Daniel Knight wrote:
> >Most guys I know with DAT loaders burn the heads up within a
> >year (your mileage will vary).
> Thanks for your overview. When we used DAT, we had three drives. Each one
> went in at least once a year for warranty service. Once warranty expired,
> it was cheaper to simply replace the drive.
> Since switching to AIT over a year ago, no service has been necessary at
> all.
> Dan Knight, IS manager/webmaster              [EMAIL PROTECTED]
> Baker Book House Company                 <http://www.bakerbooks.com>
> 6030 East Fulton                                   616-676-9185 x146
> Ada, Michigan 49301                                 fax 616-676-9573
>   Macs for productivity, Unix for stability, Windows for solitaire

I'll buy that tag line!  ;-)

Actually, I just wanted to toss in my historical 2-cents on DAT drives
(it's been a while).

The overview on DAT, DLT and AIT gave us just that -- an overview of the
type of mechanism. That's useful information to have, but that's like
giving us a comparison of internal combustion cylinder engines versus
turbine engines. If someone throws in their personal experience without
specifying that their car was a Yugo rather than a Toyota, it confuses
the comparison.

During the time I was responsible for daily backups of the Specular
network, I went through a number of DAT drives. I found that the end
manufacturer was critical. This applies to all kinds of drives. The
budget manufacturers may tout that they have the same mechanism, but
they don't talk a lot about their other components. How do they achieve
their budget prices? Well, they use cheaper fans, power supplies, scsi
componentry, etc. The cheap drives were consisently failing after 6 to 9
months. For example, the fan would fail and other components would
overheat and fail. Or the fan was "quiet" ("good PR"), but wasn't
drawing enough air and components ran hotter than they should and failed
sooner than they should.

When I insisted on getting Micronet drives (this was 1995 to 1997), I
had no more problems. Not only did they behave consistently and
flawlessly for approaching two years (that's when Specular was bought
out), but they would read tapes that the other drives failed to read.
The cost of the drives were about double the cheap ones, but they were
rock solid and had top quality compenents throughout.

So, while AIT sounds clearly better than either DAT or DLT, I would bet
that there are significant differences among AIT drives from different
manufacturers even if they have the same core mechanism.

I recently got a new 9.1G IBM drive for my 7100 at home. Since I was
putting it in as an internal drive, that's about all I needed to know.
If I had been getting an external drive, then I would have to worry
about the end manufacturer and all the other components including power,
fan, casing, etc. I didn't feel like worrying, so I tossed the 700MB
internal and just replaced it with the IBM drive.

I suppose I've given more than just 2-cents worth. But then, if you
weren't interested, you wouldn't be arriving here at the last sentance.  ;-)


Chris Hoogendyk

   O__  ---- Network Specialist & Unix Systems Administrator
  c/ /'_ --- Library Information Systems & Technology Services
 (*) \(*) -- W.E.B. Du Bois Library
~~~~~~~~~~ - University of Massachusetts, Amherst



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