IBM Data conversion and tape transfers by Disc Interchange Service Co.

IBM Data Conversion Services

IBM mainframe data conversions: 3480 3490 3570 3590 cartridge tapes, 3420 9-track, LTO, more
Disc Interchange Service Company, Inc.

DISC converts data from IBM mainframe & AS/400 tapes

DISC: Media and data conversion specialists

9-track 3420 tape transfers, media conversions IBM 3480, 3490, 3490E, 3590, 3590B, 3590E, 3590H, 3592 cartridge tape data conversions 3570, 3570B, 3570C, 3570CXL media conversions, data translations and file transfers IBM Mainframe Tape to PC Conversions
  • 3420 9-track
  • 3480, 3490, 3490E
  • 3570B, 3570C
  • 3580 LTO1 through LTO6
  • 3590B, 3590E, 3590H
  • 3592-J1A, E05, E06
  • 4mm, 8mm
  • DLT, Super DLT
  • StorageTek 9840 & 9940
...and most other IBM tapes.
(See our Complete Media List.)
7208 8mm, Mammoth, Mammoth 2 data conversion, file transfers, media conversion StorageTek 9840 & 9940 tape conversions, data conversions IBM 3580 Ultrium LTO1, LTO2, LTO3 & LTO4 data conversion and tape conversion

Disc Interchange Service Company, Inc.
1984 - 2015

Disc Interchange Service Company, Inc., a Massachusetts corporation, will be closing on December 31, 2015, due to the Massachusetts Data Security Law, 201 CMR 17.00.
The new law prohibits us from receiving or shipping tapes or disks containing Personal Information on Massachusetts residents, and has wiped-out about 95% of our business. We are no longer accepting new customers.

We will be leaving this web site up for the technical articles it contains. We sincerely hope you find them useful.

For more information about the law and how it affected us, please see our page: The Massachusetts Data Security Law

Our Data Conversion Services
What we Do:

Disc Interchange Service Company, DISC, specializes in converting data stored on IBM Mainframe computers and on IBM AS/400 and iSeries midrange computers. Data can be converted to other IBM computers or to ASCII computers like UNIX or Windows PCs.

DISC has converted billions of records from tens of thousands of IBM mainframe tapes since we opened in 1984.  This has given us extensive experience with most tape, file, and data types, and we know how to manipulate mainframe data to make it usable on your PC or UNIX computer.

How we Do it:

DISC is a custom shop -- we tailor each conversion to your specifications, to meet your needs.  We approach each job individually, with the goal of solving your problems and producing the results you desire.  All conversions are done at our Westford, Mass. facilities by experienced data conversion programmers, using an extensive network of conversion hardware and software we have developed over the last 32 years.

Data conversion is 100% of our business, and we give it our full attention.  We don't dilute our focus on conversions by trying to do everything -- we concentrate on doing one thing exceedingly well.  We have invested heavily in supporting most of the tape drives on the market, including the new IBM 3590B, 3590E, and 3590H drives, IBM 3592, and StorageTek 9840 and 9940 drives.

IBM mainframe to PC data conversion

With 32 years experience, we are the experts at transferring mainframe data to PCs.

IBM Media we can read

Conversions we perform

  • 3420 9-track tapes: 800 1600 3200 6250 BPI
  • 3480 cartridge tapes: 3480, 3490, 3490E
  • 3570 media: 3570B, 3570C, 3570CXL
  • 3580 LTO Ultrium: LTO-1, LTO-2, LTO-3, LTO-4, LTO-5, & LTO-6
  • 3590 cartridge tapes: 3590B, 3590E, 3590H
  • 3592 cartridge tapes: 3592 J1A, 3592 E05, 3592 E06
  • StorageTek: 9840A, 9840B, 9840C, 9940A, 9940B
  • DLT tapes: All DLT & SDLT, V4 & S4
  • 4mm: DDS-1, DDS-2, DDS-3, DDS-4, DDS-5 (DAT72)
  • 8mm: All Exabyte 8mm, Mammoth-1 & Mammoth-2
  • 8mm: AIT-1, AIT-2, VXA-1, VXA-2
  • QIC, SLR, & MLR: QIC-24 through SLR-140
  • Mainframe & AS/400 EBCDIC to PC ASCII conversions
  • Repeat weekly / monthly conversions are our specialty
  • Proficient at data distribution from a single tape
  • Experts at converting COBOL files.
  • Packed, Signed, Comp, Binary fields & more...
  • We can handle files over 1 TB (1,000,000 MB)

Data Conversion is 100% of our business, and we do it expertly!
At DISC, your conversion will be done by an experienced
programmer, not just an operator.

