Re: Linux VCR driver?

Matthias Urlichs (
3 Dec 1996 17:20:56 +0100

In, article <>,
Brent Glines <> writes:
> "There are controllers available for many PC's that allow a VCR to be
> used as a backup device. This is an inexpensive way to get a lot of
> backup capability on a PC. However, in order to utilize such a system,
> a device driver will have to be written..."
> I do not have a tape backup drive handy. I have several VCRs. Has
> anyone ever heard/done anything along these lines?

There may be such beasts, but I wouldn't trust my data to them.
Better get a "real" computer tape drive.

Problems with these video beasts:
- No read-after-write, therefore no decent error control.
- The additional conversion to an analog video signal means that the speed
is nothing to speak of.
- No filemarks, i.e. one backup per tape.
- How do you push the rewind/play/record buttons with the computer?
- Timing of the signal (usually, parallel-port) is likely to be rather
critical -> writing a Linux driver is difficult at best.

Sweeny's Law: The length of a progress report is inversly proportional to the
ammount of progress.
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