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Browse Prior Art Database

Method of Packaging Multi-Tape Reel Products

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000049782D
Original Publication Date: 1982-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-09
Document File: 2 page(s) / 13K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Ogden, WR: AUTHOR

Abstract

This method and a TAPACK (Tape Packing) program attempt to minimize the number of tapes being distributed (or exchanged) between two locations. The program reads control cards containing names (volume serial numbers), a description (free form text), and the method to be used to recognize the end of valid data on the tape. The TAPACK program then reads the data tapes, one by one, and writes a packed output tape. The output tape is one single OS/370 data set, regardless of the number of tape marks or number of tapes read as input. The TAPACK program writes four types of records: 1. Beginning of tape (for the next input tape). 2. Data records from the input tapes. 3. A record denoting a tape mark on the input tape. 4. End of an input tape.

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Method of Packaging Multi-Tape Reel Products

This method and a TAPACK (Tape Packing) program attempt to minimize the number of tapes being distributed (or exchanged) between two locations. The program reads control cards containing names (volume serial numbers), a description (free form text), and the method to be used to recognize the end of valid data on the tape.

The TAPACK program then reads the data tapes, one by one, and writes a packed output tape. The output tape is one single OS/370 data set, regardless of the number of tape marks or number of tapes read as input.

The TAPACK program writes four types of records: 1. Beginning of tape (for the next input tape).

2. Data records from the input tapes.

3. A record denoting a tape mark on the input tape.

4. End of an input tape.

This program has three methods of recognizing the end of valid data on each tape: 1. A double tape mark ("DTM").

2. A PID trailer label (a specific set of records added to

a distribution tape by IBM's Program Information

Department (PID)).

3. The number of tape marks to be read.

The TAPACK program reads data from the input tapes end compresses the data in a manner similar to the compression scheme used by the IBM HASP or JES2 or NJE systems for supporting remote job entry stations. Special byte count records are included as part of end of tape records. In general, the compression scheme will reduce the data to about 50% of the original volume; the variation, however, is quite large. Some data can often be reduced more than 50%, while other data cannot be compressed at all.

The various input tapes to a TAPACK run may or may not be related to each other. For example, a given TAPACK run might place an MVS PUT tape, an INFO/SYSTEM database tape, and a new release of a COBOL compiler onto one...