Wednesday, July 16, 2008

apple basic I as a sound file

back in the '70s and early '80s, one major way of storing software was on audio cassette. a sonified version of the program data would be stored on the tape, and you would plug your cassette deck into a port on your computer and play the tape to load the program. i had a TI-99/4A and used to play old zork-style text adventure games that i had to load off cassette (and with multiple games on one tape, it was easy to load the wrong one by mistake).

someone has posted an mp3 of the original version of apple basic I that came with the rare apple I computer, way back in the '70s—and they took it a step further by decoding the data and posted the binaries, too.

the sound of the mp3 is quite similar to what you get when doing audio databending—and i imagine the process of sonification used back in the day isn't much different from what happens when you convert a binary file into WAV format. in other words, databenders should check this out, as you might learn something.

1 comment:

arratik said...

That reminds me - I have a complete TI-99/4A system that I scored off of eBay a few years ago for $20 + shipping. I bought it as a potential circuit-bending target, but it's still in the box. It came with a couple of old issues of COMPUTE! - one of them, from early 1985, I think - has an awesome article about "the future of computer music". I'll have to scan it. It's pretty funny.

And I used to love listening to the "Temple of Apshai" data cassettes for the C-64 when I was a youngster.