For applications that are based on sequential data

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Unformatted text preview: fit is that tapes can be erased and reused many times. 3. Since the tape reels and cartridges are compact and light in weight, they are easy to handle and store. Very large amount of data can be stored in a small storage space. 4. Due to their compact size and light weight, magnetic tape reels and cartridges are also easily portable from one place to another. They are often used for transferring data and programs from one computer to another, which are not linked together. Limitations As a secondary storage device, magnetic tapes have the following limitations: 1. Due to their sequential access nature, they are not suitable for storage of those data that frequently require to be accessed randomly. 2. They must be stored in a dust-free environment because specks of dust can cause tape-reading errors. 3. They must also be stored in-an environment with properly controlled temperature and humidity levels, otherwise the tape ribbon may get twisted due to warping, resulting in loss of stored data. 4. They should be properly labeled so that some useful data stored on a particular tape is not erased by mistake. Uses of Magnetic Tapes Magnetic tapes are typically used for one or more of the following purposes: 1. For applications that are based on sequential data processing. For example as shown in Figure 8.12, the contents of an inventory master file (which is the permanent source of inventory data) may be periodically updated using a transaction file (which contains data reflecting inventory activities during the period) to create a new inventory master file which is used in the next processing cycle. Magnetic tapes are the most suitable storage for such applications. 2. Backing up of data stored on an on-line storage device such as a disk for its off-line storage so that if by accident the data on the disk gets corrupted or gets lost, it can be retrieved from the backup tape and stored back on the disk. . 3. Archiving of data which are not used frequently, but which may be used once in a while. 4. Transferring of data and programs f...
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