h>

Then it works and does a nice job of reading the tape. I'm still waiting to hear
if it goes the other way, but I don't imagine it won't.

Thanks to: (R.Bruce Meikle) (Glenn Satchell - Uniq Professional Services) (Ian MacPhedran) (S. Cowles)

2. dd and then stuff

This consists of using a non-rewind device and loading in the header and then
data information. Using this method, the block size is found using trial and
error. From there I'm unsure where one would go.

Thanks to: (Melissa Metz) (Houman Safai) (Mike Tiberio) (Jacob Baekke-Groome)
Pom.Bajar@Eng.Sun.COM (Pom Bajar)

3. magtool by Dick Grune
I have binaries and man pages for this, but have not gotten them uploaded from
my mac (net connection) to our sun (not).

Thanks to: (William M. Gilroy) (S. Cowles)

Rick Wightman: | Forman2000 Project Manager
                                 | Garnet Strong Laboratory
  "Common sense isn't common" | University of New Brunswick Forest Resources
                                 | Fredericton, New Brunswick CANADA E3B 6C2

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