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TAPSAV - A file storage utility for magnetic tapes
Wesleyan Computing Center
Middletown, CT 06457
TAPSAV - A file storage utility for magnetic tapes Page 2
TAPSAV is a magnetic tape manipulation program which allows
the quick and convenient storage of disk files on tape. When you
have many files to store and either don't need them on disk or
don't have room for them, TAPSAV will let you put them onto a
private tape and retrieve them whenever you wish. TAPSAV was
designed to avoid the problems associated with standard DEC tape
utilities, which aren't designed for small scale, single user
TAPSAV provides the following features:
o A tape directory maintained solely on disk, which allows the
following actions to be performed without accessing the tape:
o Deletion of files.
o Un-deletion of files.
o Quick and complete wild-card searches of the tape
o Modification of the tape title.
o Adding files to the tape and automatically deleting old
o Rebuilding the directory from scratch if the disk copy is
o Saveset structure to allow restoration of classes of files.
o Files on tape are not directory-specific, and may be saved or
restored to or from anywhere.
TAPSAV - A file storage utility for magnetic tapes Page 3
2.0 TAPSAV OPERATING ENVIRONMENT
TAPSAV makes the following assumptions when it is started:
Tape directories are to be read and written from logical
device TSDIR:, which should be defined as a directory. A
LOGIN.CMD or COMAND.CMD file is a logical place for this. If
TAPSAV is unable to find a device TSDIR:, you will be warned that
you need to add a line like the following to your LOGIN.CMD file:
DEFINE TSDIR: PS:<PSYC.J-STUDENT>
All tape directories will be stored as files in this area,
and will be of the form VOLID.TAPEDIR, where VOLID is the volume
identifier of your tape. An example of a tape directory file
would be, using the above TSDIR: definition:
Tape directory files are never saved onto a TAPSAV tape.
Tapes are mounted with the logical name TS:. If TAPSAV
finds such a device upon startup, it prints out the tape volume
name and identifying banner. If your tape has been mounted with
some other name, you must tell TAPSAV what device name has been
used with the TAPE command (below).
An example of a mount command for a TAPSAV tape might be:
@MOUNT TAPE TS:/VOLID:U12889/WRITE
If not specified, the default directory for saving and
restoring files is the user's connected directory.
TAPSAV - A file storage utility for magnetic tapes Page 4
3.0 TAPSAV COMMANDS
The following is a list of TAPSAV commands and their
o CREATE (a new TAPSAV tape)
This command creates a directory for the tape you have
mounted as device TS:. If a directory already exists for
this tape, you will be warned that the CREATE command will
wipe out the old tape contents, and be given a chance to
change your mind. The CREATE command must always be done for
a new tape, or when rebuilding a tape from scratch.
o DELETE (specified file(s) from tape)
This command sets deleted status for a specified group of
files. For information on how the files are specified,
please see the following section.
o DIRECTORY (of tape to file) FILESPEC (for wildcard files)
Creates a directory listing in the file specified. If no
filespec is given, the directory is printed on the terminal.
Usual mode of use is DIR<cr> or DIR DSK:TAPE.DIR<cr>.
For information on partial directories of special types
of files only, please see section 3.4.
o EXIT (from TAPSAV)
Returns you to EXEC command level, leaving TAPSAV.
o FAKETAPE (tape id:) VOLID
This command is used to fool the program into thinking a
certain tape is mounted, so that you can check out
directories without having to mount the tape. VOLID is the
volume identifier of the tape.
o LIST (filenames on save or restore)
Causes the program to tell you what file transfers are in
progress. This is the default mode.
o HELP (with program commands)
Gives a short summary of commands.
o NOLIST (of filenames on save or restore)
Causes the program to omit listing files on a save or
o REBUILD (the tape directory)
Rebuilds the tape directory from scratch if it has been
damaged or deleted.
