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Datasonix Pereos Tape Drive

wesleyfurr

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Just curious...anyone here had any experience with these? I probably shouldn't have, but I ended up buying one on ebay...then buying a Sony tape to go with it. Got the drive a few days ago, and the tape just came in the mail today...haven't had a chance to play with it to see if I can get it to work or not. Found several variants of the software online for it. The tape carrier lid seems to have taken a hit and is slightly dented and out of position...so hopefully it still works ok...also has a little crud in the battery compartment, but doesn't look too bad.

For those not familiar with it, this is a super-micro-cassette type unit that stores 1Gb of data on a tape that is literally the size of an SD card, just thicker. Pictures seriously do not do justice to how small this tape is...you have to see it in person to believe it. Sony apparently made the mechanism, which is used with "NT" tapes, which they also used on a mini digital recording device. Apparently like a microcassette recorder, just smaller and digital. I would try to buy one of those too, but they seem to be pretty pricey on ebay.

Wesley
 

krebizfan

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Isn't that just the cutest little drive ever? I never knew anyone who got one; the price was a bit daunting.
 

Chuck(G)

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I've mentioned the thing a couple of days ago and a couple of times before that.

I had a very close experience with them back in the day. In fact, I was contacted by Kelly Beavers, the CEO. They were trying to sell a pile of things to a customer of mine, who wouldn't follow through with an order unless I approved of the device. Right off the bat, it didn't sound good--a 2mm tape with a software-heavy tape-stretch correction algorithm--and a parallel-port interface with its own unique protocol.

My guideline for this sort of off-line tape storage was that it be a standard form factor and with a standard interface, namely SCSI and preferably read-after-write verification. That last thing matters, because the guys in the field are being paid by the hour and time matters a lot. If you don't have read-after-write, you don't know until you're done writing if the write was successful. SCSI also has a standardized (more or less) protocol for tape devices, including autoloaders, which makes it nice. I made this clear, but consented to take a look at a drive for evaluation.

Yes, it's small. No, it's not fast and the 1GB is an optimistic estimate of the capability of the compression algorithm. Finally, their "driver" occupied a TSR that was more than 100K in length. If you're running DOS, that's not something to sneeze at. And, of course, their tape wasn't read-after-write, nor did their driver understand anything about SCSI protocol.

Worse, I wasted a week on it trying to get it to pass normal workload. I never could get a backup to read more than once--Datasonix kept sending me new cassettes (the way they said that you got media for the drives was to call an 800 toll-free number, give them your credit card number and they would Fedex two cassettes to you). After two weeks, I sent the thing back, cassettes and all and told them that it just wasn't going to work. Normally, that would be the end of that.

Some clever sales guy called them a few weeks later and told them that I'd approved of the unit and signed them for 50 of the blessed things. Imagine my surprise when I got the call asking how to make the units work.

Bottom line, the Pereos is "interesting", and, in my experience utterly unreliable and impractical.
 

wesleyfurr

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I think one of your posts may have been what sent me looking. I'm always a sucker for oddball interesting removable storage...though usually more disk-based! Little cassette tapes are interesting as well. If you look at photos of the NT tapes (at least the Sony versions), they are quite small. However, you don't really appreciate it until you hold one in your hand. Wow...

Thanks for all the info! That certainly helps explain why they didn't seem to last all that long. :) Pretty gutsy for the sales guy to do what he did. It's a shame they didn't work out better than they did...certainly a neat device.

I found it interesting that the drive I bought has an IRS tag on the back of it. Perhaps that's what happened to their backups... :)

In digging around, I found something else you might find amusing, especially in light of the story you have shared:

http://www.drewad.com/pereos_gall_pg_01.htm

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Pereos

Thanks,

Wesley
 

Chuck(G)

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Well, now you know who one of my customers was (IRS CID). Did you manage to snag any software for it?

What stunned me is that they essentially purchased a reputation--even before the thing was released, they claimed various product and engineering design prizes. All of which told me how such stuff should be regarded.
 

wesleyfurr

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Wow...I didn't much figure that was your client!

