Alan Freedman -- The Computer Language Company - Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
Longest-Running Tech Reference on the Planet

A CDE Definition

You'll love The Computer Desktop Encyclopedia (CDE) for Tech Term of the Day (TTOD)


half-inch tape

A popular magnetic tape width that has been in use since the 1950s. The first half-inch tape format for computers was open reel, and various 7-track and 9-track tapes, wound onto reels, were threaded into the drive by a human operator. Much more convenient and holding more data, half-inch self-threading tape cartridges began to replace open reels in the mid-1980s (see Magstar, DLT and Redwood).

Although storage capacity was limited to little more than a couple hundred megabytes per reel, a few legacy information systems using open reel tapes survived into the 21st century. See magnetic tape, open reel and track.

There Are a Few Around
For more than 50 years, the open reel tape drive was used for data storage, and half-inch open reels exist in some companies. For a short time after the turn of the century, half-inch open reel tape drives were still manufactured. Each widely used computer standard hangs around longer than one would think.

Personal Use Only

Before/After Your Search Term
hafniumhallway testing
Hailstormhalogen bulb
half-duplexham radio
half-height drivehamburger icon

Terms By Topic
Click any of the following categories for a list of fundamental terms.
Computer Words You Gotta KnowSystem design
Job categoriesUnix/Linux
Interesting stuffPersonal computers
InternetIndustrial Automation/Process Control
Communications & networkingAssociations/Standards organizations
HistoryDesktop publishing
ProgrammingHealthcare IT
System design