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Subject[ANNOUNCE] ftape-3.04b
From
Date
I'm happy to announce the availability of ftape-3.04b.

Version 3.04b merely is a bug fix release and doesn't add new features
to ftape-3.04.

What it is
==========
ftape is a floppy tape device driver for Linux.

ftape-3.x developed as the re-unification of the stock ftape-2.x driver
written by Bas Laarhoven and the enhancements/modifications I had
implemented in a separate development tree called "zftape".

ftape-3.04b is implemented as a stack of two kernel modules:

ftape.o - hardware driver (MANDATORY)
zftape.o - VFS front-end (MANDATORY)
zft-compressor.o - user-transparent on the fly compression (OPTIONAL)


Should I upgrade?
=================
Yes, if you

- were using the plain 3.04 version of ftape. 3.04b is a bug fix
release.

- need support for formatting of floppy tape cartridges

- are already using any version of ftape-3.x

- have problems with ftape-2.x

- have a QIC-3010/3020/TR-2/TR-3 capable drive.

- want to use a "high speed controller" at 2Mbit/sec data transfer rate

And of course:

EVERYBODY WHO ALREADY IS USING ONE OF THE BETA VERSIONS OF ftape-3.04
IS URGED TO UPGRADE TO THE BUGFIX RELEASE ftape-3.04b.

EVERYBODY WHO ALREADY IS USING ftape-3.04
IS URGED TO UPGRADE TO THE BUGFIX RELEASE ftape-3.04b.

News
====
The following lists the changes between plain 3.04 and 3.04b:

===== Release notes for ftape-3.04b 14/11/97 =====+
- patches/2.x.x/floppy.c.diff was somewhat broken, releasing i/o
regions it never had allocated.
- fdc_probe() was calling DUMPREGS with a result length of "1" instead
of "10"
- Writing deleted data marks if the first segents on track zero are
should work now.
- ftformat should now be able to handle those cases where the tape
drive sets the read only status bit (QIC-40/80 cartridges with
QIC-3010/3020 tape drives) because the header segment is damaged.
- the MTIOCFTCMD ioctl may now be issued by the superuser ONLY.

===== Release notes for ftape-3.04a 12/11/97 =====
- Fix an "infinite loop can't be killed by signal" bug in
ftape_get_drive_status(). Only relevant when trying to access
buggy/misconfigured hardware
- Try to compensate a bug in the HP Colorado T3000's firmware: it
doesn't set the write protect bit for QIC80/QIC40 cartridges.

The main differences between version 3.03a and 3.04b are the
following:

- the internal version of the Ditto 2GB drive is supported
(credits to
"Jochen Hoenicke" <Jochen.Hoenicke@Informatik.Uni-Oldenburg.DE>)

- the sftape.o module which implemented the VFS interface of the old
ftape-2.x has vanished.

- most of the code needed for formatting of floppy tape cartridges has
been moved to a user level program "ftformat"

- improved verification after formatting cartridges.

- several bug fixes w.r.t. to the interaction between the interrupt
service routine and the remainder of the kernel driver.

- a procfs interface gives status information about the detected
hardware, maximal data rate etc.

Please refer to the file RELEASE-NOTES of the ftape distribution for
further information.


Supported platforms
===================
Linux/Intel-ix86 for

Linux-1.2.13 (after patching)
Linux-2.0.*
Linux-2.1.* (at least up to 2.1.62)

Linux/alpha was supported once upon a time, but this hasn't been
tested for ages.


ftape-3.04b can be down-loaded from
==================================
ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/kernel/tapes/ftape-3.04b.tar.gz

Please note that it might take some days until ftape-3.04b.tar.gz has
made its way from the "incoming" directory to its final location on
the sunsite ftp server.

Another possibility is to down-load the package from my web page:

http://www-math.math.rwth-aachen.de/~LBFM/claus/ftape/

where you can also find links to related information, old versions of
ftape and current development snapshots (if any).

Documentation
=============
The Ftape-HOWTO unluckily is out of date (i.e. documents the version 2
series of ftape). Recent documentation is included in the
distribution and can be viewed on-line from the ftape home page at


http://www-math.math.rwth-aachen.de/~LBFM/claus/ftape/


Problems with the driver should be discussed on the linux-tape mailing list

linux-tape@vger.rutgers.edu

To subscribe, send email to "majordomo@vger.rutgers.edu" with the
single line

subscribe linux-tape MY@EMAIL.ADDRESS

in the message BODY (NOT the subject). You have to replace
MY@EMAIL.ADDRESS with the email account the mailing list traffic shall
be sent to, or leave it blank.


Have fun

Claus


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