It didn't come with anything, but I managed to dredge up what looks like three different versions of the software. The first isn't marked, but I'm guessing it's for Windows 3.1...setup.exe and has a .bmp file on the disk (what I have are .zip files of the two disks). Another is marked 95, and the other NT. You need a copy? I haven't had a chance to try it all out yet...though with your description, it may not be worth my time to even bother trying. :) The tape door also appears to have taken a hit at some point and is a little dented in, so not sure if that's all even in proper working order or not.

Sounds like quite the outfit...between the marketing company's note, your salesman experience, and the purchased reputation...wow.

Appears to kinda fit the old line about how you can tell a software salesman is lying...his lips are moving...

Wesley
 

Chuck(G)

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I think I've got a driver for MS-DOS, if you're interested, but no, I'd gotten my fill of those guys. The IRS people did pretty well with plain old DDS drives. From what I remember of the drive, the mechanism is pretty delicate, so good luck with it.
 

krebizfan

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You bought the drive. Seems a shame not to try it out. Tell us what you think of it. Maybe even make of video of its operation since few will have ever seen one.
 

Unknown_K

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Did the IRS end up paying for that junk? I never seen or heard of that drive before, but then again I stick to SCSI for older collectable tape drives.
 

wesleyfurr

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If you can find the DOS version without spending a bunch of time on it, that would be great!

Yeah, I probably will give it a try anyway. However, between Chuck's glowing review, and the fact that it is now older and has been at least cosmetically damaged...I'm not holding out a lot of hope. If you want to see a demo of the technology, do a Youtube search for "Sony NT"...the first results should be for some people with videos about the NT-1 and NT-2, which are the Sony audio recorder versions of the technology. The audio stuff would be more exciting to watch anyway. :) The video of the guy repairing the tape is pretty darn impressive...and if you hold one of those tapes in your hand, you will be even more impressed...you just can't grasp how truly small these tapes are until you see it in person.

Wesley
 

Leon2048

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Apr 24, 2022
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Wow...I didn't much figure that was your client!

It didn't come with anything, but I managed to dredge up what looks like three different versions of the software. The first isn't marked, but I'm guessing it's for Windows 3.1...setup.exe and has a .bmp file on the disk (what I have are .zip files of the two disks). Another is marked 95, and the other NT. You need a copy? I haven't had a chance to try it all out yet...though with your description, it may not be worth my time to even bother trying. :) The tape door also appears to have taken a hit at some point and is a little dented in, so not sure if that's all even in proper working order or not.

Sounds like quite the outfit...between the marketing company's note, your salesman experience, and the purchased reputation...wow.

Appears to kinda fit the old line about how you can tell a software salesman is lying...his lips are moving...

Wesley
Hi Wesley , Do you still have The datasonix pereos NT driver,Can you send me a copy please :p
 

Chuck(G)

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The last driver for the Pereos that I'm aware of was for ME; was there a working driver for NT, or is this confusing the tape cartridge type (Sony NT)?


Datasonix annouced the Pereos in 1994; pretty much closed down operation in 1996 and sold remaining inventory to J&J Peripherals, who kept selling into the market until about 2001 (much reduced price by then).

Haven't seen a posting by Wesley for about a year.
 
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Leon2048

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Apr 24, 2022
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Thank you:) I have downloaded the software provided by LGR before.
Datasonix do provided Windows NT software. I have two floppy disks containing Windows NT software for Datasonix pereos, Unfortunately, the data of the second floppy disk (disk2) cannot be read.
And I found this link, but can't download it:http://www.storagedrivers.com/drivers/19/19992.htm
 

pogo22

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Jun 6, 2022
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Stockton, CA
I'm new to the forum. I also have a datasonix Pereos tape drive and have been wondering what to do with it since i long ago left the PC platform. @Leon2048 I just downloaded that file from the link you provided on my MAC to include with the Pereos when I find it a new owner. It downloaded just fine.Do I know if it works?? No.... no way to test.
 
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