Engineer Hugo Lyppens designed a very unique method in the early 90’s to make backups of your Amiga data on VHS tapes. It was cheap, unique and reliable and you could have an average of 85mb of data per hour of videotape(!). The Video Backup System Amiga (VBS) helped you to connect a VCR to your Commodore Amiga computer and turns it into an extremely reliable and affordable backup device. The package consisted of easy-to-use backup software, a hardware interface and all required cables. This innovative product of the early 90’s backs up your hard disk safely and provides a fantastic alternative to a tape streamer! It also enables you to store a collection of hundreds of floppy disks on a single video cassette. VBS stores the data on video tape using a black and white video signal. Each scanline contains a number of data bits, which are represented as short horizontal lines. To deal with potential data losses because of noise or drop-outs on the video tape, the product relies on a highly sophisticated software implementation of the Reed-Solomon error-correcting code. In order to ensure that even a 14MHz Motorola 68020 CPU could handle the data flow to and from the VCR in real time. The software allows you to select which files and directories to back up. Full or partial restore to any directory is possible and it is not necessary to replay the entire backup when only a few files are to be restored. After VBS has read the directory tree structure from the VCR, it lets you select the desired files and directories. Then, the tape can be fast forwarded if the desired files are far away from the beginning. VBS offered full Amiga floppy disk backup in only 1 minute. Restore in the same amount of time, even onto an unformatted disk. The VBS 3.0 software is compatible with all Amigas and requires AmigaOS 2.x/3.x. VBS is extremely easy to use and has a powerful, 2.0-look user interface. You can customize it to a great extent by means of font and screen mode-requesters. Video Backup System was the cheapest way I can think of to reliably back up your hard drives or disks, and it really worked very well. The VBS system can be considered the grandfather of external USB hardrives.

More news: Generation Amiga magazine

  • 29