More Information about our IBM Data Conversion Services

Disc Interchange Service Company, Inc., a Massachusetts corporation, will be closing on December 31, 2015, due to the Massachusetts Data Security Law, 201 CMR 17.00.
The new law prohibits us from receiving or shipping tapes or disks containing Personal Information on Massachusetts residents, and has wiped-out about 95% of our business. We are no longer accepting new customers.

We will be leaving this web site up for the technical articles it contains. We sincerely hope you find them useful.

For more information about the law and how it affected us, please see our page: The Massachusetts Data Security Law

One-Time Custom Conversions

Custom conversion from IBM Mainframe and AS/400 systems to PC or UNIX is our primary business. With tens-of-thousands of custom jobs successfully completed in our 29 year history, we have the expertise, equipment, and know-how to convert your files expertly.

DISC has extensive experience converting mainframe COBOL files to PCs. From the simplest mailing list to the most complex financial data, we have the tools and knowledge to properly convert and Q.C. your files efficiently and accurately. We have the expertise to catch problems with the data before they cause you grief.

There is much more information about converting mainframe and AS/400 tape files to PC or UNIX files on our IBM Mainframe and AS/400 Tape Conversions page, and in our library of conversion articles, listed below.

Important: Please read our article on the new Massachusetts Data Security Law before using our service.

For more information:
IBM Mainframe and AS/400 Tape Conversions Request a data conversion quote

Automated Weekly Transaction Processing

DISC is very proficient at automating conversions from mainframe tapes to PC files for daily, weekly, or monthly transaction processing.  DISC can read hundreds of different tape and file formats and convert the data to the PC file type of your choice.  In the conversion process we can extract specific fields, perform record selection, and reformat the data to your file specifications.  If the file contains multiple COBOL record types, we can split it into relational PC files.  Of course we perform all the common field conversions, and if you need the data altered, such as converting Julian dates to Gregorian dates, we can do that, too.

We build Quality-Control checks into our programs, and it's standard procedure for us to generate summary and Q.C. reports of the processing. The converted files can be delivered via email, ftp, or on CD or floppy.  And our service is fast; we commonly process the data the day we receive the tapes.

There is more information on our page Automated Transaction Processing, and descriptions of many common conversions on the page Common Conversions DISC Performs

For more information:
Automated Weekly Transaction Processing Request a data conversion quote

Data Distribution

Let DISC handle your data distribution. Our fast and efficient service accepts all your distribution data on a single tape and converts it to multiple files and formats for distribution to many recipients. You just give us one database file and we handle the rest. The data can be distributed in many file types, via disk, CD, email, or ftp.

These services are discussed on our page Automated Transaction Processing.

For more information:
Automated data distribution Request a data conversion quote

Technical Articles
and Tutorials

We have written a number of articles on data conversion to help make your conversion project go smoothly.  

Identify Media
Title Description
Identify Computer Tapes Photographs to help you identify a tape. Specifications of tapes. 

