Relic Information query matches

Matching on query: Unique id = 12/97, Name = any, Associated machine = any, class = any

Unique id/year of acquisition: 12/97
Name: Titan magnetic tape
Titan magnetic tape
Class: memory
Machine: Titan
DW: This was a magnetic tape used for Titan. It used roughly the same system that was used on the Atlas. There was one-inch tape. The tape was laid out in a series of block of 512 words. There were in fact 12 useful tracks of data across the tape and 2 clock tracks. These were loaded onto tape decks. They were threaded manually, or by operator which is roughly the same thing. Each of these could store round about 4000 blocks of 512 words each of 48 bits. They were used through out the life of Titan for a semi permanent storage. The IBM tape at the same time was only half inch whereas this is one inch tape. This used a block system rather than a variable-sized block system. It's a fixed block system, and every block was numbered, so you could ask for block 512 and get block 512 , rather than the alternative systems which said get the next block.
Q: When was the tape first used? From the beginning of Titan ?
DW: Yes. They were standard on the Atlas. We used the same system, we simplified the hardware which controlled them but the formatting was the same. We could read their tapes and they could read our tapes so it was a slight measure of compatibility.
Q: Ferranti? Where would that have been produced?
DW: Ferranti made the Atlas, the Titan was made by a collaboration between us and Ferranti and we took the design of the Atlas, threw out threequarters and called it - it was originally going to be the Atlas II but they were then called Titan. Ferranti then wanted to change it back to Atlas II but we stuck in our heels at that point. The arithmetic unit was the same, we didn't have the paging facility of the same type and we threw out - the paging slowed the machine down and took a lot of space so that was rejected, though there was automatic store allocation of a more primitive type which seemed to work well enough because by then memories had got larger.
See also: 21/97
See also: 51/97
See also: 79/99
See also: 117/99

Number of matches = 1 Copyright University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, 1999. All rights reserved.