o RESTORE (specified file(s) to disk area:) DIRECTORY
Restores a list of files from tape to the specifed place. If
no directory is specified, files are sent to user's connected
TAPSAV - A file storage utility for magnetic tapes Page 5
o SAVE (specified files into saveset:) SAVESET NAME
Saves a group of files on tape, putting them all into the
same saveset. If not specified, the saveset name used is
GENERAL. Maximum length name is fifteen characters.
o SDIRECT (of tape to file) FILESPEC
Like the DIRECTORY command, except that it includes deleted
files in the listing.
o SUPERSEDE (files on tape when:)
The subcommands which follow specify when files on tape
should be superseded by files on disk with the same
o Across - supersede files across saveset boundries.
o Always - always supersede tape files.
o Never - never supersede tape files.
o Older - supersede tape files when older than disk files.
(This is the default)
o TAPE (device name) NAME:
Specifies what device name is used for the magtape drive.
TAPSAV will create the logical name TS: and assign it to
that drive. This command is not needed if you mount the tape
as TS: in the first place.
o TITLE (for the tape)
Gives you the opportunity to change the tape title, an
80-character string used to identify the tape in any manner
o UNDELETE (specified file(s) from tape)
Removes the deleted status from a group of files.
TAPSAV - A file storage utility for magnetic tapes Page 6
3.1 Specifying Groups Of Files On A DELETE, RESTORE Or UNDELETE
Following one of the commands above, you will enter the file
specification mode, where the prompt changes from TAPSAV-- to
File--. This indicates that you may type a file specification,
which may be a single file or a wildcard specification which may
cover a whole group of files. One separate file specification is
allowed per line, and the File-- prompt is repeated until you
signify end of list with a (CR).
Files may also be selected by their numbers from a directory
listing. A single number or a number range (6:10) may be typed
in place of a filename.
Following each specification, the program will indicate how
many files in the directory matched by typing out [ "n" found],
where "n" is a number. Here is an example:
[ Starting transfer to disk... ]
Recognition is not available on these files. The same files
may be selected by different commands due to wildcard overlap,
but each file will only be restored once.
In case you mistakenly specified too many files or the wrong
files, there are two ways to abort a restore after you have
started it. The first is to type ^C. This will abort the
program and you must start again from scratch. The second is to
type ^E. This will temporarily stop the restore. You must then
specify one of four options. The ^E abort and its options are
discussed later in section 3.5.
3.2 Specifying Groups Of Files On A SAVE
Following a SAVE command, you will again get the File--
prompt, but it will work a bit differently. Since you are now
specifying files on disk rather than in the tape directory,
recognition is available to complete file names. If any
TAPSAV - A file storage utility for magnetic tapes Page 7
particular file or file group is not valid for some reason, you
are notified with an error message and the file is ignored, but
you are still in file listing mode. When saving, you are not
notified of the number of matches, since it could be a
potentially very large number. (EG File--PS:<*>*.*.*)
When a file is saved, other versions of the file on tape are
automatically deleted. The generation number of a file is not
preserved on tape, so when a file is restored it automatically
takes the first appropriate generation number for a particular
When working with a large number of files, you should be
aware that if the end of tape reflector is encountered on a save,
the monitor will automatically cause the next tape volume to be
mounted and will continue the save on the next tape. This is OK
if you have specified multiple volumes in your mount request, but
if you have not the monitor will request a "SCRATCH" tape to be
Your job will freeze until the operator asks you what tape
to use for the continuation. In most cases you will wish to use
^C to abort your job, and you will have safely saved all of the
files that had an [OK] after them when they were listed during
transfer. You may then dismount your tape, and put any remaining
files onto a new tape. This is generally more convenient then
continuing onto a second tape. Unfortunately, it is not possible
for the program to warn you automatically when the tape end is
encountered, so operator intervention is generally required.
