TNG theme was very good
Storage is weird, wonderful and sometimes very odd. Did you know floppy disk drives can be used for something other than emergency boots of legacy kit or as cool antiques? It must have been a fairly uneventful day when floppy lovers discovered their drives can be used as "musical instruments" – to play the theme tune to StarTrek …
TNG theme was very good
Where no floopy has gone before.
I've upvoted you solely because of your typo!
Yeah me posting comments before my usual 3 cups of strong black tea isn't the best time for me to think of something witty. Wish we had an edit function for the posts here.
This was first done in ...umm 1983??
Which is a neat trick given ST:TNG didn't première until 1987 :)
Not at all, the theme song played was originally composed for the Star Trek: The Motion Picture, released 1979.
That rival to the IBM PC, the Sirius/Victor 9000, had high-capacity (1.2MB!) Tandon floppy drives running off a custom controller the size of a motherboard. They were variable speed and yes it didn't take long for some clever clogs in Silicon Valley to knock up some Basic code that made them sing.
Not everyone here will have seen all of these videos, even if you've known about them for years.
I suspect you just wanted someone to post the inevitable XKCD reference:
"...I'm training them not to tell me..."
This pedant was thinking the same thing.
Paris, uh, the next generation.
I think we had an ACT Sirius 1 no later than 1982. Before anyone in N.I. saw an IBM PC
And yes tune playing was an early feature.
As was such things unavailable on IBM PC (in USA) as standard then as
Non-glare matt black screen
800 x 400 graphics
1.2M or 2.4M drives rather than 360K
It was the first time you could easily damage a PC by programming. It was possible to program incorrect graphics timing and blow the monitor fuse :)
"It was the first time you could easily damage a PC by programming. It was possible to program incorrect graphics timing and blow the monitor fuse :)"
I seem to remember IBM PC monitors could be burned out quite easily with a few incorrect settings in the 6845 video timing generator too (I managed it once on a Victor VPC2 PC clone - oops). However, Commodore PETs were first documented as having this 'feature' some years before
Uh...Commodore Pets used tape drives. Floppy drives were not available until the Commodore 64.
rubbish. there was even a diskette drive for the vic20
Uh... if you'd been paying attention, you'd have realised that the 'feature' in that little digression was the ability to burn out the CRT drive electronics by messing with the video timing registers - nothing to do with floppy drives.
While the original PET 2001 series systems did have an integral tape drive, there were plenty of floppy drive and a few hard drive options for PETs, linked via the IEE488 bus.
oops... an E fell off somewhere!
The only problem with floppy drive music that i can see is the lack of volume control, with some of the more compex parts it's easy to lose the actual tune under the background rhythm, the doctor who theme in particular. It's still quite impressive what people do with these things though :-)
Actually I've read that you can control the volume by adjusting the number of tracks the head vibrates over. Supposedly the more tracks it jumps the quieter it is. I haven't tried it because I don't have either the musical skills to do anything decent or the floppy drives to do it on, but I see no reason to doubt it given the fact that it was a caption on the schematic for a controller board for making floppy drives take MIDI commands.
Back in the mists of time, ICL engineers were circulating programs that could be run to get line printers to play tunes. With the added bonus that some of them also printed a related ASCII (EBCDIC?) picture.
God, I'm so old....
IIRC, aren't those the same programs that used to sometimes either:
a) shake the printer apart.
b) produce enough noise to temporarily stun unfortunate lusers.
I heard about the old printer tunes.
These days people are programming small CNC lasers to play music, while etching the logos from the games the music came from.
Portal - Still Alive : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4OV2UofPFg
Portal 2 - Want You Gone : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feit1osFiqE
I would really love the G-Code programs for these, I have access to a 6KW Bystronic BySpeed Pro at work and would love to see if the (DAMN QUICK) laser head could keep up with the music!
Check out Symphony for Dot Matrix Printer (1 & 2), if you can find it. You won't be disappointed.
I have come across some of their kit!
There was a Public Domain/freeware program back on the amiga 500 which let you play tunes using the inbuilt hard drive. Just played with the stepper motor in the drive.
The guy in this article got a larger range of frequencies from his drives, but its still a 20+ year old trick!
As much as this Amigoid would like to claim an Amiga First, I had a program on the Commodore 64 which played "Daisy" on the 1541 well before the Amiga.
Paris... dammit, I just don't have anything for this one.
Paris: Because she could get my floppy to hum a tune?
Screw floppy discs, Arc Attack is musical Tesla coils! Surely those would give a more satisfying nerdgasm?!
My favourite is Phantom of the Floppera: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmoDLyiQYKw
That's taking geekdom a bit too far
Your cliche is older than 8" floppy drives.
"That's taking geekdom a bit too far"
Nonsense sir. There's no such thing as taking geekdome too far.
I've just wandered back to El Reg after reading some stuff on the Onion, and I thought I was still on their site (not just the premise, but the wording of the article).
Copyright theft of style? Just kiddin' :P
This is not a million miles away from what the people creating the original Dr Who theme tune were doing.
There used to be a program for the ZX81, iirc, that would let you play "music" using the hum generated by your TV set.
Fantastic that someone else remembers the dodgy "music" you could play using an off-tune TV and different black and white patterns on a ZX81.
ahh, those were the days....
That link for the imperial march was just weak.. try this one
Nothing ever came close to the ZX Spectrum Radiohead track, as it was actually controlled by a program written on the spectrum.
And the reason I mention this is because you didn't need several drives next to each other, you only needed 1. And it could actually play certain melodies as well (of course no one ever tried STTNG because that didn't exist at that time, however we did have the original star trek theme).
Of course I have no idea how much damage this could do to the drive, but I do know that after having played the melodies a few times my 1541 drive still works today, now easily 20 years after the facts.
A more expensive version:
Still got to say, his version of "What is Love" from A Night at the Roxbury is my favourite.
(Not that it's my favourite song in the world, but he's done a great job on it)
Illegally ripped music.
Theme tune for "Inspector Morse" ?
IEEE488 bus was a wiz for making electro-mechanical music. Plotters / Golf Ball Printers / Floppies.
I'd be more impressed if the standard Shugart Associates interface was used. Appears the step motors are directly connected to an off-camera controller.
Yep, they work too - the magnetic clutch type. Maximum frequency is a bit limited, and it absolutely knackers the tape. That was a long time ago--.
The guy who wrote the software this video uses (which is open source) has his own channel :
Yawn. Old guys remember minicomputer days when you punched a paper tape and that played music on the paper tape reader when read back.
using 4 ouput pins out would play 4 voice music. computer history museum has it.
and that's an all transistor ( no chips here ) machine ...
Possibly... although I do see rather a lot of references to the PDP-8 on the net. According to www.pdp8.net, they did this by producing EM waves within the system that could then be picked up using an AM radio.