Cracking Open the Sankyo CP-1508 QIC tape drive

Face up to it

QIC ( Quarter Inch Cartridge ) drives have been around since Moses was an intern, and justifiably so. They were relatively inexpensive, rock-solid devices ever since they were standardized in 1983.

The capacities ranged from 60 Meg to 10 Gig, and the drives were often connected via floppy cable.

This particular specimen was taken from a server that I removed from service about 8 years ago. It was the last in a long line of servers that all had QIC drives in them. We used them in our remote offices ( our backups were usually less than 100M ), and had little or no trouble with them, mechanically. Taking this particular machine out of service was one of the first tasks that I was assigned when I started with this company. The office was moving and we decided to upgrade the server which was, as I recall, a 133Mhz Intel with about 64Mb RAM, and a 350Mb HDD. The OS used a Linux kernel to boot, but ran a custom OS called PickPro. I remember that the server was tucked under the admins desk, and when I lifted it up to remove it, roaches ran out - uuuugh.

Does anyone have any stories of IT workplace condition "h-e-double hockey sticks" (as the kids say)?

After that little digression...Our goal here it to see what makes our intrepid unit here tick.

Here we have the first of many frames featuring our Sankyo CP-1508. The sturdy eject button, and a singular status led.

All images by Drew McBee for © TechRepublic