It's pretty easy. With the right equipment and advice, you can be up and
running in an hour.
I purchased a refurbished 3580 tape unit from Comco (same place you
found)several years ago. Sticker shock indeed.
I found that the staff at Comco were very, very knowledgable and helpful.
They will gladly help answer all questions and help provide the things you
will need to read the 3590e tpaes. Talk to them.
I would guess you will need a SCSI controller card (usually the tape drives
have single ended connections which allows a longer cable connection).
Comco sold me an Adaptec controller and a cable with the proper connectors
on both ends.
You also need software to read the tapes and, possibly, translate IBM EBCDIC
characters into ASCII. Again, Comco had a software product called
NovaXchange to help read the tapes. The software works for me -- not the
slickest interface but it is GUI based and you can use it without touching a
I still use the tape drive and their software to read 50-100 tapes a year.
I'm happy with what I got and I'd buy from them again. I've got the drive
attached to an old Dell server -- a 600 mhz pentium III I think.
Don't forget to buy a cleaning cartridge for the drive; the drive requests a
cleaning cartridge every 50 tapes or so. One cleaning cartridge is good for
I assume you are going to read quite a few tapes. If I were just going to
read 50 or 100 tapes one time, I'd have used a service to read them and put
them on a different media. There are lots of service places to choose from
and they are not too expensive.
UW - Madison
"ZaneK" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
> Hi All,
> Recently, we received a pile of 3590 tapes from one of our customers,
> and we have no way of reading them. After a bit of digging, I found
> some reasonably priced refurbs (http://www.tapedrives-3480to3590.com/),
> though I'm still in a bit of sticker-shock.
> My extremely naive question:
> What's involved (hardware/software) in connecting one of these suckers
> to a Win2000 PC? Is this fairly easy, or will I need to go back to
> Basically, I'm wondering if I'm better off sending the tapes for