Tape Networks

Sunday, 03 May, 2020

Mr. Scrawl finishes grading the assignments and turns to the tape terminal behind his desk.

The terminal the school provides is pretty ancient. He still has to thread the tapework himself. So he pulls the routing lever to add enough slack to the loop so he can thread it through his terminal.

He hates waiting for his messages and news to load, so he configures half of his terminal’s local memory to store most of them while he grades the papers. The terminal syncs with the tape loop and starts recording news to memory.

Now that that’s working, he threads his gradebook to his local tapeloop. He has already calculated and encoded the grades, so all he has to do is record them. He goes through the class roll, student by student. Pulls up the record, toggles in the grade, and fast-forwards to the next student.

He enters the last student’s grade and then re-winds the gradebook tape. Then he starts reading the news. Ah! The day’s top stories have almost finished loading to memory. They should finish loading before he finishes reading.

… to be continued