[TUHS] why does tar have the tape device hard coded into it and why is it mt1 instead of mt0

Mary Ann Horton mah at mhorton.net
Sun Dec 13 04:54:24 AEST 2015

Yeah, I just can't imagine using tar with the f option.  Even back in 
the day when I was writing 9 track magtapes with tar, it would be 
something like
     tar cvfb /dev/rmt0 10 .
to get tape blocks bigger than 512 bytes.  But we never had dectapes and 
I think they did their own blocking.

     Mary Ann

On 12/11/2015 06:09 PM, Doug McIlroy wrote:
>> I have no memory of why Ken used mt1 not mt0.   Doug may know.
> I don't know either. Come to think of it, I can't remember ever
> using tar without option -f. Direct machine-to-machine trasfer,
> e.g. by uucp, took a lot of business away from magtape soon
> after tar was introduced. Incidentally, I think tar was written
> by Chuck Haley or Greg Chesson, not Ken.
> Doug
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