The name of a tape device may contain the host name in which case a remote device will be accessed. This will work only if the MIDAS tape-server has been installed. The full name is then given as 'host:device' e.g. for a device on a UNIX system ws1 it could be 'ws1:/dev/nrst8'. For access to local devices the physical device name can be given directly. When writing on a tape device, it must be set to write enable either by inserting a write ring or changing a switch on the cartridge.
A single file can be specified by including its extension otherwise a name is assumed to be a file prefix. When a file prefix is used the full file is made up of the prefix, the four digit sequence number and the file extension '.mt'.