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Qualstar Bids Farewell to 9-Track Tape Drives

Monday, 22-Sep-2003 6:41AM PDT
Story from Qualstar via BizWire
Copyright 2003 by Business Wire (via ClariNet)

Celebrating the End of One Era, Continued Growth of Another

SIMI VALLEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 22, 2003--Qualstar(R) Corporation (Nasdaq:QBAK) a leading manufacturer of automated tape storage solutions, today announced the final shipment of its 9-track tape drives, marking the end of an era. Qualstar, the last remaining manufacturer of 9-track tape technology, will mark the occasion with a farewell celebration at its facility in Simi Valley, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 26. After twenty years of designing and manufacturing these drives, the company will deliver serial number 27,294, its final 9-track drive, to Vinastar Corporation.

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Since the company's inception in 1983, Qualstar has played a major role in the development and growth of the 9-track market. With a heritage stretching back more than 50 years, 9-track tape technology is the foundation for today's advanced tape storage solutions. Qualstar shipped tens of thousands of drives worldwide, and holds several patents for its work in bringing 9-track technology to workstation, server and desktop computer users.

"We decided that we couldn't let the 9-track era pass away without mention, so we're celebrating the significant contributions it made to storage technology, and the success it brought to our company, " said Bill Gervais, Qualstar's Chief Executive Officer. "Nine-track drives were the only officially recognized medium for data interchange between disparate systems. For decades, 9-track tape was also the only way to move data from one system to another. While the technology served the market, it became obsolete with the emergence of high speed networking for data interchange, and higher capacity tape drives and automation technologies for backup and archival storage."

As 9-track tape technology declined in popularity, however, Qualstar has focused on designing and manufacturing automated tape libraries. Introduced in 1994, the TLS- and RLS-Series libraries have enhanced the company's reputation for delivering rugged, Simply Reliable storage solutions.

About Qualstar Corporation

Founded in 1984, Qualstar Corporation is a leading manufacturer of automated tape libraries used for backup, archival storage, data protection and storage management applications. Its TLS-Series libraries are well known throughout the world for rugged, Simply Reliable designs yielding years of trouble-free operation. Qualstar Tape Libraries are sold, installed, and supported worldwide by selected Original Equipment Manufacturers, Value Added Resellers, and Systems Integrators. Qualstar Corporation is publicly traded on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange under the symbol QBAK. More information is available from Qualstar's web site (, or by phone at 805-583-7744.

Statements in this news release concerning the future business, operating results and financial condition of the company are "forward-looking" statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are based upon management's current expectations and are subject to a number of uncertainties that could cause actual performance and results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could affect the company's actual results include unexpected shortages of critical components, unexpected product design problems, and adverse changes in market demand for tape libraries or Qualstar's products. Further information on these and other potential factors that could affect the company's financial results are included in Qualstar's Form 10-K dated September 28, 2001, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.