Magnetic tape, first used for data storage on the UNIVAC I computer in 1951, was the de facto standard used for large computer systems through the 1980s. The large 8-inch open reels were gradually replaced with cartridge tape systems. The major advantage of tape was its relatively low cost and the fact that the media could be swapped, for virtually unlimited amount of storage. The main disadvantage is that tape is a serial access media, slowing access to any individual bit of data. Tape can still be a viable storage media for large systems. As of 2011, the highest capacity tape cartridges can ...
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