Data Conversion Articles and Tutorials
Title Description
Simple Data Conversion Tutorial A simple overview of what data conversion is.  (Also see our Intermediate Data Conversion Tutorial, below.)
Intermediate Data Conversion Tutorial An intermediate-level data conversion tutorial. Discusses some details specific to each OS.
Data Recovery vs Data Conversion Do you need Data Recovery or Data Conversion?  This article discusses the difference. 
Mainframe Tape Terminology Terminology of mainframe tapes
Mainframe Tape Details Physical & logical recording formats on mainframe tapes
Mainframe Data Types Data representations commonly found on mainframes
Floppy disk media specifications Media specifications for 3.5", 5.25", and 8" floppy disks
Character, BCD, and Binary Fields Explains the differences between character, BCD, and binary numeric fields in a data file
Understanding Record Size and Record Delimiters How to measure record size on mainframes and PCs, and the use of  record delimiters. 
What is a Gigabyte? Explains the difference between binary and decimal gigabytes.
PC Large File Limitations Explains the four factors that determine how large a file a PC can access. 
EBCDIC & ASCII Character Tables EBCDIC & ASCII codes
Dealing With Binary Junk in a File Problems caused by binary values in a file, and how to deal with them
Importing Mainframe Files into dBASE or FoxPro Step-by-step instructions for importing fixed-field files into dBASE.
Importing Fixed Field Files into Access Step-by-step instructions for importing fixed-field files into Access.
Importing Variable Data Files into Access This Tech-Talk article deals with importing a file that has a varying number of fields
Converting IBM Mainframe Tape Files to PC Files Details of mainframe tape formats and files
Also lists what information we need to do your conversion
Mainframe to PC Data Conversion Issues Discusses how data is stored on a mainframe and issues you may encounter when converting that data to a PC.
Converting PC files to mainframe tapes Discusses the process of creating a mainframe tape
and lists what information we will need.
Converting files to the PC platform Brief discussion of PC file types.
How to write a tape on as/400 Notes on how to write an IBM SL tape under OS/400.

COBOL Conversion Articles
Title Description
Reading COBOL Layouts How to read COBOL layouts. A 7 part article.
    Part 1: COBOL Basics Introduces you to the elements of a COBOL record layout.
    Part 2: Simple COBOL Layouts Presents some simple COBOL layouts and introduces the concept of groups.
    Part 3: Redefined Fields Discusses what redefined fields are and how they are used.
    Part 4: Numeric Fields Discusses several types of character and binary numeric fields, and the handling of signs and decimal points.
    Part 5: Tables and Occurs Introduces tables and the OCCURS and OCCURS DEPENDING ON clauses.
    Part 6: Redefined Records Discusses redefined records and multiple record types in a file.
    Part 7: Conclusion Conclusion, and notes from the author.
EBCDIC to ASCII Conversion of Signed Fields Explanation of IBM Signed fields and options for dealing with them
COBOL Computational Fields Describes several COBOL computational (binary) data types on various machine architectures
COBOL Comp-3 Packed Fields Describes the COBOL Computational-3 packed data type
Redefined Fields and Records Brief example of redefined fields and redefined records
Implied Decimal Description of implied vs real decimal in numeric fields
COBOL OCCURS...DEPENDING ON COBOL files can have fields or tables that can occur a varying number of  times. This article discusses this COBOL feature. 


Summary of our Data Conversion Service

Media Conversion and Data Conversion Services:

Disc Interchange Service Company, DISC, is a data conversion and media conversion service bureau specializing in IBM mainframe and iSeries - AS/400 media conversions and data conversions. DISC transfers files from IBM 3420 9-track tape, 3480, 3490, 3490E, 3570 Magstar, 3590 Magstar, and 3592 Jaguar IBM mainframe tapes, and from StorageTek 9840 and StorageTek 9940 mainframe tapes, plus DLT, SDLT, LTO, QIC, SLR and other cartridge tapes, to UNIX and PC format data files.  We write files to Microsoft Windows or MSDOS format on CD, (CDR), DVD, DVD RAM, floppy disk, optical disc, or tape. Or we can transfer directly to SCSI, USB, or 1394 Firewire hard drives.  Or we can ftp or email your encrypted data via the Internet.

DISC does more than just IBM conversions.  For complete information on all our data conversion services, please see  DISC's Data Conversion Services.

Disc Interchange Service Company, Inc.
Data Conversion Specialists
15 Stony Brook Road
Westford, MA 01886

Copyright © 1997-2015 by Disc Interchange
All rights reserved. See our copyright page.
Last revised 12-1-2015.