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ScuzzBlog: Diaries October 2017

Entry 24th October 2017: Post: 2

Not so easy tape ...

I recall the day at work we had our first major burn out on a 
computer. It was an RM machine running Windows 95 and basically
all our essential files and work were on the single hard drive.
The power burn out pretty much took out all the kit and we lost
everything. The practice had only just embarked on the computer
as a major tool for drawing and my boss decided we needed a fool
proof system for back ups and so we had a Colorado tape drive
fitted to the computer.

And so the ritual of Friday night back ups would prevail with us 
having to close down thirty minutes before end of play just so we
could be treated to the constant whir of this thing going through
its motions. We created endless tapes of all our work and seriously
not one of us really understood how the thing worked. Fortunately
we never needed to use it to restore any files.

I gave up with the thing once the CD writer was installed and although
we were told the tape was a better full back up system in truth the
computers and the OS was pennies compared to the thousands of pounds
a full set of working drawings was worth. So having two or three CDs
taken off site each week as back up was good enough.

And so the tape became a memory. The noise of that drive still echoes
in my head. I still have the very drive plus the other fitted to
the other offices. None were ever used to restore anything. Just 
made us feel safe each weekend before jetting off home.

I have these two boxed drives that I don't think have ever really
been used. I guess backups are really a nonsense. I am talking about
a full back up. I was recently prompted to make a set of back up
disks for this Windows 7 machine. I have always cancelled the request.
It's only been since 2011... so funny. But I decided finally to make
a back up and needed three DvDs... not CDs. Thinking about this I 
chuckled at the thought of doing the same with a set of disks these
days or even a 250MB tape. How things have changed.

The Irwin 250MB Tape Drive

Uses the speedy parallel port

So much to learn just to back up

Quite a neat little drive

They actually plug together

Not the Colorado we had. Ours was fitted
to a drive bay in the actual computer

Incredibly popular these drives

Again the bumper box of goodies

Seriously never convenient or easy
to use. Was like having a cassette
deck fitted to the computer and having
to search the whole tape for your track

More connectors, more wires, more cables

And then there was these odd tapes

Useless without a drive. So I could
never use them at home or retrieve files
anywhere but at the tape station

Fortunately we never needed to retrieve anything

The Irwin 250MB EZ Tape Drive

Colorado Backup

I'm sure that somewhere someone still uses them

Never a fan

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Last updated 24/10/2017

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