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Technological Surrealism / Alec Nerds Out


The Lo8 is an 8-Track based data backup solution.

The 8 track is a particularly poor medium to use for tape backup. Nonetheless — or perhaps because of its ill suitability — here is one.

This is a simultaneous commentary on Alec’s hatred of tape backup, misplaced fond memories of early home computing on cassette tapes, and inexplicable love for the deeply flawed 8 track format.

$ lo8 --help
Lo8 8-Track tape drive controller
Copyright (c) 2013 by Alec Smecher (
Usage: lo8 [OPTIONS]
-b Set baud rate (default 9600)
-d Set device name (default /dev/ttyUSB1)
-t Set track number before starting -s Seek to beginning of track before starting -r Read data from the tape and dump to stdin -w Write data from stdin to the tape -e (Used with -w) Echo input to stdout -i Query and display status information

Reading and writing may not be performed simultaneously. Tapes must
be inserted with the record button pressed in order to record, and
cannot be read in that mode.

If the -i flag is specified, information will be queried after seek
and track switching operations have been completed (if specified).

More Information


One Comment

  1. […] here, we use ALL of the animal. Having adapted the 8-track unit of an old stereo into the 8 Track Tape Backup, I was left with a BSR record changer — the Ford Pinto of record players. They were cheaply […]

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