IBM 3850 - History


Starting in the late-1960s IBM's lab in Boulder, Colorado began development of a low-cost mass storage system based on magnetic tape cartridges. The tapes would be accessed automatically by a robot (known as an accessor) and fed into a reader/writer unit that could work on several tapes at the same time. Originally the system was going to be used as a directly attached memory device, but as the speed of computers grew in relation to the storage, the product was re-purposed as an automated system that would offload little-used data from hard disk systems. Known internally as Comanche while under development, IBM management found a number of niche uses for the concept, and announced it officially as the IBM 3850 on October 9th, 1974.

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