A significant part of the CDF Archive's audiovisual collections consists of magnetic data storage media. Among them, probably the best known are the famous and ubiquitous floppy diskettes. However, there were other magnetic materials, especially those based on tapes (similar in structure to traditional audio and VHS cassettes), many of which were much less known. One example is the Travan tapes, of which there are several items in the CDF collections.
Launched in 1995 by 3M, Travan tapes were 8 mm wide and 750 inches long, encapsulated in a strong plastic and metal frame. Their storage capacity ranged from 400 Mb (TR-1) to 20 Gb (TR-7, 2002), making them very popular for back-ups.
At the time, Travan competed against media such as DAT (Digital Audio Tape), AIT (Advanced Intelligent Tape) and the lesser known VXA tapes. One of the biggest problems with the Travan format was its "ability" for physical contamination, and its inability to verify its data automatically, which led to logical corruptions that were very difficult to detect and fix.
Today, these tapes have been discontinued in favor of solid disk-based technologies. Although, with the permanent return to formats considered "obsolete", it is impossible to say that a given medium has been totally abandoned or forgotten.
Aa.Vv. [Travan tapes]. [Tape]. Santa Cruz : Aa.Vv., [ca1995?]. [N.d.] : [n.d.] : [n.d.]. DDC 506. Well preserved.
Text & picture: Edgardo Civallero (email@example.com).
Publication date: 1 October 2023
Last update: 1 October 2023