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A microcomputer-based controller for a digital cartridge tape drive is developed. Minimum interface hardware is used to achieve the required control by making the best use of the I/O ports available on a single board computer. The software-intensive approach gives increased reliability and flexibility to the control scheme while keeping the development time short. A simple two-processor multiprocessing configuration is implemented and tested for a real-time data-acquisition system where the digital cartridge tape serves as the mass storage medium. Test/reset semaphores are used to coordinate the operation of the two processors. An initial application to real-time acquisition of aircraft flight data is described.