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Storage Technology Corp yesterday duly announced its 3480-compatible tape drives – four transports to a drive against two with IBM’s 3480 – and the robot library system that can automatically load and demount a vast number of cartridges onto the drives. The 4480 drives are set for first deliveries in the second quarter, with the library following in the fourth quarter. The only obvious weakness of the latter is that it works only with the new Storage Technology drives, so that users who already have IBM 3480 driives will have to dump them and start again if they want the library system. Average time from request to load and ready is 11 seconds, making the library an attractive successor to IBM’s old 3850 mass storage system. The 4480 M20 controller is $62,000, the four transport M24 tape drive is $81,900 – both for second quarter delivery. The Library Storage Module 4410 is $243,500, the Library Management Unit is $57,975, and the control software for the host mainframe is $12,300 – all set for the fourth quarter of 1986. The 4480 controller supports 16 transports – four drives, and the – walk-in – library system supports one controller.

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