scratch tape


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scratch tape

[′skrach ‚tāp]
(computer science)
A reel of magnetic tape containing data that may now be destroyed.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

scratch tape

A magnetic tape that was used to store data temporarily and later reused. In the 1950s and 1960s, prior to disk drives becoming abundant, tapes were the only storage medium other than punch cards. Since memory (RAM) was limited, programs sometimes required one or more scratch tapes to temporarily hold data until the program was finished. See scratch disk and scratchpad.
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