3.3 Retrieving Files By Saveset Name
Saveset names are maintained on the tape as 1-15 character
strings. If you wish to retrieve a specified type of file from
only one saveset, and ignore the file type in other savesets, you
can use the /Saveset: switch at the end of the filespec given to
the File-- prompt. When no saveset name is given, all are
searched. Here are some examples:
[ 6 found ]
[ 12 found]
The first command will retrieve all .MAC files found in the
SOURCES saveset, and ignore all others. The second will retrieve
all files in the DATA-FILES saveset.
TAPSAV - A file storage utility for magnetic tapes Page 8
3.4 Partial Directories
By using the full format of the directory command, you may
get a directory of only specific files on a tape. The command
DIRECTORY (of tape to file) TTY: (of wildcard files) *.PAS
In the above example, only files of type .PAS would be
listed in the directory to the terminal. Any wildcard formation
may be used (ALPHA.*, *.Q??, *.*). A saveset name may also be
tacked on to restrict files to that saveset only, for example
*.MAC/SAVESET:Alpha. This would list only the *.MAC files in the
Alpha saveset and ignore all others.
As with the normal directory command, you may route the
output listing to a file by substituting the name in place of the
default TTY: field.
3.5 Interrupt Commands
The following control characters may be used to interrupt
TAPSAV while it is processing a tape:
o ^A -- Print filename of last file seen while tape positioning
is in progress. May be used during a save or restore to list
the last file seen. This is usually useful only when in
o ^E -- Interrupt a SAVE or RESTORE to accept a further
command. This command may be used to change between LIST and
NOLIST mode while running. The ^E interrupt may also be used
to ABORT the present restore operation, and to RESUME the
restore as if no interrupt command had been typed.
4.0 SPEEDING UP TAPE USAGE
There are several ways in which you may use TAPSAV
efficiently. First, it pays to keep tapes down to a managable
size. Rather than fill up a tape, you should use several
different tapes to keep each one half filled or less.
As you keep using a tape, you are likely to save newer
versions of files, replacing the older ones. Any files
superseded in this manner remain on the tape, taking up space
with DELETED status set. Thus each successive save and restore
takes longer, as more and more tape must be passed over on the
way to the current end of the tape.
TAPSAV - A file storage utility for magnetic tapes Page 9
In some cases, you may wish to retain your deleted files, as
a way of archiving old program versions. If you wish to discard
deleted files, however, you may follow this procedure:
1. Get a SDIRECT (super-directory) listing of the tape to
examine all deleted files.
2. UNDELETE any files that you wish to retain.
3. RESTORE files *.* to a disk area, preferably empty.
4. CREATE the tape again. Reply YES when TAPSAV asks if you
really wish to overwrite the old directory. This leaves you
with a logically empty tape.
5. SAVE files *.* from the area you dumped them into.
This procedure effectively removes all deleted files from
the tape, leaving only active files. To determine if this
procedure is necessary, you can get a DIRECTORY of the tape and
look at the total number of pages at the bottom. Then do an
SDIRECT command and look at the total number of pages including
the deleted files. If the second number is much greater than the
first, you probably wish to rebuild the tape.
5.0 IMPLEMENTATION DETAILS
All tape I/O in TAPSAV is done in buffered mode. While
somewhat slower than asyncronous dump mode I/O, it is simpler to
use and error correction is easier. The tape format was designed
to be as simple as possible, to facilitate restoration of files
if the tape becomes damaged and a software specialist has to
tackle it by hand. All tape records are 14 pages long for
efficient tape packing, and each file occupies one file on tape.
The first 40 words of the first record of each file contains the
file header information, which is what TAPSAV uses to reconstruct
the tape if the directory is damaged. The number of the file in
the directory is the position of the file on the tape, there is
no header file on the tape itself.
TAPSAV checks the file creation date when in "supersede
older" mode. When a file is restored from tape to disk, the
creation and last write dates are set to reflect their values
when the file was saved.
[End of TAPSAV.DOC]